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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 746760 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #725 on: April 09, 2013, 06:09:56 PM »

Just found this. I-95 (now I-395) under reconstruction in the early 1970s. Wow! Love the buses in the middle there.

All three buses belong to AB&W Transit (Alexandria, Barcroft and Washington, known within the company as "anything's better than walking"), far and away the best  public transit operator the Washington area has ever known.

The two closer to the cameras are early 1960's GM New Look buses, the one in the distance is a (roughly) pre-1958 GM Old Look bus.  All were incredibly rugged and reliable (WMATA still owns several New Looks and at least one Old Look in its heritage fleet).
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #726 on: April 09, 2013, 11:24:36 PM »

a dirt construction detour of a paved road.  you see those more and more rarely these days.  my only encounters with such things in the US have been US-14 in Wyoming in 2006 (well done, a pilot car led everyone through a ~6 mile segment, and the dirt was well-graded) and US-18 in South Dakota in 2011 (disastrously bad).
Maine has done that from time to time, and I've come across that at least in Vermont. I know there are other instances, but cannot place them.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #727 on: April 10, 2013, 03:46:24 PM »

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Maine has done that from time to time, and I've come across that at least in Vermont.

US 2 reconstruction through Danville, VT had a dirt surface for a year or two.  Project still is underway, but they finally put a base wearing course down last year.

In my admittedly-limited experience, the western states will often do it as they often lack alternative routes that could be used for detours.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #728 on: April 10, 2013, 05:45:03 PM »

While I'm in the "old pictures" department, I found this ad online. I remember when these ran in the months prior to the Dulles Toll Road opening. The Reston Association wanted the road called the "Reston Expressway" and they decided just to run ads using the name as though it were already named that. Obviously, it never gained any traction (and Loudoun County objected to the idea because the road crossed the county line). I remember in the months after the road opened they had another ad campaign referring to "Reston, D.C."

Notice the Washington Monument's shadow in the right side.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #729 on: April 10, 2013, 10:23:10 PM »

Most of the ones we saw downtown have been replaced. The overheads (i.e. the VA 195 one we saw and the ones on the southbound Manchester Bridge we didn't) are still there.
All the ones I have photographed were still there today, as was the assembly on Byrd east of Belvidere. Some newer-looking VDOT standsrd ones were on side streets and the last eastbound exit. Interestingly, I found two separate assemblies of newer shields where the TO banner over the I-195 shield was starting to fall off. Other than the cutout and no less than four US 33 shields on VA 33 eastbound alone, I saw no noteworthy signage.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #730 on: April 15, 2013, 08:19:47 AM »

VA 164 in Portsmouth and Suffolk got some well-needed increased speed limit signs within the last week. All speeds increased 5 mph. Most of it is now at 60mph, the West Norfolk Bridge at 50mph, and slowing to 40mph while headed towards downtown Portsmouth. I feel a little safer driving on it, because before the change, my personal tolerance for speeding ticket risk was lower than traffic often wished to travel. This should make it easier to travel the prevailing speeds without much risk of a fine.
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maplestar

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #731 on: April 15, 2013, 08:22:09 AM »

and slowing to 40mph while headed towards downtown Portsmouth.

Oops...this sign did change, but it's after 164 ends. It's on the MLK Fwy (US 58) in Portsmouth.
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froggie

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #732 on: April 15, 2013, 03:13:51 PM »

Had to have been recent.  164 was still 55 MPH west of West Norfolk two weeks ago.  Midtown Tunnel still posted 35 MPH?
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #733 on: April 16, 2013, 04:54:02 AM »

Had to have been recent.  164 was still 55 MPH west of West Norfolk two weeks ago.  Midtown Tunnel still posted 35 MPH?

