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(Washington Post)   The first section of the DC Beltway's new HOT lanes opened this weekend, let's see how they handle the first Monday morning rush hour. 6:11 - HOT lanes open, 6:38 - 4 car collision at entrance shuts down HOT lanes   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 164
    More: Fail, beltway, High occupancy/toll and express toll lanes, dc beltway, car accidents, rush hour, express lanes, E-ZPass, Virginia State Police  
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9689 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Nov 2012 at 9:23 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-19 11:12:00 AM

wingnut396: More importantly, VW horns only work when the ignition is on?


Yeah. Between my husband and me, we've owned a 99 Cabrio, 01 Jetta, and an 06 Jetta. Horns don't work if the engine's off. But the trade-off is that you can charge stuff in your car while it's off, so I'll take that.

DeathCipris: Ahh, the glories of VW ownership. Sounds like you own a GTI or a GLI, probably late 2007 - 2010?


See above--06 Jetta. It's only gone into ERM one other time--during a farking monsoon in MD 2 years ago. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. The first time, it happened out of the blue and the weather was dry but well below freezing. The mechanic just had to reset the computer--couldn't detect any issue. The second time, I was meeting friends for the weekend so just let it sit for 2 days. I guess something had gotten wet during the drive because it was fine when I turned it back on.
 
2012-11-19 11:14:11 AM

wambu: Hey NOVA FARKers!

When I used to visit DC, I parked in the old Perpetual Savings Bank parking lot near the yellow line just off the beltway (near Geo. Washinton's Masonic lodge). It's been years, so that option is probably no longer available. I'm planning a trip to visit some museums. Where are some good parking lots in NOVA for those of us just visiting that are near a Metro station? I don't mind paying to park, but free is always better.


You can park in the garage at Springfield Mall for free and walk over to the Franconia/Springfield metro station. Bring a gun.
 
2012-11-19 11:15:48 AM
I never understood why I-95 was never run all the way through DC like it was supposed to be. It's obvious the Beltway can't handle the traffic.
 
2012-11-19 11:17:28 AM

AngryJailhouseFistfark: This is Metro DC. It is a place of cults and cults of cults. A place of secret access, of passwords and back rooms. It is a culture of exclusion and rigid hierarchy, where systems and structures that would be simple and commonplace anywhere else are bound up in jargon and codes and hoops through which one must jump in order to prove worthy to be in The Club.


Prime example: Slugging.
 
2012-11-19 11:17:40 AM
Appropriate: Link

//hot love highway
 
2012-11-19 11:17:47 AM
chrislejarzar.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-11-19 11:19:37 AM

oakleym82: Well Signed and the image of the new HOV Switchy EZ-Pass.



I quit using the EZPass when I quit working outside the Beltway so my drives from my home don't require it. I was not aware they made the gizmo switchy like that. It's super. How many people will plow into the toll booth while their reaching up to flick the switch instead of paying attention to the road, I wonders.

As for signage, the only one I saw was on the ramp at Route 29 in Merrifield. The "EZPass Required" sign on that onramp was smaller than all the rest of the signs and it looked like an afterthought.
 
2012-11-19 11:21:30 AM

Bendal: Well, HOT lanes aren't called "Lexus Lanes" for nothing, you know. Basically, as the traffic increases in the free lanes, the price goes up in the Lexus lane as well. The tolls are measuring how much you value your travel time; do you want to sit in traffic for 30 minutes, or get to where you want to go in 10 but pay a $5 fee for that convenience? If the traffic volume goes down, so does the toll cost.

You're paying for the luxury of driving around the plebes stuck in the free lanes, hence the term "Lexus Lanes".


I get it now. I misunderstood what was being implied there.

I'm not sure if it makes me feel better about it, but at least I feel differently.
 
2012-11-19 11:22:02 AM

brigid_fitch: wingnut396: More importantly, VW horns only work when the ignition is on?

Yeah. Between my husband and me, we've owned a 99 Cabrio, 01 Jetta, and an 06 Jetta. Horns don't work if the engine's off. But the trade-off is that you can charge stuff in your car while it's off, so I'll take that.

DeathCipris: Ahh, the glories of VW ownership. Sounds like you own a GTI or a GLI, probably late 2007 - 2010?

