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Author Topic: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes  (Read 288785 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1250 on: June 30, 2018, 07:32:56 PM »

Washington Post: Virginia explores extending the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge

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A plan to expand the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge will add three miles to Virginia’s system of high-occupancy toll lanes — and provide a critical link to the region’s growing toll network.

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The proposed highway widening would complete the last leg of a tolling system on Northern Virginia’s portion of the Capital Beltway and connect to Maryland’s proposed toll lanes for its side of the Beltway, Interstate 270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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“Now with Maryland talking about [toll lanes on] their side of the river and doing something in that stretch, there is more incentive for us to move forward with this project,” said Susan Shaw, director of Megaprojects for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Related article about Maryland managed lanes is here.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 07:38:42 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Beltway

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1251 on: June 30, 2018, 08:40:04 PM »

Washington comPost: Virginia explores extending the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge
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A plan to expand the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge will add three miles to Virginia’s system of high-occupancy toll lanes — and provide a critical link to the region’s growing toll network.

If the cited plan in the article is to add 2 HOT lanes each way between VA-267 and the river, then they can finalize the rest of the upgrade plan to the VA-267/I-495 interchange. 

There are two left exit ramps from I-495 that need to be upgraded to right hand exits, and there are 6 mainline bridges of I-495 over VA-267 and ramps that are the original 1964/1977 bridges and they need to be replaced.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 08:47:13 PM by Beltway »
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Steve D

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1252 on: July 05, 2018, 08:04:04 AM »

Washington comPost: Virginia explores extending the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge
Quote
A plan to expand the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge will add three miles to Virginia’s system of high-occupancy toll lanes — and provide a critical link to the region’s growing toll network.

If the cited plan in the article is to add 2 HOT lanes each way between VA-267 and the river, then they can finalize the rest of the upgrade plan to the VA-267/I-495 interchange. 

There are two left exit ramps from I-495 that need to be upgraded to right hand exits, and there are 6 mainline bridges of I-495 over VA-267 and ramps that are the original 1964/1977 bridges and they need to be replaced.

Is the work you mention ("the rest of the upgrade plan") part of a formal design or something you are proposing?   Was it considered in the original contract? 
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Beltway

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1253 on: July 05, 2018, 08:23:53 AM »

If the cited plan in the article is to add 2 HOT lanes each way between VA-267 and the river, then they can finalize the rest of the upgrade plan to the VA-267/I-495 interchange. 
There are two left exit ramps from I-495 that need to be upgraded to right hand exits, and there are 6 mainline bridges of I-495 over VA-267 and ramps that are the original 1964/1977 bridges and they need to be replaced.
Is the work you mention ("the rest of the upgrade plan") part of a formal design or something you are proposing?   Was it considered in the original contract? 

I was speaking generally, as I don't know what the official plan was, just noting that the interchange was only partly upgraded, the 2 HOT lanes were added each way thru the interchange area and then end a mile north of there; it seems apparent that it was unknown at the time whether the future HOT lanes extension would be one lane each way or two lanes each way; something that would depend on Maryland's future plans.  So it seemed like a full interchange upgrade with total rebuild like what happened at I-66 and I-95/I-395 would await the future HOT lanes extension project.
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Jmiles32

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1254 on: July 06, 2018, 09:46:09 PM »

  So it seemed like a full interchange upgrade with total rebuild like what happened at I-66 and I-95/I-395 would await the future HOT lanes extension project.

If the I-495/VA-267 interchange does in fact receive a full interchange upgrade, it will be very interesting to see what designs both VDOT and the potential private partner come up with.
Speaking of rebuilds, the VA-193 and the GW Parkway overpasses will likely have to get rebuilt as well. While GW Parkway interchange should probably stay relatively the same, I think upgrading the VA-193 interchange to either a DDI or SPUI could be extremely beneficial.
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1255 on: July 26, 2018, 10:29:04 PM »

WTOP has an analysis of when the HO/T lane tolls are most worth it. Lots of graphs and data: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/07/are-tolls-worth-it-on-virginias-hot-lanes/

I also found this interesting:

Quote
Separately, Transurban recently raised the minimum toll in the I-95 Express Lanes from $1 to $1.50 at times the road is quiet. The first base rate increase since the lanes opened at the end of 2014 is intended to cover operations costs.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1256 on: July 27, 2018, 10:30:43 AM »

WTOP has an analysis of when the HO/T lane tolls are most worth it. Lots of graphs and data: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/07/are-tolls-worth-it-on-virginias-hot-lanes/

I also found this interesting:

Quote
Separately, Transurban recently raised the minimum toll in the I-95 Express Lanes from $1 to $1.50 at times the road is quiet. The first base rate increase since the lanes opened at the end of 2014 is intended to cover operations costs.

I have no issue with that.  Transurban has to staff their operations center (near the  interchange of I-395 and VA-648 (Edsall Road)) in Fairfax County, pay for VSP police patrols and provide Safety Service Patrol (IIRC they use a different name but you know what I mean) coverage 24/7.  Even if they charge a minimum of $1.50 per trip, I doubt that they are making money most overnight hours.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1257 on: July 27, 2018, 10:37:29 AM »

WTOP has an analysis of when the HO/T lane tolls are most worth it. Lots of graphs and data: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/07/are-tolls-worth-it-on-virginias-hot-lanes/

I also found this interesting:

Quote
Separately, Transurban recently raised the minimum toll in the I-95 Express Lanes from $1 to $1.50 at times the road is quiet. The first base rate increase since the lanes opened at the end of 2014 is intended to cover operations costs.

