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Wagonman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wagonman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2005 at 6:07pm
quote:
Originally posted by Dick C

By the way, it is NOT against Federal law for hybrids to use HOV... Virginia was given a special exemption by the Congress as part of a highway bill to permit HOV use by hybrids and that exemption ends in July 06.

Another way that Virginia could cut down on the number of hybrids using HOV is to make them live by the letter of the law... in order to be eligible to use HOV in a hybrid vehicle, the car MUST have Clean Special Fuel plates -- something the dealer never told me when I bought my car in January 2003.

One other way that Virginia could solve the problem would be to make certain HOV lanes hybrid-only, and others carpool/vanpool only. For example, why not make I-66 hybrid only and make I-395/95 carpool/vanpool only? Granted that would make me happy while pissing off a lot of folks who have hybrids and commute from Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Fredricsburg, Quantico, Triangle, etc., but, it would provide a distinct route into the district for hybrid owners and there are ways to connect to 66 from 95 via the Prince William and Fairfax Parkways.

I gave up a luxury SUV for my Civic to be able to use HOV, to be more fuel efficient, and more environmentally friendly. There are still a lot of SUVs on the road and nobody seems to be subjecting their drivers to a lot of abuse, even if they don't pick up slugs.


What highway bill was it that they put an exemption in? I'd be interested in seeing it if it exists. I don't believe the Federal government ever sanctioned hybrids in HOV. They just haven't enforced the law...yet.

VA does enforce needing clean fuel plates. Just not that well(about as well as catching other HOV cheaters). I don't think the dealer failing to inform you of the need for clean fuel plates is their fault. It would be nice if they did, but the buck stops with the driver.

Hybrid only HOV lanes? Keep dreaming. Hybrids aren't clean enough to deserve it and it would cause more environmental problems and congestion. Explain the benfits of such a proposal and how does it solve any problem? Instead of clogged HOV lanes you have no HOV lanes?

If you read some of the other topics here you will find that some SUVs are CLEANER than your HYBRID Civic. Maybe you should be a little more careful before you point a finger at someone else.
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Wagonman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wagonman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2005 at 6:38pm
Here's a follow up about Federal law:
http://www.virginiadot.org/infoservice/resources/HOV%20Task%20Force%20Report%201-4-05.pdf

This is the report about Virginia HOV congestion. Appendix G has a letter from the Federal goverment to the state telling them they are violating Federal law. So it seems that there wasn't an exemption in a highway bill.

The whole report is interesting. One item of note is that back in 2000 the original opinion of DEQ and DMV was that hybrids shouldn't get the exemption. Then someone called their rep and it became a political decision to allow them the exemption. Not an emissions decision. Fast forward to the mess of today.

Also, even if the Federal goverment passes a law saying hybrids can use HOVs as SOVs it still shouldn't be enough to keep them in the lanes here. The reason being that the law would only let them in HOVs if HOV performance isn't degraded, but there is already a study for the 95/395 corridor that performance has been degraded by allowing hybrids as SOVs. This study should prevent hybrids from qualifying for any newly passed Federal exemption.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jojobean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2005 at 8:42am
I for one am in favor of a simple rule/law. If you want on the HOV, you have to have 3 people in the car, regardless of what type it is or who you work for, period.
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610toCrystalCity View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 610toCrystalCity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2005 at 9:04am
I agree, you should have 3 people no matter what, including police officers unless they are on their way to an emergency and have thier lights on. And stop allowing single drivers on the HOV at I think its the Duke street entrance, because they STAY on!!!!
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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: 19 Jan 2005 at 9:48am
quote:
Originally posted by 610toCrystalCity
[br]I agree, you should have 3 people no matter what, including police officers unless they are on their way to an emergency and have thier lights on. And stop allowing single drivers on the HOV at I think its the Duke street entrance, because they STAY on!!!!



I agree that you should have three people per car except that law enforcement officers driving their own cars should be exempted because they are subject to responding to an emergency at any time regardless of whether or not they are on or off duty. I would not want to have to "go for the ride" or be put out on the shoulder if they have to respond to an emergency.

John
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shirons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shirons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2005 at 11:21am
Rep. JoAnn Davis weighs in on Hybrids:

Article from Jan.19 Free Lance Star

Davis defends I-95 hybrids
January 19, 2005 1:09 am
By EDIE GROSS

Rep. Jo Ann Davis is once again asking federal transportation officials to let Virginia be when it comes to allowing hybrid cars in the state's HOV lanes.

The Federal Highway Administration sent the state a letter last month, urging Virginia to reconsider the privileges extended to hybrid-car owners.

The agency had sent a similar letter in April 2003, warning Virginia that it might be violating federal law by allowing hybrid cars special access to HOV lanes.

At the time, Davis, R-Gloucester, persuaded federal officials to let Congress address the issue, which affects more than 5,600 hybrid owners in Virginia, most of them in Fredericksburg and communities north of here.

She reiterated that request yesterday in a letter to Mary Peters, the head of the Federal Highway Administration.

"I am once again writing to you regarding any concerns that the Federal Highway Administration may have over the Commonwealth of Virginia's current law exempting hybrid vehicles from High Occupancy Vehicle lanes," she wrote. "Although I have received assurances from your office that the federal government is content on waiting for Congress to address this matter, there appears to be some confusion about this issue at the state level."

State law allows drivers of the so-called "clean special fuel" cars to use the interstates' High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, or HOV lanes, without carrying the three people required of other vehicles. That law expires July 1, 2006.

