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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 941458 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5375 on: November 05, 2020, 02:40:54 PM »

I believe everything you are asking can be answered by reading replies 1791-1809 of this thread (pages 72-73).  It is fascinating.  Major credit goes to CP Zilliacus for the background on this topic,

There used to be 3 bus stops around this area and your GMSV links are to 2 of them.  The 3rd one is here (bus stop is to the left of barrels and the tunnel entrance to the right)  - https://goo.gl/maps/X5yP4LfU1anPzsRz6

They formed a pedestrian tunnel/walkway system to connect the building between the median you found (old Hot Shoppes) and also the Marriott Hotel that used to be at the very east end of Boundary Channel Dr.

The bus stops go back to about 1950 for the Hot Shoppes and the tunnels didn't come until later (by 1963) when the road network expanded and the Marriott also appeared.

Thanks for the kind words.

Regarding the bus stops on the I-395 mainline near Boundary Channel Drive, I think the use went down to zero after the Metrorail line to National Airport (which included a stop at the Pentagon) opened, and many (most?) WMATA Metrobus trips were turned back at the Pentagon or Crystal City instead of running to downtown D.C. (some of the Virginia bus trips went to Farragut Square, which if I recall correctly meant 19th Street, N.W. between I Street and K Street), others went to S W Mall (L'Enfant Plaza bus terminal) and others to Federal Triangle (for the buses from Virginia that meant 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.) and still others went to 11th Street and E Street, N.W. There was also a loop bus line that went from the Pentagon across the 14th Street Bridge to downtown D.C., looping around the National Mall and then back to Pentagon by way of the Arlington Memorial Bridge (and vice versa), which has been taken away and only recently partially replaced by the D.C. Circulator which does not run to the Pentagon (though IMO it should go to Pentagon or Pentagon City). 

In my cynical opinion, the bus turnbacks from the late 1970's and early 1980's were done for one reason only - so that WMATA could claim added trips on the then-new Metrorail system by forcing its patrons from Virginia to transfer to rail to get to their jobs in D.C.  Given that the Blue Line was the only one running (in those early days of Metrorail, some of the trips were signed Orange Line), that made for an inconvenient, long and slow Metrorail trip from Virginia to destinations in Federal Triangle or the near the National Mall, especially in the Southwest quadrant.

I believe this drove some people (maybe especially in the I-395 corridor) to abandon transit and start slugging (informal car-pooling), but I know of no studies of slugging that date back that far.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2020, 10:23:44 AM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5376 on: November 05, 2020, 07:01:03 PM »

^^^
Interesting take with regard to Metrorail and bus turn-backs.

If a metro area built a metro train system, it makes sense that they might want to eliminate certain redundant routes. Vancouver does this with SkyTrain, eliminating their "B-line" services simultaneous with the opening of SkyTrain lines. Most recent was the 98 B-line that was replaced by the Canada Line, and the 99 B-line will be replaced by the Broadway SkyTrain line. The 98 had 20k daily riders; 99 about 56k daily riders. The Canada Line now has ridership about 700% of the BRT line it replaced, thanks to additional development and other connections.

Now, that said, if the overlap was only for a short segment, it does seem odd to force all transfers. Those early Metrorail trains were not long, and I have hard time believing they could keep up with the demand. Eliminating a route that basically overlapped the entire rail segment makes sense, but clipping a bus line at the point where it overlaps is really not wise that close to the ultimate terminus.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5377 on: November 05, 2020, 07:16:14 PM »

^^^
Interesting take with regard to Metrorail and bus turn-backs.

If a metro area built a metro train system, it makes sense that they might want to eliminate certain redundant routes. Vancouver does this with SkyTrain, eliminating their "B-line" services simultaneous with the opening of SkyTrain lines. Most recent was the 98 B-line that was replaced by the Canada Line, and the 99 B-line will be replaced by the Broadway SkyTrain line. The 98 had 20k daily riders; 99 about 56k daily riders. The Canada Line now has ridership about 700% of the BRT line it replaced, thanks to additional development and other connections.

