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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: 17 Jul 2003 at 2:14pm
WTOP stated today that a consulting firm was hired and the VA HOT lanes would be built and finished in 4-6 years and also be paid for entirely with tolls. I got the impression these lanes would be in addition to the existing HOV lanes. My question is...where are they going to build the HOT lanes? There is no more room on I-95. Rather than build a HOT lane, why not just expand/build additional lanes on the highway to help alleviate traffic? My other pondering is...where is the money going to come from to front this project? Venture capital? Private investors? Better not be the taxpayers!!!!

Here's the article from WTOP. http://www.wtop.com/index.php?sid=104435&nid=25

One of my questions was answered in the article--lanes would be built on 495 between Springfield and Tysons Corner.

Guess this thread will finally die down since it won't affect most commuters who are traveling from I-95 South to DC and vice versa.
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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 2:20pm
I'd heard on the news that the HOT lanes were to be built on 495 between Springfield and the Dulles Toll Road and that it would expand 495 to 12 lanes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JiggaJynx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2003 at 10:07am
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that, given the ridiculously low toll prices proposed, people will just negotiate HOT tolls into their compensation packages at work or lobby to use Metrocheks to pay for them. Why bother with a stop at the commuter lot to pick up riders?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tlschau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2003 at 11:19am
JiggaJynx, I'm not sure about the compensation packages at some places, but I'm almost sure that the use of Metrochecks would not be approved for use to pay for HOT lanes. There are many things that Metrochecks cannot pay for now, like parking. But hopefully none of this will matter as long as our beloved HOV lanes are not affected by any HOT lanes plans.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote USA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2003 at 11:42am
quote:
Originally posted by tlschau
[br]JiggaJynx, I'm not sure about the compensation packages at some places, but I'm almost sure that the use of Metrochecks would not be approved for use to pay for HOT lanes. There are many things that Metrochecks cannot pay for now, like parking. But hopefully none of this will matter as long as our beloved HOV lanes are not affected by any HOT lanes plans.

You CAN use Metrocheks to pay for parking at Metrorail stations if you immediately put the Metrochek onto a SmarTrip card. Plus this lets you use the SmarTrip express lane--i.e., cash not accepted, much like the E-ZPass Only lanes at tollbooths.
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JiggaJynx View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JiggaJynx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2003 at 10:07am
The VDOT website (www.virginiadot.org) has a link to HOT information in the upper left corner of page. The link "Power Point presentation" includes a graphic of the proposed HOT lanes. They extend on I-495 from the Springfield interchange to at least the Dulles toll road. There is possibly extension to Rt. 193, with HOV lanes continuing to the Potomac. Also, there is a proposed optional extension from Springfield to the Wilson Bridge, but the I-95/395 corridor is not considered for HOT in the proposal. That doesn't mean it won't be in the future.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fogle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2003 at 3:17pm
I stumbled over this forum while searching for information on VA HOT Lanes. Let me acknowledge up front that I work in the transporation field and am very familiar with HOT Lanes and other forms of pricing. However, I do vanpool to work on a regular basis and have been a huge slug fan for many years.

I found many of your comments whether pro or con on HOT lanes to be quite informative. The purpose of this post is to let you know where you can obtain additional information about Value Pricing and specifically HOT Lanes. If you are going to form an opinion, you should at least have all the facts.

First things first...My personal opinion in regards to whether HOT Lanes would be good for the I-95/I-395 corridor are wishy-washy. As the facility currently operates, it already breaks down when you get close to DC. Therefore, it would seem that the application of HOT lanes would not be warranted because HOT Lanes are designed to help where HOV Lanes are not working well (does not carry more people than the parallel SOV lanes). You probably know of places where it does not work. A few years ago when I attended a Public meeting regarding HOT Lanes in the corridor, many users suggested that the occupancy be bumped back up to HOV-4. If the occupancy went to HOV-4, there might be extra room on the facility, maybe not. At this time, I think everybody should be raving about the success of HOV usage in the I-95/I-395 corridor and making sure that the money COG spends to evaluate the facility every year also includes a public relations piece that touts its success. The other missing element is improved enforcement...

If you have ever been to CA you know that first time violators receive a $270 fine for HOV violations and points on their license. At this time, in comparison you need to look at the VA HOV policy and ask yourself whether it is really effective. Enough said...

Go to www.valuepricing.org to obtain information regarding Pricing and HOT Lanes. There is plenty of data to confirm that HOT Lanes are effective in relieving congestion. In San Diego, people want the lanes extended. It is not all about the money either. The funds generated pay for express bus service on the fast lanes. You can also to the FHWA website and look under policy studies to find the value pricing website. Good Luck. I think you guys are awesome.
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dietzf View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dietzf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2004 at 4:44pm
quote:
Originally posted by Admin
[br]We (as slugs) must voice our concern with this HOT concept. If anyone has information on who to contact please post it on the web or email me directly!


Here is the article. You can find it at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14863-2003Jun4.html


Toll Lanes' Concept Catching On
Planners, Officials Discuss Prices at Regional Meeting

By Katherine Shaver
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 5, 2003; Page B01


Traffic planners and public officials said yesterday that they sense increasing political support for giving motorists the option of buying their way out of congestion by paying tolls to use free-flowing carpool lanes.

