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Arlington Sues to Stop HOT Lanes

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Forum Name: HOT Lanes Discussion
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Topic: Arlington Sues to Stop HOT Lanes
Posted By: n/a
Subject: Arlington Sues to Stop HOT Lanes
Date Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 4:03pm
This article appears in today's Post:

"Arlington Sues to Stop HOT Lanes on I-395/95
Arlington County filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday asking for a more thorough environmental review of high-speed toll lanes intended to relieve traffic congestion in and out of Washington."

Interesting how thin is the Post's veil of neutrality, when they state in the byline "high-speed toll lanes intended to relieve traffic congestion." With pro-HOT adjectives like that in the heading, its a wonder anyone reading this article disputes this modern day highway robbery scheme. No, I'm not neutral on the subject, but then again I don't claim to be. The Post is supposed to present the story without bias, but their pro-HOT stance is obvious.

For those who choose to research this subject, and I hope all US citizens do, this will be the model used to steal your highway access rights ro years to come. Our parents paid for the Interstate Highway System, now local DOTs want to lease it away right out from under us. This is happening all across the country, but the I95/395 example is the most blatent attempt yet: take an existing public asset, repaint it, and sell it back to the public everyday for the next 80 years. This is public policy perversion! This is the definition of Highway Robbery! And the sad part of it all is they have the blessing of every revenue scraping politician in NOVA who can't balance their budget, save a few crusaders (Nichols, et al.).



Replies:
Posted By: pikomanu
Date Posted: 23 Apr 2010 at 9:45am
Arlington toll lanes lawsuit will go forward
April 22, 2010 - 12:01pm

By Justin Karp
Special to WTOP.com



ARLINGTON, Va. - A lawsuit which could delay the Virginia HOT lanes project will go forward, a U.S. District Court ruled Thursday.

The suit, filed by the Arlington County Board, says the high occupancy toll lanes planned for a stretch of Interstate 95/395 are intended to benefit mainly rich, white, suburban and rural residents of Stafford and Spotsylvania counties.

The new toll road is planned to run between Spotsylvania County and the D.C. line.

Arlington says the added traffic would come at the expense of the county's diverse urban population and constitute a violation of civil rights.

"We'll find out if we win the case in the long run, but the basis for this challenge is absolutely validated," Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fissette says.

The suit also says Virginia bypassed required environmental impact studies required by the Clean Air Act. The court removed individual office holders named in the lawsuit from any personal responsibility.

Arlington County came under pressure last November from neighboring Fairfax County to settle the lawsuit, which they claimed could possibly cause the entire program to be scrapped.

The state is hoping to secure a contract for a private company for the job by June 1.

WTOP's Hank Silverberg contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2010 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)

http://www.wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=1940399 - http://www.wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=1940399




Arlington wins first battle in HOT lanes legal war
By: Markham Heid
Examiner Staff Writer
April 23, 2010



A lawsuit aimed at slowing the HOT lanes project planned for Interstates 95 and 395 in Northern Virginia has received an early vote of confidence.

A U.S. District Court ruled that a suit filed by the Arlington County Board against the Virginia and U.S. departments of transportation, as well as the Federal Highway Administration, can move forward.

The ruling is an early win for Arlington County in its battle with state and federal authorities regarding planned high-occupancy toll lanes on I-95 and 395.

"Obviously this validates our suit," said County Board member Christopher Zimmerman. "This project was rushed into, and if it's not done right, it's going to be a problem for the whole region."

The lawsuit says VDOT and federal transportation agencies failed to perform necessary environmental and public health studies mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Air Act.

The Federal Highway Administration granted the HOT lanes project a "categorical exclusion," which allowed the project to move forward without performing the usual impact studies. But Arlington County's suit claimed the exclusion should not have been granted.

County officials also say the transportation agencies did not perform the proper traffic impact analyses.

"They didn't look at the impacts beyond the [HOT lane] road itself," said County Board Chairman Jay Fisette. "The road has onramps and offramps, and feeds into lots of neighborhood roads. What is the impact of that going to be on the whole area? We just don't know."

Arlington officials say they're not trying to kill the HOT lanes project, despite the lawsuit.

"Our county has never tried to block the project," Fisette said. "We've tried to get them to do what needs to be done so that it works."

"We're open to negotiate," Zimmerman said. "This lawsuit could go away tomorrow if they were willing to do what is responsible."

Ronaldo Nicholson, VDOT's regional director, declined to comment on the court ruling.

mheid@washingtonexaminer.com



http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Arlington-wins-first-battle-in-HOT-lanes-legal-war-91860449.html - http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Arlington-wins-first-battle-in-HOT-lanes-legal-war-91860449.html



Posted By: mdog
Date Posted: 23 Apr 2010 at 12:38pm
I have hard time comprehending this argument:

"...the added traffic would come at the expense of the county's diverse urban population and constitute a violation of civil rights"

Eh, what exactly do they mean?


Posted By: sluDgE
Date Posted: 23 Apr 2010 at 1:56pm
Probably refers to so-called "Lexus lanes" -- where some argue that only the rich can afford to pay the tolls.


Posted By: RetiredMarine
Date Posted: 23 Apr 2010 at 3:17pm
Personally, I do not agree with turning lanes that taxes payers paid for over to a company to make money on.

Just my two cents..


Posted By: LDOMAJ
Date Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 10:46am
Ditto... hope that these Hot/Lexus Lanes do not occur... SF
quote:
Originally posted by RetiredMarine

Personally, I do not agree with turning lanes that taxes payers paid for over to a company to make money on.

Just my two cents..



Posted By: Monermaje09
Date Posted: 22 Nov 2010 at 4:19am
This boggles the mind. On the one hand a "High Occupancy Vehicle Lane" looks like an excuse to collect tolls more than anything else. As a "discrimination" issue, the myth that all white people are wealthy and all minorities are poor is ridiculous.
So we have the Federal Highway Administration and the Virginia Department of Transportation looking for a way to get more money, and we have some lawyers looking for a way to get more money.



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