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jerryclapham View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jerryclapham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2003 at 12:48pm
I got an idea. Lets keep the HOV lanes as is (no toll). Except get rid of the hybreds. And We start charging non-hov cars a toll on the regular lanes of 95/395. This will increase traffic flow, reduce smog and encourge carpools and mass transit. Then will all those millions we could build more roads or mass transit.

Jerry
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mroyal View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mroyal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2003 at 3:09pm
quote:
Originally posted by jerryclapham
[br]I got an idea. Lets keep the HOV lanes as is (no toll). Except get rid of the hybreds. And We start charging non-hov cars a toll on the regular lanes of 95/395. This will increase traffic flow, reduce smog and encourge carpools and mass transit. Then will all those millions we could build more roads or mass transit.

Jerry



So, you propose to make 95/395 a toll road except for HOV, who not only get an open lane of traffic, but also at no cost.
Sorry, but that makes no sense to me. First, we have already paid (or are still paying) for these roads with taxes. Secoundly, there are a number of folks who drive solo out of necessity. Lastly, HOV lanes are a great benefit already. No need to provide further incentive to those who have already found ways of getting this benefit. WRT the hybrids, I disagree with you, but that is a different thread, isn't it.

But, they are not really interested in easing traffic flow with HOT, are they. It's all about the money. Pity, because I agree with those who say that the cost to create and maintain a HOT infrastructure would overide any net gain. It would also make HOV enforcement virtually impossible.

Let's just spend the money on (yet) another study.

The only change that I would suggest to ease the overall traffic is to change the HOV on 95 to HOV2, yet leave the HOV on 395 to HOV3. This would help two major conjestion areas on the regular lanes and encourage rideshare on 495.


Kindest Regards,

mroyal
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jerryclapham View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jerryclapham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2003 at 8:55am
I agree with you that my suggestion to put a toll on 95/395 does not make sense. It was made to give an extreme suggestion to cut down on traffic on the 95/395 corridor. Yes we have paid for the roads (including the HOV lanes) with our tax dollars. But if Richmond really wants to reduce traffic and cut smog this will be the way to do it. I know it would never work. However neither will charging a toll on the HOV lanes for LOV. But yet Richmond will spend our tax dollars on a study to try to disprove. Maybe they will use the same firms that gave the low-ball estimates on the Mixing bowl projects.

Jerry
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spacefan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spacefan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2003 at 11:19am
I believe the primary reason that HOT lanes are being considered is the increase in the state sales tax that WE voters decided against that would have, among other things, have paid for road repair, road improvements, the over budget Springfield interchange, etc.

Getting the Virginia legislature to reconsider the HOT lane idea is going to require a LARGE write-in campaign and slug presence at every meeting that VDOT holds on this topic.

Bottom line: This is a great way to kill slugging and put money in the pockets of the bus companies because I know lots of slugs who slug in the am and take the bus home in the pm. Eliminate the morning slug trip and you force slugs to take the bus.

P.S. Did anyone else see that insulting article in the Metro section of the Post about how drivers could possibly avoid "picking up strangers" in order to use the HOV lanes (it was a pro-HOT lane article).

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Bob View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2003 at 11:58am
Yes, I picked up on the insult to slugs. It was a letter written by the director of Govt Relations for the Greater Washington Board of Trade.

Below is the letter:



HOT Idea In Traffic Management



Sunday, June 15, 2003; Page B08

Here I am tied up in traffic -- again -- but in the restricted high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane next to me, cars carrying two or three people whiz by. I look at my watch. I stare at the brake lights. I move another 30 feet.

Sound familiar?

How would you like to be one of the fortunate few who cruise comfortably and legally in the restricted lanes, getting to work on time and not having to pick up strangers as riding companions for the privilege? If you would be willing to pay for this option, high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes may be for you.

At a recent conference sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, elected officials and civic and business leaders heard from transportation experts on the potential benefits of HOT lanes. The concept is simple: Allow solo drivers to use HOV lanes otherwise reserved for cars carrying two or three people.

Based on experience from HOT lanes in California, tolls would vary from $1 to about $4 in order to keep the lanes flowing. High-occupancy cars and buses would continue to travel at no cost.

There are HOV lanes on Northern Virginia's I-95, I-66 and Dulles Toll Road and Montgomery County's I-270 and U.S. 50. Trouble is, no regional system exists that would allow unimpeded travel on HOT lanes.

A recent analysis sponsored by the Reason Institute proposes just such a system. Existing HOV links in the region now total 170 lane-miles -- 134 in Northern Virginia and 36 in Maryland. These lanes would need to be supplemented by additional lanes on those roads as well as by HOT lanes on the Beltway and on I-95 as far north as Columbia. This would create a free-flowing regional roadway system for those willing to pay.