See above--06 Jetta. It's only gone into ERM one other time--during a farking monsoon in MD 2 years ago. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. The first time, it happened out of the blue and the weather was dry but well below freezing. The mechanic just had to reset the computer--couldn't detect any issue. The second time, I was meeting friends for the weekend so just let it sit for 2 days. I guess something had gotten wet during the drive because it was fine when I turned it back on.


Interesting. Historically, there has been several recalls dealing with the DSG system (only installed on NEW Beetles (2011 and later), GTI (2006 and later), and GLI (2006 and later), and a few Audi models if I recall correctly). The recalls were for bad mechatronics unit (seriously...that's what they call it) and bad temperature sensors for the DGS system. There are a couple of TSB's that require a reflash of the DSG system too.
 
2012-11-19 11:28:13 AM
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-11-19 11:34:02 AM
This picture was on the front page of the Gwinnett Daily Post the day Atlanta's HOT lanes opened. The headline was touting the great success of the new lanes (still trying to find a link to the original article.

scni.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com
 
2012-11-19 11:34:34 AM

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: I never understood why I-95 was never run all the way through DC like it was supposed to be. It's obvious the Beltway can't handle the traffic.


It does. It's just called 395 and 295 (if you do the penns ave or 11th st juke).
 
2012-11-19 11:36:16 AM
The whole idea of the HOT lanes pisses me off. We have a huge traffic problem here in the Washington DC metro area, so what do our politicians do? They solve the problem - but only for themselves and their friends who can afford it. Not everyone can afford hundreds more dollars a month so they can get to work in a reasonable amount of time, and they haven't even bothered to attempt to fix the sources of the traffic problems...

They should have gotten rid of the HOV lanes (which are counter-productive), improved the interchange with Dulles Toll road and improved the interchange with I-66... as well as using the land they used for the stupid HOT lanes for more capacity on 495.

But that way someone's buddy wouldn't get the lucrative construction and operation contracts for pricey toll roads...
 
2012-11-19 11:41:11 AM
we could have trains and buses instead

/ if 'certain segments of the population' weren't so consistently violent and rapey
 
2012-11-19 11:42:06 AM
Clusterfark.

Clusterfark clusterfark clusterfark... as the entire I-95/395/495/66 stretch seems to be once you get past Stafford.
 
2012-11-19 11:43:49 AM

mongbiohazard: The whole idea of the HOT lanes pisses me off. We have a huge traffic problem here in the Washington DC metro area, so what do our politicians do? They solve the problem - but only for themselves and their friends who can afford it. Not everyone can afford hundreds more dollars a month so they can get to work in a reasonable amount of time, and they haven't even bothered to attempt to fix the sources of the traffic problems...

They should have gotten rid of the HOV lanes (which are counter-productive), improved the interchange with Dulles Toll road and improved the interchange with I-66... as well as using the land they used for the stupid HOT lanes for more capacity on 495.

But that way someone's buddy wouldn't get the lucrative construction and operation contracts for pricey toll roads...


How is providing a positive incentive for people to reduce the total number of cars on the road (by carpooling together) counter productive? It seems like the opposite of that to me, whatever you want to call that...counter-counter-productive?
 
2012-11-19 11:44:38 AM

hiker9999: gochuck: I laugh at the people who live out in the burbs. If you work in DC, live in DC (especially if you don't have kids, no excuse then).

Perhaps we don't want to live in a city whose "leadership" is nearly constantly under criminal investigation?

Perhaps we don't want to live in a city where Marion frakking Barry is seen as some kind of bizarre folk hero?


Maybe everyone should move into his tenement. He doesn't seem to mind the overcrowding.
 
2012-11-19 11:49:10 AM

squidgod2000: You can park in the garage at Springfield Mall for free and walk over to the Franconia/Springfield metro station. Bring a gun.


images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
 
2012-11-19 11:51:53 AM

oakleym82: This thing. You switch to to "HOV ON" if you have 3 people in your car, then you don't get charged the toll. It's not complicated.


No, it is complicated. It requires the driver to fiddle with a device while rounding a corner going 70 mph and making a decision of whether or not to use a toll lane. None of this should be necessary.

Either we need more capacity in general, or we need to enforce carpooling on the beltway. This does neither of those things. It simply generates revenue for the highway authority while allowing a fraction of the commuters to enjoy exclusive access to roads built with public funds. Total bullshiat.
 
2012-11-19 11:54:32 AM

Minerva8918: Hack Patooey: The cause of the crash has not been determined but Virginia State Police are urging drivers to be careful and not back up if they mistakenly enter the Express Lanes.

