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Author Topic: District of Columbia  (Read 218668 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #475 on: November 08, 2015, 02:38:40 PM »

Washington Post: You've heard about surge pricing. Get ready for surge-priced parking.

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Speed cameras and expensive tickets, motorcade-induced gridlock, parking signs harder to decipher than CIA code — that is, if you can find an open spot.

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Face it, driving in the District can be a nightmare. Now, the city is testing a program under which the price of parking at meters in one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods would change based on demand.

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This “surge pricing” means you could be paying $8 an hour to park in Chinatown-Penn Quarter at peak times.

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You read that right. $8. An hour.

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City officials say the idea is to reduce downtown traffic congestion, 25 percent of which, studies show, is caused by vehicles circling the block looking for a parking space. It is simple supply and demand, they say.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #476 on: November 13, 2015, 07:30:07 PM »

Washington Post: WAMU drops longtime traffic reporter Jerry Edwards, announces end to morning rush hour reports

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Those who have depended on longtime traffic reporter Jerry Edwards to help them navigate around the Beltway or tell them when to avoid Interstate 66, you’ll have to find another source for your traffic news in the morning.

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WAMU announced Friday that it is dropping Edwards’s morning rush hour traffic reports to focus on news tied to transportation issues and major transportation events. The move comes almost a year after it dropped its evening traffic updates.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #477 on: November 14, 2015, 04:36:15 PM »

Washington Post: No streetcar yet, but the parking crackdown is ‘round the clock’

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Parking in the booming and trendy H Street corridor has become an even more grueling ordeal since the city began testing the problem-plagued streetcar more than a year ago.

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The streetcar still isn’t carrying passengers. Yet, while the empty red trolley treks up and down the 2.2-mile stretch from Union Station to the Anacostia River in Northeast, city workers are monitoring the streets and ticketing vehicles and motorists who breach the white line that separates parking and streetcar lanes.

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“They are writing tickets like crazy,” said Rebecca Antone, the manager at PoBoy Jim Bar and Grill, between Seventh and Eighth streets NE. “And on top of that, the streetcar has been testing for a year, but does nothing for our business.”

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The D.C. Department of Public Works stepped up parking enforcement when the streetcar testing phase began in July 2014, and city officials said then that the line would be carrying passengers by the end of 2014.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #478 on: November 14, 2015, 05:44:24 PM »

I doubt the streetcar will ever amount to much. The only streetcars I've ever ridden on have been in Boston (Green Line) and Europe. In all of those instances, the streetcar had its own right-of-way for most of the time.

DC would have been better suited to institute rush-hour HOV/bus lanes on major corridor (16th street Silver Spring, Penn Ave, etc) and kept to that. Could have folded over nicely into a region-wide BRT network.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #479 on: November 14, 2015, 06:06:22 PM »

I doubt the streetcar will ever amount to much. The only streetcars I've ever ridden on have been in Boston (Green Line) and Europe. In all of those instances, the streetcar had its own right-of-way for most of the time.

DC would have been better suited to institute rush-hour HOV/bus lanes on major corridor (16th street Silver Spring, Penn Ave, etc) and kept to that. Could have folded over nicely into a region-wide BRT network.

D.C. once had a very good streetcar network. 

Some of the lines (ironically including the one on H Street, N.E.) were converted to bus service because the streetcars could not keep up with demand (the H Street/Benning Road line went in 1947, the first postwar abandonment of streetcar service in D.C.). 

Before World War II,  streetcars on Connecticut Avenue, N.W. (and into Chevy Chase, Maryland and beyond to Kensington) were converted to bus, as was a line that ran north from Wisconsin Avenue and Western Avenue - it roughly followed Wisconsin Avenue/Rockville Pike to downtown Rockville; and the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis (WB&A) interurban line was shut-down due to bankruptcy in 1935 (the big WB&A cars ran  into D.C. from Seat Pleasant to downtown over the streetcar system's rails, including Benning Road and H Street, N.E.).

In 1956, after a nasty transit strike, Congress revoked the transit franchise from Louis Wolfson's Capital Transit Company (CTCo) and awarded it to O. Roy Chalk's D.C. Transit System, Inc.  Chalk's company was required, as a condition of taking the transit franchise, to abandon the entire streetcar system by the early 1960's and run a bus-only system.  Chalk wanted to keep the streetcars running (the tracks and cars were in good condition), but did as he was told (remember there was no elected local government in D.C. of any kind back then), and the last of the streetcars rolled on D.C. streets in 1962.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 06:10:08 PM by cpzilliacus »
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #480 on: November 14, 2015, 06:20:25 PM »

The history is interesting but isn't germane. No way there will be a city-wide streetcar network.

