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mallslug View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mallslug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2003 at 3:15pm
A big thanks to those who took the time to post the addresses of our Senators and Representatives. My letter writing campaign is underway. Just say NO to HOT.

Karen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Admin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2003 at 7:35am
Bob,
Great letter! I will ask that others post copies of their letters to help the letter writing campaign!
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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: 24 Jun 2003 at 9:26am
I thought I would mention that there was a good anti-HOT letter in the Post over the weekend. I wasn't able to find it online to post here. It was placed at the very top of the letters to the editor section. It made several of the same points that have been made here. I'm sure it was read by thousands of people. In general, I have found the Post to be pro HOT lane and pro hybrid. Of course, they have also never seen a tax they dont like so that tells you about their judgement. Interestingly, they love to bash the Republicans on the environment, but never mention the environment in their coverage of things that will ruin HOV.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wine69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2003 at 10:41am
Bob,

Is this the article?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17831-2003Jun20.html

I haven't been watching this post, so this might have been discussed or done, but is anyone doing an "organized" campaign to "collectively" write letters to our local politicians? I see a few posts here on individuals sending letters (this is Great!), but I think we need to get organized, make copies of a form letter, and distribute them in the morning commuter lots. If we can get a few volunteers from each lot (say one or two people take an hour), that would be great. Even if it just means leaving a box of form letters at each lot with a sign on a pole saying "Say NO to HOT" that points to the box of letters. Post a letter at the "HOT Letters (examples)" Forum. This distribution should be done every now and then, until this issue is put to bed!

I'm worried that those in favor of HOT, will slip this by all of us opposed to HOT. I can't imagine anyone, currently slugging, who would be in favor of HOT.

Comments, Suggestions, Ideas?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote starry1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2003 at 4:49pm
Call me a cynic, but I don't believe that the HOT lane proposal is about improving commuting at all, its all about State revenue. Here are my suggestions for increasing revenue.

1. Patrol the HOV lanes more than twice a month! There's gold in them there lanes. I'm a late slugger (8:30 and 5:30) and I swear most days I saw at LEAST 25% cheaters on the HOV.

2. Extend the evening HOV on I-95 to 6:30, that way those of us who get off late have a decent chance of getting home in good time, plus I bet the percentage of cheaters would increase to at least 30%.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.[8D]

"I started out with nothing and I still have most of it."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wdossel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2003 at 5:30am
There is an interesting article in this month's Car & Driver re. the toll access to the downtown London area -- turns out the toll revenues aren't what the Mayor and and proponents were expecting them to be and as a result, there is a larger bill for the implementation/enforcement equipment than planned. Soooo, doing what any "good" politician would do, there is now talk about extending the toll zone east and westwards from the city core.

Oh yes, the reason for the toll originally, why, to solve congestion, of course...[;)]

- Will
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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: 12 Jul 2003 at 8:05am
Here is the HOT lane article in today's Post. This has to do with the issue of using tolls to finance construction of new beltway lanes. I wonder if the powers that be would use this as a way to get their foot in the door to mess up 95 though.



Beltway Toll Lanes Endorsed
Va. Transportation Chief Wants Plan Considered

By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 12, 2003; Page B01

RICHMOND, July 11 -- Virginia's top transportation official endorsed a proposal today to put toll lanes on the Capital Beltway, which would give lone drivers the opportunity to buy their way out of the traffic that clogs the region's primary thoroughfare.

Under a plan offered by a private company, four high occupancy toll lanes would be added to 12 miles of the Beltway, between Springfield and the Dulles Toll Road. Carpoolers and buses would use the HOT lanes for free. Single drivers could pay $1 to $4 to get off of the congested regular lanes. The $630 million project would be paid for almost entirely by tolls.

Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner Philip A. Shucet said in an interview today that the idea is "a shining example" of a partnership between the state agency and a private company and merits a detailed evaluation. He said he will recommend next week that state officials work with the company, Fluor Daniel, to move the idea forward.