I see it all the time, but who the fark thinks its OK to back up on the highway because you screwed up an exit?

Morans of the DC variety.


images.politico.com
I'm sure a lot of it is his fault.
 
2012-11-19 12:00:22 PM
Is it just me, or do the lines on the road look like they were painted by a drunk marmot?
 
2012-11-19 12:03:41 PM

nelsonal: Dreyelle: Minerva8918: Hack Patooey: The cause of the crash has not been determined but Virginia State Police are urging drivers to be careful and not back up if they mistakenly enter the Express Lanes.

I see it all the time, but who the fark thinks its OK to back up on the highway because you screwed up an exit?

Morans of the DC variety.

MORAN (moran)
A member of the warrior group of the Masai people of East Africa, which comprises the younger unmarried males.
Origin: Masai


MORON (moron)
Informal
A stupid person: We can't let these thoughtless morons get away with mindless vandalism every weekend.
Origin: early 20th century (as a medical term denoting an adult with a mental age of about 8-12): from Greek mron, neuter of mros 'foolish'

[4.bp.blogspot.com image 313x400]
Obscure?


Must be some new blood in here. :)
 
2012-11-19 12:32:08 PM

nickerj1: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: I never understood why I-95 was never run all the way through DC like it was supposed to be. It's obvious the Beltway can't handle the traffic.

It does. It's just called 395 and 295 (if you do the penns ave or 11th st juke).


And the reason why the Beltway was created in the first place was so people wouldnt have to drive through DC. They had a documentary about the Beltway on PBS a few months back and people acted like going into VA/MD thorugh DC would be like driving 1000 miles out of the way. And there was a traffic jam day one on the beltway. I just wish every other road in VA wasent named Lee.
 
2012-11-19 12:35:16 PM

freewill: Bendal: Well, HOT lanes aren't called "Lexus Lanes" for nothing, you know. Basically, as the traffic increases in the free lanes, the price goes up in the Lexus lane as well. The tolls are measuring how much you value your travel time; do you want to sit in traffic for 30 minutes, or get to where you want to go in 10 but pay a $5 fee for that convenience? If the traffic volume goes down, so does the toll cost.

You're paying for the luxury of driving around the plebes stuck in the free lanes, hence the term "Lexus Lanes".

I get it now. I misunderstood what was being implied there.

I'm not sure if it makes me feel better about it, but at least I feel differently.


Not quite right. Whenver the average speed in to the lanes drops below 45 MPH the toll goes UP, obstensibly to discourage people from using them so as to reduce volume and restore speed.
 
2012-11-19 12:36:44 PM

ManRay: Atlanta put in HOT lanes a few months ago.

(one of the) Biggest wastes of transportation money in the region. And that is saying something.
.



blogs.amctv.com 

/restricted to HOV-3, motorcycles, and horses
 
2012-11-19 12:37:38 PM

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: mongbiohazard: The whole idea of the HOT lanes pisses me off. We have a huge traffic problem here in the Washington DC metro area, so what do our politicians do? They solve the problem - but only for themselves and their friends who can afford it. Not everyone can afford hundreds more dollars a month so they can get to work in a reasonable amount of time, and they haven't even bothered to attempt to fix the sources of the traffic problems...

They should have gotten rid of the HOV lanes (which are counter-productive), improved the interchange with Dulles Toll road and improved the interchange with I-66... as well as using the land they used for the stupid HOT lanes for more capacity on 495.

But that way someone's buddy wouldn't get the lucrative construction and operation contracts for pricey toll roads...

How is providing a positive incentive for people to reduce the total number of cars on the road (by carpooling together) counter productive? It seems like the opposite of that to me, whatever you want to call that...counter-counter-productive?


HOV lanes end up being 25% of the road surface but only carrying around 1%-3% of the traffic. Hence they are counter-productive... They reduce road capacity when it's needed the most which increases traffic and pollution for everyone.

The "incentive" has been around for many years now and it simply does not work. The fact of the matter is that the few people who can carpool already will. Especially in this area, where people drive to so many different places for work, chances are low you'll just happen to be lucky enough to be going to the same place at the same time as your neighbor.

There are many cases around the country where road crews have forgotten to repaint HOV lanes when doing road work and traffic drastically reduces until they put the HOV markings back. It's just pure math... so much road surface being reserved for so little traffic = more traffic and more pollution. HOV lanes are harmful wishful thinking put in to action.
 