I have no issue with that.  Transurban has to staff their operations center (near the  interchange of I-395 and VA-648 (Edsall Road)) in Fairfax County, pay for VSP police patrols and provide Safety Service Patrol (IIRC they use a different name but you know what I mean) coverage 24/7.  Even if they charge a minimum of $1.50 per trip, I doubt that they are making money most overnight hours.

I wonder what their traffic counts are at night.  If it's anything like Maryland's tolled lanes, some people use them regardless of how dead the free lanes are.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1258 on: July 27, 2018, 03:08:51 PM »

WTOP has an analysis of when the HO/T lane tolls are most worth it. Lots of graphs and data: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/07/are-tolls-worth-it-on-virginias-hot-lanes/

Presentation on which the WTOP story was based can be found here (Adobe Acrobat .pdf. 4.28 MB).
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mrsman

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1259 on: July 27, 2018, 03:19:34 PM »

WTOP has an analysis of when the HO/T lane tolls are most worth it. Lots of graphs and data: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/07/are-tolls-worth-it-on-virginias-hot-lanes/

I also found this interesting:

Quote
Separately, Transurban recently raised the minimum toll in the I-95 Express Lanes from $1 to $1.50 at times the road is quiet. The first base rate increase since the lanes opened at the end of 2014 is intended to cover operations costs.

I have no issue with that.  Transurban has to staff their operations center (near the  interchange of I-395 and VA-648 (Edsall Road)) in Fairfax County, pay for VSP police patrols and provide Safety Service Patrol (IIRC they use a different name but you know what I mean) coverage 24/7.  Even if they charge a minimum of $1.50 per trip, I doubt that they are making money most overnight hours.

I wonder what their traffic counts are at night.  If it's anything like Maryland's tolled lanes, some people use them regardless of how dead the free lanes are.

That's so true.  When I'm traveling the stretch of I-95 N of Baltimore, I'm almost always traveling opposite peak direction or at non-peak times.  Why anyone is paying a toll when I'm zipping along at full speed is mind boggling to me.

I-495 though is a little different since there are some exits on the express lanes that don't have a corollary on the main highway so it can save you ample time from having to circulate on side streets.  You could still face plenty of red lights even when traffic is light.
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1260 on: July 27, 2018, 05:33:32 PM »

Other thing is, on I-495 and I-95 the speed limit is higher in the HO/T lanes. If you do get stopped, the fine would be less and it’d carry fewer points.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1261 on: September 20, 2018, 07:44:06 PM »

Washington Post: Here’s a look at who’s using Northern Virginia’s 495 and 95 express lanes

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The average user is younger than 45 and has a household income of less than $100,000 a year, according to a new survey.
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Jmiles32

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1262 on: September 26, 2018, 11:04:50 PM »

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/09/how-many-people-are-going-out-of-their-way-to-avoid-dc-areas-tolls/

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On the 495 Express Lanes in Virginia, fewer drivers paid to use the lanes this spring than last.
Tolls paid on the Capital Beltway dropped 13.2 percent from around $23 million to $20 million in April, May and June, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Average daily trips declined 5.3 percent in the 495 Express Lanes to 48,000 in the spring. On a year-to-year basis for the period ending June 30, average daily trips fell 1.2 percent, according to Transurban’s financial reports.

The average 495 Express Lanes toll charged in April, May and June dropped from $5.77 to $5.40, leading to average workday toll revenue dropping to $294,000 from $341,000 last year.

On the 95 Express Lanes, which are also operated by Transurban, the number of average daily trips has remained flatter. Comparing April, May and June of this year to the previous year, the number of trips dropped 0.4 percent. For the full year that ended June 30, average daily trips increased 1.2 percent.

The average toll charged in April, May and June on the 95 Express Lanes was $8.45, about the same as the previous year; but, average workday toll revenue increased to $365,000 from $353,000 last year.

Combined, average daily trips in the 95 and 495 Express Lanes increased 0.5 percent in April, May and June, compared to the same period a year earlier.

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On the Dulles Greenway, the number of average workday trips dropped about 6 percent in the first half of this year, compared to the same period a year earlier, to about 58,600. On weekends and holidays, there are now an average of 31,300 trips. Toll revenue dropped about 3.6 percent, even after toll increases earlier in the year.

Owner Atlas Arteria blames upgrades to Route 7, Route 28 and other alternative routes, and Silver Line construction, for much of the decline, which is expected to continue.

The Greenway is in discussions with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority about changes at the eastern end’s connection to the Dulles Toll Road in an effort to reduce congestion at the western end as well.

With decreased usage and increased alternatives, I wonder if there is even a remote chance of the Greenway owner selling the road to VDOT(or the state in general). I'm aware of failed negotiations in the past, but if this trend of decreased usage continues, I highly doubt 10-15 years from now the Greenway stays profitable(if it even is currently).
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1263 on: September 27, 2018, 04:43:02 PM »

With decreased usage and increased alternatives, I wonder if there is even a remote chance of the Greenway owner selling the road to VDOT(or the state in general). I'm aware of failed negotiations in the past, but if this trend of decreased usage continues, I highly doubt 10-15 years from now the Greenway stays profitable(if it even is currently).

Many years ago, when the Greenway was proposed as a private toll road, the justifications offered were that a private firm would get the road opened faster than VDOT, and that there would be no taxpayer dollars used for the project.

Even though the elected officials making those promises are no longer in office, there are people that remember them, and would probably not be supportive of the Greenway being taken-over by a state entity.
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