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Road Warrior View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Road Warrior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2005 at 12:49pm
quote:
Originally posted by eniiler
[br]Dick: I'm a reporter at National Public Radio and would like to talk to you about your hybrid, and your commute. Please call or email
Thanks,

Eric Niiler
eniiler@comcast.net
301-657-8842

quote:
Originally posted by Dick C
[br]I'm a hybrid owner who regularly uses 66 for my commute to the Pentagon. It has reduced my commute time by nearly half. I'm very upset by the proposals to stop the exemption allowing the use of HOV lanes by hybrid owners. What a lot of people do not understand about the hybrid vehicles is the Honda Insight, Civic Hybrid, and Toyota Prius all have an SULEV rating from the EPA. What is that? To qualify for the SULEV rating, a vehicle must produce less than 1/30th (a 97 percent reduction) the emissions of the current federal standard for some pollutants. So, in addition to averaging around 45 miles per gallon, I'm helping to get rid of greenhouse gasses -- the largest cause of global warming.

One auto testing organization found fewer pollutants in the exhaust of a hybrid than were in the ambient air! So, yes we get the privilege of using the HOV lane because we don't pollute in the same way the other cars do. People ought to be glad I bought a $23,000 Civic, but instead, most of them give me the finger when I ride in HOV.







If you are doing a story on LEVs, how about including a comparison of current emission levels from a hybrid traveling at 65 mph and the emission levels coming from a diesel powered car using B100 (100% biodiesel) traveling at 65 mph. Biodiesel is good for the environment, is a renewable resource and also reduces carbon dioxide emissions by more than 75% over dino diesel.

In 2006 when EPA mandated ultra-low sulfur diesel is predominent in the market, emissions from diesel engines will be near to what the current LEV standards are today.

To plagiarize someone else here...Not a sermon...just a suggestion.

John
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Dick C View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dick C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2005 at 2:59pm
I bought my hybrid before I began working somewhere that HOV would even facilitate my commute to work. (I bought my car 1/18/03.) Then I changed jobs in March of 2003 to someplace immediately adjacent to I-66 at exit 71 (Glebe Road). I used to have to drive through normal traffic from Burke, where I was living at the time, to 66, which often took 45 minutes! Then it would take another 20-25 minutes from I-66/495 to exit 71. In August of last year, I changed jobs again. This time, I am working in the Pentagon. I also moved in May of last year to Chantilly, just down the road from the Stringfellow Road HOV entrance/exit off 66. I bought my house specifically in that location because of its proximity to 66 so that I could make full use of HOV to go to work.

I've never seen any slug lines anywhere near there although I suspect there must be one nearby. As the time for the termination of HOV rights for hybrids draws near, I will either start a carpool and continue to drive each day (I have parking in the Pentagon City parking garage) or I'll pick up slugs; however, I WILL NOT give up my use of HOV! It is too critical to my lifestyle and keeping other commitments to family to get home as early as possible each day.

One thought that would cut down on the number of hybrids using HOV... I was NOT aware until I did some research in light of the proposals to do away with the hybrid exemption that Virginia mandates that hybrids using the HOV lanes MUST have CF plates. I did not get them for my car as I had personalized Vietnam Veteran plates. Now that I am aware that the CF plates are required to use HOV, I am giving up my current plates and getting the CF ones. I've noticed though that probably 4 of every 10 hybrids I see on 66 each morning DO NOT have CF plates. In fact, I was stopped once by a Fairfax County police officer when getting on 66 at Stringfellow because I was in the car alone and he couldn't tell it was a hybrid because I had no CF plates. I showed him the registration and told him about the hybrid trim placard on the rear and he let me go, but never informed me that the CF plates were legally required to permit me to ride HOV.

I'm getting over my initial anger at the proposal to stop my HOV privileges... I'll just do what everyone else has to do... get other riders.

Dick C
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shelbybrynn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shelbybrynn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2005 at 3:23pm
quote:
Originally posted by Dick C
[br]I'll just do what everyone else has to do... get other riders.

Dick C



That's exactly the point Dick, you should be picking up riders because it is HOV-3, not HOV-1. I think the hybrid cars are great but I don't think they meet the criteria for utilizing the HOV lanes. They may reduce a bit of the emissions, but they are not getting any more cars off the road. In fact, they are actually creating more emissions because there are more cars on the road now. Just pick up some slugs or become a slug and everyone will get where they need to go and we'll have less traffic!!
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Dick C View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dick C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2005 at 3:56pm
Shelby:

I don't think we would have the problem we do now if HOV use had not been offered to hybrid owners in this area. As others have probably said, the tax break for the purchase of a hybrid was "pocket change" in the overall scheme of things. It was the use of HOV that made these vehicles so popular initially and account for so many of them being on the roads. Now that fuel costs have risen, they have made hybrids even more appealing.

I did look for slugs somewhere around the entrance to 66 at Stringfellow road (only two block from my house), but haven't found any. It will be a major inconvenience to go hunting for them, and, unlike being able to pick them up on Guinea or Braddock roads when I commuted from Burke, there isn't any place I know of where I get on at 66 where I can find folks looking for rides. I'll probably end up advertising for riders at the Pentagon.

It's true that there are probably more cars on 66 each day because of the hybrid exemption, but, because of their extremely low emisions, I dare say that the pollution problem has probably not become worse as a result of more cars on the road. That's not to say that I haven't experienced some frustration on 66 myself, however. I get frustrated with people who plunk a kid in the baby seat as their other occupant so they can qualify for HOV-2. I guess that's legal. But I see at least 10 of these every day. I also get tired of commercial trucks in the HOV lane, but, they too are legal, I guess, if they have at least two people on board. It just seems sometimes that there are as many of them as there are cars in the HOV lanes.

