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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 746795 times)

1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #350 on: April 23, 2012, 12:36:02 PM »

I was under the impression that, as froggie says, the point of the tolling on I-95 is that Virginia would give up any future federal funding for that road and that the toll revenue would be required to be used solely for I-95 maintenance or improvements. I suppose you could accurately say the funding wouldn't go into VDOT's general budget per se, but insofar as VDOT maintains I-95 (outside of the future HO/T project), VDOT would be getting the toll money.

The I-95 toll revenue would be restricted in use to only on I-95 improvements and debt retirement, but federal funds would be a separate issue; as a "Corridor of the Future", an Interstate highway could possibly use a mix of toll revenue bond financing, state tax funds, and federal road use taxes, with the final funding package and toll rates subject to FHWA approval.

True, but I believe I read either in a news report or in a VDOT document that the terms of this particular proposal (tolling I-95 in Virginia) would require Virginia to forfeit further federal funding for that particular road. I suppose it's all subject to change anyway unless/until it actually happens.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #351 on: April 23, 2012, 01:58:59 PM »

True, but I believe I read either in a news report or in a VDOT document that the terms of this particular proposal (tolling I-95 in Virginia) would require Virginia to forfeit further federal funding for that particular road. I suppose it's all subject to change anyway unless/until it actually happens.

I would like to see a cite and link of such an article
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #352 on: April 23, 2012, 03:08:28 PM »

True, but I believe I read either in a news report or in a VDOT document that the terms of this particular proposal (tolling I-95 in Virginia) would require Virginia to forfeit further federal funding for that particular road. I suppose it's all subject to change anyway unless/until it actually happens.

I would like to see a cite and link of such an article

The Washington Post isn't always reliable, but their transportation staff usually do an OK job. See this article.

Partial excerpt (boldface mine):

Quote
To win final federal approval of the I-95 tolling plan, the state must conduct an environmental review, outline improvements that will increase capacity, determine where tolls will be collected and defend that determination, and certify that toll revenue will replace all other federal funding that otherwise would have been used for maintenance or improvement of the tolled portions.


The Fairfax Times reported that the forfeiture of federal maintenance funds for that road is a condition of the tolling pilot program, which implies that it could be changed down the road:

Quote
To complete its approval of tolls on I-95, VDOT will need to specify short-term improvements the state will implement using toll money; explain how tolls will help add to road capacity; explain how maintenance issues will be addressed on the tolled portion of I-95 and detail where tolls will be collected and why these locations were chosen. Under the pilot program, Virginia cannot use interstate maintenance funds on the tolled portion of I-95 during the pilot.
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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 #353 on: April 24, 2012, 08:05:10 AM »

TOLLROADSnews interviews Virginia's Secretary of Transportation, Sean Connaughton: "No more large projects are possible without tolls"
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #354 on: April 24, 2012, 09:37:12 AM »

TOLLROADSnews interviews Virginia's Secretary of Transportation, Sean Connaughton: "No more large projects are possible without tolls"

I'd like to see more data on the following paragraph because I wonder whether the second sentence is indeed accurate. I wouldn't be surprised if Virginia has indeed seen a more-rapid-than-typical decline in gas tax revenue over the past ten to fifteen years due to the explosion of hybrids in Northern Virginia (and maybe in the Tidewater area, but I haven't been down that way in a long time) due to the HOV exemptions. While it's true that hybrids have increased in popularity everywhere, many reports have strongly suggested that Northern Virginia in particular has seen an unusually high concentration of them due to the HOV exemption. I suppose, though, that statistically the hybrids probably still represent a drop in the bucket as to the overall gas tax.

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Undermining the gasoline tax is a "dramatic increase in efficiency" of cars. Virginia he thinks is not unusual in seeing a quite rapid decline in the fuel tax yield. This year they had forecast a slight increase in gas tax revenue but they are seeing a decline of 1.5%.
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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 #355 on: April 25, 2012, 11:14:33 AM »

WTOP Radio: Express Lanes: A quick way to go broke?

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Drivers are expected to have access to the Beltway Express Lanes between Springfield and Dulles Toll Road by the end of the year.

Quote
When the project opens, drivers will have to decide whether time saved is worth the cost.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #356 on: April 25, 2012, 12:38:54 PM »

Two members of this forum have left comments on that WTOP article. I don't know why I bother. The level of public ignorance about the 495 Express Lanes project is really pathetic, although what's more pathetic is that so much of it is what in tort law is called "willful blindness"—people refuse to listen to anything rational that would educate them about the project.
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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 #357 on: April 25, 2012, 04:25:34 PM »

Two members of this forum have left comments on that WTOP article. I don't know why I bother. The level of public ignorance about the 495 Express Lanes project is really pathetic, although what's more pathetic is that so much of it is what in tort law is called "willful blindness"—people refuse to listen to anything rational that would educate them about the project.