Yes, very recent. I think when I drove it on Sunday the 7th, they were still the old limit. Two days later most signs had changed. The 35 changed to 40 on 58 a day or two later. I haven't been through the Midtown in ages, so don't know if there's been any change there or not.
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cpzilliacus

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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #735 on: April 18, 2013, 10:28:12 PM »

TOLLROADSnews: Possible congestion tolls on Hampton Roads VA bridge-tunnels as interim measure pending new crossing in 2020s

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Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) officials are putting out the idea of congestion tolls on the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) and the I-664 Monitor Merrimack Bridge Tunnel (MMBT) to manage traffic. Chairman of the HRTPO Molly Ward and chief executive Dwight Farmer included the idea in a presentation to the state transportation board this week in a powerpoint slide (reproduced nearby.)

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Farmer tells us it's not a formal proposal just a concept at this point for consideration. As they're putting the proposal they'd do a pure congestion toll.

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No congestion would mean no toll was levied. But using dynamic pricing they'd price travel on the facilities as traffic densities began to approach levels threatening a breakdown in traffic flow. And of course as congestion eased the toll would drop away to zero again.

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deathtopumpkins

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #736 on: April 18, 2013, 11:31:51 PM »

I don't think a congestion-based toll on the HRBT would be a good idea, because there's no real alternate route when it is congested. Say you're going to Virginia Beach or to someplace like NS Norfolk or ODU in the northern part of Norfolk, it can add 30 minutes or more on to your trip to take the Monitor-Merrimac and 164 or 264 instead of the HRBT. It's not like there are an abundance of alternate routes, or even any back roads one can take as an alternate, so congestion charging would probably not significantly reduce congestion, it would just add an additional economic burden onto area residents and businesses.

froggie

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #737 on: April 19, 2013, 02:56:27 PM »

I disagree...it would reduce congestion to a degree.  First thing to note:  per Census figures, only 20% of all trips are work-related.  Second, especially in the afternoon/evening, a large number of trips are discretionary trips, meaning they don't HAVE to be made.  What a toll would do is either reduce/drop these discretionary trips (admittedly the potential for the "economic burden on area businesses), or push them to non-peak periods when congestion is less of a factor.

It should also be noted that most of the area's major river crossings were tolled at one point, including HRBT, the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels, the JRB, and also the US 17 bridges in Suffolk.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #738 on: April 19, 2013, 09:28:36 PM »

I don't think a congestion-based toll on the HRBT would be a good idea, because there's no real alternate route when it is congested. Say you're going to Virginia Beach or to someplace like NS Norfolk or ODU in the northern part of Norfolk, it can add 30 minutes or more on to your trip to take the Monitor-Merrimac and 164 or 264 instead of the HRBT. It's not like there are an abundance of alternate routes, or even any back roads one can take as an alternate, so congestion charging would probably not significantly reduce congestion, it would just add an additional economic burden onto area residents and businesses.

Pump, I respectfully  disagree. 

Pricing of (scarce) highway capacity is (in my opinion) a good idea, and where it has been tried, it has worked.

That there are only three crossings of Hampton Roads does not make the idea less valid - especially if the revenue will be used to benefit drivers wanting to cross by building more capacity.

Post Merge: April 20, 2013, 01:32:55 AM
I disagree...it would reduce congestion to a degree.  First thing to note:  per Census figures, only 20% of all trips are work-related.  Second, especially in the afternoon/evening, a large number of trips are discretionary trips, meaning they don't HAVE to be made.  What a toll would do is either reduce/drop these discretionary trips (admittedly the potential for the "economic burden on area businesses), or push them to non-peak periods when congestion is less of a factor.

It should also be noted that most of the area's major river crossings were tolled at one point, including HRBT, the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels, the JRB, and also the US 17 bridges in Suffolk.

Adam, you have just justified pricing of the Hampton Roads crossings in a very few words. 

Even if a much larger percentage of the trips were work-related ("home-based work trip" and "non-home-based work trips" in transportation planner-speak), the idea of pricing these crossings still has (in my opinion) great merit. 
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 01:32:55 AM by Steve »
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deathtopumpkins

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #739 on: April 20, 2013, 11:40:40 AM »

I disagree...it would reduce congestion to a degree.  First thing to note:  per Census figures, only 20% of all trips are work-related.  Second, especially in the afternoon/evening, a large number of trips are discretionary trips, meaning they don't HAVE to be made.  What a toll would do is either reduce/drop these discretionary trips (admittedly the potential for the "economic burden on area businesses), or push them to non-peak periods when congestion is less of a factor.