HOT lanes would defuse the acrimony among road builders, NIMBYs and environmentalists because they generally would use existing HOV lanes or the footprint of already-built infrastructure to add new lanes. The argument of those who mutter about favoring the well-off with a "Lexus lane" would be moot because bus rapid transit would provide a transit option. Further, at least half the cost of regional HOT lane improvements has been projected to be covered by toll-backed bonds.

Are HOT lanes the magic solution we have all been waiting for?

No, but they would provide a promising and creative transportation option.

Would we still need to raise new transportation revenue, better use what we already have, build new infrastructure and encourage transit-oriented development to fight congestion?

Yes, but these measures would have a vital new ally.

-- Bob Grow

is director of government relations

for the Greater Washington Board of Trade.

BobGrow@bot.org

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2003 at 12:21pm
I just sent a letter to Mr. Grow. Here it is.
Bob


Mr. Bob Grow
Greater Washington Board of Trade


Dear Mr. Grow,

I read your letter to the Washington Post in which you advocate the adoption of HOT lanes for the Washington DC area. I strongly disagree with your position that HOT lanes will be beneficial to congestion in this area. Implementation of HOT lanes will have the immediate effect of drastically reducing the incentive to carpool, vanpool, or take mass transit. This will put more cars on the road, making traffic far worse. Air pollution, which is a major problem, would also be worse. All of these single driver vehicles would descend on downtown areas, creating additional problems.

In addition, implementation of enforcement for HOT lanes would greatly slow down access to the HOV lanes. No one talks about this, but in a regular toll lane such as the Dulles Toll Road, all vehicles have to pay, while in a HOT lane, only the non-HOV will have to pay. But all vehicles would have to be checked or scanned at the entry points, greatly slowing traffic as it enters the HOV.

Your argument also presumes that there will be a large amount of unused capacity on the HOV lanes. This is not the case on I-95, on which I commute. In reality, no amount of excess capacity would be sufficient to prevent gridlock under HOT lanes.

One cannot directly compare us to the situation in California or in other places where HOV has not been successful. One is not “losing” anything in an area that has miniscule HOV participation.

High quality HOV lanes and the excellent commutes they provide are a very major part of the quality of life in the DC area. We have the highest participation in HOV commuting anywhere in the country. Let’s ensure that HOV will always provide a fast and environmentally friendly mode of transportation in the DC area.
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wdossel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wdossel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2003 at 12:28pm
Excellent letter by Bob -- my suggestion would be that it serve as the template for an anti-HOT letter writing campaign...

- Will
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spacefan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2003 at 9:24pm
That was a great letter, Bob, and I agree that it would make a terrific template to drive home the notion that HOT lanes will discourage carpooling and encourage gridlock.

Slugging has worked so well because it is a grassroots movement of commuters that is loosely organized. However, to stop the increasing favoritism toward HOT lanes will require that slugs unite and get organized in stopping this quick fix for the budget woes of the Virginia legislature. I think we as slugs have to come up with a better solution than HOT and it is gratifying to see so many posters here with good ideas.

If HOT lanes ever become reality, I estimate that we will lose roughly 50% of the drivers that pickup slugs now. I doubt that lady who drives the really nice BMW will ever be picking up me or any other slug if HOT lanes become a reality.

STOP HOT!
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koakui View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koakui Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 2003 at 4:34pm
One thing the paper and the government studies are not saying is that the study they are doing which they say is based on California toll roads is irrelevant for us in Northern Virginia. In California, they have the highway plus HOV lanes. They also have the toll roads (HOT) which is a separate entity from the HOV lanes. You can choose to use the HOT lanes and pay the fee, or, if not, use the HOV lane on the regular highway and not pay. To combine ours would be unfair and cause congestion.

Anyone interested in looking at California's toll roads - search under Google for toll roads in California - they are called The Toll Roads. I lived there for a number of years and their system does work and it works well. The key is keeping the regular HOV lanes and the HOT lanes seperate. We don't have room to build a separate highway so they need to scratch the idea. BTW, the commuters who used the HOT lanes pay for maintenance, etc. on the HOT lanes - not regular taxpayers and not people who use the regular HOV lanes.

[:X]

Cruisin in HOV
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mancilla Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2003 at 2:07pm
I knew VDOT was hidden something that its studies did not reveal to the public. I also knew that there is no creativity in their heads to come up with innovating ideas. They are trying to copy the whole toll road idea from California but in the wrong direction. It will be chaos if they think that combining both HOV and HOT lanes is a brilliant idea. If this is all they can offering to solve the problem, no wonder...
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