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(Washington Post)   The new I-66 tolls are a great deal for people whose time is worth over $200 per hour   ( washingtonpost.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, toll, Interstate 495, Tuesday morning rush, Roosevelt Bridge, Glebe Road interchange, Freeway, Interstate Highway System, Road  
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7002 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Feb 2018 at 6:20 PM (21 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-13 04:13:28 PM  
My boss used to cover the toll on I-15's HOT lanes, but I don't think it was ever over $10. Are government employees allowed to expense the tolls?
 
2018-02-13 04:43:11 PM  

davidphogan: My boss used to cover the toll on I-15's HOT lanes, but I don't think it was ever over $10. Are government employees allowed to expense the tolls?


For work-related travel, generally yes.

For daily commuting, no.
 
2018-02-13 04:55:34 PM  
♪ Get your pocket  ♫ PICKED ♪ on Route ♫ 66 ♪
 
2018-02-13 05:21:06 PM  
One of my many, many complaints about Virginia road engineering: signage. In Virginia, if you don't already know where you're going to go, then the directional road signs aren't going to help you get there. And one specific complaint of mine is that they don't telegraph information several miles ahead. So it comes as no surprise to read this:

When the toll prices spike, Jenkins said it can create a mess on the roads as drivers decide at the last minute whether to pay the toll or find an alternate route.

"People try to bail out when they see the price is at $46 all of a sudden and it is mayhem," he said. "People in the left lane are thinking they're going to pay the price for the toll but then they get to the sign and see what it is. Then there's this massive lane change to bail and get on Route 50 or Route 29."


The reason for this is that there isn't a sign a few miles earlier that says what the toll inside the beltway will be. So people get close to the entrance to those roads and see the $46 charge, and are like "woah! we're outta here!" A sign, or really a few signs, in the few miles leading up to this would certainly ease that sudden need to make a decision and people could bail earlier to surface streets.
 
2018-02-13 05:22:08 PM  
That stretch of I-66 between the Beltway and DC has been HOV-2 for at least 20 years.  Before that, it was HOV-3.  Until this toll system was enacted, single-car drivers could be ticketed $125 for the first violation, 250 on the second, $500 on the third, $1,000 on the fourth, AND points on your license.

Guess what?  People single-drove it all the time without consequence.  Cops rarely, I mean once or twice a year would enforce it, because pulling over violators during rush hour only makes traffic worse.  What were supposed to be high-throughput HOV lanes were often junked up with single drivers and nobody could do shiat about it.

Anyone who was using these lanes before the toll was breaking the law and ruining it for everyone.  Now, those single-car drivers are welcome to use the lanes.  What was an unenforceable fine with points is now a variable toll.  Revenue is generated where there previously was none.

If you want to discuss how NoVA traffic is farked and the only real solution is to pave the Potomac, well that's a different conversation.
 
2018-02-13 06:23:10 PM  
Coming soon to every state the new Trump gold lanes to avoid the filthy poors.
 
2018-02-13 06:24:21 PM  
And, just think, Trump's infrastructure "plan" is basically this on a macro version with the added benefit of massive increases in state taxes.
 
2018-02-13 06:27:12 PM  

foo monkey: That stretch of I-66 between the Beltway and DC has been HOV-2 for at least 20 years.  Before that, it was HOV-3.  Until this toll system was enacted, single-car drivers could be ticketed $125 for the first violation, 250 on the second, $500 on the third, $1,000 on the fourth, AND points on your license.

Guess what?  People single-drove it all the time without consequence.  Cops rarely, I mean once or twice a year would enforce it, because pulling over violators during rush hour only makes traffic worse.  What were supposed to be high-throughput HOV lanes were often junked up with single drivers and nobody could do shiat about it.

Anyone who was using these lanes before the toll was breaking the law and ruining it for everyone.  Now, those single-car drivers are welcome to use the lanes.  What was an unenforceable fine with points is now a variable toll.  Revenue is generated where there previously was none.

If you want to discuss how NoVA traffic is farked and the only real solution is to pave the Potomac, well that's a different conversation.


Interesting.  So if you were driving by yourself along 66 into DC, you were supposed to just exit the interstate???  Good grief.  I guess in today's day and age with everyone carrying a GPS on their phone, that's an easy matter, but 15 years ago, that might have been difficult to know where to go.