It should also be noted that most of the area's major river crossings were tolled at one point, including HRBT, the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels, the JRB, and also the US 17 bridges in Suffolk.

Just because a trip is not work-related doesn't mean it doesn't have to be made. I know people who commute from Hampton to school at ODU, for one. And it's not uncommon to have to cross the river for shopping (which is necessary if what you need can only be had on one side or the other), sports/other activities (I fenced through middle and high school, and the only fencing club in Hampton Roads was on the southside), transportation (until one Norfolk round-trip was added, all Amtrak trains only served Newport News, while Greyhound has a big depot in Norfolk, and the Norfolk and Newport News airports have different flights), medical (say you need to regularly see a specialist who is on one side of the river), or other reasons like having close family (i.e. parents, significant other) you visit regularly on the other side of the river. I'd hardly consider these discretionary. Even things like entertainment are hardly unnecessary. Do you really expect people on the Peninsula to suddenly decide "oh, I guess we can't ever go see a concert anymore since all the major venues are on the Southside"? No. They're just going to moan and gripe and pay the toll. Just because social trips don't HAVE to be made doesn't mean they won't. The biggest decrease I could see based on people actually being unwilling to pay a toll is maybe 5-10% of trips, which would leave the HRBT still terribly congested, and would certainly reflect in lost economic opportunity. In this struggling economy we should be trying to get people to spend as much money as possible at regional businesses, rather than discourage people from going out.

It should be noted though that I only oppose a congestion-based toll, rather than a toll just imposed to pay off construction. I think reinstating the tolls on the HRBT would be a viable way to pay for expansion of the HRBT, so long as they are modest (i.e. no $12 tolls like on the CBBT), only in place on the HRBT (no tolling the Monitor-Merrimac to pay for the HRBT) and a flat rate no matter how congested the road is. Congestion tolling should only be used on facilities like HOT lanes, or roads with alternate routes (i.e. an urban freeway), where if you refuse to pay no matter how congested the alternate route is, you're free to do so.

That there are only three crossings of Hampton Roads does not make the idea less valid - especially if the revenue will be used to benefit drivers wanting to cross by building more capacity.

Like I said above, tolls are a good way of paying for construction. I would welcome tolls on the HRBT to pay for expansion of it. But it is neither fair nor reasonable to penalize people for wanting to cross the river at a time other than 3 in the morning (which is probably the only time the HRBT is ever not congested - and that's not a given. I've been stuck in some nasty HRBT traffic at 3 am before).

People cannot choose to make their "discretionary" trips at different times in most cases. If you're going from the Peninsula to the Southside to go to the theater, or to go to a sporting event, or to go to school, or for the nightlife, you have to go at the time these are scheduled, not some random time because there's less traffic.
It is not reasonable to expect people to try and reschedule their entire lives around trying to use a tunnel when it is less congested, which is what this proposal and your arguments basically amount to.

cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #740 on: May 01, 2013, 11:45:44 AM »

WTOP Radio: 2 days, 2 motorcycle-tractor-trailer crashes

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For the second day in a row, northbound Interstate 95 had to be shut down for a crash involving a motorcycle and a tractor-trailer.

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Authorities closed northbound I-95 at mile marker 147, just before the Quantico/Russell Road exit around 5:45 a.m. Wednesday. The highway in Stafford County reopened after a medical helicopter landed at the scene.

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One person sustained life-threatening injuries, according to the Virginia State Police.

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The crash involved a motorcycle, a tractor-trailer and several vehicles. The tractor trailer remained on the scene after the crash, TV footage shows.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #741 on: May 02, 2013, 12:45:57 PM »

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Does this put other PPTA toll road projects across Virginia at legal risk? I don't know.  This is not at the statewide appellate court level, so I suppose we will might find out, depending on if the Virginia appeals courts decide to hear this case.

