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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 747607 times)

froggie

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #625 on: December 25, 2012, 07:22:50 PM »

Some of you are familiar with how there are a number of "uni-signs" in the Richmond District (a uni-sign being single-sheet reassurance shields or trailblazer shields as opposed to stand-alone shield).  While traveling this weekend, I saw at least two uni-signs in the Staunton District...both on VA 257.  Isolated incident?  Precursor to expanded use?  I didn't see any others in the area, but it's possible there are more.  Both of the signs I saw are new...less than a year old (they didn't exist last time I was on VA 257).
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #626 on: December 25, 2012, 07:52:16 PM »

Definitely not isolated, though not widespread.  District 8 started doing this 3+ years ago (first sets I noticed were in Highland Co for US 220 and US 250 in Jan 2010).  I know I've seen a few more but am drawing a blank on where they were...

Here is one - http://maps.google.com/maps?q=monterey,+va&hl=en&ll=38.326306,-79.437847&spn=0.016766,0.038581&sll=38.003385,-79.420925&sspn=4.310678,9.876709&t=h&hnear=Monterey,+Highland,+Virginia&z=15&layer=c&cbll=38.326303,-79.437653&panoid=e21jeUGSE2PkSun7ZI89bg&cbp=12,0,,0,0

I've also seen at least one of these in District 7 - the old US 29 cutouts on the Madison bypass were replaced with a unisign set.

Mapmikey
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #627 on: December 25, 2012, 08:20:59 PM »

Some of you are familiar with how there are a number of "uni-signs" in the Richmond District (a uni-sign being single-sheet reassurance shields or trailblazer shields as opposed to stand-alone shield).  While traveling this weekend, I saw at least two uni-signs in the Staunton District...both on VA 257.  Isolated incident?  Precursor to expanded use?  I didn't see any others in the area, but it's possible there are more.  Both of the signs I saw are new...less than a year old (they didn't exist last time I was on VA 257).

Never seen them on VDOT-maintained roads in the Northern Virginia District. 

I think I have seen them a few times within the corporate limits of the  City of  Alexandria.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #628 on: December 25, 2012, 11:45:23 PM »

WAVY Channel 10: VDOT to hold public hearings on HRBT

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The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold two public hearings to talk about alternatives for the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.

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According to VDOT, the hearings will take place on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24 in Norfolk and Hampton, respectively. VDOT and the Federal Highway Administration is preparing an environmental impact study in conjunction with the four possible alternatives.

VDOT Web site: Interstate 64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Study (Corridor from I-664 in Hampton to I-564 in Norfolk)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 12:33:56 AM by cpzilliacus »
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cpzilliacus

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dfnva

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #630 on: December 27, 2012, 09:09:28 PM »

I've seen the new unisigns as well in several places, all in the Staunton district. One on US-11 approaching one of the SR's that connects to I-81 (it was Tom's Brook or somewhere near there) and one on VA-55 approaching VA-79.

I've not seen them on any new signage in the Northern Virginia district, though an odd practice has developed in Northern VA using one shield (instead of two) approaching a route with both directional banners above and both arrows below, esp. along VA-286 and numerous other places (VA-234). Are both the unisigns and this use of single shields cost cutting measures?

-Dan
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #631 on: December 27, 2012, 11:07:04 PM »

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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #632 on: December 27, 2012, 11:14:42 PM »

I've seen the new unisigns as well in several places, all in the Staunton district. One on US-11 approaching one of the SR's that connects to I-81 (it was Tom's Brook or somewhere near there) and one on VA-55 approaching VA-79.

I've not seen them on any new signage in the Northern Virginia district, though an odd practice has developed in Northern VA using one shield (instead of two) approaching a route with both directional banners above and both arrows below, esp. along VA-286 and numerous other places (VA-234). Are both the unisigns and this use of single shields cost cutting measures?

For as long as I can remember (going back to when (what is now) the Northern Virginia District was part of the Culpeper (!) District prior to about 1984), the "standard" practice has been two shields under each directional banner one shield under each directional banner, even on secondary system routes. 