2012-11-19 12:58:50 PM

wambu: Hey NOVA FARKers!

When I used to visit DC, I parked in the old Perpetual Savings Bank parking lot near the yellow line just off the beltway (near Geo. Washinton's Masonic lodge). It's been years, so that option is probably no longer available. I'm planning a trip to visit some museums. Where are some good parking lots in NOVA for those of us just visiting that are near a Metro station? I don't mind paying to park, but free is always better.


Park at the Springfield/Franconia station in Springfield, or the Huntington ave station in Alexandria. Both are free on the weekend, and are easier than finding parking during the weekdays.
 
2012-11-19 01:06:53 PM

mongbiohazard: my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: mongbiohazard: The whole idea of the HOT lanes pisses me off. We have a huge traffic problem here in the Washington DC metro area, so what do our politicians do? They solve the problem - but only for themselves and their friends who can afford it. Not everyone can afford hundreds more dollars a month so they can get to work in a reasonable amount of time, and they haven't even bothered to attempt to fix the sources of the traffic problems...

They should have gotten rid of the HOV lanes (which are counter-productive), improved the interchange with Dulles Toll road and improved the interchange with I-66... as well as using the land they used for the stupid HOT lanes for more capacity on 495.

But that way someone's buddy wouldn't get the lucrative construction and operation contracts for pricey toll roads...

How is providing a positive incentive for people to reduce the total number of cars on the road (by carpooling together) counter productive? It seems like the opposite of that to me, whatever you want to call that...counter-counter-productive?

HOV lanes end up being 25% of the road surface but only carrying around 1%-3% of the traffic. Hence they are counter-productive... They reduce road capacity when it's needed the most which increases traffic and pollution for everyone.

The "incentive" has been around for many years now and it simply does not work. The fact of the matter is that the few people who can carpool already will. Especially in this area, where people drive to so many different places for work, chances are low you'll just happen to be lucky enough to be going to the same place at the same time as your neighbor.

There are many cases around the country where road crews have forgotten to repaint HOV lanes when doing road work and traffic drastically reduces until they put the HOV markings back. It's just pure math... so much road surface being reserved for so little traffic = more traffic and more pollution. HOV ...


Have you ever been on the stretch of I-95 between Fredericksburg and DC? Those HOV lanes are absolutely packed with people using them. Granted, they only enforce the HOV restrictions during rush hour, so that helps address the negatives you listed significantly...but really, the worst part of the HOV lanes in that stretch of I-95 is that they don't go far enough south! Where the lanes merge back together is almost always backed up. Sure, they are extending them down to Aquia/Garrisonville, which will address a lot of it, but they needed to stretch all the way down to teh Rappahannock AT LEAST (once you pass Rt. 17 a lot of traffic dies down). If money was no object it would be even better if they could extend them across the river past Rt-3, but bridges cost a lot...

And just thinking about it, you say that HOV lanes account for 1-3% of traffic, but that is assuming all cars have 1 person. If there is a bus with 30 people on it that is essentially removing 29 other cars from the road.

Granted, not all HOV lanes work as intended, and there is definitely some idealism behind the concept (as you stated, there are a lot of practical reasons NOT to carpool for most people), but I think it is a better long-term solution than just widening every available road to the maximum limits available with the existing real-estate. Basically, I like the concept of making more efficient use of the road-space available instead of just making MORE road-space until we run out and have to just live with it.
 
2012-11-19 01:14:40 PM

gochuck: I laugh at the people who live out in the burbs. If you work in DC, live in DC (especially if you don't have kids, no excuse then).


My excuse is not wanting to pay $3k/month for a one bedroom. If you have a problem with that, take it up with management.

/management is my penis
 
2012-11-19 01:21:14 PM
Question:

Did they pave in new lanes for the HOT lanes or did they re-stripe existing lanes?

Atlanta just converted existing HOV lanes to HOT lanes. The project was destined for failure from the start. They solution to "we have a traffic problem" was to lower the lane capacity (at great expense) and charge people for the privilege of using the HOV lane. After the lanes were built it took all of 3 days for the Governor to lower the pricing structure to encourage people to use the lanes since nobody was driving in them. There were several weeks of bigger than normal traffic jams right after the HOT opening.
 
