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Author Topic: District of Columbia  (Read 218507 times)

1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #425 on: June 03, 2015, 09:10:30 PM »

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mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #426 on: June 04, 2015, 12:15:45 AM »

GreaterGreaterWashington:  DC made it more appealing to drive through East of the River neighborhoods to get between Maryland and Virginia. You'll never guess what happened next.

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When DC rebuilt the 11th Street Bridge with more lanes and more highway ramps, officials insisted it would make traffic better, while many worried it would only worsen the situation by encouraging drivers to cut through DC between Maryland and Virginia. Now, residents east of the Anacostia say that the change has been a disaster for their communities.

The 11th Street Bridge connects the Southeast Freeway, which divides Capitol Hill and the Navy Yard area and is now signed I-695, with the Anacostia neighborhood and 295. North of there, the highway along the east bank of the Anacostia is called DC-295; west, it's I-295.

Before a massive project to rebuild the bridge over the past few years, there was no direct car connection from DC-295 to the bridge. Some drivers got off 295 at Pennsylvania Avenue and crossed the river there before getting back on the highway.

It made a certain sense to add a connection. Surely it's logical to have ramps connecting all of the highways, right? Some drivers in neighborhoods around DC-295 found their commutes quite awkward, and the drivers getting off the highway and back on clogged up some neighborhood roads.

However, some people warned that the cure could be worse than the disease. By building a connection, it would be simpler for people already driving this route, but could also attract more drivers to make the trip, adding to traffic and pollution for people living near the highways.

See link above for the rest of the article.

What I actually enjoyed about this article was the following comment from CParker:

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I commute through this debacle every day from College Park to Anacostia and have done so for the past 10 years. Traffic has always been bad, but when they put in the 695 connector, it has got several orders of magnitude worse.
In the morning, the problem lies on the section from the 295 south exit for East Capitol Street to the Pennsylvania Ave. Interchange. In DC's infinite wisdom, they took a 3 lane road (Kenilworth from the border of DC) and constricted it to 2 lanes for no obvious reason for several miles. This then gets further constricted to basically 1 thru lane at the horrific Pennsylvania Ave. Westbound ramp where all the traffic that has come into DC on PA Ave tries to merge in about 50 feet onto 295 south. Add a 3rd lane for that section and shut off the Pennsylvania ave exit (which is no longer needed now that the boulevard has been completed) and I think you'll see a dramatic improvement in traffic. I don't even think it will require any major construction, just restripe the roads and use the extremely wide bridges that cross the CSX tracks and add a little bit of shoulder space where possible.

Northbound the problem has to do with the huge volume of traffic coming off of 695 in the evening to go north on 295 or get off at PA Ave. Cars coming north on I-295 routinely ride the shoulder and exit ramps up over the PA Ave interchange and dangerously merge with traffic coming onto 295 from PA Ave Eastbound. Once you get past PA Ave, again, you are on a 2 lane road that should be 3 lanes and would be easy to restripe to fix that.

The more major fix here I would propose is more complicated. I would close the 295 Northbound exit to PA Ave westbound and use that exit lane as the 3rd lane over the interchange. This would inconvenience a few drivers, but if they wanted to cross the river from 295 at the 11th street bridge (which in the evening is not overloaded), they could get off at 8th Street to get to PA Ave.

I am losing 20-40 minutes a day in traffic that I didn't have before the construction of the 695 interchange. I want my time back. I'd be happy to go to DDOT and show them the proposal myself.

Indeed.  Don't blame the bridge for the traffic problems here.  They should have included a widening of 295 to at least 3 lanes as part of the bridge project.

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Henry

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #427 on: June 11, 2015, 12:41:50 PM »

But at least, they finally fixed the problem that was lack of a direct connection from DC 295 to I-695. That area could get very horrendous, especially during the rush hour.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #428 on: June 11, 2015, 01:43:35 PM »

Quote from: Henry
That area still gets very horrendous, especially during the rush hour.

FTFY.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #429 on: June 11, 2015, 03:23:15 PM »

But at least, they finally fixed the problem that was lack of a direct connection from DC 295 to I-695. That area could get very horrendous, especially during the rush hour.