Now, that said, if the overlap was only for a short segment, it does seem odd to force all transfers. Those early Metrorail trains were not long, and I have hard time believing they could keep up with the demand. Eliminating a route that basically overlapped the entire rail segment makes sense, but clipping a bus line at the point where it overlaps is really not wise that close to the ultimate terminus.

Keep in mind that the late-1970s were very difficult financial times for Washington DC and other large cities.  The original Metrorail plans included a number of cutbacks in Metrobus services, and most certainly WMATA couldn't afford any extra services.  However, both bus and rail costs are related to headways (round trip time divided by operating fleet size), so it is not always obvious that a short cutback will cause a significant reduction in costs.  In general, agencies to minimize the operating fleet size in both modes by making certain adjustments to round trip time during the system design.  In those days, it was difficult to get good estimates of round trip times since computer simulations were still very labor intensive.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5378 on: November 05, 2020, 07:55:24 PM »

^^^
Interesting take with regard to Metrorail and bus turn-backs.

Thank you.

If a metro area built a metro train system, it makes sense that they might want to eliminate certain redundant routes. Vancouver does this with SkyTrain, eliminating their "B-line" services simultaneous with the opening of SkyTrain lines. Most recent was the 98 B-line that was replaced by the Canada Line, and the 99 B-line will be replaced by the Broadway SkyTrain line. The 98 had 20k daily riders; 99 about 56k daily riders. The Canada Line now has ridership about 700% of the BRT line it replaced, thanks to additional development and other connections.

I agree, and it has long been WMATA policy not to run too much parallel bus and rail service (ideally none, though they have long run bus and rail service between downtown D.C. and area east of the Anacostia River at the behest of D.C. municipal elected officials). 

But in the instance of forcing people off the buses at the Pentagon and on to Metro, I disagree for these reasons:

(1) The Pentagon is (and has always been) in the regional core, and making people transfer when they are already downtown by transit seems a way to discourage them from using transit, especially when they had to pay an entirely new fare to board the Metro.  Even now, with the SmarTrip card, there is still poor fare integration between WMATA bus and WMATA rail.

(2) Once the Metro was built further out, to City of Alexandria and then to Fairfax County, it made sense to turn a lot of the bus trips back at Metro stations. 

(3) To this day, several of the commuter bus operators (most of which originate beyond the counties and cities that belong to the WMATA interstate compact) run one-seat service to downtown D.C., though some of them also offer stops at suburban Metrorail stations for patrons who prefer to take rail (maybe because their trip is not taking them all the way to the downtown area).

Now, that said, if the overlap was only for a short segment, it does seem odd to force all transfers. Those early Metrorail trains were not long, and I have hard time believing they could keep up with the demand. Eliminating a route that basically overlapped the entire rail segment makes sense, but clipping a bus line at the point where it overlaps is really not wise that close to the ultimate terminus.

Agreed about short trains.  Many were four railcar consists well after the completion of the Adopted Regional System in 2001 (it has since had two extensions added, one to Largo Town Center and then the line to Dulles Airport, which is supposed to open next year (2021) or maybe next after that (2022) - there are some pretty bad construction defects that must be corrected).  Only with the scrapping of the 1000-series (Rohr) units and the 4000-series units (Breda - these never got a midlife overhaul and it showed in terms of reliability) and the arrival of hundreds of new 7000-series Kawasaki units, and the upgrading of the traction power system to support eight car consists (it was deliberately undersized to "save money" when the system was being built) on two minute headways has it started to live up to the promises about peak-hour and peak-period ridership that were made in the 1960's and early 1970's when it was being designed and planned.

While COVID19 has turned everything about WMATA upside down and crashed its patronage (as it has in many other cities in the U.S. and elsewhere), in the past, providing good service to its customers was never very high on the list of its priorities.  This was (in my opinion) an especially bad example of that. 

