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Forum LockedHO/T lane opening announced. Free for two weeks.

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    Posted: 10 Dec 2014 at 10:11am
Just announced:

The extension of the reversible lanes south to Exit 143 is to open this coming Sunday, December 14. However, toll operations will not begin until December 29 to allow some extra time to test the toll equipment. HOV will continue to be in effect during the current HOV hours, with no need for an E-ZPass Flex, until the HO/T operations begin on December 29 (I assume this also means HOV will be waived on Christmas Day per the usual practice; Dec. 25 is a Thursday this year).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/12/10/95-express-lanes-to-open-temporarily-free-on-sunday/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eao Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2014 at 12:24pm
GW Ride connect passed along an e-mail also. My concern is that there will be a bigger bottleneck at 610 with people trying to get on to 95 N and then trying to get over to get on to the HOT lanes and subsequently at 95 S with people trying to get off the HOT and get onto the regular 95 lanes. Well we will see next week. Hopefully there won't be accidents as there were when the express lanes opened on 495.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote USA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2014 at 1:27pm
I am optimistic there won't be as many accidents because of the different configuration. On I-95 you have to exit to the left to reach the express lanes. On the Beltway, the two left lanes become the express lanes, so the obnoxious left-lane cruisers found themselves headed for the express lanes and panicked and swerved like morons all to save a 70 toll. Idiotic. Anyone who endangers people on the road just to save a few dollars is not competent enough to have a driver's license.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DC2RV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2014 at 3:47pm
Here's another link: https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=7446

Excerpt: "Between Dec. 14 and Dec. 29, existing rules will remain in effect during rush hours requiring three or more occupants for a vehicle to use the express lanes for free."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote USA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2014 at 5:17pm
Heh. "Existing rules ... to use the express lanes for free." That's a novel way to put it: Under the existing rules, if you don't have three or more occupants, the "fee" you pay is called a "fine" when you get a ticket!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MDC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2014 at 12:52pm
I noticed this morning that all of then entrances I passed read, HOV-3 Only 6-9AM this morning even though it's supposed to be open to all without tolls starting yesterday until the 29th. I had assumed by what I've heard in news reports that there would not be HOV restrictions in the Express lanes, but that must be incorrect.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote USA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2014 at 1:05pm
They announced the HOV restrictions will operate for the next two weeks as they always have, meaning northbound HOV from 6:00 to 9:00, southbound HOV from 15:30 to 18:00, open to all traffic otherwise except for trucks at the southern end (due to the requirement they use the weigh station). No HOV restrictions next Thursday because Christmas is a holiday. I don't know whether HOV will be in effect on December 26 since the feds were given the day off (I also don't care since I will be in Florida!).

The new southern extension is operating under the same HOV rules during this period.

BTW, when you drive south this afternoon, if you previously used the HOV lanes to their southern end, don't forget they've reconfigured that spot. If you want to exit the HOV just south of Route 234, remember the old slip ramp at the lanes' southern end is now closed and instead you use the new flyover a little further to the south.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eao Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2014 at 11:04am
They have already proven to be not worth the hype. The backup has simply moved 9 miles South. Yesterday afternoon at 4:15 there was a 1 1/4 mile back up at 610 to get off the HOT lanes (we stopped under the overhead sign that reads 'lanes end in 1 1/4 miles'). The congestion on 95 N in the morning at 610 has become worse as the week has gone on. When I got a ride at 5:30 am this morning things were so congested the driver decided to not get on 95 N until Triangle and subsequently the HOV lanes at the old entrance so I can't really see that things have improved all that much. Granted Monday-Wednesday the trip was better,however, my concern is if things are like this now, what's going to happen when it's open to people willing to pay a toll. Someone was commenting as he got his Ez-Pass last week at Giant that he would rather pay the tolls than pick up anyone, it would be worth the money to save time. It was quicker because fewer people chose to follow the HOV 'rules' and therefore the others could not get on, without risking a fine, but now that it is going to be open to anyone willing to pay it is going to defeat the purpose of carpooling because those who do have 3 people in the car won't have the 'privilege' of getting home faster.
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