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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 746747 times)

1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #175 on: September 27, 2011, 07:18:21 PM »

Right, but that doesn't address the purpose of the one segment I was mentioning. Look at the diagram. You see how there is an exit from the Outer Loop just below I-395. But it doesn't feed traffic onto either of the new ramps that connect to 395. I'm wondering what it's for.

I'm typing this on my phone, but I could circle the spot I mean next time my PC is on if that would help explain my question.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #176 on: September 27, 2011, 07:43:07 PM »

The "ramp" that hoo's asking about will be the HO/T lane for the Outer Loop.  It and the corresponding lane being built on the Inner Loop are so that the HO/T lanes remain on the left side of the roadway even (and especially) with the I-95 merge/diverge.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #177 on: September 27, 2011, 07:48:37 PM »

Thanks. I didn't realize the HOT facility was to extend that far east. I thought it was to begin/end between Springfield and Braddock Road (which would also allow HOT users to have access to/from Shirley Highway when the express lanes are going in the "wrong direction").
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #178 on: September 27, 2011, 11:11:42 PM »

Following up on my prior comment—it occurred to me tonight that if the HOT facility will begin/end just east of Springfield, does that mean a solo driver will pay a toll to use the new ramps between the Beltway and the Shirley Highway express lanes? (That would explain the open spaces in the HOV ramp exit signs I posted earlier—they'd need to list the toll rate there.) I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere, though it would also explain the small gantries shown in one of my earlier posts.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Alps

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #179 on: September 27, 2011, 11:26:22 PM »

My question is, does anyone know the purpose of this particular ramp (the very dark one)? I'm surmising it's probably being built to provide a route in case HOV on the Beltway is ever extended east of the Springfield Interchange and that it was simply cheaper to build it now along with everything else rather than doing it later. It doesn't connect the Beltway to either of the ramps to/from the Shirley Highway HOV facility, so it seems that it must be intended for some other purpose.
That's what's shown here:

There will be a companion ramp to the right, merging into the inner loop near the sign gantry in the photo.
What's shown there is a horrible misrepresentation.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #180 on: September 27, 2011, 11:46:10 PM »

What's shown there is a horrible misrepresentation.
Are you talking about the colors being off (with no actual color for the HOT lanes)?
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #181 on: September 28, 2011, 09:10:25 AM »

OK, just in case it was unclear, the segment shown in red here is the only part I was wondering about. The diagram NE2 posted includes this segment under the category of "HOT Lanes Access Ramps," but I had been under the impression the HOT lanes weren't extending east past Springfield anyway, so it was unclear why there would be a ramp from the Outer Loop into the HOT lanes at that point. There doesn't appear to be a corresponding segment for the Inner Loop, though that could just be a function of the elevated flyovers blocking out the view. The striping on the Inner Loop, particularly since it was repaved, seemed further to suggest that the actual HOT facility is to begin around the Robinson Terminal or maybe a bit further west (which would also allow traffic coming from, say, the I-95 mainline to merge left and enter the HOT facility without having to use the HOV-lane ramp that non-HOVs can't use at certain times of day).

Maybe I'll just look up the address for the project and send in the question to them.

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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #182 on: September 28, 2011, 07:52:32 PM »

What's shown there is a horrible misrepresentation.
Are you talking about the colors being off (with no actual color for the HOT lanes)?
The I-95 shields, for two reasons.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #183 on: September 28, 2011, 09:37:05 PM »

Its nice that one will be able to directly access the Beltway from the I-95 HOV lanes, but I don't think I'll be using the connection because the lanes will no longer be free. I use those lanes during my NJ-NC trips when open in my traveling direction (offpeak/weekend) because of the higher speed limit and generally less traffic.

I thought these HOV lanes were going to extend all the way to the Wilson Bridge? I guess thats the plan.... eventually.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #184 on: September 28, 2011, 10:12:11 PM »

What's shown there is a horrible misrepresentation.
Are you talking about the colors being off (with no actual color for the HOT lanes)?
The I-95 shields, for two reasons.

Actually only one of them is out of place, unless you are talking about their size.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #185 on: September 29, 2011, 10:19:22 AM »

No, the HOV lanes end on the east side of the Springfield Interchange.  There have been some conceptual studies on "bridging the gap" between Springfield and the Wilson Bridge, but any construction will be a long time in coming.

The ramps to/from the west (towards Tysons) will most likely be tolled...the gantries are already in place for the ramps to the Inner Loop.  I'm not sure if the ramps to/from the east (towards the Wilson Bridge) will be tolled or not...that would be a good question to ask.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #186 on: September 29, 2011, 11:01:18 PM »

What's shown there is a horrible misrepresentation.
Are you talking about the colors being off (with no actual color for the HOT lanes)?
The I-95 shields, for two reasons.

