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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 747611 times)

WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #425 on: July 10, 2012, 09:42:21 PM »

Henrico's North Gayton Road extension is coming along well.

 http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/jul/08/tdmain01-north-gayton-extension-to-transform-short-ar-2041061/

The article says there's no defined opening date, but it looks like it should be open for the Richmond meet in October.

The segment between Bacova Drive and VA 271 seems to be mostly complete; it's fully paved but not yet painted. Both ends of this segment have traffic signals with signs attached; Bacova Drive and North Gayton Road has regular Henrico County intersection signs (with block numbers). North Gayton Road and VA 271 features hideous VDOT-installed Clearview signs. The first letter of each word on each sign is too large compared to the rest of the letters. I'll likely get pictures tomorrow.

Shady Grove Road is in the process of being upgraded from a 2-lane road to a 4-lane divided arterial (interestingly, the existing roadway is actually where the median will be). It will still turn onto itself at Twin Hickory Road, though I'm wondering if Henrico will rename this segment as part of North Gayton Road. It would make sense and eliminate this movement at Twin Hickory Road.

Henrico ultimately wants an interchange between the new connector and I-64. I have no earthly idea how this will happen without destroying the relatively new apartment complex on the south side of I-64. It's also too close to the I-295 interchange and would be a weaving nightmare.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 09:47:06 PM by WillWeaverRVA »
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #426 on: July 10, 2012, 09:55:03 PM »


Henrico ultimately wants an interchange between the new connector and I-64. I have no earthly idea how this will happen without destroying the relatively new apartment complex on the south side of I-64. It's also too close to the I-295 interchange and would be a weaving nightmare.

There is space for an urban ramp on that quadrant.  Else, a loop ramp could be built on the southwest quadrant, with a left turn from North Gayton Road.

It is close to a mile to the I-295 interchange, and there is ample room for weaving movements.
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #427 on: July 10, 2012, 10:43:18 PM »

I should also note that the VA 195 express toll lane project is approaching its final phases. The E-ZPass reader equipment has been installed over the new roadway, which is currently being constructed (the entrance and exit are still being built). The old toll plaza signage has been removed in both directions and replaced with new signs. It should be noted that traffic using the Meadow Street exit is now routed through the cash toll lanes.

Also, four years after I sent them an email about it, the City of Richmond finally has signs at all westbound entrances to VA 195. There have been signs at the eastbound entrances for some time (many original VA 195 signs remain standing), as well as at the westbound entrance from Canal Street near 8th Street. They all appear to be perfectly normal signs (i.e., not City of Richmond unisigns) with yellow TOLL tabs, which makes me think that the signs were actually sourced from a VDOT contractor.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #428 on: July 10, 2012, 11:27:55 PM »

I don't think I've ever seen a Richmond unisign with a VA 195 shield on it, just I-195. Every VA 195 posting I've ever seen has been a normal shield. My guess is the RMA contracts all the signing for it. (On another note, I need to find some of those old shields. I don't have any photos of them.)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 11:30:39 PM by Takumi »
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #429 on: July 11, 2012, 01:31:14 AM »

I don't think I've ever seen a Richmond unisign with a VA 195 shield on it, just I-195. Every VA 195 posting I've ever seen has been a normal shield. My guess is the RMA contracts all the signing for it. (On another note, I need to find some of those old shields. I don't have any photos of them.)

Probably. The only one I know of that exists is on 8th Street, just south of Main Street. Most of the VA 195 postings in Richmond are older shields with state-name I-95 and I-64 shields.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #430 on: July 20, 2012, 12:49:33 AM »

Do you agree with this from the ExaminerRoads make Virginia less business-friendly
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #431 on: July 20, 2012, 06:22:13 AM »

Do you agree with this from the ExaminerRoads make Virginia less business-friendly

The annual business ranking of one news source changing from 1st to 3rd out of 50 states?  I wouldn't necessarily make any specific conclusion from that.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #432 on: July 22, 2012, 06:09:51 PM »

This continues the trend of county governments in some parts of Northern Virginia paying for improvements to the highway network (which is supposed to be the responsibility of the Commonwealth). 