DC's interests would be served by separated Blue Line down M Street and bus lanes in 16th Street. They just got the new articulated buses this week for the 16th Street line. Give the buses their own lane to run down. For Christ's sake it's the busiest bus corridor in the region.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #481 on: November 19, 2015, 03:57:38 PM »

I think the subway system was built too extensively. Given that it's now falling into immense disrepair, and nowhere near enough money to maintain it, supports that belief in my mind. And no streetcars. The time for streetcars is long past. They say roads are an outdated technology. Well, in most places, I believe rail is an even more outdated technology. Stick with improving the bus system.
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ixnay

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #482 on: November 19, 2015, 08:07:13 PM »

DC would have been better suited to institute rush-hour HOV/bus lanes on major corridor (16th street Silver Spring, Penn Ave, etc) and kept to that. Could have folded over nicely into a region-wide BRT network.

As long as "numbnuts" (borrowing a verbal schtick of my mother's) don't habitually, illegally, drive their cars onto dedicated BRT roadways (especially if they're separated from the main lanes by medians), it might work.  I wonder what the typical penalties are for violating BRT's?  More brutal than for a trucker attempting to drive on the metro NYC parkways (or, since this is the DC thread, the BWP, GWMP, Rock Creek, Suitland, I-66 inside the Beltway, etc., etc.)?

ixnay
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 08:10:13 PM by ixnay »
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #483 on: November 19, 2015, 08:13:47 PM »

I think the subway system was built too extensively. Given that it's now falling into immense disrepair, and nowhere near enough money to maintain it, supports that belief in my mind. And no streetcars. The time for streetcars is long past. They say roads are an outdated technology. Well, in most places, I believe rail is an even more outdated technology. Stick with improving the bus system.

The issue is right-of-way. You can build as new or big a bus you like, but you need dedicated lanes to make it move quickly.

Nobody wants to give up vehicle lanes to make a bus lane (even if passenger throughput improves), so the only other option is to build a separate right-of-way, which means tunneling.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/bus-lanes-make-sense-until-somebody-proposes-one-for-a-specific-area/2015/11/17/5e0ddd50-8879-11e5-be8b-1ae2e4f50f76_story.html

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Why not create dedicated bus-only lanes on the arterials into the District?

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This is what we want — in theory — but we’ve done a poor job executing the idea throughout the Washington region. Why? Because there is nothing more attractive to commuters than driving, preferably by themselves.

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Better bus service should be one of the easiest ways to improve transportation in urban areas. The vehicles are cheap compared with rail cars, tracks and new highways. The bus-only lanes are part of the existing infrastructure, which also cuts costs and limits disruption.
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ixnay

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #484 on: November 19, 2015, 08:15:31 PM »

(T)he last of the streetcars rolled on D.C. streets in 1962.

Dramatically illustrating this discontinuance:

Footage of JFK's inaugural parade (that I have seen anyway) shows streetcar tracks conspicuous in PA Avenue (I believe it was a year later [January 1962] that the last car ran).  Hard to march on, perhaps.  :) OTOH footage of his funeral cortege shows said avenue's tracks already paved over less than two years after that last run.

ixnay
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #485 on: November 19, 2015, 09:08:02 PM »

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I think the subway system was built too extensively. Given that it's now falling into immense disrepair, and nowhere near enough money to maintain it, supports that belief in my mind.

By this rationale, there are several urban freeways that were built too extensively, as they're falling into disrepair without enough money to maintain them...
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #486 on: November 20, 2015, 05:40:41 PM »

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I think the subway system was built too extensively. Given that it's now falling into immense disrepair, and nowhere near enough money to maintain it, supports that belief in my mind.

By this rationale, there are several urban freeways that were built too extensively, as they're falling into disrepair without enough money to maintain them...

Or maybe we have politicians that set per-gallon motor fuel tax rates and are terrified to raise them, no matter how much they deteriorate?
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #487 on: November 21, 2015, 10:15:45 AM »

Quote
I think the subway system was built too extensively. Given that it's now falling into immense disrepair, and nowhere near enough money to maintain it, supports that belief in my mind.

By this rationale, there are several urban freeways that were built too extensively, as they're falling into disrepair without enough money to maintain them...

Or maybe we have politicians that set per-gallon motor fuel tax rates and are terrified to raise them, no matter how much they deteriorate?

People don't like taxes. Politicians are just doing what the people want.

I think you have this make-believe fantasy world where politicians have the wisdom and foresight to see the issues facing infrastructure and raise taxes, but they're just "afraid" to raise them.

I got news for you. Taxes aren't going up anytime soon. You can hold your breath till the cows come home, but the federal trough for highways is going to be (relatively) dry for quite some time.

But keep crossing your fingers and waiting for politicians to stop "being afraid".
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oscar

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #488 on: November 21, 2015, 12:25:43 PM »

People don't like taxes. Politicians are just doing what the people want.

