Skip to comments.Putting a Price on D.C.'s Worst Commute (HOT Lanes)
Posted on 03/18/2014 10:26:08 AM PDT by C19fan
For a few giddy moments, it seems I've dodged the torture awaiting commuters into Washington, D.C., most any weekday morning. As I merge onto Interstate 95 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, 50 miles from the Pentagon, the traffic around me glides along at the 65-mph speed limit. No brake lights illuminate the predawn dark. I set my cruise control. Perhaps, I dare to think, this won't be so bad.
The route remains a quagmire, just the same. So now the state is embarking on another fix. With financing from private investors, Virginia is converting the HOV lanes south of Washington to high occupancy-toll lanes, or HOT lanes. These express lanes, like 20-some similar projects in cities from coast to coast, will enable solo motorists to drive alongside carpoolers for a price.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlanticcities.com ...
I drive/ride in a 3-person carpool in Houston. About a year ago, the HOV lanes were converted to HOT lanes. Now we carpoolers get to drive in slow traffic like everybody else, and the city makes money off the poor schmucks who are paying a fee to creep along with us in an enclosed lane.
The entire HOV/HOT concept should be abandoned. It never helped traffic in general and in fact made it worse. States love these programs because they get fed money if they implement it.
When an accident occurs and HOV restrictions are temporarily lifted, traffic amazingly improves to the point that it is better than without the accident and with HOV in place. The most telling sign of what a joke this concept is.
Part of the problem is VA does not have the money to increase highway capacity so they are using these HOT lanes to get private investment to pay for them.
Philadelphia knows how do deal with traffic; when the jams get too long, Philly raises taxes, businesses close, people lose their jobs, and the traffic lightens right up.
It’s the same with Obama’s healthcare plan; when people spend too much on healthcare, the care is removed, the people die, and viola! Healthcare costs are down.
States can issue bonds to get private money. They should probably also use that gas tax money they get appropriately.
An extra lane that everyone can use is far better than an extra lane only a relatively few use.
I’ve driven that run many times, though not for my typical work day. I can’t help every time thinking how traffic would dissipate if all the lanes were open to everyone.
Especially when you see the extra shoulder space between HOV and the rest of the lane. You could add a couple extra lanes by simply knocking down the barriers and restriping.
I see that and think what a waste of space that can be used for more lanes. If you got rid of the barriers, shoulders, and the land between the regular and HOV/HOT lanes that part of I-95 can easily be 6 lanes or more each eay.
When things get STUPID in Cities, “City People” will get EVEN STUPIDER!
Yes, The problem on I95 in northern Virginia is that the HOV lanes don't extend far enough.
Every afternoon there is a massive traffic jam caused by the traffic merging from six lanes down to three lanes when the HOV lanes end.
There is just too much traffic to fit into three lanes. Changing the rules for HOV lanes won't fix this.
It's been 3 years since I've had to drive that stretch. Often, when I would go through there, the traffic would be slowed all the way to the 95/295 split just north of Richmond.
IIRC, the 3 lanes eventually become 2 lanes and that causes even more problems.
About 10 seconds of logical thinking led me to wonder if that’s what would happen. Thanks for confirming it....
The I-95 corridor is all congested because the planned true bypass around DC metro was never built. All the traffic up and down the East Coast has to share the same limited capacity as people living in DC Metro. It is too late as the NIMBYs in MD and NoVa will stop any major project and forget about trying to build another crossing of the Chesapeake Bay or the Potomac.
This article is about the road renovations south of DC; but may still be of interest to Maryland commuters or residents. I just drove past there recently and tore my hair out as usual on the way to the Carolinas or Georgia.
Too true. I left when the number and amounts of taxes for my small business went over the top, added to the rest of Fast Eddie's Obama-like agenda.