I would assume that the use of one shield is to cut costs.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 11:40:42 PM by cpzilliacus »
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #633 on: December 27, 2012, 11:27:43 PM »

3 dead in crash at Springfield interchange

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Three people died Thursday night at the Springfield interchange when a pickup truck slammed into the back of a 18-wheel tractor-trailer that was stuck in traffic on a flyover ramp, Virginia State Police said.

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The pickup truck was traveling on the westbound ramp from Interstate 495 to enter southbound I-95 when it rear-ended the tractor-trailer at about 7 p.m., said Corinne Geller, a police spokeswoman. All three people in the pickup truck, whom officials did not immediately identify, died at the scene, Geller said.

[The above is the long, long, long and high flyover ramp that carries I-95 south from the Capital Beltway south in the direction of Richmond.]
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #634 on: December 28, 2012, 04:19:39 PM »

DelmarvaNow.com: Bridge officials eye $1 billion new tunnel - Say proactive long-term planning is key to maintaining traffic flow

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KIPTOPEKE — The key to continued success for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is proactive long-term planning, bridge-tunnel officials say.

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That includes planning to construct parallel tunnels at the two channels that allow ships to pass through on their way to Hampton Roads or Baltimore ports. The projected cost for the first tunnel, slated to be built in less than a decade, is nearly $1 billion.

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“We are not subsidized by any entity,” Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District Executive Director Jeff Holland said, likening maintaining the facility to maintaining an oil rig “out in the depths of the oceanic environment.”
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #635 on: January 01, 2013, 06:30:29 PM »

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This would be the proposal to realign I-564 to allow the Third Crossing to eventually be built, right?

I think it's called that because it connects to I-564, but it's not an actual I-564 realignment.  VDOT internal docs (and even some public docs over the past 10 years) have referenced it as part of VA 510.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #636 on: January 01, 2013, 07:39:48 PM »

Virginia officer killed in accident had green light, police say

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A Prince William County motorcycle officer who was killed in an accident Saturday afternoon was driving through a green light with his lights and siren on when his cycle was hit by a minivan, authorities said in an update released on Tuesday.

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Alex

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #637 on: January 02, 2013, 01:23:57 PM »

Drove through Emporia twice over the holidays. The consistent 70 mph speed limit is a nice change. Also noted no police activity on either pass through. I stayed at 70 just to be safe, but noted that many others were at 75 or so. Is the speed trap in Emporia moot now with the 70 mph speed limits?

Also noted several yellow trailers (and one sign/banner attached to a water tower) touting the opposition to toll I-95 in southern Virginia.


cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #638 on: January 05, 2013, 10:46:28 AM »

Drove through Emporia twice over the holidays. The consistent 70 mph speed limit is a nice change. Also noted no police activity on either pass through. I stayed at 70 just to be safe, but noted that many others were at 75 or so. Is the speed trap in Emporia moot now with the 70 mph speed limits?

I would assume the answer is no, since the Virginia statutory provision that defines reckless driving as speeds greater than or equal to 80 MPH are still in effect, and I presume that the Emporia cops are still glad to issue tickets for that.

Also noted several yellow trailers (and one sign/banner attached to a water tower) touting the opposition to toll I-95 in southern Virginia.

The McDonnell Administration's proposal to only toll I-95 south of Petersburg is a joke.  It  does not raise much revenue when compared to the funding needs for Virginia highways.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #639 on: January 05, 2013, 10:48:37 AM »

Washington Post: McDonnell seeks elusive fix for Virginia roads

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Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is heading into his final year in office hoping to cement his legacy as a problem solver by taking on one of the most persistent dilemmas in the state: finding a fix for roads.

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McDonnell (R) is expected to unveil a proposal next week to pump at least $500 million a year into the commonwealth’s transportation coffers by 2018. Without that infusion, a state with one of the nation’s largest and most congested transportation systems will be out of road funds by 2017.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #640 on: January 08, 2013, 09:50:36 AM »

Washington Post: McDonnell to unveil road funding plan that calls for at least $500 million annual spending

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RICHMOND — Gov. Robert F. McDonnell will unveil a plan Tuesday to pump at least $500 million a year into the state’s quickly draining transportation coffers.