I think you have this make-believe fantasy world where politicians have the wisdom and foresight to see the issues facing infrastructure and raise taxes, but they're just "afraid" to raise them.

I got news for you. Taxes aren't going up anytime soon. You can hold your breath till the cows come home, but the federal trough for highways is going to be (relatively) dry for quite some time.

But keep crossing your fingers and waiting for politicians to stop "being afraid".

Virginia just recently (under the previous Republican governor) did a tax increase, to support more transportation spending (not by a lot, but better than nothing), despite a legislature dominated by anti-taxers. It took a lot of hand-waving and wailing and gnashing of teeth to get it done, but it got done. Virginia is not alone, among the states, in biting the bullet to raise funds (by gas taxes, tolls, etc.) to fund transportation improvements.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #489 on: November 22, 2015, 08:38:56 AM »

Virginia's was a little different from a "pure" tax increase because they didn't simply raise the fixed number of cents per gallon (which had been 17.5¢). Instead they repealed that and replaced it with a percentage-based tax on the six-month average wholesale price of gas. That percentage was originally set at 3.5% pending Congress's decision on whether to require online merchants with no brick-and-mortar locations in a state to collect that state's sales tax; when Congress failed to do so, the new Virginia tax went up to 5.1%. (They also raised the sales tax at the same time.)

The potential risk in Virginia's system is, of course, that if the wholesale price of gas dropped considerably for a long enough period, the percentage-based calculation means lower tax revenue. I saw 87 octane for $1.68 a gallon yesterday at the Sheetz station in Wilderness at the corner of Routes 3 and 20 (93 octane, which my car takes, was $2.28; I wound up paying $2.49 at a Shell near Pantops because the Sheetz was too crowded for anything more than a toilet stop).
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ixnay

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #490 on: November 22, 2015, 08:24:02 PM »

Virginia's was a little different from a "pure" tax increase because they didn't simply raise the fixed number of cents per gallon (which had been 17.5¢). Instead they repealed that and replaced it with a percentage-based tax on the six-month average wholesale price of gas. That percentage was originally set at 3.5% pending Congress's decision on whether to require online merchants with no brick-and-mortar locations in a state to collect that state's sales tax; when Congress failed to do so, the new Virginia tax went up to 5.1%. (They also raised the sales tax at the same time.)

The potential risk in Virginia's system is, of course, that if the wholesale price of gas dropped considerably for a long enough period, the percentage-based calculation means lower tax revenue. I saw 87 octane for $1.68 a gallon yesterday at the Sheetz station in Wilderness at the corner of Routes 3 and 20 (93 octane, which my car takes, was $2.28; I wound up paying $2.49 at a Shell near Pantops because the Sheetz was too crowded for anything more than a toilet stop).

A six-month period from when?  How does the calculation work?

ixnay
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #491 on: November 22, 2015, 11:38:33 PM »

Six-month moving average, I presume.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #492 on: November 23, 2015, 07:29:36 AM »

Virginia's was a little different from a "pure" tax increase because they didn't simply raise the fixed number of cents per gallon (which had been 17.5¢). Instead they repealed that and replaced it with a percentage-based tax on the six-month average wholesale price of gas. That percentage was originally set at 3.5% pending Congress's decision on whether to require online merchants with no brick-and-mortar locations in a state to collect that state's sales tax; when Congress failed to do so, the new Virginia tax went up to 5.1%. (They also raised the sales tax at the same time.)

The potential risk in Virginia's system is, of course, that if the wholesale price of gas dropped considerably for a long enough period, the percentage-based calculation means lower tax revenue. I saw 87 octane for $1.68 a gallon yesterday at the Sheetz station in Wilderness at the corner of Routes 3 and 20 (93 octane, which my car takes, was $2.28; I wound up paying $2.49 at a Shell near Pantops because the Sheetz was too crowded for anything more than a toilet stop).

A six-month period from when?  How does the calculation work?

ixnay

I don't know. The way I described it is the way all the news coverage described it. I'd look up the statute except I just don't have time at this particular time of morning.
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ixnay

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #493 on: November 23, 2015, 08:09:52 PM »

Virginia's was a little different from a "pure" tax increase because they didn't simply raise the fixed number of cents per gallon (which had been 17.5¢). Instead they repealed that and replaced it with a percentage-based tax on the six-month average wholesale price of gas. That percentage was originally set at 3.5% pending Congress's decision on whether to require online merchants with no brick-and-mortar locations in a state to collect that state's sales tax; when Congress failed to do so, the new Virginia tax went up to 5.1%. (They also raised the sales tax at the same time.)