2012-11-19 01:25:12 PM

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: Have you ever been on the stretch of I-95 between Fredericksburg and DC? Those HOV lanes are absolutely packed with people using them. Granted, they only enforce the HOV restrictions during rush hour, so that helps address the negatives you listed significantly...but really, the worst part of the HOV lanes in that stretch of I-95 is that they don't go far enough south! Where the lanes merge back together is almost always backed up. Sure, they are extending them down to Aquia/Garrisonville, which will address a lot of it, but they needed to stretch all the way down to teh Rappahannock AT LEAST (once you pass Rt. 17 a lot of traffic dies down). If money was no object it would be even better if they could extend them across the river past Rt-3, but bridges cost a lot...


Actually, that is the plan... to extend HOT lanes all the way down to Massaponax.

However, read what I just said... HOT lanes, not HOV, so you'll be paying for the privilege.

But, yeah, the first leg of the plan is extending them down to the 143 within the next three years.
 
2012-11-19 01:27:30 PM

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: mongbiohazard: my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: mongbiohazard: The whole idea of the HOT lanes pisses me off. We have a huge traffic problem here in the Washington DC metro area, so what do our politicians do? They solve the problem - but only for themselves and their friends who can afford it. Not everyone can afford hundreds more dollars a month so they can get to work in a reasonable amount of time, and they haven't even bothered to attempt to fix the sources of the traffic problems...

They should have gotten rid of the HOV lanes (which are counter-productive), improved the interchange with Dulles Toll road and improved the interchange with I-66... as well as using the land they used for the stupid HOT lanes for more capacity on 495.

But that way someone's buddy wouldn't get the lucrative construction and operation contracts for pricey toll roads...

How is providing a positive incentive for people to reduce the total number of cars on the road (by carpooling together) counter productive? It seems like the opposite of that to me, whatever you want to call that...counter-counter-productive?

HOV lanes end up being 25% of the road surface but only carrying around 1%-3% of the traffic. Hence they are counter-productive... They reduce road capacity when it's needed the most which increases traffic and pollution for everyone.

The "incentive" has been around for many years now and it simply does not work. The fact of the matter is that the few people who can carpool already will. Especially in this area, where people drive to so many different places for work, chances are low you'll just happen to be lucky enough to be going to the same place at the same time as your neighbor.

There are many cases around the country where road crews have forgotten to repaint HOV lanes when doing road work and traffic drastically reduces until they put the HOV markings back. It's just pure math... so much road surface being reserved for so little traffic = more traffic and more ...


For what it's worth, the plan is there to extend the lanes to just past the curve at US 1/17 Massaponax Exit 126. The funding just isn't there at the current time. However, the state did go ahead and do the environmental impact studies for that plan when they were doing the one for the current extension southward. I suspect it won't be long after the extension to Exit 143 is completed before they clamor for the southern extension to be done. I suspect part of the cost issue is that traffic on US 17 at I-95 in Falmouth is such a problem that the interchange will have to be completely re-done in that project.
 
2012-11-19 01:29:41 PM
The new HOT lanes are in fact, new roadway....physically separated from the hoi polloi. Confusion is stemming from people not understanding the limited entrance / exit points, not thinking in time to make the decision to go on the HOT lane or not, etc.

When they just re-designate existing lanes as HOV without adding new ones, it's a recipe for jams. They did that on the toll road a few years ago, and traffic came to complete gridlock.

The way to do the 'toll' road is to stop off @ Dulles, buy gas or transact some 'business', then take the access road all the way in.
 
2012-11-19 01:30:56 PM

ManRay: Question:

Did they pave in new lanes for the HOT lanes or did they re-stripe existing lanes?

Atlanta just converted existing HOV lanes to HOT lanes. The project was destined for failure from the start. They solution to "we have a traffic problem" was to lower the lane capacity (at great expense) and charge people for the privilege of using the HOV lane. After the lanes were built it took all of 3 days for the Governor to lower the pricing structure to encourage people to use the lanes since nobody was driving in them. There were several weeks of bigger than normal traffic jams right after the HOT opening.


They paved new lanes...but that makes it sound simpler than reality. What they actually did, was widen the entire roadway (including giant concrete barriers to reduce sound outside), re-route the existing beltway lanes, install new lanes inside (including all necessary widening of overpasses) and re-pave the entire surface both HOT and regular lanes, install new signage, and provide new barriers to seperate the different types of lanes. All of this without shutting down the existing roadways except between midnight-5:00am.