WTOP Radio: Prince William Co. to widen part of Route 1
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #433 on: July 24, 2012, 10:08:57 PM »

Some notes from my visit to the VA 195 open-road tolling project today:

- As previously stated, all westbound entrances to VA 195 are now signed. The Canal Street and Cumberland Street entrances previously weren't.

- The old Smart Tag-era overhead signs are now gone. There is a traffic split past the onramp from Canal Street, with E-ZPass traffic exiting to the left toward the open road tolling lanes, which are not yet open. For now these lanes lead to the eastbound toll plaza's reversible center tollgates.

- New Clearview signage has appeared directing traffic bound for Meadow Street to use the cash toll lanes. Unfortunately there is an erroneous one near Canal Street that has promoted Meadow Street to part of VA 161. The sign doesn't refer to the actual VA 161 exit, which can easily be reached without using the toll plaza. All other Meadow Street signs correctly have it unnumbered.

- The VA 161 exit has been reconfigured; as traffic from the toll plaza rejoins the mainline, the right lane is now an exit only lane.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #434 on: July 24, 2012, 11:34:14 PM »

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Trucking group looks to block I-95 toll booths

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A grass-roots campaign organized by the trucking industry is looking to derail a state proposal to put a toll plaza on Interstate 95 in rural Sussex County.

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The campaign, coordinated by the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, the American Trucking Association and the Virginia Trucking Association, includes a website and a Facebook page urging residents to voice their displeasure to Gov. Bob McDonnell. The group has created an online petition as well.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #435 on: July 25, 2012, 05:48:58 PM »

WTOP Radio: Faster Beltway commute will come with varying tolls

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By the end of 2012, two new Express Lanes will be open on the Beltway between Springfield and just north of the Dulles Toll Road.

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Carpools with three or more people can use the lanes, which promise a minimum speed around 45 miles per hour, for free.

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Cars with fewer than three people can use the lanes, but those vehicles will have to pay a variable toll that will rise and fall depending on how much traffic is in the lanes.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #436 on: July 25, 2012, 06:18:32 PM »

The item in the WTOP article I found interesting is the statement that drivers who use the lanes illegally (i.e., without an E-ZPass) will be assessed a $10 administrative charge on top of the toll.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #437 on: July 25, 2012, 07:33:37 PM »

The item in the WTOP article I found interesting is the statement that drivers who use the lanes illegally (i.e., without an E-ZPass) will be assessed a $10 administrative charge on top of the toll.

Smart of them to call it an administrative charge instead of a summons (and as a private entity, the owners of the toll lanes concession may not be legally able to issue a summons the way that police in Virginia do anyway - and since it will be issued to the owner of the vehicle in violation after-the-fact, they may not be legally able to call it a summons regardless).   But if the matter ends up in court, it should be easier to prove that the owner of a vehicle owes an administrative charge instead of a fine, since the burden of proof is presumably lower.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #438 on: July 26, 2012, 09:21:53 AM »

The item in the WTOP article I found interesting is the statement that drivers who use the lanes illegally (i.e., without an E-ZPass) will be assessed a $10 administrative charge on top of the toll.

Smart of them to call it an administrative charge instead of a summons (and as a private entity, the owners of the toll lanes concession may not be legally able to issue a summons the way that police in Virginia do anyway - and since it will be issued to the owner of the vehicle in violation after-the-fact, they may not be legally able to call it a summons regardless).   But if the matter ends up in court, it should be easier to prove that the owner of a vehicle owes an administrative charge instead of a fine, since the burden of proof is presumably lower.

That's exactly why they do it. An "administrative charge" is usually a civil penalty and so is not subject to the various criminal-procedure requirements in place to protect the rights of the accused. A lot of states treat a lot of traffic offenses as "infractions" rather than as actual "crimes" for the same reason. In addition, I believe if it were to be a "summons" (and as you probably know, Virginia has that "Virginia Uniform Summons" form) it would be subject to service-of-process requirements.