Hoo, I strongly agree.  

There are an awful lot of people around this area (and not just in Virginia) that on the one hand agree with politicians that motor fuel taxes must not ever, ever be raised, and on the other hand will moan and groan and complain that tolls are "too high."  Those very same people also seem to think that they have an absolute entitlement to a congestion-free trip where ever and when ever they need to go.

A case in point includes the elected officials that slam the (private) owners of the Dulles Greenway for charging tolls that are "too high," and make repeated demands for an "audit" of the books.  Never mind that the Greenways's tolls are regulated by the State Corporation Commission.

Another case in point, on the other side of the Potomac River, are the craven claims by certain Maryland politicians that the Maryland Transportation Authority is setting the tolls on some of its crossings (in particular the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the one toll point on the John F. Kennedy Highway) "too high," without any data to support same.

There's "no such thing as a free lunch."  And there's no such thing as a free highway.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 05:08:26 PM by cpzilliacus »
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #358 on: April 26, 2012, 04:09:36 PM »

In a prior post I mentioned the advance sign for I-66 with the exit tab on the wrong side. It's been fixed. Steve Titunik had someone send me an e-mail saying they would go have a look at it, but I didn't expect it to be fixed so soon.


There is still one on the outer loop just before I-66 that has the exit tab incorrect for the US 50 exit

Mapmikey

I finally wound up going to Tysons today and I got a picture of the sign you mention. Sent it to Steve Titunik at VDOT. They fixed the other one fairly promptly, so hopefully they'll fix this one too.

On my way out to Tysons I had to go to Falls Church off Shreve Road and from there I took Idylwood Road to Gallows to stop at the Dunn Loring post office. I noticed from the overpass that it appears that the Inner Loop Express Lanes through that area are starting to take their final configuration with the pylons and the like. I wasn't able to stop to get a picture due to traffic and I didn't have time to park the car and walk back, but I hope to do so within the next week or two. I'm really looking forward to seeing the final configuration.


Edited to add: While I was at the mall I went up to the top of the parking garage out back of where Woodies used to be and took some pictures. Here's the future Westpark Connector exit from the new Express Lanes. The long concrete overpass beyond that is the Metrorail line; you can see in the distance to the right where it swoops around to join the Dulles Access Road Extension in the median.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 04:14:14 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.

WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #359 on: April 29, 2012, 06:47:13 PM »

On an unrelated note, I-195 in Richmond now has mileposts (the variety containing a small route shield) that use the combined mileage of I-195 and VA 195. However, they're not implemented properly and cause even more confusion as to where I-195 ends and VA 195 begins; south/eastbound, there is an I-195 milepost after the Rosewood Ave exit, but a VA 195 milepost right after VA 146 merges in from the right. This milepost is actually before the BEGIN VA 195 shield located near the Downtown Expressway toll plaza. This is also the last milepost on the route, as state maintenance ends at that BEGIN sign (VA 195 is maintained by the Richmond Metropolitan Authority beyond that point).

I haven't driven the route west/northbound yet to see what the mileposts look like between the toll plaza and the I-195/VA 146 split, but there are several of them.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #360 on: April 29, 2012, 09:41:50 PM »

On an unrelated note, I-195 in Richmond now has mileposts (the variety containing a small route shield) that use the combined mileage of I-195 and VA 195. However, they're not implemented properly and cause even more confusion as to where I-195 ends and VA 195 begins; south/eastbound, there is an I-195 milepost after the Rosewood Ave exit, but a VA 195 milepost right after VA 146 merges in from the right. This milepost is actually before the BEGIN VA 195 shield located near the Downtown Expressway toll plaza. This is also the last milepost on the route, as state maintenance ends at that BEGIN sign (VA 195 is maintained by the Richmond Metropolitan Authority beyond that point).

Wait until the signing project is complete before judging it ... the project is underway and about half complete.

Also, I-195 ends just west of the east wye of the delta freeway interchange.  An 0.9-mile section of the Downtown Expressway was funded and built by VDOT as Project 0088, to reduce the need for RMA to use toll revenue bonds, and that runs from the end of I-195 eastward.  Project 0088 is administered by VDOT and is VA-195, not I-195.  Project 0088 is very identifiable now as the concrete pavement that is being replaced on VA-195 and VA-146, and it will be overlaid with asphalt ... and that is a VDOT project.  RMA rehabbed and overlaid its concrete pavements about 10 years ago.