"HOT lanes represent an opportunity if people choose to use it, to move from a more congested traffic lane to a lane with some capacity," he said. "The alternative may be to do nothing."

Shucet has also ordered that the HOT lanes concept be among the options considered by transportation officials as they finalize a years-long environmental study of whether to widen the Beltway. The initial recommendation of that study, a $3.2 billion widening of the Beltway, was panned by Fairfax County officials and citizens.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board will vote on Shucet's recommendations at its monthly meeting Thursday.

Shucet's decision marks the first time Virginia's top transportation official has spoken so favorably about HOT lanes, which have been controversial in other states. Politicians sometimes call them "Lexus lanes," saying they allow wealthy drivers more options than other drivers to avoid traffic.

A final decision could be a year away. Discussions and negotiations with the company could take months, and VDOT will hold several public hearings on the idea as part of the environmental study. Anything Virginia decides must be approved by the federal government.

But Shucet's comments reflect growing support for the HOT lanes concept in the Washington region, where elected leaders have been unable to find solutions to traffic congestion. Last year, voters in Northern Virginia turned down a proposal to increase the sales tax by a half-cent to raise $5 billion for road and transit projects.

With transportation departments strapped for cash, some officials say charging user fees -- tolls -- may represent one of the few solutions left.

Earlier this year, Virginia transportation officials applied to the federal government for $1 million to study the HOT lanes concept. Virginia is still waiting for grant approval. Maryland, which in 2001 canceled a study of the idea for Route 50, is taking a new look at HOT lanes on Interstate 270.

Officials in Fairfax are generally supportive of the idea for moving people across the county. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last year to urge VDOT to study the idea.

Fairfax Supervisor Gerald E. Connolly (D-Providence), who is running for chairman of the county board, was an early proponent of HOT lanes. He said today that the idea has "enormous promise. It absolutely merits a serious, in-depth look."

The GOP nominee, Mychele Brickner, a member of the School Board, said she supports the idea of HOT lanes but worries about the impact of widening the Beltway.

"I'm a little less sure about trying them there," she said. "It may be easier to try them in a place where we already have the space to do it."

Jim Wamsley, a member of the board of the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth, said his group opposes HOT lanes as just another road-widening project. He said VDOT should turn its attention to building a light-rail system that can bring people from Springfield to Tysons Corner. "What we need to do is get busy on the Metro capital improvement program," he said.

Gary Groat, a spokesman for Fluor Daniel, said the company can build the extra four lanes without having to destroy more than 10 homes in the process. And he said the project could be built quickly, opening within five to six years after a final decision is made.

They can do that, he said, by spending little or no money to build bigger interchanges, a key part of VDOT's original $3.2 billion widening plans.

"We are living within our means and putting our money where the congestion is at -- on the mainline, not the interchanges," Groat said.

Shucet said HOT lanes would allow Fairfax to offer express bus service across the county. Currently, buses use other routes because Beltway traffic is unpredictable.

"We have a transportation problem for which there is not a readily available public solution," Shucet said. HOT lanes "represent an application of a basic economic principle on a transportation system: 'There's some capacity in the lanes, and I can pay for the right to use them.' "

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dambam View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dambam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2003 at 9:54am
[:(!]There's an article in today's Washington Post about "the growing support for HOT lanes". Here's the url: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45382-2003Jul11.html.
I, like most people who use the slugging system, am totally 100% against the idea of HOT lanes. Between the hybrids and the HOT lane concept, the HOV lanes will become just as back up as the regular lanes.
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3ForHOV View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3ForHOV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2003 at 4:10pm
Between the hybrids and the HOT lane concept, the HOV lanes will become just as back up as the regular lanes.

Don't forget to include the "law enforcement" vehicles that take advantage of the HOV lanes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DC2RV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2003 at 12:35pm
And aren't the HOV lanes already HOT lanes in a sense? It just happens that the toll is 2 additional riders...or a $50 ticket.
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