With a red-light ticket in Virginia you can get out of the ticket by filing an affidavit (or un-notarized declaration under penalty of perjury) saying you were not driving the car at the time; you need not rat out the person who was driving. I have no idea whether the same is true as to tolls and "administrative fees" because I haven't bothered to look it up.
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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 #439 on: July 26, 2012, 11:06:42 AM »

That's exactly why they do it. An "administrative charge" is usually a civil penalty and so is not subject to the various criminal-procedure requirements in place to protect the rights of the accused. A lot of states treat a lot of traffic offenses as "infractions" rather than as actual "crimes" for the same reason. In addition, I believe if it were to be a "summons" (and as you probably know, Virginia has that "Virginia Uniform Summons" form) it would be subject to service-of-process requirements.

All I know about Virginia Uniform Summonses is what police officers in Virginia have told me (as part of my job).  Fortunately, never been on the receiving end of one of them!

Maryland calls them "Uniform Traffic Citation," but is considering changing those citations to summonses for legal reasons that I no longer remember (and that change requires approval in the General Assembly).

I do know that when a Virginia state trooper or commercial vehicle enforcement officer issues an overweight ticket to a truck driver, the amount due is not a fine, but instead is an assessment of liquidated damages for driving overweight on the highways of the Commonwealth (also has a lower burden of proof in court).

With a red-light ticket in Virginia you can get out of the ticket by filing an affidavit (or un-notarized declaration under penalty of perjury) saying you were not driving the car at the time; you need not rat out the person who was driving. I have no idea whether the same is true as to tolls and "administrative fees" because I haven't bothered to look it up.

I don't think red light and  speed camera tickets in Maryland can be gotten out of that way - I think you have to appear in District Court and challenge it before a judge.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #440 on: July 26, 2012, 11:24:15 AM »

Virginia doesn't use the term "traffic citation" on the summons because they use the same form for things other than traffic violations.
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #441 on: July 29, 2012, 02:28:57 PM »

"Dr. Gridlock"  (Robert Thomson) of the Washington Post: Va.’s new I-66 HOV lane markings baffle some drivers

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I’ve gotten similar inquiries recently as drivers noticed new markings along I-66 near the Capital Beltway where the Virginia Department of Transportation has been repaving. The drivers welcomed the new asphalt but found the lane markings confusing.
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The new double white stripe is meant to improve the flow of traffic in the high-occupancy vehicle lane. A Transportation Department study a couple of years ago found that one reason for slow travel times is the weaving drivers do between the HOV lane and the regular lanes.
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The study, in which state police participated, recommended limiting the locations where drivers can move in and out of the HOV lanes in the hope that compliance would lead to better travel times. Drivers are seeing the results of that recommendation in these double lines, marking the areas where there should be no lane changes.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #442 on: July 31, 2012, 02:15:45 PM »

Governor McDonnell was on WTOP this morning and said that construction on the I-95 HO/T lane project is to begin next month (August 2012) with the lanes opening in 2014. The reason for the shorter timetable compared to the Beltway project is that they don't have to rebuild every interchange along the way since the existing center carriageway is to be converted to become the new HO/T lanes. Construction at the southern end will add about 8 miles of reversible center carriageway from the current end of the HOV system down to Garrisonville Road (Exit 143—Route 610, the Aquia Harbour exit).
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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 #443 on: July 31, 2012, 02:43:09 PM »

Governor McDonnell was on WTOP this morning and said that construction on the I-95 HO/T lane project is to begin next month (August 2012) with the lanes opening in 2014. The reason for the shorter timetable compared to the Beltway project is that they don't have to rebuild every interchange along the way since the existing center carriageway is to be converted to become the new HO/T lanes. Construction at the southern end will add about 8 miles of reversible center carriageway from the current end of the HOV system down to Garrisonville Road (Exit 143—Route 610, the Aquia Harbour exit).