Nothing is going to make traffic around DC "good"...but at least they are trying to make things "better"

/I personally favor a MUCH stricter licensing exam. I see way too many people make mistakes that they should know not to do.
//Also, I favor losing your license (for at least a year, if not longer) for many more infractions, and automatically if you are at-fault in an accident.
/THAT would put fewer cars on the road, and the ones left would be better drivers.
 
2012-11-19 01:36:51 PM

brigid_fitch: Hack Patooey: The cause of the crash has not been determined but Virginia State Police are urging drivers to be careful and not back up if they mistakenly enter the Express Lanes.

I see it all the time, but who the fark thinks its OK to back up on the highway because you screwed up an exit?

Not only do I see this all the time, some farkwit BACKED INTO ME once! Going onto an entrance ramp and the car started giving me issues--wouldn't accelerate right, almost every idiot light on the dash starts flashing. Didn't want to pull onto a busy highway when she's acting up, so I pulled onto the shoulder & called AAA. As I'm waiting, a white commercial pickup truck passes me, goes onto the shoulder, and starts backing up. I figure he's being a good Samaritan and wants to see if he can help. Except that he's not slowing down. Hit the horn but the car's turned off--no horn. By the time I turn on the ignition to try the horn again or maybe try to get the hell out of the way, the asshole slams right into me. Bumper crumples, trailer hitch on the back of the truck punctures the radiator. When he tries to pull forward, he nearly rips the radiator out of the engine. No injuries, thankfully, just utter incredulity.

Luckily, the 2 guys he was with told the cops the truth. I don't think anyone, myself included, would EVER believe that somebody got backed into on the shoulder of a busy highway ramp. But it happened.

/CSB
//VW's apparently have a "limp-home" mode (Emergency Running Mode). That's what kicked in that day. Never experienced it before.


Did the dude say WHY he backed into you? Was he trying to help and just happen to be blind as fark when backing up?
 
2012-11-19 01:42:05 PM

FirstNationalBastard: my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food:
Actually, that is the plan... to extend HOT lanes all the way down to Massaponax.

However, read what I just said... HOT lanes, not HOV, so you'll be paying for the privilege.

But, yeah, the first leg of the plan is extending them down to the 143 within the next three years.

jkl65s4:
For what it's worth, the plan is there to extend the lanes to just past the curve at US 1/17 Massaponax Exit 126. The funding just isn't there at the current time. However, the state did go ahead and do the environmental impact studies for that plan when they were doing the one for the current extension southward. I suspect it won't be long after the extension to Exit 143 is completed before they clamor for the southern extension to be done. I suspect part of the cost issue is that traffic on US 17 at I-95 in Falmouth is such a problem that the interchange will have to be completely re-done in that project.



Ah, thanks for the info both of you. I wish they would have just done the full installation in 1 phase, since they have all the tree-removal and grading equipment on-site already. Remobilization for a second phase of work is just going to increase the overall costs...but I guess it is better than nothing...

/And I am fine with HOT lanes since they still encourage carpooling. Don't like the tolls? Find someone to share a ride with=problem solved.
 
2012-11-19 01:46:47 PM
My solution-I don't drive anywhere near NOVA, and take the MARC train when I want to go to DC.
 
2012-11-19 01:47:46 PM

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: FirstNationalBastard: my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food:
Actually, that is the plan... to extend HOT lanes all the way down to Massaponax.

However, read what I just said... HOT lanes, not HOV, so you'll be paying for the privilege.

But, yeah, the first leg of the plan is extending them down to the 143 within the next three years.

jkl65s4:
For what it's worth, the plan is there to extend the lanes to just past the curve at US 1/17 Massaponax Exit 126. The funding just isn't there at the current time. However, the state did go ahead and do the environmental impact studies for that plan when they were doing the one for the current extension southward. I suspect it won't be long after the extension to Exit 143 is completed before they clamor for the southern extension to be done. I suspect part of the cost issue is that traffic on US 17 at I-95 in Falmouth is such a problem that the interchange will have to be completely re-done in that project.



Ah, thanks for the info both of you. I wish they would have just done the full installation in 1 phase, since they have all the tree-removal and grading equipment on-site already. Remobilization for a second phase of work is just going to increase the overall costs...but I guess it is better than nothing...

/And I am fine with HOT lanes since they still encourage carpooling. Don't like the tolls? Find someone to share a ride with=problem solved.