The unfortunate thing is that the current WMATA General Manager, Paul Wiedefeld, has made great strides in getting the system to run better and has insisted on a safety culture (for far too long, safety at WMATA has been for show and lip service and demanding more tax dollars from the agencies that fund it).
« Last Edit: November 06, 2020, 11:38:48 AM by cpzilliacus »
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mrsman

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5379 on: November 06, 2020, 08:19:31 AM »

Another thing, and perhaps those with more knowledge of local history can opine, it seems that with the curtailing of the bus routes to the Pentagon, they also curtailed the HOV lanes to the Pentagon as well.  The section of 395 between Pentagon and DC used to have reserved 2-2 lanes for buses, then for buses and HOV, then only restricting during rush hours, but then for a long while (until recently with the Transurban HOT project) those lanes were open to all, even during rush hours.

So the curtailing of the buses to Pentagon led to the 395 express lanes being open to all (until last year) north of the Pentagon, even during rush hours.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5380 on: November 06, 2020, 09:04:25 AM »

Another thing, and perhaps those with more knowledge of local history can opine, it seems that with the curtailing of the bus routes to the Pentagon, they also curtailed the HOV lanes to the Pentagon as well.  The section of 395 between Pentagon and DC used to have reserved 2-2 lanes for buses, then for buses and HOV, then only restricting during rush hours, but then for a long while (until recently with the Transurban HOT project) those lanes were open to all, even during rush hours.

So the curtailing of the buses to Pentagon led to the 395 express lanes being open to all (until last year) north of the Pentagon, even during rush hours.

The original reason why they allowed all traffic into the HOV lanes north of the Pentagon had to do with road construction in the District in the late 1980s. When I was a kid, "Ramp G," which is VDOT's internal designation for that slip ramp from northbound I-395 into the express lanes just east of where Macy's is today, was never open to traffic. It was there, it was just never open. Around 1988, I think it was (I can confirm later today), the District was doing roadwork and they feared it would cause the 14th Street Bridge to backup bigtime with delays spilling down I-395 and US-1 in Virginia, so with federal approval (apparently required at that time to modify the HOV rule), Ramp G was opened to all traffic and the "HOV bridge" was de-restricted. Coming the other way, the right-side slip ramp that now exists just before the Crystal City mainline exit didn't exist back then, and non-HOVs were allowed into the express lanes as far as the old slip ramp that was on the right just past the Pentagon ramps (adjacent to where the reversible roadway begins heading southbound; that slip ramp is now demolished).

The construction project in DC ended, but the HOV restriction was never re-imposed on the 14th Street Bridge in part due to fear of a driver revolt, plus traffic got substantially worse over the years anyway. When the HO/T restrictions were imposed, they imposed those over the bridge out of concern that if they didn't do so, it would provide a disincentive for paying traffic to use the HO/T lanes. Naturally, some people have been bleating and crying about it being "unfair" or "illegal" to do that. "Illegal" is clearly nonsense—VDOT could have re-imposed the old HOV restriction at any time (and I believe in 1988 it was still HOV-4 on I-395), so essentially imposing the HO/T restriction there is doing just that except that the new restriction is less strict than what used to be in place.

I know we had some discussion about that particular ramp and the circumstances behind it sometime in the past and in the course of that discussion I found some contemporaneous media coverage. I'll try to look for it later today.