Now it is more horrendous!
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Henry

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #430 on: June 12, 2015, 01:17:44 PM »

But at least, they finally fixed the problem that was lack of a direct connection from DC 295 to I-695 (and vice versa)

Now it is more horrendous!
Yikes! Guess I was wrong.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #431 on: June 12, 2015, 01:33:58 PM »

Quote from: Henry
That area still gets very horrendous, especially during the rush hour.

FTFY.


But - it has very clearly removed a lot of heavy-duty truck trips from H Street, N.E. and Benning Road, N.E., and put them on roads designed for that sort of traffic.  That is one of the reasons I was in favor of the project, and am glad that it got built.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #432 on: June 15, 2015, 02:54:37 PM »

WTOP Radio: D.C. traffic system vulnerable to hackers

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Traffic lights in the District and other major cities have been hacked by security researchers, in an attempt to point out vulnerabilities in infrastructures that support daily commutes.

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Cesar Cerrudo, an Argentine security researcher at IOActive Labs, realized he could turn red lights green and green lights red, during a trip to Washington last year.

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Cerrudo told The New York Times he could have paralyzed emergency responders, or shut down all roads to the Capitol.

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Instead, Cerrudo contacted the company that designs city traffic sensors, but does not encrypt the data running through them.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #433 on: June 21, 2015, 01:37:59 PM »

Washington Post: Memorial Bridge: An icon for inaction

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Arlington Memorial Bridge is the most iconic bridge in our nation’s capital. Each day thousands of commuters and tourists cross the Potomac River to travel between Northern Virginia and the District. I always am moved by how the bridge symbolizes U.S. history.

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Underneath, however, the bridge is symbolic of a nationwide problem: the steady decay of U.S. infrastructure, something I am acutely familiar with as president of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers.

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Last month, federal officials declared the corrosion of the Arlington Memorial Bridge so advanced that two lanes will be closed for up to nine months for emergency repairs. A thorough inspection by the Federal Highway Administration revealed secondary steel support beams were so corroded that they no longer met load-bearing standards. The concrete bridge deck suffered “serious deterioration,” the National Park Service said.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #434 on: June 28, 2015, 02:35:19 AM »

WTOP Radio: More funds available to fix D.C.’s rough roads

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Potholes, cracked pavement and crumbling roadways. It’s the nation’s capital, but D.C. has some of the worst paved roads in the United States.

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“Ninety-two percent of the city’s major roads have poor pavement conditions,” says Rocky Moretti, director of policy for TRIP, a transportation research group.

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Conversely, just 28 percent of Maryland’s major urban roads and 19 percent of Virginia’s major urban roads are described as being in poor condition, according to Federal Highway Administration data.

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D.C.’s roads are among the most heavily traveled in the United States. The data show a high number of city roads have been in poor condition the last six or seven years.

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“Everybody in the District knows that the roads need repair,” says D.C. councilwoman Mary Cheh, who chairs the council’s transportation committee.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #435 on: June 29, 2015, 08:31:12 AM »

Based on my own experience, I think TRIP went high on their estimate.  But on the flip side, this is a major city that has seen a major renaissance which means lots of construction and lots of construction trucks on city streets.  So poor street condition is not a complete surprise.  Just further demonstrates that trucks really DON'T pay their fair share of roadway costs...
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #436 on: June 30, 2015, 01:47:51 AM »

Based on my own experience, I think TRIP went high on their estimate.  But on the flip side, this is a major city that has seen a major renaissance which means lots of construction and lots of construction trucks on city streets.  So poor street condition is not a complete surprise.  Just further demonstrates that trucks really DON'T pay their fair share of roadway costs...

In the District of Columbia that is correct because even under the (better) governance of the city since the late former Mayor-for-Life Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. left office in 1999, they still have not joined IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement), which means (thanks to there being very few truck fleets based in the city), that most trucks and commercial buses do not pay any road use/fuel tax to D.C. at all, as they do in the 48 coterminous states and all Canadian state-equivilant jurisdictions.
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mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #437 on: July 05, 2015, 08:37:50 AM »

Based on my own experience, I think TRIP went high on their estimate.  But on the flip side, this is a major city that has seen a major renaissance which means lots of construction and lots of construction trucks on city streets.  So poor street condition is not a complete surprise.  Just further demonstrates that trucks really DON'T pay their fair share of roadway costs...