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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #361 on: April 29, 2012, 10:15:51 PM »

On an unrelated note, I-195 in Richmond now has mileposts (the variety containing a small route shield) that use the combined mileage of I-195 and VA 195. However, they're not implemented properly and cause even more confusion as to where I-195 ends and VA 195 begins; south/eastbound, there is an I-195 milepost after the Rosewood Ave exit, but a VA 195 milepost right after VA 146 merges in from the right. This milepost is actually before the BEGIN VA 195 shield located near the Downtown Expressway toll plaza. This is also the last milepost on the route, as state maintenance ends at that BEGIN sign (VA 195 is maintained by the Richmond Metropolitan Authority beyond that point).

Wait until the signing project is complete before judging it ... the project is underway and about half complete.

Also, I-195 ends just west of the east wye of the delta freeway interchange.  An 0.9-mile section of the Downtown Expressway was funded and built by VDOT as Project 0088, to reduce the need for RMA to use toll revenue bonds, and that runs from the end of I-195 eastward.  Project 0088 is administered by VDOT and is VA-195, not I-195.  Project 0088 is very identifiable now as the concrete pavement that is being replaced on VA-195 and VA-146, and it will be overlaid with asphalt ... and that is a VDOT project.  RMA rehabbed and overlaid its concrete pavements about 10 years ago.



Explains the appearance of BEGIN and END shields on I-195, then. The VDOT page on the project only mentioned the pavement rehabilitation project, it didn't mention signage.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #362 on: April 29, 2012, 11:03:22 PM »

I-195 ends just west of the east wye of the delta freeway interchange.  An 0.9-mile section of the Downtown Expressway was funded and built by VDOT as Project 0088, to reduce the need for RMA to use toll revenue bonds, and that runs from the end of I-195 eastward.  Project 0088 is administered by VDOT and is VA-195, not I-195.  Project 0088 is very identifiable now as the concrete pavement that is being replaced on VA-195 and VA-146, and it will be overlaid with asphalt ... and that is a VDOT project.  RMA rehabbed and overlaid its concrete pavements about 10 years ago.

Explains the appearance of BEGIN and END shields on I-195, then. The VDOT page on the project only mentioned the pavement rehabilitation project, it didn't mention signage.

Most likely those signs were posted to clearly delineate the boundaries between VDOT and RMA administration, for agency uses.  Shows who is responsible for mowing, plowing, etc.

The title notwithstanding, this project includes portions of both I-195 and VA-195.  The north leg of the delta interchange up to the eastermost local ramps is I-195.

I-195 Concrete Repairs
http://virginiadot.org/projects/richmond/i-195_concrete_repairs.asp

I suppose it would be easier to make the whole thing I-195, or perhaps I-695.  Since the City of Richmond has no state secondary roads, 695 in the city would not interfere with any pre-existing routes.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 11:10:50 PM by Beltway »
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #363 on: April 29, 2012, 11:24:53 PM »

Well, there are already signs that delineate where RMA jurisdiction begins; RMA always posts "Begin/End RMA Expressway" signs in the appropriate locations. There are such signs near the Downtown Expressway toll plaza, at the northern end of VA 76 at I-195, on VA 76 at the Chesterfield County/City of Richmond line, and on VA 146. There is also a "Begin RMA Expressway" sign at the onramp from VA 150 to northbound VA 76.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #364 on: May 01, 2012, 02:08:24 PM »

Had to go to Falls Church earlier today and I stopped to take some pictures from the Idylwood Road overpass above the Beltway. (That hill leading up to it is a lot steeper than it seems in a car!) There is also a new sign for the Express Lanes exit to I-66 on the Inner Loop between US-50 and US-29, and it isn't covered up yet, but I wasn't able to get a picture of that due to traffic. I assume it will be covered next time I go through there.

I understand that each of those white Botts dot–type mounds will eventually be topped with a pylon of the sort visible in this picture, which is looking north towards Tysons (sorry about the black obstruction on the sides; that's from the chain-link fence on the bridge):




Closer view of the same area:




Looking south towards I-66 now. It looks to me like it's being set up so the cops have space to park just past the toll collection gantries:




Close-up of the toll gantry with equipment installed. It's a bit jaggy because I didn't expect to have time to stop to take pictures and so didn't bring my real camera:

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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 #365 on: May 03, 2012, 08:42:21 AM »

WRC-TV (Channel 4, NBC in Washington, D.C.) is promoting a sweeps month special about VDOT's failure to maintain its overhead signs to air on its Thursday (3-May-2012) late night news broadcast at 11:00 P.M.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #366 on: May 03, 2012, 10:43:05 AM »

WRC-TV (Channel 4, NBC in Washington, D.C.) is promoting a sweeps month special about VDOT's failure to maintain its overhead signs to air on its Thursday (3-May-2012) late night news broadcast at 11:00 P.M.