The potential risk in Virginia's system is, of course, that if the wholesale price of gas dropped considerably for a long enough period, the percentage-based calculation means lower tax revenue. I saw 87 octane for $1.68 a gallon yesterday at the Sheetz station in Wilderness at the corner of Routes 3 and 20 (93 octane, which my car takes, was $2.28; I wound up paying $2.49 at a Shell near Pantops because the Sheetz was too crowded for anything more than a toilet stop).

A six-month period from when?  How does the calculation work?

ixnay

I don't know. The way I described it is the way all the news coverage described it. I'd look up the statute except I just don't have time at this particular time of morning.

Hope this helps...

http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title58.1/chapter22/section58.1-2217/

From subsection B. ...

B. There is hereby levied a tax at the rate of seventeen and one-half cents per gallon on diesel fuel. Beginning January 1, 2015, the tax rate shall be six percent of the statewide average wholesale price of a gallon of diesel fuel for the applicable base period, excluding federal and state excise taxes, as determined by the Commissioner.

In computing the average wholesale price of a gallon of diesel fuel, the Commissioner shall use the period from December 1 through May 31 as the base period for such determination for the immediately following period beginning July 1 and ending December 31, inclusive. The period from June 1 through November 30 shall be the next base period for the immediately following period beginning January 1 and ending June 30, inclusive. In no case shall the average wholesale price computed for purposes of this section be less than the statewide average wholesale price of a gallon of diesel fuel on February 20, 2013.


ixnay
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 08:18:12 PM by ixnay »
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #494 on: December 16, 2015, 12:58:41 PM »

Washington Post: D.C. plans to add 100 more traffic cameras

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Over the next two years, drivers in the District will have to be watchful of 100 more traffic cameras, 24/7 school zones where speeds are limited to 15 mph, and fines of up to $1,000 for speeding violations.

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Those are among several measures Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) is unveiling Wednesday as part of her commitment to eliminating traffic fatalities by 2024. Her “Vision Zero” action plan lays out strategies for  enforcement, public education and street engineering, and also is expected to expand the city’s sidewalk and bicycle network.

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The scores of additional cameras are likely to upset drivers who have widely criticized the city’s 15-year-old automated traffic enforcement program as a money-generator and a tool the city uses to penalize drivers as it pushes the use of public transit, biking and walking.

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But D.C. transportation officials say it is justified because data suggests the photo enforcement has proven to be a successful tool for reducing crashes and fatalities.  The “Vision Zero” action plan urges the city to “rapidly deploy additional cameras,” and presents data that suggests declines of more than 16 percent in crashes and a 20 percent reduction in injuries from 2012 to 2014.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #495 on: December 16, 2015, 02:24:22 PM »

why in the holy hell do you need a 24/7 school zone unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way?
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #496 on: December 16, 2015, 03:10:44 PM »

why in the holy hell do you need a 24/7 school zone unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way?

Ideally the 24x7 school zone wouldn't raise a penny since hopefully everyone would be following the speed limit. Anyway, schools have playgrounds and schools are in neigborhoods. What's so bad about going 15 MPH through neigborhood city streets?

A school zone is likely no more than half a mile. Let's say that for the half mile, you're slowed from 25 MPH to 15 MPH. That means your trip is now 120 seconds instead of 72 seconds. I gaurantee you can make up those 48 seconds.

Meanwhile, the force behind a collision at 15 MPH is almost 1/3 that of 25 MPH (.5MV^2).
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #497 on: December 16, 2015, 11:12:17 PM »

unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way
Exactly. Ignore the Alexandria troll.

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #498 on: December 18, 2015, 10:29:33 AM »

why in the holy hell do you need a 24/7 school zone unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way?

Ideally the 24x7 school zone wouldn't raise a penny since hopefully everyone would be following the speed limit. Anyway, schools have playgrounds and schools are in neigborhoods. What's so bad about going 15 MPH through neigborhood city streets?

Perhaps if D.C. has built the highways that would have been better-served to those (longer) trips, this would not be a problem.

A school zone is likely no more than half a mile. Let's say that for the half mile, you're slowed from 25 MPH to 15 MPH. That means your trip is now 120 seconds instead of 72 seconds. I gaurantee you can make up those 48 seconds.

You forgot to add-in  traffic signals delays, pretty common all around D.C.

Meanwhile, the force behind a collision at 15 MPH is almost 1/3 that of 25 MPH (.5MV^2).

Nice if that traffic was not on those streets. But it is, thanks to deliberate policy decisions made many years ago.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #499 on: December 18, 2015, 10:32:16 AM »

unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way
Exactly. Ignore the Alexandria troll.

Better way to flight back is with GPS programs that allow the pinpointing the location of D.C. commuter tax collection stations speed cameras, which is an effective method of reducing the revenue that they collect - ideally to less than the cost of installing and servicing the cameras.
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