Just wish those lanes would be extended south much further, say, to someplace near Massaponax (Exit 126). When I-395 up to the Potomac River was included, I believe the plans were to extend to Va. 630 (Courthouse Road) at Exit 140 (Stafford), but Arlington County's opposition to HOV/Toll lanes in their jurisdiction killed that.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #444 on: July 31, 2012, 05:57:47 PM »

I guess I can kiss my free HOV lane usage goodbye after that project is over. Another tax paid for road going toll. I also don't see the point in only going to Exit 140. I recall seeing the actual plans going to Fredricksburg. Usually volume drops a bit on I-95 around Exit 126, this new project will just move the current bottleneck further south.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #445 on: July 31, 2012, 08:25:43 PM »

I guess I can kiss my free HOV lane usage goodbye after that project is over. Another tax paid for road going toll. I also don't see the point in only going to Exit 140. I recall seeing the actual plans going to Fredricksburg. Usually volume drops a bit on I-95 around Exit 126, this new project will just move the current bottleneck further south.
No, HOT lanes allow HOV users for free. They allow SOVs to pay a toll and enjoy the same privileges. The toll varies to keep the lane busy but moving at speed.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #446 on: July 31, 2012, 08:35:01 PM »

No, HOT lanes allow HOV users for free. They allow SOVs to pay a toll and enjoy the same privileges. The toll varies to keep the lane busy but moving at speed.

Right now the lanes are free for SOVs to use during off peak hours and weekends. I take advantage of them when I'm driving through the area because they are quite a bit less congested than the standard lanes and the speed limit is 65mph their entire length.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #447 on: July 31, 2012, 09:22:35 PM »

OK, misread. You do lose that privilege without paying, but if traffic's really not moving, enough people will pay anyway.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #448 on: July 31, 2012, 09:51:38 PM »

Governor McDonnell was on WTOP this morning and said that construction on the I-95 HO/T lane project is to begin next month (August 2012) with the lanes opening in 2014. The reason for the shorter timetable compared to the Beltway project is that they don't have to rebuild every interchange along the way since the existing center carriageway is to be converted to become the new HO/T lanes. Construction at the southern end will add about 8 miles of reversible center carriageway from the current end of the HOV system down to Garrisonville Road (Exit 143—Route 610, the Aquia Harbour exit).

Just wish those lanes would be extended south much further, say, to someplace near Massaponax (Exit 126). When I-395 up to the Potomac River was included, I believe the plans were to extend to Va. 630 (Courthouse Road) at Exit 140 (Stafford), but Arlington County's opposition to HOV/Toll lanes in their jurisdiction killed that.

I was going to post the same thing. Unfortunately, insufficient right of way exists to extend them that far south; just south of VA 3 (exit 130) would probably have been better.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #449 on: July 31, 2012, 10:05:10 PM »

No, HOT lanes allow HOV users for free. They allow SOVs to pay a toll and enjoy the same privileges. The toll varies to keep the lane busy but moving at speed.

Right now the lanes are free for SOVs to use during off peak hours and weekends. I take advantage of them when I'm driving through the area because they are quite a bit less congested than the standard lanes and the speed limit is 65mph their entire length.

After they are converted to HOT, will they still be free for SOVs to use during off peak hours and weekends?

Myself, for occasional usage, I will gladly spend a few dollars to bypass congestion in the general purpose lanes.


Post Merge: July 31, 2012, 11:01:28 PM

I was going to post the same thing. Unfortunately, insufficient right of way exists to extend them that far south; just south of VA 3 (exit 130) would probably have been better.

There is enough right-of-way, but there is a several mile section where the median is too narrow to put the reversible roadway in the median without relocating one of the existing roadways.

There is an overpass built recently, about a mile south of the Massaponax interchange, than has a center span opening that was designed to accomodate the reversible roadway.  Planning to date has the reversible roadway ending about a mile south of there.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 11:01:28 PM by Steve »
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