Edited to add: A Google search for "Ramp G" Pentagon I-395 found the Washington Post coverage from the original Dr. Gridlock (Ron Shaffer) and the links are below in chronological order.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1988/12/09/gifts/6b88cbf7-dbee-4e57-9442-f467171a7e87/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1991/08/01/hov-lanes-revisited/a7fbb33a-d9d4-4f41-adc7-5aae6d12752a/
« Last Edit: November 06, 2020, 09:44:32 AM by 1995hoo »
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5381 on: November 06, 2020, 10:21:58 AM »

Another thing, and perhaps those with more knowledge of local history can opine, it seems that with the curtailing of the bus routes to the Pentagon, they also curtailed the HOV lanes to the Pentagon as well.  The section of 395 between Pentagon and DC used to have reserved 2-2 lanes for buses, then for buses and HOV, then only restricting during rush hours, but then for a long while (until recently with the Transurban HOT project) those lanes were open to all, even during rush hours.

So the curtailing of the buses to Pentagon led to the 395 express lanes being open to all (until last year) north of the Pentagon, even during rush hours.

The HOV restrictions on I-395 north of the Pentagon were ended at the request of the predecessor agency to DDOT in about 1989, due to bridge work in D.C. on the northbound span of the conventional lanes of the I-395 14th Street Bridge and at the Case Bridge (next span on I-395 beyond the 14th Street Bridge and at the ramps with 12th Street, S.W.; Maine Avenue, S.W.; and 7th Street, S.W.). 

Southbound, the restrictions were also lifted coming out of D.C. (VDOT built the so-called "Temp" ramp at roughly Boundary Channel Drive southbound - this is effectively the mirror of Ramp G on the northbound side) to allow non-HOV traffic to exit the express lane roadway, and that was where the HOV-3 restriction began afternoons.

After the project(s) in D.C. were completed, the HOV-3 restrictions were never put back for reasons not clear to me. IMO that was a mistake.

Regarding the bus traffic, even with nearly all WMATA bus (Metrobus) service turned-back at the Pentagon, there has still been plenty of bus traffic coming north into D.C. from providers like PRTC OmniRide (Prince William County) and National Coach (now Martz) from Fredericksburg and nearby areas.  And of course some Greyhounds, Megabuses and at least one Chinatown operator (formerly white buses with a panda, these are now using the green and orange Flixbus livery).
« Last Edit: November 06, 2020, 11:42:24 AM by cpzilliacus »
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5382 on: November 07, 2020, 05:17:55 PM »

Well, the pylons didn’t stop them for long....

?s=21
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5383 on: November 08, 2020, 12:57:34 PM »

Well, the pylons didn’t stop them for long....

This would seem to be low-hanging fruit for VSP and Arlington PD to deal with.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5384 on: November 09, 2020, 12:16:16 AM »

The pylons deter some people from cutting over, but those who still attempt it are making an even more dangerous maneuver. It's still dumb knowing the fact there's a direct HO/T entrance they can use as well.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5385 on: November 16, 2020, 04:55:59 PM »

Time for round two...

Centerville Turnpike Bridge could be closed for months, Chesapeake says
Quote
The Centerville Turnpike Bridge in Chesapeake could be closed to traffic for months after it was hit by a barge early Saturday morning.

In a tweet Monday, the city said engineers and inspectors were conducting an assessment to determine the scope and extent of the damage.

“There is no timeline for how long the bridge will be closed to traffic, but preliminary estimates indicate it is likely to be closed for months,” the tweet said.

Approximately 16,000 vehicles cross the two-lane bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway each day.

The span was closed in August 2019 for several months to repair the mechanism that allows it to pivot horizontally. At the time of the repairs, Earl Sorey, public works director, told a Virginian-Pilot reporter that the project was a revitalization that would give the bridge about 15 more years before it would need to be replaced.

While crews assess and repair the damage, motorists are advised to use the Va. 168 Expressway detour.

The Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board are handling the crash investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Sector Virginia Command Center at (757) 483-8567.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5386 on: November 21, 2020, 02:04:00 PM »

I've been looking for specific information on a little town called The Plains, Virginia, because I wanted to find out if an old hotel they have there (the Carter Hotel) is specifically a railroad hotel. I found no info on that, but while searching through their history on the town's official website, I noticed there was a lot of coverage of the excessive numbers of trucks that were running through VA 55 and all the problems they caused until I-66 was built nearby. Chief among them was a 1967 accident between a fuel oil truck and a Southern Railway freight train that nearly destroyed a good portion of the town:


Just imagine if they had built I-66 earlier. That accident wouldn't have occurred.