In the District of Columbia that is correct because even under the (better) governance of the city since the late former Mayor-for-Life Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. left office in 1999, they still have not joined IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement), which means (thanks to there being very few truck fleets based in the city), that most trucks and commercial buses do not pay any road use/fuel tax to D.C. at all, as they do in the 48 coterminous states and all Canadian state-equivilant jurisdictions.

DC is geographically very small.  I don't believe that anyone would buy gas there, if they could help it.   It's just as easy to buy gas in MD or VA.
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oscar

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #438 on: July 05, 2015, 09:18:09 AM »

DC is geographically very small.  I don't believe that anyone would buy gas there, if they could help it.   It's just as easy to buy gas in MD or VA.

Well, the people who live there, who'd have to go several miles out of their way to buy gas in MD, and that plus river crossing hassles to buy gas in VA.

True, people living outside DC rarely have to buy gas there. I commuted into DC for more than three decades, and bought gas there only once or twice when I let my gas tank go too close to empty. There are several gas stations along DC 295, for people who get low-fuel warnings as they cut through the District.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #439 on: July 07, 2015, 05:33:45 AM »

Based on my own experience, I think TRIP went high on their estimate.  But on the flip side, this is a major city that has seen a major renaissance which means lots of construction and lots of construction trucks on city streets.  So poor street condition is not a complete surprise.  Just further demonstrates that trucks really DON'T pay their fair share of roadway costs...

In the District of Columbia that is correct because even under the (better) governance of the city since the late former Mayor-for-Life Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. left office in 1999, they still have not joined IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement), which means (thanks to there being very few truck fleets based in the city), that most trucks and commercial buses do not pay any road use/fuel tax to D.C. at all, as they do in the 48 coterminous states and all Canadian state-equivilant jurisdictions.

DC is geographically very small.  I don't believe that anyone would buy gas there, if they could help it.   It's just as easy to buy gas in MD or VA.

And that is precisely why D.C. should be a member of IFTA.  It collects little or no motor fuel tax revenue from trucks operating in the, including "qualified motor vehucles" that much display IFTA stickere
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #440 on: July 09, 2015, 11:28:20 AM »

WTOP Radio: Trapped trucks a recurring issue on the area parkways

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For the second time in a week, an over-height truck became lodged under a low-clearance bridge on the Rock Creek Parkway in D.C., requiring a lengthy extrication and causing long traffic delays.

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The moving truck was traveling southbound on the Rock Creek Parkway around 11 a.m. Wednesday when it collided with the K Street/Whitehurst Freeway overpass. The arched overpass, at its lowest point, is 12 feet high.

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Crews with the U.S. Park Police and District Department of Transportation deflated the tires on both vehicles, lowering their height to allow the trucks to be dislodged from the underpass. There was no significant bridge damage evident following the collisions.

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The truck driver in Wednesday’s incident was issued a $25 citation for operating a commercial vehicle on a scenic bypass. The wreck was cleared by early afternoon.
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Henry

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #441 on: July 09, 2015, 11:33:52 AM »

WTOP Radio: Trapped trucks a recurring issue on the area parkways

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For the second time in a week, an over-height truck became lodged under a low-clearance bridge on the Rock Creek Parkway in D.C., requiring a lengthy extrication and causing long traffic delays.

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The moving truck was traveling southbound on the Rock Creek Parkway around 11 a.m. Wednesday when it collided with the K Street/Whitehurst Freeway overpass. The arched overpass, at its lowest point, is 12 feet high.

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Crews with the U.S. Park Police and District Department of Transportation deflated the tires on both vehicles, lowering their height to allow the trucks to be dislodged from the underpass. There was no significant bridge damage evident following the collisions.

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The truck driver in Wednesday’s incident was issued a $25 citation for operating a commercial vehicle on a scenic bypass. The wreck was cleared by early afternoon.
And that, my friends, is why you must not drive a big truck on parkways and other scenic roads.
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Rothman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #442 on: July 09, 2015, 11:40:32 AM »

$25 seems very low for a citation.  I know the damage done is costly enough, but a more overt fine might make a few people stop and think before somehow thinking they can fit under the bridges.