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So far, the Republican governor has revealed where about half of that money would come from: the state’s general fund.
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CanesFan27

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #641 on: January 09, 2013, 10:07:17 AM »

Drove through Emporia twice over the holidays. The consistent 70 mph speed limit is a nice change. Also noted no police activity on either pass through. I stayed at 70 just to be safe, but noted that many others were at 75 or so. Is the speed trap in Emporia moot now with the 70 mph speed limits?

Also noted several yellow trailers (and one sign/banner attached to a water tower) touting the opposition to toll I-95 in southern Virginia.




You just passed Emporia on a good day.  Was on that stretch at least once a month in 2012 and I'd say at least 75% of the time there were at least three patrol cars counted from Emporia to Petersburg.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #642 on: January 09, 2013, 10:12:24 AM »

Here is the Governor's press release on the new highway funding proposal that scraps the gas tax.

One of the reports I saw said the increased sales tax would now apply to gas purchases as well, but the press release doesn't mention that. (I assume that means it would work like certain Canadian provinces' taxes where you pay tax on the federal tax as well—that is, the price per gallon of gas includes the federal gas tax and the Virginia sales tax would be calculated on that price per gallon.)

I find the idea interesting and worthy of serious discussion, but naturally most of the public commentary so far is uneducated emotional drivel, similar to the uninformed screeds we saw with the HO/T projects in Northern Virginia.

I was trying to figure out how the pricing might work out under this scenario to see whether Virginia might in fact wind up getting out-of-staters to come over to buy gas. My initial reaction was "probably not, if they charge sales tax on gas." Suppose a gallon of gas currently costs $3.599 per gallon ($53.985 for a 15-gallon fillup.) Subtract the 17.5¢ Virginia gas tax and it's now $3.424 per gallon ($51.36 for a 15-gallon fillup). If sales tax were then charged on the gas purchase, the tax on the 15-gallon fillup would be $2.979, making the cost of the fillup $54.33888, which would almost certainly be rounded to $54.39. Of course, you might get out-of-staters who don't realize the sales tax component is there and who therefore think the gas is a lot cheaper in Virginia.

That's assuming the sales tax is actually charged on gas purchases, and as I say that aspect isn't entirely clear to me. I suppose another possible scenario is that the price of gas might wind up not dropping at all if the gas station owners just leave the price as it is and pocket the 17.5¢ a gallon themselves as profit. Of course, if that happens, it means all those gas station owners wind up paying more in corporate income tax.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #643 on: January 09, 2013, 10:21:44 AM »

You just passed Emporia on a good day.  Was on that stretch at least once a month in 2012 and I'd say at least 75% of the time there were at least three patrol cars counted from Emporia to Petersburg.

I think the biggest change with a 70-mph speed limit is that it most likely makes the cops more likely to focus on the people exceeding 80 mph, given that many out-of-staters don't realize that 81 mph in a 70-mph zone is grounds for a reckless driving ticket in Virginia. That is, it's that much easier to tag someone with the more serious ticket, so in many cases it may be easier to get away with speeds between 70 and 80 mph. No guarantee of that, of course.

The "81 in a 70 equals reckless" is one reason I objected to those so-called "abusive driver fees" that were briefly in place a few years ago. Some people argue, "Well, don't speed and you won't have any problem. If you speed, you can't complain." But does any reasonable person REALLY believe that a lousy 11 mph over the speed limit should be grounds for a $3,000 fine??? I sure don't, absent extenuating circumstances like weather or driving at night without headlights or some such. (The 70-mph speed limit applied only on I-85 during the time when the "abusive driver fees" were in effect.)
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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.

CanesFan27

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #644 on: January 09, 2013, 10:50:13 AM »

Here is the Governor's press release on the new highway funding proposal that scraps the gas tax.