Thanks for that info, I may set the DVR to record it. I normally watch their 11:00 news, but I have a feeling I may not make it that late tonight since it was after 1:00 by the time we got home from last night's Caps game and then I couldn't fall asleep. I'm feeling it this morning....
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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 #367 on: May 03, 2012, 11:43:04 PM »

WRC-TV (Channel 4, NBC in Washington, D.C.) is promoting a sweeps month special about VDOT's failure to maintain its overhead signs to air on its Thursday (3-May-2012) late night news broadcast at 11:00 P.M.

The report concentrated on structural problems with overhead signs and high-mast lighting.

More to come tomorrow night (Friday, 4-May-2012). 

Curiously, there was a campaign-style ad by the Virginia Republican Party featuring incumbent Gov. Bob McDonnell.  I say curiously since Virginia governors may not succeed themselves, and I have to wonder if the ad was designed to counteract the impact of this news story.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #368 on: May 04, 2012, 12:35:21 AM »

Curiously, there was a campaign-style ad by the Virginia Republican Party featuring incumbent Gov. Bob McDonnell.  I say curiously since Virginia governors may not succeed themselves, and I have to wonder if the ad was designed to counteract the impact of this news story.

Looked a lot like promoting McDonnell as a possible running mate to Mitt Romney.  Only a snippet about transportation issues.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #369 on: May 04, 2012, 07:56:15 AM »

WRC-TV (Channel 4, NBC in Washington, D.C.) is promoting a sweeps month special about VDOT's failure to maintain its overhead signs to air on its Thursday (3-May-2012) late night news broadcast at 11:00 P.M.

The report concentrated on structural problems with overhead signs and high-mast lighting.

....

Less interesting than it sounded, then. I recorded it and will watch it later today....I was nodding off on the couch by 10:00 last night and turned in for good by 10:15 (tell you what, getting over nine hours of sleep feels great!), so thanks for letting us all know it would be airing.
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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.

Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #370 on: May 04, 2012, 09:57:16 AM »

Curiously, there was a campaign-style ad by the Virginia Republican Party featuring incumbent Gov. Bob McDonnell.  I say curiously since Virginia governors may not succeed themselves, and I have to wonder if the ad was designed to counteract the impact of this news story.

Looked a lot like promoting McDonnell as a possible running mate to Mitt Romney.  Only a snippet about transportation issues.

He's near the bottom of the list if at all ...
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #371 on: May 04, 2012, 06:43:44 PM »

WRC-TV (Channel 4, NBC in Washington, D.C.) is promoting a sweeps month special about VDOT's failure to maintain its overhead signs to air on its Thursday (3-May-2012) late night news broadcast at 11:00 P.M.

The report concentrated on structural problems with overhead signs and high-mast lighting.

More to come tomorrow night (Friday, 4-May-2012). 

I suppose this might explain why VDOT seems to be moving away from bridge-mounted overhead signs and replacing them with overhead gantries or simple signs on the side of the road...
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #372 on: May 04, 2012, 10:10:39 PM »

FYI you can now send comments about VDOT's proposed E-ZPass fee

http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/e-zpass_info.asp
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #373 on: May 12, 2012, 04:48:53 PM »

Had to go to Falls Church earlier today and I stopped to take some pictures from the Idylwood Road overpass above the Beltway. (That hill leading up to it is a lot steeper than it seems in a car!) There is also a new sign for the Express Lanes exit to I-66 on the Inner Loop between US-50 and US-29, and it isn't covered up yet, but I wasn't able to get a picture of that due to traffic. I assume it will be covered next time I go through there.

Here are pictures I took today of two signs for the I-495 express lanes, on westbound I-66 approaching I-495.  The first was taken from roadside, at exit 66 (VA 7/Leesburg Pike).  The second was taken just east of the first sign, from the shoulder of the bus-only ramp from the Dulles Access Road to the north side of the West Falls Church Metro station.  There are other signs for the I-495 express lanes, on I-66 both west and east of I-495 (one of those signs is in the background of the first photo below), but those are partially or fully covered.



« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 05:08:01 PM by oscar »
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my Hot Springs and Highways pages, with links to my roads sites:
http://www.alaskaroads.com/home.html

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #374 on: May 12, 2012, 05:45:40 PM »

That '2 axle vehicles buses only' doesn't jibe with the phrase structure of the other panels. On first reading it sounds like they're saying that the only 2 axle vehicles allowed are buses.
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Florida route log | pre-1945
I will do my best to not make America hate again.
Global warming denial is barely worse than white privilege denial.

 


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