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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5387 on: November 21, 2020, 03:31:25 PM »

I've been looking for specific information on a little town called The Plains, Virginia, because I wanted to find out if an old hotel they have there (the Carter Hotel) is specifically a railroad hotel. I found no info on that, but while searching through their history on the town's official website, I noticed there was a lot of coverage of the excessive numbers of trucks that were running through VA 55 and all the problems they caused until I-66 was built nearby. Chief among them was a 1967 accident between a fuel oil truck and a Southern Railway freight train that nearly destroyed a good portion of the town:


Just imagine if they had built I-66 earlier. That accident wouldn't have occurred.

I do not remember this, though I think it had to have gotten coverage on TV and in the Washington, D.C. newspapers (including especially the Washington Post).

But yes, there were probably a lot of HAZMAT loads that used VA-55 back then (and the grade crossing on VA-55 at the Norfolk Southern Manassass Gap line in The Plains is still there).  Tank farms in Manassas and in Fairfax served much of Virginia, and even today, there are a fair number of tank trucks carrying product that can be observed on I-66 in Fauquier County, where The Plains is located.  I-66 between Gainesville and I-81 was not to be completed until the early 1980's, though there was a short isolated section that bypassed Marshall (but not The Plains) that opened years earlier.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5388 on: November 21, 2020, 09:42:30 PM »

I've been looking for specific information on a little town called The Plains, Virginia, because I wanted to find out if an old hotel they have there (the Carter Hotel) is specifically a railroad hotel. I found no info on that


The original name of the hotel is Chinn's
https://greenmont.blog/2017/02/11/the-flemings-the-plains-va/
https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/VLR_to_transfer/PDFNoms/311-5001_ThePlainsHD_2014_NRHP_Final.pdf

It did have its own railroad platform and was listed in a 1917 railroad brochure (under a different name). Neither source outright says it was built by the railroad, though...
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5389 on: November 24, 2020, 09:57:46 PM »

Oh, another recent deer alert. Just like in 2018:

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5390 on: November 30, 2020, 12:38:31 PM »

Another segment of US 1 - in Prince William County - has been renamed. The segment of US 1 from Arlington County to the Prince William-Stafford County line is now Richmond Highway.

The segment in the City of Richmond is likely to also be renamed at a city council meeting in a couple of weeks. The only segments of US 1 still called Jefferson Davis Highway will be located in Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, and Chesterfield.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5391 on: December 02, 2020, 10:52:58 AM »

Another segment of US 1 - in Prince William County - has been renamed. The segment of US 1 from Arlington County to the Prince William-Stafford County line is now Richmond Highway.

The segment in the City of Richmond is likely to also be renamed at a city council meeting in a couple of weeks. The only segments of US 1 still called Jefferson Davis Highway will be located in Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, and Chesterfield.
Good, about time.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5392 on: December 06, 2020, 07:53:50 PM »

Another segment of US 1 - in Prince William County - has been renamed. The segment of US 1 from Arlington County to the Prince William-Stafford County line is now Richmond Highway.

The segment in the City of Richmond is likely to also be renamed at a city council meeting in a couple of weeks. The only segments of US 1 still called Jefferson Davis Highway will be located in Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, and Chesterfield.
Any idea what it’ll be renamed to? Maybe just an extension of Cowardin Avenue?
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5393 on: December 06, 2020, 09:24:48 PM »

Another segment of US 1 - in Prince William County - has been renamed. The segment of US 1 from Arlington County to the Prince William-Stafford County line is now Richmond Highway.