Then again, bridge hits on NYC/LI parkways are still quite common despite NYSDOT and other agencies' efforts. :/
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jeffandnicole

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #443 on: July 09, 2015, 12:23:19 PM »

$25 seems very low for a citation.  I know the damage done is costly enough, but a more overt fine might make a few people stop and think before somehow thinking they can fit under the bridges.

Then again, bridge hits on NYC/LI parkways are still quite common despite NYSDOT and other agencies' efforts. :/

It's not like most people are going to know the fine in the first place.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #444 on: July 09, 2015, 01:26:58 PM »

Depending on the size of the vehicle, some companies will view that sort of fine as a cost of doing business, like how FedEx and UPS budget large amounts for parking tickets. Obviously this line of thought doesn't work with trucks too big to fit under low clearances, but there are plenty of commercial vehicles that would fit whose drivers might feel the $25 is worth it to save time, seeing as how Rock Creek Parkway is sometimes considerably faster than the alternatives.
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mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #445 on: July 10, 2015, 03:58:48 PM »

I would think that there is a better way to solve the problem of trucks that are too high for parkways. 

The main reason that you are seeing more of these is that people are letting GPS dictate how they are supposed to go.   I'm sure these people did not properly apply a truck restriction so that they don't use the parkways.

On the transition from the Verrazano Bridge to the Belt Parkway, there are some chains that apparently a tall truck would hit if they were above the height limit.   Then, you see this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.61079,-74.032522,3a,75y,242.89h,75.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdVtsEmbHd-lc1V8sUlKrEw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

So there is an escape route for those who "accidentally" ended up on a parkway before they come to hitting a bridge.

Perhaps something similar should be designed at entrances to the DC area parkways from other expressways.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #446 on: July 10, 2015, 05:08:36 PM »

Part of the problem as to Rock Creek Parkway is that in a couple of places (notably Virginia Avenue) it's accessed via a normal city intersection. I don't doubt another issue is the National Park Service probably being reluctant to post more signs than the bare minimum needed in keeping with the "park" aspect of "parkway," even though for practical purposes it's become a major commuter route.
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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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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #447 on: July 11, 2015, 09:17:27 AM »

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.61079,-74.032522,3a,75y,242.89h,75.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdVtsEmbHd-lc1V8sUlKrEw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

So there is an escape route for those who "accidentally" ended up on a parkway before they come to hitting a bridge.

Perhaps something similar should be designed at entrances to the DC area parkways from other expressways.

The driver of a commercial vehicle who is depending on a GPS unit is unlikely to notice signage like that.  New York City and New York State are pretty good at having PASSENGER CARS ONLY signs at entrances to their parkways.
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mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #448 on: July 13, 2015, 04:25:50 PM »

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.61079,-74.032522,3a,75y,242.89h,75.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdVtsEmbHd-lc1V8sUlKrEw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

So there is an escape route for those who "accidentally" ended up on a parkway before they come to hitting a bridge.

Perhaps something similar should be designed at entrances to the DC area parkways from other expressways.

The driver of a commercial vehicle who is depending on a GPS unit is unlikely to notice signage like that.  New York City and New York State are pretty good at having PASSENGER CARS ONLY signs at entrances to their parkways.

I think there is more than just the sign.  I think that there is a maximum clearance banner a little bit up the road with chains dangling at the maximum height.  If your truck is too tall, you will hit the chains.  It won't cause much damage, but it might get your attention before you approach a bridge, and then you can cause great damage.

Despite all the signage, there are occasional incidents of trucks getting stuck in NYC as well.  There is only so much that the signs can do.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #449 on: July 13, 2015, 10:37:07 PM »

Despite all the signage, there are occasional incidents of trucks getting stuck in NYC as well.  There is only so much that the signs can do.

Bridge hits in NYC and LI (such as on the parkways) are quite and frustratingly common.  I personally think some truckers (usually locals) just can't resist the risk to save a little time.
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