One of the reports I saw said the increased sales tax would now apply to gas purchases as well, but the press release doesn't mention that. (I assume that means it would work like certain Canadian provinces' taxes where you pay tax on the federal tax as well—that is, the price per gallon of gas includes the federal gas tax and the Virginia sales tax would be calculated on that price per gallon.)

I find the idea interesting and worthy of serious discussion, but naturally most of the public commentary so far is uneducated emotional drivel, similar to the uninformed screeds we saw with the HO/T projects in Northern Virginia.

I was trying to figure out how the pricing might work out under this scenario to see whether Virginia might in fact wind up getting out-of-staters to come over to buy gas. My initial reaction was "probably not, if they charge sales tax on gas." Suppose a gallon of gas currently costs $3.599 per gallon ($53.985 for a 15-gallon fillup.) Subtract the 17.5¢ Virginia gas tax and it's now $3.424 per gallon ($51.36 for a 15-gallon fillup). If sales tax were then charged on the gas purchase, the tax on the 15-gallon fillup would be $2.979, making the cost of the fillup $54.33888, which would almost certainly be rounded to $54.39. Of course, you might get out-of-staters who don't realize the sales tax component is there and who therefore think the gas is a lot cheaper in Virginia.

That's assuming the sales tax is actually charged on gas purchases, and as I say that aspect isn't entirely clear to me. I suppose another possible scenario is that the price of gas might wind up not dropping at all if the gas station owners just leave the price as it is and pocket the 17.5¢ a gallon themselves as profit. Of course, if that happens, it means all those gas station owners wind up paying more in corporate income tax.

Sales Tax would not be added to gasoline purchases.  That is per the governor's spokesman, Tucker Martin.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #645 on: January 09, 2013, 10:58:46 AM »

Thanks, I responded to you in the other thread.
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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,
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #646 on: January 10, 2013, 11:09:07 AM »

Quote
You just passed Emporia on a good day.  Was on that stretch at least once a month in 2012 and I'd say at least 75% of the time there were at least three patrol cars counted from Emporia to Petersburg.

They occasionally camp out on 58 as well.  Perhaps that's where they were when Alex drove through.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #647 on: January 11, 2013, 10:08:46 PM »

TOLLROADSnews: Richmond VA Tolls appoint Angela L Gray new CEO

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The Richmond Metropolitan Authority (RMA) which runs tollroads in the Virginia capital has selected a new chief executive - Angela L Gray. She replaces Mike Berry who retired late last year after 26 years.

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Ms Gray who like Berry will have the title General Manager comes from a job as budget officer at the Washington DC Department of Transportation. Before that she had local government jobs in North Adams MA and Belton TX.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #648 on: January 14, 2013, 01:06:25 AM »

Washington Post: Planning officials see buses at center of transit network serving Tysons Corner

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With Metro’s arrival in Tysons Corner less than a year away, mass transit is the talk of Northern Virginia planning and transportation experts. The chatter, though, is about more than trains.

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Light rail, high-speed bus lanes and even driverless vehicles are among the ideas being bandied about for the urban center Tysons is seen becoming. They are a testament to the vision for an area long defined by shopping malls and congested boulevards, and some of the futuristic ideas might actually become reality.

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For now, though, Fairfax County planners trying to cultivate a culture of public transportation are pushing a more traditional mode of transit: buses.

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Fairfax plans to revamp bus service in Tysons, adding connections from other parts of the county and a new Circulator bus system, to coincide with this year’s projected Metro Silver Line opening. County officials see better and more bus options, alongside the rail service, as a first step toward acclimating residents to more use of public transit.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #649 on: January 17, 2013, 08:24:16 PM »

WWBT NBC12: Delegate says I-95 tolls threaten "survival" of Southside Virginia

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Holding a sign reading "no tolls" in bold red letters, Del. Roslyn Tyler (D-Sussex) introduced a bill to the public Thursday that would stop tolls on interstates without General Assembly approval.

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"My bill will allow the General Assembly to vote on tolls, and broaden the conversation," said Tyler at a news conference Thursday. "We need to have a voice for tolls that could be devastating."
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