Actually only one of them is out of place, unless you are talking about their size.
Those would be the two reasons.

1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #187 on: September 30, 2011, 10:43:26 AM »

....

The ramps to/from the west (towards Tysons) will most likely be tolled...the gantries are already in place for the ramps to the Inner Loop.  I'm not sure if the ramps to/from the east (towards the Wilson Bridge) will be tolled or not...that would be a good question to ask.


I sent them a question but they haven't replied. If I don't get an answer by mid-next week maybe I'll e-mail Steve Titunik. I've exchanged messages with him once before when I sent them an e-mail about erroneous exit numbers on the Beltway (Exit 57A was signed twice, once for I-95 South and once for the thru lanes on the Beltway) and he sent me a VDOT pen and some other stuff as a "thank-you."


Unrelated to Springfield but related to this thread: The closure of Exit 49C has been postponed until tomorrow. Seems sensible to me not to make that sort of big change on a Friday.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #188 on: October 18, 2011, 11:15:42 AM »

The pace seems to be picking up on the Beltway as more portions of the new outer lanes open. This is not such a spot, obviously, but I found it interesting to see the toll gantries hoisted into place between US-50 and US-29. At least one other was recently raised between I-66 and VA-7, but I don't have a picture since it was late night when we went through.




I noticed the new BGSs for the HOV ramps have been put into place for traffic heading from the Inner Loop to Shirley Highway (i.e., going west into Springfield and exiting to the left of the I-95 flyover). Can't seem to get a good picture due to their location behind the flyover unless I were to hold the camera in my hand, which I don't like to do. They have the white "Restricted Lanes" banner at the top, then the shield and destination, then an empty opening where it looks like a VMS will be inserted. Whether that's going to contain toll rate info or instead HOV info, who knows. They haven't hoisted any toll gantries on that end of the project—the first one you see on the Inner Loop is just west of the main part of the Springfield Interchange going up the hill towards the overpass above Backlick Road.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

froggie

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #189 on: October 18, 2011, 12:44:43 PM »

The open space is where a small VMS will go showing the toll rate.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #190 on: October 26, 2011, 03:57:40 PM »

The Meadowville exit for I-295 is progressing. Looks like it's going to be a simple diamond, as there are two sets of covered signals going each way with what appear to be left turn signals among them.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #191 on: October 27, 2011, 12:48:42 AM »

The Meadowville exit for I-295 is progressing. Looks like it's going to be a simple diamond, as there are two sets of covered signals going each way with what appear to be left turn signals among them.

This would be noteworthy as the first non-cloverleaf interchange on I-295, other than its termini and the VA 895 eastern terminus.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #192 on: October 27, 2011, 06:26:29 AM »

Something I'm slowly starting to see a lot more of is VDOT red left arrow installations.  There are several locations I've seen them in now:  US 1 both in Fairfax County and Spotsylvania County, US 301 at VA 3, US 29 in Centreville, and a few out along the I-81 corridor.  I'm sure there are some I'm missing/not-remembering.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #193 on: October 27, 2011, 09:31:46 AM »

Something I'm slowly starting to see a lot more of is VDOT red left arrow installations.  There are several locations I've seen them in now:  US 1 both in Fairfax County and Spotsylvania County, US 301 at VA 3, US 29 in Centreville, and a few out along the I-81 corridor.  I'm sure there are some I'm missing/not-remembering.


There are several of them at the intersection of Van Dorn and Franconia. (Meaning two red arrows in a couple of directions and one red arrow in other directions.)
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #194 on: October 27, 2011, 12:25:56 PM »

The Meadowville exit for I-295 is progressing. Looks like it's going to be a simple diamond, as there are two sets of covered signals going each way with what appear to be left turn signals among them.
The Meadowville exit for I-295 is progressing. Looks like it's going to be a simple diamond, as there are two sets of covered signals going each way with what appear to be left turn signals among them.

It will be a diamond layout, with space for future loops.  Also with provision for 4-laning of Meadowville Road with a parallel bridge over I-295.

