Slug-Lines.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Archived Slugging Topics > HOT Lanes Discussion
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - New HOT lane details
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Forum LockedNew HOT lane details

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Message
EricWeissWashPost View Drop Down
New Slug
New Slug


Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Location: DC
Status: Offline
Points: 0
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EricWeissWashPost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: New HOT lane details
    Posted: 17 Apr 2007 at 3:09pm
VDOT and Fluor Transurban released new HOT lane details today that promise minimum speeds of 55 mph inside the Beltway.

I'm looking for a slugger/driver who wants to be interviewed about the HOT lanes for an article I'm writing tomorrow for The Washington Post.

202/334-4521 Lines are open.
Back to Top
MDC View Drop Down
New Slug
New Slug


Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Status: Offline
Points: 0
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MDC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2007 at 10:41pm
How can that be possible with substandard lane widths? The maximum speed allowed by law probably won't be over 55MPH.

You say there are new details, but provide no info. Why is that?
Back to Top
Bob View Drop Down
New Slug
New Slug


Joined: 14 Dec 2001
Status: Offline
Points: 0
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Apr 2007 at 9:43am
New details: projected revenues much higher than previously estimated. Hundreds of millions of dollars now projected to flow out of United States!
Back to Top
CallmeMrSlug View Drop Down
New Slug
New Slug


Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Location: Virginia
Status: Offline
Points: 0
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CallmeMrSlug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Apr 2007 at 10:37am
In these new details, did they tell us how they will count the number of people in cars to ensure that carpools and sluggers continue to ride for free? Or do we continue to just take them for their word on that? Also, if the average speed dips below 55 mph, have you asked whether carpools and slugs will be asked to remove themselves from the lanes to ensure the paying customers stay at 55 mph? It seems these are reasonable questions for a reporter to ask. I also note that you posted an article in the paper saying that Arlington and Fairfax oppose HOT even though it would benefit them the most. That hardly seems objective, as if you have already made up your mind that HOT is a good thing, and to this day, you have not even asked them to answer the above questions...
Back to Top
LDOMAJ View Drop Down
New Slug
New Slug


Joined: 17 May 2004
Status: Offline
Points: 0
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LDOMAJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Apr 2007 at 2:00pm
Let's call them what they are, Lexus lanes. How are they going to control the speeds? By using dynamic pricing? If that is the case only the wealthy will be able to use the lanes after they kick all the carpools/slugs off after they tell the state they are losing money.
Back to Top
MDC View Drop Down
New Slug
New Slug


Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Status: Offline
Points: 0
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MDC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Apr 2007 at 4:03pm
We already know how they will keep speeds up. It's by preventing additional cars from entering the lanes once the set "capacity" is reached. Your carpool will ride in the regular lanes if the "HOV" lanes slow down too much.
Back to Top
n/a View Drop Down
New Slug
New Slug


Joined: 17 Dec 2001
Location: VA
Status: Offline
Points: 0
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n/a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2007 at 1:49pm
The following is a summary of several posts that I have made in recent months in opposition to HOT lanes. I have forwarded this to Eric in hopes that is will offer the perspective of a NOVA commuter for any articles that he may write on this subject...

HOT lanes are advertised as a “new choice” in commuting for Northern Virginia. HOT advocates tout the new toll lanes as a source of revenue for needed highway maintenance and construction projects. However, many NOVA commuters think HOT lanes are bad for Virginia commuters, bad for the District of Columbia, and bad for our environment.

First, the problem: Has anyone looked at the HOV lanes lately? They're a mess! Years of neglect have left potholes and cracks everywhere. VDOT is facing steep HOV lane maintenance costs, and has not allocated a budget to complete the promised HOV lane build out further south. VDOT is facing a financial crisis and they are on the hook to fund these programs. However, VA homeowners and taxpayers have been paying for road construction and maintenance that included these promised VDOT services.

Along comes a "solution"; hire a private firm to maintain and build out the remaining stretch of I95/395 in exchange for a lease on the rights to charge tolls on the highway. VDOT gets to save face and the roads get fixed, the private firm (Flour/Transurban) is on the hook for the work, and it all is paid for by the users. Sounds like a good solution until you look behind the curtain and find that the additional cost burden has been dumped on the backs of NOVA commuters who have already paid for these services.

VA taxpayers need to follow the tax dollars allocated for transportation. Where is the accountability for our previous tax payments that were supposed to go toward roads? Now VDOT is going back to the well, NOVA taxpayer/commuter's pockets, with a fee for road construction and maintenance in the disguise of a toll (with a tidy profit skimmed off the top by Flour) and calling it a "user fee." It all sounds reasonable until you realize that NOVA taxpayers have already paid for this!

And the HOT scenario gets worse when you realize the negative effects tolls will have. HOT lanes will:

-Encourage single, affluent passenger commuting (as those who can afford the tolls have no incentive to carpool),
-Encourage affluent urban flight as those from the close-in DC metro area who can afford the commute, will move further out the exurbs,
-Discourage mass transit metro/busses use as mass transit riders choose to pay a toll to drive SOV instead of paying a bus/metro fare,
-Discourage carpooling, as former carpoolers choose to pay the toll instead of carpooling,
-Discourage informal carpooling as “Slugs” and other ridesharing such as vanpools as they are targeted by Flour as lost revenue and risk eventually loosing their HOV toll exemption,
-Push the middle class, suburban commuters onto an already crowded and expensive mass transit system, and,
- As many of the METRO riders receive subsidies from govn’t. agencies for taking mass transit, tolls funnel costs for this whole fiasco right back to the taxpayer: follow the money here; if high tolls push commuters onto METRO> govn't. pays mass transit allowances> taxpayers fund govn't. services> mass transit allowance costs increase> taxpayers must pay more in taxes for govn't. services.