If it ever does make it down past Falmouth, as you mentioned earlier, I'm curious as to how they would manage the Rappahannock River Bridge stretch... a new bridge between the two existing structures? A brand new mega bridge? Honestly, the existing bridges could probably use replacing at this point.

But, I can never find anyone who has a straight answer on that part of the deal... most likely because, as was said, they only have funding down to the 143, so everything else is just a future possibility with no firm plans at this time.
 
2012-11-19 01:50:07 PM

AngryJailhouseFistfark: oakleym82: Well Signed and the image of the new HOV Switchy EZ-Pass.

As for signage, the only one I saw was on the ramp at Route 29 in Merrifield. The "EZPass Required" sign on that onramp was smaller than all the rest of the signs and it looked like an afterthought.


To everyone biatching about signs:

- There have been "www.495expresslanes.com" signs up along this corridor for 6 months.
- There have been test signs on all entrances (overhead, big bright orange LEDs) saying the date it would go into effect
- There are EZ pass notifications on every one of these signs.
- You must be illiterate to claim any of this is a surprise AT ALL.

That being said, I'm a Alexandrian transplant from NJ, and I cannot BELIEVE how shiatty the driving is here. And by shiatty, I mean slow, slow, not-in-a-rush, get-the-fark-out-of-the-left-lane, do-the-farking-speed-limit shiatty.

/looking forward to the 1%'ers relieving some of the traffic in the peasant lanes from springfield to tyson's...
 
2012-11-19 01:55:08 PM

AngryJailhouseFistfark: oakleym82: Well Signed and the image of the new HOV Switchy EZ-Pass.


I quit using the EZPass when I quit working outside the Beltway so my drives from my home don't require it. I was not aware they made the gizmo switchy like that. It's super. How many people will plow into the toll booth while their reaching up to flick the switch instead of paying attention to the road, I wonders.

As for signage, the only one I saw was on the ramp at Route 29 in Merrifield. The "EZPass Required" sign on that onramp was smaller than all the rest of the signs and it looked like an afterthought.


valkore: oakleym82: This thing. You switch to to "HOV ON" if you have 3 people in your car, then you don't get charged the toll. It's not complicated.

No, it is complicated. It requires the driver to fiddle with a device while rounding a corner going 70 mph and making a decision of whether or not to use a toll lane. None of this should be necessary.

Either we need more capacity in general, or we need to enforce carpooling on the beltway. This does neither of those things. It simply generates revenue for the highway authority while allowing a fraction of the commuters to enjoy exclusive access to roads built with public funds. Total bullshiat.


There are no toll booths, just giant, sweeping on-ramps and off-ramps.

If you're going to have 3+ people and use the HOT lanes, you will have already ordered this device and should understand its operation. When you pick up your 3rd carpooler you flip the switch and just drive baby drive. No fiddling, no crashing. Cars have zillions of buttons and touch screens these days, what is the problem with a simple two-position switch? Jesus people.

And FYI you can use the HOT lanes with a regular E-ZPass, but you'll be charged even if you have 3 people.

Also, I looked into this, the E-ZPass Flex (switchable transponder) will work on ANY E-ZPass toll booth/sensor nation-wide regardless of its position. Essentially there are two transponders inside, the selector switches between them. On the HOT lanes, it matters, on all other toll roads it doesn't, it chargers the same account regardless.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-11-19 02:25:05 PM
- There have been "www.495expresslanes.com" signs up along this corridor for 6 months.

It's illegal to display a web site address on a sign along a major highway. MUTCD 2A.06 paragraph 14. This is federal law. It may be illegal to access an illegally-displayed web site name while driving. That's a matter of state law.
 
2012-11-19 02:26:15 PM

That being said, I'm a Alexandrian transplant from NJ, and I cannot BELIEVE how shiatty the driving is here. And by shiatty, I mean slow, slow, not-in-a-rush, get-the-fark-out-of-the-left-lane, do-the-farking-speed-limit shiatty


You should'a been there back in the day. In the 80's, the beltway was a 90mph, bumper-to-bumper deathmatch Circus Maximus, baby.

/then you yankees all moved down and farked it up
 
2012-11-19 02:48:45 PM

fpr3: To everyone biatching about signs:

- There have been "www.495expresslanes.com" signs up along this corridor for 6 months.
- There have been test signs on all entrances (overhead, big bright orange LEDs) saying the date it would go into effect
- There are EZ pass notifications on every one of these signs.
- You must be illiterate to claim any of this is a surprise AT ALL.