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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #195 on: November 03, 2011, 02:38:24 PM »

More new signs on the Beltway. I was stuck in stopped traffic about half an hour ago coming back from Fairfax and so I took the opportunity to get pictures, as I had noticed the signs on my way out there but couldn't get a good picture due to the ramp in the way. Pictures taken from the eastbound Outer Loop looking across the northbound I-95 flyover; the signs are on the yet-to-open left exit that will lead to the ramps connecting to the express lanes on Shirley Highway. The sign on the right appears to confirm froggie's comments about the HOT facility extending through the Springfield Interchange, although it's a bit odd that there's no space for displaying a toll rate on that particular sign. The renderings I've seen for the HOT lane signs all include a white bar on top with the E-ZPass logo and the letters "HOT." Who knows, perhaps tolling for thru traffic on the Beltway is to begin further to the west of this spot.

I find it mildly interesting that on the advance signs along the Beltway, I-395 is listed above I-95 while this sign reverses it, but since the I-95 ramp will split off first it seems to me that putting I-95 first is the proper order.

You know, the other possibility that occurs to me about the small VMS units that will go on these signs is that they may very well not include toll rates at all (there are still no signs of toll gantries anywhere on that side of the Springfield Interchange) and that instead they may well say "OPEN" or "CLOSED." Obviously, if the ramp from the Beltway to the inbound express lanes on I-395 is open, the ramp to the outbound express lanes on I-95 will be closed—both ramps will never be open at the same time. (My interest in the setup stems from the fact that I can see myself using those ramps very frequently, especially coming home from Caps games.)



« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 05:01:50 PM by 1995hoo »
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #196 on: November 04, 2011, 04:49:42 PM »

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #197 on: November 06, 2011, 09:59:04 PM »

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #198 on: November 06, 2011, 10:15:25 PM »

TOLLROADSnews: Washington Times editorial on [Virginia] HOT lanes, tolling misleading, ill-informed CRITIQUE

Unfortunately, the opposition to tolling VA I-95 is far more widespread than one editorial in one newspaper.

I've seen numerous comments from people who are aware that the tolls would support major capacity addition, who still oppose tolls on the notion of "double taxation", i.e. paying tolls on top of road use taxes.

I see I-95 as a "super corridor" or "principal Interstate", where the needs are so great, that I would love to see funding in the form of tolls + road use taxes. 

An I-95 with 10 or more lanes between Richmond and Washington, and upgraded interchanges, would be well worth it.  E-ZPass and open road tolling would allow tolling at full highway speeds.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #199 on: November 07, 2011, 02:13:28 AM »

TOLLROADSnews: Washington Times editorial on [Virginia] HOT lanes

Unfortunately, the opposition to tolling VA I-95 is far more widespread than one editorial in one newspaper.

Agreed.  But the opponents have to be educated that the alternative is an increase in the Commonwealth's motor fuel tax rates.  

Quote
I've seen numerous comments from people who are aware that the tolls would support major capacity addition, who still oppose tolls on the notion of "double taxation", i.e. paying tolls on top of road use taxes.

For the indefinite future, there will be a tax on motor fuels (including electric power for electric motor vehicles, if that becomes popular).   Especially in a state like Virginia, where with the exceptions of Arlington and Henrico Counties, all "county" (secondary) highways are maintained by the Commonwealth in the form of VDOT and not by the counties.

Your point about double taxation on toll roads in the U.S. is correct, but I don't see what can be done about that, unless we want to measure the miles that every vehicle drives on every U.S. street, road and highway open to the public.  For trucks and buses that are required to report state-by-state miles because they operate interstate (or to Canada) and weigh over 26,000 pounds (and must display IFTA stickers), it strikes me as reasonable to give them a break from road use/fuel taxes that they pay for miles driven on toll roads, though even for that, the U.S., Canada and Mexico might be better off requiring those trucks to explicitly pay for all freeway use, perhaps using technology similar to what Germany uses to toll all heavy trucks (and only trucks) operating on its autobahn network (details here (site comes up in German, click "English" if you don't read German)).

Quote
I see I-95 as a "super corridor" or "principal Interstate", where the needs are so great, that I would love to see funding in the form of tolls + road use taxes.  

An I-95 with 10 or more lanes between Richmond and Washington, and upgraded interchanges, would be well worth it.  E-ZPass and open road tolling would allow tolling at full highway speeds.

Not sure I would like to see a new functional class or other way of designating I-95, beyond what it is today, a freeway.  And given that it attracts a lot of traffic from non-E-ZPass states (even though N.C. is now a member of the E-ZPass IAG), I think cash tolling might need to be an option for some years to come, though I understand the Maine Turnpike is under pressure to go cashless at its southernmost toll barrier on the Maine Turnpike, which is I-95.

I would not mind seeing the entire thing tolled from the Maryland/Delaware border all the way south to South Carolina/Georgia border at the Savannah River - if the revenue was used to improve the corridor.  And I say that as a regular user of most of that road.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 08:46:16 PM by Steve »
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