With money for new roads, buses and trains scarce and traffic growing steadily worse, the officials said, they have few other ways to raise money to ease the Washington region's legendary backups. The toll income could be used to fund new transit and road projects, while making more efficient use of existing road space, supporters said.

Yesterday, more than 200 state and local transportation planners, politicians, academics and engineers gathered for the region's first major conference to discuss ways of pricing lanes. Just a few years ago, organizers said, such a discussion would have drawn fewer than 10 people.

"I think people are recognizing that the [traffic] problem continues to get worse, and there's a willingness to try new things," said Ronald Kirby, transportation director for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, which co-sponsored the conference with the Federal Highway Administration. "People are becoming more and more aware that there's a serious revenue problem . . . We have no other solutions on the horizon."

Pierce Homer, Virginia's deputy secretary of transportation, called the palpable level of enthusiasm in the Grand Hyatt meeting room "very significant."

"This is a serious question being asked in a lot of regions around the country: Are there market-based solutions to congestion?" Homer said.

In high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, lone motorists may pay a toll to use the faster-moving carpool lanes. The tolls are deducted from prepaid accounts via electronic transponders on vehicles, similar to the "Smart Tag" transponders that allow motorists to breeze through toll booths.

Toll prices change throughout the day, with the highest prices during the morning and afternoon rush. The lanes remain free for carpoolers. The toll is always high enough to ensure that the lanes don't bog down. HOT lanes don't necessarily reduce traffic congestion, supporters say, but they help transportation departments manage it better by filling unused space in carpool lanes and giving motorists an incentive to drive outside the peak periods.

Before this year, the effort to create HOT lanes in the Washington region appeared to have stalled. The only local study came to an abrupt, controversial end in 2001 . Parris N. Glendening (D), who was then the governor of Maryland, canceled a HOT lane study for Route 50 through Prince George's County, saying such lanes would be unfair to lower-income drivers.

Maryland recently revived its study of HOT lanes, this time on Interstate 270 through Montgomery County. Virginia has asked for federal money to analyze HOT lanes on Northern Virginia highways.

A private company also has proposed using toll lanes to finance widening the Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia.

Adding to the momentum, supporters say, is the Bush administration's recent proposal to permit states to impose tolls on federal roads and interstate highways. The administration doesn't actively endorse the idea of HOT lanes but thinks they are "worth discussing" to better manage congestion and reduce air pollution, said Emil Frankel, assistant U.S. secretary for transportation policy.

"I think everyone acknowledges we have financial issues, and we need to think about all our options," Frankel said.

Many transportation planners have supported the idea of "value pricing" on highways for years, but hot lanes have been a tough political sell. Critics have dubbed them "Lexus Lanes," arguing that they favor the wealthy and are a double tax on roads that motorists already pay for through the gas tax.

Mid-Atlantic AAA spokesman Lon Anderson, the most vocal HOT lane critic, said he would support them only on new or wider highways and only if the toll revenue went primarily to expand road capacity.

"Shouldn't the goal be to move everyone at a more reasonable speed during rush hour than just those people who can pay?" Anderson said.

Conference organizers said they hoped the meeting would begin the public education that had helped overcome political opposition in some cities where HOT lanes now are in use.

Officials involved in HOT lane projects in Houston and in San Diego and Orange County in California told the conference that surveys showed similar income levels among drivers in the toll lanes and the regular lanes. Most drivers used them only when they were in a hurry, officials said.

Maryland Del. Carol S. Petzold (D-Montgomery) said HOT lanes could work on I-270 and on the intercounty connector proposed for Montgomery and Prince George's counties. The toll revenue could fund construction of the connector road, a transit link between Bethesda and New Carrollton and a rail line across the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

"The political reluctance is that you're charging money, which people think of as a tax," Petzold said.

"We need to change that attitude from HOT lanes being a tax increase to being a traffic management tool."



2003 The Washington Post Company


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dietzf View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dietzf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2004 at 4:51pm
As a slug myself, I definitely agree that we need to organize against HOT lanes. Right now, it seems they are considering them for the Beltway, but it's only a matter of time before they look toward the HOV lanes as possible HOT lanes, and that's what we have to stop.

I am a member of the Prince William County Transportation Advisory Board, as an appointed member from Occoquan District. We meet every month, and our May meeting is tonight. The HOT lane concept is on the agenda and I plan to speak to my fellow Board members about it.

My initial goal is to get the TAB to write a letter to the PW County Board of Supervisors, with a request that they issue a resolution to our state legislators, the Governor, and VDOT. We can't stop there, but at least that will get us on record. We will then have to enlist the help of Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties, which also would be adversely impacted by HOT lanes. Fairfax County is, of course, in favor of HOT lanes because they rarely use HOV, but are plenty wealthy enough to use HOT lanes.

We are going to have to band together, as users of HOV, on this and other issues, such as hybrids (that's a topic for another day).

I'll post back tomorrow (if I remember) and let you know what by fellow Board members think.

Francis
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JiggaJynx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2004 at 5:41am
dietzf,

Please do tell us the results of last night's meeting. How much sway does the TAB hold with state budget folks?
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