Now let’s remember that, even though the proposal says van/carpools and HOVs will be exempt from paying tolls, there is no mechanism for counting passengers in each car to determine who is exempt. And, as traffic volume and tolls increase during peak “rush-hour” periods, HOVs will be the first likely targets for ejection from the lanes. Also, if you take a look into the future a few months or years ahead, when Flour realizes that each HOV is a lost source of revenue, its easy to predict that they will lobby for changes in the HOV exemption laws, and will charge a toll for HOVs.

HOT lanes contradict many of the things that our society has learned in the past generation about urban planning, traffic management, and ecological impacts of commuting traffic. HOT lanes ignore the simple, common sense, and cost saving car-pooling/ride-sharing approaches that we currently use with HOV lanes. HOT advocates promote commuting choices offered as a good thing, instead of the reality that the choices are between bad options (in this case, high tolls vs. traffic-congested lanes). HOT advocates ignore the negative impact on overall traffic volume (more SOVs = increased net traffic), negative impact on our environment (more traffic = more pollution), and the negative impact on our pocketbooks (tolls and longer commutes both cost more than today’s HOV lanes).

The advocates of HOT lanes have a tunnel vision view and see only a source of highway project funding. What VA taxpayers and voters should be watching is the negative effects on our communities, our commutes, our environment and our pocketbooks.
Back to Top
n/a View Drop Down
New Slug
New Slug


Joined: 17 Dec 2001
Location: VA
Status: Offline
Points: 0
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n/a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2007 at 12:11pm
Eric, where are you? Have you read this forum lately? There have been many good discussions on this subject; are you still researching this topic? It ties in directly with what is happening along the I35 corridor; are you up on this political shell game, financial fiacso and the resulting injustices facing the American people?
Back to Top
sluDgE View Drop Down
Master Slug
Master Slug


Joined: 27 Oct 2003
Status: Offline
Points: 501
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sluDgE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2007 at 12:52pm
There was a news report on TV this morning that said a local commission approved or endorsed some action that clears the next hurdle for HOT lanes. (If anyone has more detailed info on which commission and what the action was, please post. I was on the phone when the report was on and didn't hear the details.)

AND ONCE AGAIN ...the reporter indicated that SOV HOT users will pay a variable fee, while HOV3+ will use them for FREE! (I'd love to see that happen, but remain skeptical.)
Back to Top
3-For-HOV View Drop Down
New Slug
New Slug


Joined: 03 Dec 2004
Status: Offline
Points: 0
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3-For-HOV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2007 at 1:03pm
I-95/395 Toll Lanes, Wider I-66 Approved
Va. Projects Aim To Ease Commute

By Eric M. Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 17, 2007; B01


Regional transportation officials approved plans yesterday to build express toll lanes on interstates 95 and 395 and to widen parts of westbound Interstate 66 in Arlington, clearing a hurdle for the expansion of two primary commuter routes.

The votes were delayed by a month after the Transportation Planning Board raised safety issues about the projects, which faced opposition from some members and the public.

Both projects passed 23 to 4, with one abstention. Members from Prince William and Prince George's counties and the District voted against them; others said the projects would add needed capacity and increase bus service.

The next step for the I-95/395 project is for Virginia officials to negotiate an agreement with the private companies proposing them. The I-66 project must be added to the state's six-year plan before it can proceed.

The I-95/395 project would convert two carpool lanes into three high-occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes from south of the 14th Street Bridge to Stafford County. Tolls would fluctuate, based on the amount of traffic, to ensure that the lanes remain free-flowing. Carpools of three or more and buses could use the lanes free. Others could do so by paying tolls, which could reach more than $1 per mile.

Project officials said tolls will be managed so highway speeds average 65 mph outside the Capital Beltway and 55 mph inside it. Construction could begin next year, and the lanes could open by 2010, project officials said.

The project is a partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and two private companies, Fluor Virginia of Arlington and Transurban of Australia.

In exchange for permission to build the road and keep toll revenue, the companies have also promised to pay for $390 million in new bus service, six park-and-ride lots with 3,000 spaces, interchanges and an extension of the roadway to eliminate a daily bottleneck in Dumfries.

The transportation board previously approved a plan by Fluor and Transurban to build HOT lanes on the Capital Beltway in Virginia from Springfield to north of the Dulles Toll Road. Construction on the project is scheduled to begin next year.

The I-66 project would connect a series of acceleration and deceleration lanes, widening the westbound roadway from two to three lanes between Fairfax Drive and Sycamore Street and expanding it between Washington Boulevard and the Dulles Airport Access Road from three lanes to four. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2010.

Expanding I-66 has long been opposed by Arlington leaders, who say a wider road would bring more traffic and pollution to their community. The idea of widening I-66 inside the Beltway has been discussed since the 10-mile stretch of the interstate opened in 1982. At the time, Arlington officials agreed to its construction in exchange for certain promises, including a four-lane limit.

At yesterday's meeting, Arlington residents said the additional lane will bring more traffic and pollution.

Holding up a yellow banner that said "Wiser Not Wider," Peter Harnik of Arlington said officials are widening the highway without exploring other options, such as increasing transit alternatives or raising carpool requirements.

"This is a simplistic solution that is basically, ready, fire, aim," he said.

Virginia officials yesterday pledged to do an intensive study on transportation alternatives along the I-66 corridor.

Project supporters say I-66 has become a regional chokepoint. Widening it would improve traffic for commuters heading west in the evening, as well as for drivers heading to the Dulles corridor in the morning. They said the additional lane would provide a better evacuation route during an emergency.

"The 'I' in I-66 does not stand for 'inter-neighborhood,' " said Bob Chase, spokesman for the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, a pro-highway group.

Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.059 seconds.