But the Dec. 8 letter from the Federal Highway Administration indicated that Virginia's HOV lanes might be too congested to continue allowing that.

The letter was included in a report from a state task force that also recommended removing that exemption for hybrid owners.

It appears the federal agency sent the letter after members of the task force asked U.S. officials to clarify their feelings about hybrid cars in the state's HOV lanes.

As overseer of the country's interstates, the Federal Highway Administration has some jurisdiction over this matter. U.S. law gives cars that don't use gasoline special access to HOV lanes.

But hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, use a combination of gas and electricity, so they don't entirely qualify for special privileges under federal rules.

The federal agency could ban hybrids from HOV lanes altogether, but, in the past, it has agreed to let Congress handle the issue.

In 2003, Congress was considering legislation that would allow states to grant HOV access to hybrids. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two measures giving states more power over that sort of thing, but the Senate still has not, said Chris Connelly, chief of staff for Davis.

The Federal Highway Administration released a statement yesterday indicating that it is still willing to wait for a decision from lawmakers, provided the state's HOV lanes don't get too crowded.

"For states that choose HOV lanes as part of the solution to congestion problems, we encourage states to operate those lanes efficiently so that they remain an attractive alternative to regular, non-HOV lanes," the statement read.

"We also recognize the environmental and energy benefits of cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles such as gas-electric hybrids. Congress and the Administration will have the opportunity to clarify the use of these vehicles on HOV lanes during upcoming consideration of surface transportation legislation."

The Virginia Department of Transportation is still scheduled to send a report to the U.S. agency by Feb. 28 detailing the impact hybrids are having on HOV congestion.

To reach EDIE GROSS: 540/374-5428 egross@freelancestar.com

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shirons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2005 at 9:10am
I thought this was a pretty funny quote from a Hybrider regarding use of HOV lanes in today's Potomac News, Lane Ranger section:

"I had to pay $5,000 extra for a Hybrid Civic in order to ride in those lanes . . ."

Just think how much EXTRA this person and thousands of other SOVs will be willing to pay to use "those" lanes if they become HOT lanes.


http://www.potomacnews.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=Common%2FMGArticle%2FPrintVersion&c=MGArticle&cid=1031780415424&image=wpn80x60.gif&oasDN=potomacnews.com&oasPN=%21news
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ronsray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2005 at 4:13pm
All,

I received a call from a few folks in Richmond today. The individual bills that affect the Hybrid issues will be presented & heard by the committee on Tuesday Morning.

In our discussion, we talked about the best way to influence legislation. The following suggestions were made concerning this.

1. Write SHORT personalized emails to members of the transportation sub-committee. (1 or 2 paragraphs)
2. Put a personal face on it. (Examples how this affects you!)Remember that many of the delegates live in towns that don't even have a stop sign.
3. Don't be nasty. ASK for their help.

Remember, they meet on Tuesday, which means that any emails sent need to go out real soon.

Thanks to all for your help !
---------------
Email addresses for Transportation Sub-Committee Members
del_Wardrup@house.state.va.us
del_May@house.state.va.us
del_Wardrup@house.state.va.us
del_Black@house.state.va.us
del_Welch@house.state.va.us
del_Saxman@house.state.va.us
del_Carrico@house.state.va.us
del_Cosgrove@house.state.va.us
del_Gear@house.state.va.us
del_Oder@house.state.va.us
del_Rust@house.state.va.us
del_McDougle@house.state.va.us
del_Hugo@house.state.va.us
del_Scott@house.state.va.us
del_Fralin@house.state.va.us
del_Stump@house.state.va.us
del_Jones@house.state.va.us
del_Moran@house.state.va.us
del_Pollard@house.state.va.us
del_Ward@house.state.va.us
del_Ebbin@house.state.va.us
del_BaCote@house.state.va.us
del_williams@house.stste.va.us
district17@sov.state.va.us
district05@sov.state.va.us
district16@sov.state.va.us
district23@sov.state.va.us
district10@sov.state.va.us
district38@sov.state.va.us
district33@sov.state.va.us
district06@sov.state.va.us
district07@sov.state.va.us
district14@sov.state.va.us
district25@sov.state.va.us
district39@sov.state.va.us
district22@sov.state.va.us
district34@sov.state.va.us


Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote defender Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2005 at 10:18pm
Thanks to various writers, there have been several articles on the breakdown of the HOV lanes in Northern Virginia. Most noted what thousands of car-pooling Northern Virginia commuters already know; if you want to legally cheat HOV-3, buy a so-called hybrid. If you want to defeat HOV, you may also buy a hybrid.

The legislators may have intended well by allowing hundreds small, “clean fuel” cars onto the HOV-3. However, the hundreds have multiplied to be thousands and now include full-sized LPG fueled trucks, CNG fueled Crown Victorias, and conventionally fueled, Ford Excape SUVs. Almost to a vehicle, these run through a legal loophole and onto the HOV-3 with “room for five, while ridden by one.”

This week, we are at a critical point. Our Legislators, particularly those who chair or sit on transportation sub-committees, need to understand how bad the daily commute has become, and why HOV is critically ill. The sickness is rooted in one cause. However, we have a simple and effective cure.

The Virginia Legislators needs to excise the cancer from the HOV. They need to END ALL EXCEPTIONS THAT ALLOW SOLO DRIVERS IN THESE LANES. Overnight, we will gain a potential to move 4,000 additional commuters without putting another car on the road. Ending the exceptions will decrease overall pollution by putting multiple commuters in the existing clean fuel vehicles. It will relieve HOV congestion. Best yet, it will do this at no additional cost to the taxpayer.
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