HamptonRoads.Com: Judge: Midtown Tunnel toll deal is unconstitutional

TOLLROADSnews: Circuit Court judge in Portsmouth declares P3s in Virginia unconstitutional - nixes tolls at the Portsmouth-Norfolk tunnels

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A judge in Portsmouth Circuit Court in Plymouth VA, James Cales, ruling Wednesday against tolls on the Norfolk-Portsmouth tunnels under the Elizabeth River declared that the state's Public Private Transportation Act of 1995 involves an unconstitutional delegation of power to the executive branch. Judge Cales hasn't yet released a text of his ruling which was delivered orally yesterday.

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Patrick McSweeney the winning attorney tells us that it spells trouble for all public private partnerships in the state, and also for the Dulles Toll Road. The transfer of the Dulles Toll Road from the state to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority - a four jurisdiction US, DC, VA, MD agency - he says was done without constitutionally required approval by the legislature.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 03:05:27 PM by cpzilliacus »
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #742 on: May 02, 2013, 01:59:15 PM »

I know the fellow who represents the plaintiffs in that case (Pat McSweeney), although I haven't asked him about this case. I don't always agree with his clients' positions, but he's an absolutely brilliant fellow who knows Virginia law, especially constitutional law, inside and out.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #743 on: May 02, 2013, 02:03:22 PM »

I know the fellow who represents the plaintiffs in that case (Pat McSweeney), although I haven't asked him about this case. I don't always agree with his clients' positions, but he's an absolutely brilliant fellow who knows Virginia law, especially constitutional law, inside and out.


I have many times disagreed with positions taken by Mr. McSweeny and his clients, but still, you are spot-on - he's a very bright fellow, who seems to win more than he loses, at least in cases that attract attention.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #744 on: May 02, 2013, 02:05:05 PM »

First homicide in the City of Fairfax in about five years, and it's apparently the result of a road rage incident.

Washington Post: First homicide in City of Fairfax since 2008 is linked to road rage
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #745 on: May 07, 2013, 12:03:10 PM »

Found this picture online earlier today:




I don't know which direction the camera was pointing, so rather than link a Street View image today, I'll just link the satellite view for anyone unfamiliar with that area nowadays who might be interested. The intersection in question is at the interchange right in the center of the image where it says "Tysons Corner": http://goo.gl/maps/OQJdP
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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 #746 on: May 07, 2013, 12:43:47 PM »

I don't know which direction the camera was pointing, so rather than link a Street View image today, I'll just link the satellite view for anyone unfamiliar with that area nowadays who might be interested. The intersection in question is at the interchange right in the center of the image where it says "Tysons Corner": http://goo.gl/maps/OQJdP

Pretty sure the camera is looking east along Va. 7 (Leesburg Pike) in the direction of Va. 123 (Chain Bridge Road).

Note that 1964 was just about the time that the Capital Beltway was completed (the entire highway was opened to traffic in August of that year).  Along with the recently completed Dulles Access Road, and Va. 267 (Dulles Toll Road, not to be completed until the early 1980's), it was to make Tysons Corner a very freeway-accessible place.

Also, check out the traffic signal actuator and vehicle detector mounted on the utility pole over the eastbound side of  Va. 7.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #747 on: May 07, 2013, 04:18:52 PM »

This came from fairfaxunderground.com and I've seen it published in a Nat'l Geographic in the last 20 years.

Based on the destination signs, this is 1940s or earlier.  I *think* that is a VA 7 shield but could be a VA 9 (VA 123's predecessor)...



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Re: Virginia
« Reply #748 on: May 07, 2013, 04:19:54 PM »

do you have a larger version of that photo?  I can't tell there is a shield in there at all.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #749 on: May 07, 2013, 04:25:05 PM »

I'll second that—I can't see a shield anywhere.
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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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