/ I've only driven that stretch once in my life and it was on a Saturday, so I assume none of that stuff was enforced.
// You couldn't pay me enough money to work in DC.
 
2018-02-13 06:27:53 PM  

groppet: Coming soon to every state the new Trump gold lanes to avoid the filthy poors.


skozlaw: And, just think, Trump's infrastructure "plan" is basically this on a macro version with the added
benefit of massive increases in state taxes.


Trump Derangement Syndrome, ladies and gentlemen.

Seriously, he does enough stupid, dangerous, insane shiat on his own without you dragging him into random, unrelated threads.
 
2018-02-13 06:30:50 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-13 06:31:59 PM  

Carousel Beast: groppet: Coming soon to every state the new Trump gold lanes to avoid the filthy poors.

skozlaw: And, just think, Trump's infrastructure "plan" is basically this on a macro version with the added
benefit of massive increases in state taxes.

Trump Derangement Syndrome, ladies and gentlemen.

Seriously, he does enough stupid, dangerous, insane shiat on his own without you dragging him into random, unrelated threads.


Agreed.  Conversely, I'm a little weary of being told what I "think" because I'm a Democrat.  Let's just let these good folks enjoy the ride and hope that they don't forget anything back at the house.
 
2018-02-13 06:33:13 PM  
They're going to need a shiatload of dimes.
 
2018-02-13 06:33:14 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


On an article about tolls no less...
 
2018-02-13 06:33:42 PM  
Such a fine example to point to for anyone who thinks public-private projects are ever a good idea for infrastructure work.
 
2018-02-13 06:33:44 PM  

groppet: Coming soon to every state the new Trump gold lanes to avoid the filthy poors.


It takes 5-25 years to build toll lanes. This has nothing to do with Trump or your self-esteem.
 
2018-02-13 06:34:10 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-13 06:34:53 PM  
I presume there's multi passenger discounts. Wind up partnering with Uber to fill car pools
 
2018-02-13 06:35:40 PM  
Not paying a subscription to view an article subby.
 
2018-02-13 06:36:14 PM  

Carousel Beast: groppet: Coming soon to every state the new Trump gold lanes to avoid the filthy poors.

skozlaw: And, just think, Trump's infrastructure "plan" is basically this on a macro version with the added
benefit of massive increases in state taxes.

Trump Derangement Syndrome, ladies and gentlemen.

Seriously, he does enough stupid, dangerous, insane shiat on his own without you dragging him into random, unrelated threads.


Well, his infrastructure plan is to make every federal Interstate into a privatised road funded by whatever toll the company would charge the drivers and get tax write-offs for. So it isn't too much to link this to him. Also with his budget isn't intent on funding infrastructure, so that money for highways to make up the difference will be coming from increased gas taxes and highway tolls from states like Virginia .
 
2018-02-13 06:37:21 PM  
Hurry it up with those electric cars and fully automated driving. That's the real solution.
 
2018-02-13 06:37:57 PM  
Honestly, this system is working as it should.  As noted above, single occupancy vehicles were banned from 66 inside the Beltway during HOV hours prior to December.  Now they can ride, for a fee.

The real problem will be in a few years when it switches from HOV-2 to HOV-3.  All of those couples who were driving into DC together will now have to pay or find a different way.
 
2018-02-13 06:37:58 PM  

foo monkey: If you want to discuss how NoVA traffic is farked and the only real solution is to pave the Potomac, well that's a different conversation.


I specifically moved out of the DMV area because traffic is farked and the only real solution is to pave the Potomac, and convert a bunch of surface highways like 123, 234, 28, and 15 to graded interchange expressways, which nobody seems interested in doing.
 
2018-02-13 06:38:54 PM  

derpes_simplex: [img.fark.net image 850x417]

On an article about tolls no less...


Feel_the_velvet: [img.fark.net image 511x249]
[img.fark.net image 260x181]


The more you eat the more you fart: Not paying a subscription to view an article subby.


Clear your cookies for WaPo.
 
2018-02-13 06:39:04 PM  
You'd be surprised how many people around DC think their time is worth $200/hr, subby.
 
2018-02-13 06:39:15 PM  
Sounds like a recipe for chaos.
 
2018-02-13 06:39:28 PM  

BlippityBleep: Such a fine example to point to for anyone who thinks public-private projects are ever a good idea for infrastructure work.


This one is actually state-run.  The lanes on 495/95 are the public/private "partnership" ones.
 
