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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 Topic: Houston Chronicle Article on Hybrids
    Posted: 22 Aug 2005 at 1:35pm
Below is an interesting article that even mentions the hybrid problems we are having in VA.

The article states that the energy bill that was just passed includes up to a $3400 tax credit (not deduction) starting next year.

My feeling is that the current tax deduction and future federal tax credit is now a gigantic waste of money given gas prices.

So -- I say end the HOV exemption AND the tax benefits.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/energy/3319596
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NoSUV View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoSUV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2005 at 7:43am
Bob - ending the HOV exemption only increases the problems in the regular lanes. Even with the light August traffic, HOV lanes travel faster than the regular lanes - just look to your right! With the cooler weather and the return to gridlock, the difference in flow between the "Express" (HOV) lanes and regular lanes only increases, and that's WITH the exemption in place.

Without the exemption, the OVERALL problem worsens. Solution? TOLLS!

Perhaps a better way to solve the congestion problem is to only allow busses and hybrids in the "Express" Lanes - then we will have a better "demand driven" energy solution as well as provide the ultimate in carpooling with HOV-40.
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MDC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MDC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2005 at 8:31am
NoSUV,
You know there's not enough parking to support that. The best solution is to get SOV hybrids out of HOV and for more people to carpool. That way you reduce congestion in the HOV and main lanes.
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Max_28756 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Max_28756 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2005 at 8:54am
Why is it that hybrid drivers always try to push the conversation towards the energy thing instead of the one and only problem of congestion? The solution is NO SOV's! Enforcement would be easier, since the police wouldn't have to weed out SOV hybrids first. Those out of state drivers on Friday wouldn't be confused by seeing SOV hybrids and thinking SOV for everyone. Why is there such an opposition to picking up slugs or organizing a carpool and being HOV compliant?
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NoSUV View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoSUV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2005 at 12:06pm
Just swing the pendulum a bit further. The REAL solution is not "no SOV's" but NO CARS! As pointed out by Max, enforcement is easier. Methinks too many want good deals for themselves, not not for others. Best way to solve this mess is to go back to pre-1974 and allow busses only. By extention, the arguement frequently made that the regular lanes become even more overcrowded has the same answer - get on the bus!
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MDC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MDC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2005 at 6:33pm
NoSUV,
You're getting ridiculous again.
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CallmeMrSlug View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CallmeMrSlug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2005 at 12:37am
I am not so quick to dispatch NoSUV's argument. Imagine that everyone gives up their car, and there is bus service every fifteen minutes to every park and ride. Oh heck, lets say every ten. If there's no cars on the HOV, they could do that. Lets say a bus from Stafford can drop you off into DC where you work within an hour. I currently commute over an hour and fifteen minutes in the HOV lanes. But what if it was all buses only, and they didn't have to worry about an accident on the HOV or traffic slowing them down? I suggest to you that this alternative will be FAR better than what HOT will bring us.

In 1974 or whatever it was when the HOV's opened, it made sense to allow HOV3. But we beyond congestion folks. I wasn't here but you all voted for thirty years for politicians that did not deliver your transportation needs. You got this mess. Despite the reprieve of the past 2 weeks, its getting worse, not better on the HOV. If everyone rode the bus, and did not drive, bus service would be available during most of the business day, because these bus companies could make a killing on the commuter travel. Now I know we love our cars, and hate to think of ANY alterntive that does not include us driving, but are we willing to pay for HOT knowing it will only lead to more congestion?

Here's a stat for you. 83% of VRE riders from Fredericksburg have family incomes greater than 100,000. While thats great for them, do you not think those folks can't afford HOT? Sure they can, and they will drive in cars with only one passenger for the advantage of driving over two hour delays on VRE. Then what happens to your commute from Springfield or points closer when both the main lines and HOV/HOT lanes bog down? You'll still get to work quicker on the HOT lanes, maybe by 15 minutes from Stafford, slower for those used to getting there in less than 20 on HOV, and you will wonder what happened to the good old HOV system. Well, this is all of our future unless we explore alternatives like NoSUV suggests. If his idea stinks, then tell me another one pullease, because am considering moving to Maryland ... and God knows no Virginian wants to do that, lol.

Now that being said, I think NoSUV has said ALOT of things that were just selfish, self centered, and really unfair to this community. Being a devil's advocate does not entitle one to being a jerk sometimes...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 122582 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2005 at 8:03am
MrSlug,
My near 100k income supports 5 people and a wife going to college. No way I could afford a toll everyday on top of gas, I can barely afford to haul slugs for free anymore.
I'd have to carpool with paying passengers, or take the bus, vanpool, or VRE.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SpongeBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2005 at 12:08pm
NoSUV's suggestion is that we make it an All-Bus HOV, huh? OK, think about it... All-Bus... All the time? 24/7? Hmm. Does that make sense? No? So you have to let autos in the lanes in non-rush hours... right? So everyone will just wait alone in their cars until that magic moment when they can get on the lanes.

And in case CallMeMr. hasn't noticed, the Dale City bus to Horner ALREADY runs every tens minutes, and has a pretty darn good track record for being on time, at least in the 4 years I've been riding it. The problem with the bus is that it has to go through the city: I work near the State Department and more than half of my evening bus trip involves going North and East to 14th and then all the way down to the River. In the same amount of time, my carpool usually makes it all the way to Horner.

The congestion problem isn't the pipe (I95/395, in other words,) it is the spigots at either end: 14th St., the Pentagon parking lot, Memorial Bridge. Going to HOT will encourage more vehicles to use the pipe because it presents "options", as Fluor and Clark happily claim. So you make the pipe one lane wider and do nothing about the spigots and you have a clogged pipe. No greater volume will flow through than the narrowest bottleneck will allow.

And the problem won't be for the Springfield drivers crowded out by Fredericksburg drivers. It will be the Fredericksburg carpoolers and vanpoolers and slugs who will get to Springfield and find that ALL the solo drivers in Alexandria are happy to pay $.50/mile to use the HOT since it is only 4-5 miles for them. But they will totally clog the system. Think about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CallmeMrSlug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2005 at 2:35pm
Sponge

You make some good points. It can't be a 24-7 restriction, obviously, and the point about those not having a long drive in clogging up the HOV by paying a small amount to save 15-20 minutes each way of their commute is certainly an excellent point. But I do think you have to add the extra Stafford/Fredericksburg folks who will gladly pay the toll and ride alone as to why HOT will be a slower commute for all, with less cash in our pockets.

I agree that, like any bus, or the metro for that matter, the slowness of the ride is attributable to the time it takes to drop off passengers at multiple stops along the way. I think this is definitely a problem but if everyone was taking the bus, perhaps the transportation companies could offer express bus service with stops to only 3 or 4 centralized locations in the city in addition to the usual bus service to locations not well served by the metro. I think these problems could be ironed out.

Its so easy to shoot down ideas, but really hard to come up with alternatives. HOV4 sounds good, until a VW shows up for example, but in an SUV its fine lol. How many forms of transportation are there? Planes, trains, motorcycles, automobiles, metro-rail, motorcycles, bicycles and buses. I don't think our answer lies in the first seven forms. I am not sure it is in the bus either, but I am not so willing to automatically dismiss the concept.

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