That being said, I'm a Alexandrian transplant from NJ, and I cannot BELIEVE how shiatty the driving is here. And by shiatty, I mean slow, slow, not-in-a-rush, get-the-fark-out-of-the-left-lane, do-the-farking-speed-limit shiatty.

/looking forward to the 1%'ers relieving some of the traffic in the peasant lanes from springfield to tyson's...


Here's the thing: I have an EZ-Pass. I occasionally carry more than 2 occupants. I'm not from DC, but travel through on occasion.

The EZ-Pass Flex sign is damn near impossible to discern at speed. the sign makes it appear my trip is free, but it is not.
 
2012-11-19 02:51:03 PM
HOT wheels for HOT lanes?

encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com
 
2012-11-19 03:04:34 PM

ManRay: Question:

Did they pave in new lanes for the HOT lanes or did they re-stripe existing lanes?

Atlanta just converted existing HOV lanes to HOT lanes. The project was destined for failure from the start. They solution to "we have a traffic problem" was to lower the lane capacity (at great expense) and charge people for the privilege of using the HOV lane. After the lanes were built it took all of 3 days for the Governor to lower the pricing structure to encourage people to use the lanes since nobody was driving in them. There were several weeks of bigger than normal traffic jams right after the HOT opening.


They paved a whole new road, paid for by a private firm with generally what appear to be it's own etire entry/exit system. The DC area has a whole informal network of picking up riders to use high occupancy lanes (slugging).
 
2012-11-19 03:11:03 PM

ZAZ: It may be illegal to access an illegally-displayed web site name while driving. That's a matter of state law.


What about accessing the portion of your brain that stores information, in order to view an illegally displayed website at a later, safer time? Still OK? Or is it better to ignore these illegal signs, and make illegal moves on the freeway like reversing because you are "surprised" you have to pay for these shiny new lanes?
 
2012-11-19 03:13:46 PM

oakleym82: If you're going to have 3+ people and use the HOT lanes, you will have already ordered this device and should understand its operation.


See, there's your problem right there. Whenever you're dealing with the general public and you find yourself saying, "you should already understand", or "you should know", or "you should be prepared", you're going to have trouble.
 
2012-11-19 03:17:29 PM

ZAZ: - There have been "www.495expresslanes.com" signs up along this corridor for 6 months.

It's illegal to display a web site address on a sign along a major highway. MUTCD 2A.06 paragraph 14. This is federal law. It may be illegal to access an illegally-displayed web site name while driving. That's a matter of state law.


14 Except as provided in Paragraph 16 and except for the Carpool Information (D12-2) sign (see Section 2I.11), Internet addresses and e-mail addresses, including domain names and uniform resource locators (URL), shall not be displayed on any sign, supplemental plaque, sign panel (including logo sign panels on Specific Service signs), or changeable message sign.

Paragraph 16 and Section 2I.11 called to say hello, and both wondered why you hadn't stopped by.
 
2012-11-19 03:18:12 PM

GRCooper: That being said, I'm a Alexandrian transplant from NJ, and I cannot BELIEVE how shiatty the driving is here. And by shiatty, I mean slow, slow, not-in-a-rush, get-the-fark-out-of-the-left-lane, do-the-farking-speed-limit shiatty

You should'a been there back in the day. In the 80's, the beltway was a 90mph, bumper-to-bumper deathmatch Circus Maximus, baby.

/then you yankees all moved down and farked it up


To be honest, the beltway traffic is purely congestion - the infrastructure in NOVA cannot support the pop growth over the last 20 years. What really grinds my gears.jpg are the smaller roads, with folks doing 35 in a 45, or not accelerating when the light goes green. That shiat compounds backwards to cause traffic where there should be none. Additional to this is signal timing, which might as well have been done by chimps. 3 minutes at a light is no good for anybody, and hitting every other light is poor understanding of traffic flow. Bad design coupled with bad driving equals traffic jams at the Walmart light on Saturday morning at 11am. While I'm at it, I also think this area would benefit from jughandles to make left turns. That keeps everyone who will make a turn in the right lane, and it removes the added time to have green left-turn arrows at every light. Win-win!
 
2012-11-19 03:51:14 PM
What really grinds my gears.jpg are the smaller roads, with folks doing 35 in a 45, or not accelerating when the light goes green.

You must live near Route 1 in Virginia, south of the beltway!
 
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