2018-02-13 06:41:05 PM  

IDisposable: / I've only driven that stretch once in my life and it was on a Saturday, so I assume none of that stuff was enforced.
// You couldn't pay me enough money to work in DC.


It's only in force during weekday rush hour, and only in the peak direction (inbound in the AM, outbound in the PM).
 
2018-02-13 06:42:43 PM  

SurfaceTension: derpes_simplex: [img.fark.net image 850x417]

On an article about tolls no less...

Feel_the_velvet: [img.fark.net image 511x249]
[img.fark.net image 260x181]

The more you eat the more you fart: Not paying a subscription to view an article subby.

Clear your cookies for WaPo.


I know how to circumvent it, just pointing out the irony.  But thanks though.
 
2018-02-13 06:43:58 PM  
This will be our whole interstate system by 2020.
 
2018-02-13 06:44:01 PM  
It's interesting that we don't have tolls everywhere on 495, and the stretch of 95 between Springfield and Fred Vegas; you'd think it would've been in place years ago. Maybe Trump can make it happen by selling our entire interstate highway system.
 
2018-02-13 06:44:04 PM  

DarkSoulNoHope: Well, his infrastructure plan is to make every federal Interstate into a privatised road funded by whatever toll the company would charge the drivers and get tax write-offs for. So it isn't too much to link this to him. Also with his budget isn't intent on funding infrastructure, so that money for highways to make up the difference will be coming from increased gas taxes and highway tolls from states like Virginia .


Jesus.

Republicans know that privatizing things like highways and bridges, healthcare, and college loans won't lead to invisible hand corrections because there's really not a functioning market there. But they know that most Americans (and their voters in particular) don't know or don't care about economic concepts, so it's free money for whatever corporation will donate to their campaign and/or is owned by a buddy and/or has promised them a high paying consulting job when they leave office and/or helped them clean up a hotel room with a dead hooker in it.
 
2018-02-13 06:46:03 PM  

derpes_simplex: [img.fark.net image 850x417]

On an article about tolls no less...


If you want don't want to pay extra to drive by yourself in the fast lane, don't and sit in traffic. If you don't wan't to pay for quality journalism, don't and enjoy quality news sources like The Daily Mail. If you don't think the expense is worth the money, don't pay it and quit biatching about it. It's that simple.


/Or you could  just switch to incognito mode like every other cheap person on Fark.
 
2018-02-13 06:49:02 PM  

Likwit: DarkSoulNoHope: Well, his infrastructure plan is to make every federal Interstate into a privatised road funded by whatever toll the company would charge the drivers and get tax write-offs for. So it isn't too much to link this to him. Also with his budget isn't intent on funding infrastructure, so that money for highways to make up the difference will be coming from increased gas taxes and highway tolls from states like Virginia .

Jesus.

Republicans know that privatizing things like highways and bridges, healthcare, and college loans won't lead to invisible hand corrections because there's really not a functioning market there. But they know that most Americans (and their voters in particular) don't know or don't care about economic concepts, so it's free money for whatever corporation will donate to their campaign and/or is owned by a buddy and/or has promised them a high paying consulting job when they leave office and/or helped them clean up a hotel room with a dead hooker in it.


You mix in the conservatives' false idea that more choice == more freedom and people will lap it up like no tomorrow.
 
2018-02-13 06:51:37 PM  

foo monkey: That stretch of I-66 between the Beltway and DC has been HOV-2 for at least 20 years.


Weird.  I lived in Reston for a few months while in the area for business back during the early 2000s and I don't recall that restriction on I-66 thru Falls Church after the merge from SR-267.  I only vaguely remember the left lane being restricted to carpools.

I do remember the drive from Reston to D.C. being completely suckworthy, though..  Even if they widened I-66 thru Falls Church and Arlington, the surface streets around there are a mess.
 
2018-02-13 06:54:10 PM  

CipollinaFan: derpes_simplex: [img.fark.net image 850x417]

On an article about tolls no less...

If you want don't want to pay extra to drive by yourself in the fast lane, don't and sit in traffic. If you don't wan't to pay for quality journalism, don't and enjoy quality news sources like The Daily Mail. If you don't think the expense is worth the money, don't pay it and quit biatching about it. It's that simple.


/Or you could  just switch to incognito mode like every other cheap person on Fark.