I thought about taking Metro to work (I am handicapped and not driving would actually be nice), but I have to go to doctor's appointments so often and can't find parking many times at the orange line metro stations that, with my hybrid car, it has become much more convenient to drive. Now, to make matters worse, Metro is planning for fewer seats on cars in the future so that more people can be accomodated -- most of them standing. I can't stay on my feet that long without severe pain, but my handicap is not severe enough to get a handicap pass that guarantees me a seat on metro although it does get me a placard for handicapped parking. Even if I did take Metro, by the time I drive to the Metro station from Chantilly, pay for parking, and pay for roundtrip fare, it is actually cheaper for me to drive my hybrid car every day! (Especially since I am averaging 43 mpg combined city/highway.)

I guess we could end up doing what California did and go to a lottery system for HOV passes for the HOV vehicles. Or do the car/van pool/sluggers want hybrids out of the HOV system en masse?

Dick
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USA View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote USA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2005 at 5:55pm
quote:
That's exactly the point Dick, you should be picking up riders because it is HOV-3, not HOV-1. I think the hybrid cars are great but I don't think they meet the criteria for utilizing the HOV lanes. They may reduce a bit of the emissions, but they are not getting any more cars off the road. In fact, they are actually creating more emissions because there are more cars on the road now. Just pick up some slugs or become a slug and everyone will get where they need to go and we'll have less traffic!!


He lives off I-66, which is HOV-2, not HOV-3.
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NviroNnginear View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NviroNnginear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2005 at 9:20pm
Two quickies...

1) let's not get carried away with "hybrid" envy. The real issues with congestion are 1) increasing population, 2) Metro DC becoming more than just a "government" workplace, and 3) insufficient investments in transportation alternatives (see NYC, for example).

2) Under the past few energy bills, there is a provision for generating tax incentives for biodiesel manufacturing. The net effect is that there will be a glut of glycerine produced and a limited amount of end products it can go into, resulting in a collapse of prices associated with several major consumer product categories. net result, a significant loss of American jobs.

Weight the information as you wish.

PS As a HOV1er on Dulles Toll Road and Rt66, I see more single passenger violators (far outnumbering the significant enforcement efforts) than hybrids. But thats "virtual data", kinda like some of the data used in the Washington Post piece about "hybrid-rage".

Peace out!
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Road Warrior View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Road Warrior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2005 at 7:26am
quote:
Originally posted by Dick C
[br]Snip

Or do the car/van pool/sluggers want hybrids out of the HOV system en masse?

Dick



I am not opposed to hybrids. However, it would make it better for all if hybrid drivers picked up slugs like the rest of us have to do. If the rules were to be changed, hybrids would only require two people to qualify and that would make an improvement in the current situation. This is scenario is easier for the hybrid owners on the 95 corridor to do than it is for the 66 hybrid owners.

Case in point. While sitting in the normal morning backup getting past the Rt123 entrance ramp on the Purple Heart Bridge this morning, I counted 25 cars either getting into the HOV or sitting in the back up. Of the 25 cars, there were 13 hybrids, of which only one had two people in it (probably a husband and wife). That means there were six additional cars that could have been sitting at the commuter lot.

I also think that a change in the hours of HOV restrictions (beginning at 5:30am versus 6:00am) is in order, but that is for another discussion.


John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ScarletLSG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2005 at 8:10pm
And tonight around 5:00 p.m. I counted a total of 6 hybrids in the 95 South HOV lanes between Springfield and Dumfries. On the other hand, I counted 22 violators. 8 were driving SUVs, 10 were driving 4 door commuter type cars, 2 were driving 4 door luxury cars, 1 was driving a truck and FINALLY, 1 was driving an Audi TT ... TWO SEATER. None were pulled over. All gambled and won. Not tough to do when enforcement is as minimal as it is.

ScarletLSG

>>John wrote: ... ... on the Purple Heart Bridge this morning, I counted 25 cars either getting into the HOV or sitting in the back up. Of the 25 cars, there were 13 hybrids ... ...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MDC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2005 at 8:36pm
quote:
Originally posted by ScarletLSG
And tonight around 5:00 p.m. I counted a total of 6 hybrids in the 95 South HOV lanes between Springfield and Dumfries. On the other hand, I counted 22 violators. 8 were driving SUVs, 10 were driving 4 door commuter type cars, 2 were driving 4 door luxury cars, 1 was driving a truck and FINALLY, 1 was driving an Audi TT ... TWO SEATER. None were pulled over. All gambled and won. Not tough to do when enforcement is as minimal as it is.

ScarletLSG



This is B.S. There's little chance you passed/were passed by that number of HOV legal cars between Springfield and Dumfries. Every 4th car is a hybrid at 5PM, and maybe 1 in 10-15 are violators.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wagonman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2005 at 10:53pm
quote:
Originally posted by NviroNnginear

2) Under the past few energy bills, there is a provision for generating tax incentives for biodiesel manufacturing. The net effect is that there will be a glut of glycerine produced and a limited amount of end products it can go into, resulting in a collapse of prices associated with several major consumer product categories. net result, a significant loss of American jobs.


Explain to me the how the loss of American jobs will result from a lower commodity price on glycerine? Its like saying steel will be cheaper to make, so car manufacturers will lose jobs. It usually works the other way around, cheaper steel more profit for the car makers(or lower car prices and higher sales). Whoever makes the commodity usually gets hurt by a price collapse not the end user, but with biodiesel production the farmers(the producers) will make money on the part that goes into biodiesel and the animal feed. Anyway, whatever is spent on biodiesel means less spent on foreign oil. It is better to keep the money here than sending it out of the country.
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