The segment in the City of Richmond is likely to also be renamed at a city council meeting in a couple of weeks. The only segments of US 1 still called Jefferson Davis Highway will be located in Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, and Chesterfield.
Any idea what it’ll be renamed to? Maybe just an extension of Cowardin Avenue?

Strangely enough, Richmond Highway.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5394 on: December 06, 2020, 11:17:53 PM »

Any idea what it’ll be renamed to? Maybe just an extension of Cowardin Avenue?

Howe dare yoo youze an old Manchester street name.  Dat juss wouldn't bee proper (snobbish Richmond accent intended).
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5395 on: December 08, 2020, 04:49:35 PM »

Fun stuff from the Peedmont: VDOT to Convert Downtown Expressway into Closed Loop.

Quote
“The enclosed loop will alleviate traffic congestion throughout the city,” explained Millerson. “By preventing these drivers from exiting the expressway, they cannot reach our downtown streets to clog them up. Additionally, since they can never exit, it will reduce the overall number of drivers on the road in the long run.”

In all seriousness—the photo attached to that article looks familiar. Is that the I-587 roundabout in New York when it was under construction to convert it from a traffic circle? It sure looks like it.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5396 on: December 08, 2020, 07:37:59 PM »

Fun stuff from the Peedmont: VDOT to Convert Downtown Expressway into Closed Loop.

Quote
“The enclosed loop will alleviate traffic congestion throughout the city,” explained Millerson. “By preventing these drivers from exiting the expressway, they cannot reach our downtown streets to clog them up. Additionally, since they can never exit, it will reduce the overall number of drivers on the road in the long run.”

In all seriousness—the photo attached to that article looks familiar. Is that the I-587 roundabout in New York when it was under construction to convert it from a traffic circle? It sure looks like it.

Lmao if VDOT was to even talk/think/dream about something that dumb then they would completely deserve a foot in their asses. Paul Bunyan's foot.
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Newark born, Richmond bred

Great Lakes Roads

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5397 on: December 11, 2020, 12:19:24 AM »

Effective next year (January 1), the Dulles Toll Road will be going to cashless tolling permanently.

https://patch.com/virginia/vienna/dulles-toll-road-start-electronic-only-tolling-2021
« Last Edit: December 11, 2020, 12:22:23 AM by Great Lakes Roads »
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Dirt Roads

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5398 on: December 11, 2020, 08:07:38 AM »

Effective next year (January 1), the Dulles Toll Road will be going to cashless tolling permanently.

https://patch.com/virginia/vienna/dulles-toll-road-start-electronic-only-tolling-2021

Blast from the past:  I accidentally exited the Greenway at Old Ox Road eastbound on the first day that the manned toll booth there was permanently closed.  I was fumbling for a credit card to pay the toll (which I think had been recently reduced to $1.65 there and $1.80 at the mainline toll just ahead).  To this day, it is the lowest amount that I have ever run up on a credit card.  By the way, closing the manned toll booth allowed more offramps to be constructed there and also paved the way for the newer Loudoun County Parkway exit.  Prior to then, every exit of the Greenway was carefully spaced to be manned toll or free. 

One of my craziest Roadgeek efforts was to figure out how to drive as much of the Greenway as possible with no tolls in one trip (hint, you can go backwards).  Getting around Goose Creek Lake was not easy when no maps were involved.

(which allowed a bunch of new offramps to be constructed there).
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #5399 on: December 11, 2020, 08:29:21 AM »

....  To this day, it is the lowest amount that I have ever run up on a credit card.  ....

That almost sounds like a topic for the off-topic side, though it also sounds like something bandit957 would post, so I won't start the thread. I know for me the answer is that I had a 4¢ charge on my Discover card one time during the summer of 1997. I pulled into a gas station moments before it was due to close, inserted my card, started to pump gas, and the attendant immediately shut off the pumps right as I did that, so I got 4¢ of gas and a 4¢ charge on my card. I remember the whole thing just because of how bizarre the number was.
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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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