Only person biatching here is you.  I just pointed out an irony.  Nothing more.  You seemed determined to fit that into some sort of narrative you've constructed.  Be my guest, but since that narrative exists only between your ears, you'll get quicker replies by not involving me.
 
2018-02-13 06:55:12 PM  

tuxq: groppet: Coming soon to every state the new Trump gold lanes to avoid the filthy poors.

It takes 5-25 years to build toll lanes. This has nothing to do with Trump or your self-esteem.


Did you miss that the Trump $1.5T infrastructure plan was really a $400B infrastructure plan with a massive giveway of infrastructure to private "partners" (rent seekers).
 
amb
2018-02-13 06:56:01 PM  

foo monkey: That stretch of I-66 between the Beltway and DC has been HOV-2 for at least 20 years.  Before that, it was HOV-3.  Until this toll system was enacted, single-car drivers could be ticketed $125 for the first violation, 250 on the second, $500 on the third, $1,000 on the fourth, AND points on your license.

Guess what?  People single-drove it all the time without consequence.  Cops rarely, I mean once or twice a year would enforce it, because pulling over violators during rush hour only makes traffic worse.  What were supposed to be high-throughput HOV lanes were often junked up with single drivers and nobody could do shiat about it.

Anyone who was using these lanes before the toll was breaking the law and ruining it for everyone.  Now, those single-car drivers are welcome to use the lanes.  What was an unenforceable fine with points is now a variable toll.  Revenue is generated where there previously was none.

If you want to discuss how NoVA traffic is farked and the only real solution is to pave the Potomac, well that's a different conversation.


When I moved here back in 2011, I didn't know about the HOV lane section of 66. I was still travelling between my old place and VA. First time I came across it, I saw the signs for HOV only, after I was already in that section. Luckily, it was after rush hour so the HOV only wasn't applicable.

Those variable tolls are awful. I'm not surprised it is causing problems.
 
2018-02-13 06:56:28 PM  

foo monkey: That stretch of I-66 between the Beltway and DC has been HOV-2 for at least 20 years.  Before that, it was HOV-3.  Until this toll system was enacted, single-car drivers could be ticketed $125 for the first violation, 250 on the second, $500 on the third, $1,000 on the fourth, AND points on your license.

Guess what?  People single-drove it all the time without consequence.  Cops rarely, I mean once or twice a year would enforce it, because pulling over violators during rush hour only makes traffic worse.  What were supposed to be high-throughput HOV lanes were often junked up with single drivers and nobody could do shiat about it.

Anyone who was using these lanes before the toll was breaking the law and ruining it for everyone.  Now, those single-car drivers are welcome to use the lanes.  What was an unenforceable fine with points is now a variable toll.  Revenue is generated where there previously was none.

If you want to discuss how NoVA traffic is farked and the only real solution is to pave the Potomac, well that's a different conversation.


But, that completely reasonable explanation makes it so hard to sustain outrage!  What do you think you're doing???
 
2018-02-13 06:56:33 PM  

SurfaceTension: derpes_simplex: [img.fark.net image 850x417]

On an article about tolls no less...

Feel_the_velvet: [img.fark.net image 511x249]
[img.fark.net image 260x181]

The more you eat the more you fart: Not paying a subscription to view an article subby.

Clear your cookies for WaPo.


Or just open an incog and enjoy =D
 
2018-02-13 06:58:38 PM  
I love how rapidly we are approaching our dystopian future where the people with money operate completely isolated from the plights of the poor people.

"Hell no we won't pay a marginal increase in taxes so all of the roads are better, but I will pay 400$ a month to have my very own freeway."

Reminds me of a book where in the future the poor people never get to see the sun because it costs to much to live up in the skyscrapers and use the elevated roads.
 
2018-02-13 06:59:00 PM  
Link is paywalled.  Good job.
 
2018-02-13 07:04:17 PM  
Sounds like one could afford an extremely lifelike, anatomically-correct doll that would be put into the passenger seat for the commute.  And used at home for, umm, other purposes.  Theoretically.
 
2018-02-13 07:07:34 PM  

Mouser: You'd be surprised how many people around DC think their time is worth $200/hr, subby.


I live in the DC area and my time is billed at well over $200/hour. I make considerably less than that. However, that's work time. Nobody was planning on paying me during my commute. So that makes my time worth exactly $0. Although to me its value is infinite.

I don't place any value the HOT lanes, so I just cheat and throw the transponder in HOV mode when it's just me in the car and ride for free.
 
2018-02-13 07:10:46 PM  

Likwit: DarkSoulNoHope: Well, his infrastructure plan is to make every federal Interstate into a privatised road funded by whatever toll the company would charge the drivers and get tax write-offs for. So it isn't too much to link this to him. Also with his budget isn't intent on funding infrastructure, so that money for highways to make up the difference will be coming from increased gas taxes and highway tolls from states like Virginia .

Jesus.

Republicans know that privatizing things like highways and bridges, healthcare, and college loans won't lead to invisible hand corrections because there's really not a functioning market there. But they know that most Americans (and their voters in particular) don't know or don't care about economic concepts, so it's free money for whatever corporation will donate to their campaign and/or is owned by a buddy and/or has promised them a high paying consulting job when they leave office and/or helped them clean up a hotel room with a dead hooker in it.


Some toll roads kick ass in my experience.  Toll lanes not so much.  The key is the excellent maintenance and private (ie non-gov't employee -- I dunno what they charge) wrecking crew that is on standby to drag cars of the road.  Obviously offer not valid if it's a fatality or something.  And the keeping away of the trucks.  You always set the tolls high enough that it doesn't make sense for truckers.  They go slow anyways and damage the roads.
 
2018-02-13 07:18:48 PM  
memegenerator.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-13 07:20:11 PM  
they promised that once the toll roads here in Fl were paid for, they'd become free and the state dot would take over. The tolls were for the acquisition of the very expensive land. BS. Now they are building more toll booths, there's 3 where there used to only be one and no new exits. Those new multimillion $$$$$$$$ tollbooths will never ROI. The cost of the roads have been paid for a long time.

It's straight up fraud. There's a referendum going on the ballot to make all the paid toll roads revert to the state and require refunds and demolition of the booths. There's already ads decrying how bad the roads will be. They are already parking lots. It can't get worse. Just cheaper.
 
2018-02-13 07:22:51 PM  

IDisposable: Interesting.  So if you were driving by yourself along 66 into DC, you were supposed to just exit the interstate???  Good grief.  I guess in today's day and age with everyone carrying a GPS on their phone, that's an easy matter, but 15 years ago, that might have been difficult to know where to go.


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-13 07:23:15 PM  

Fallout Zone: Honestly, this system is working as it should.  As noted above, single occupancy vehicles were banned from 66 inside the Beltway during HOV hours prior to December.  Now they can ride, for a fee.

The real problem will be in a few years when it switches from HOV-2 to HOV-3.  All of those couples who were driving into DC together will now have to pay or find a different way.


No, it's not even remotely working as it should

The way it should work is that if you're going to have reserved lanes for high occupancy vehicles, you reserve those lanes for high occupancy vehicles.  You don't let some rich asshole slip the line by paying.  All that does is make the HOV lanes less useful for convincing people to take better forms of transport into the city.

And if you're not going to do that, you just open up all lanes for all vehicles for free.  Either way, rich asshole gets to sit in traffic with everybody else.

This is completely the wrong way to do it.
 
2018-02-13 07:27:59 PM  

Dinjiin: foo monkey: That stretch of I-66 between the Beltway and DC has been HOV-2 for at least 20 years.

Weird.  I lived in Reston for a few months while in the area for business back during the early 2000s and I don't recall that restriction on I-66 thru Falls Church after the merge from SR-267.  I only vaguely remember the left lane being restricted to carpools.

I do remember the drive from Reston to D.C. being completely suckworthy, though..  Even if they widened I-66 thru Falls Church and Arlington, the surface streets around there are a mess.


Yeah. I thought there were HOV only RAMPS in there (particularly remembering one between the beltway and 66) but I thought the highway itself was open.

That said, I'm not in the area and I've never needed 66 inside the beltway. Outside, yeah, all the way out to 81. Never inside.
 
2018-02-13 07:30:06 PM  
Virginia is an interesting place to live and work in. I wouldn't want to drive here, though.

Oh wait. I do that.

Every now and then somebody says "Let's get together at 6:00 pm at (insert place here)" and I'm like "really don't want to drive at all at that time - literally rush hour on every street in every direction."

/Driving into Woodbridge is always a mistake. Four lanes of I-95 decrement to 3 for no discernable reason yet there's what, five ramps dumping more cars onto it at the same time?
 
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