Skip to comments.County Emerges Victorious As State Gives Up HOT Lanes Plan
Posted on 02/03/2011 7:03:02 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) Arlington County has emerged victorious from its $1.5 million legal battle with the state over the plan to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-395.
Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton announced today that the state is no longer pursuing its I-395 HOT lanes plan, which the county blocked by filing suit in 2009. VDOT is also canceling plans to upgrade the Shirlington and Eads Street interchanges.
Just hours before the projects demise was first revealed by the Washington Post, County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman sent a five-page letter to two top Virginia lawmakers further explaining Arlingtons effort to block the HOT lanes project.
Zimmerman questioned the wisdom of handing the states existing HOV lanes over to a foreign company for decades while getting what he described as relatively little in return. Zimmerman argued that the I-395 HOT lanes plan was poorly-designed, could exacerbate traffic congestion and could cause great harm to the people that we and you represent in Northern Virginia.
Addressing the lawsuits critics, Zimmerman wrote that carrying on overheated diatribes through the news media is not conductive to conciliation. He disputed the oft-repeated charge regarding the lawsuits insistence that minority populations would be adversely affected by HOT lanes, saying that Arlington has never called anyone racist.
Per the charge that Arlington was acting unscrupulously by suing two government officials in their personal capacity, Zimmerman noted that the officials are of course provided legal representation through government general liability coverage.
Even though Arlingtons HOT lanes fight is likely coming to a close, the lawsuit may continue to cost the county in the form of ill will in Richmond. As we previously reported, one Fairfax County lawmaker has effectively killed a bill that would renew Arlingtons hotel tax surcharge, which provides about $1 million per year for tourism promotion. Del. Tim Hugo (R) cited the costly HOT lanes suit as evidence that Arlington didnt need the extra tax revenues.
Fool the highways were built by all the taxpayers funds, if foreign investors want a damn cash cow tell them to go pound sand and build their own road, maybe they need one in Russia.
Two of those lanes reverse direction ~ so we have 6 inbound to DC in the morning and 6 outbound to Virginia suburban destinations in the evening.
To make best use of the available lanes we use HOV-3 rules. You need a driver and at least two passengers to use the HOV-3 lanes at rush-hour.
The HOTLANE proposal simply took over the operation of the HOV-3 lanes and allowed in single passenger vehicles for a toll. A couple more access ramps were going to be added but not much more than that.
I-95/I-395 is presently packed WALL TO WALL, GUTTER TO GUTTER, at rush hour.
We probably need another full 4 lanes on that roadway. If we could add one more regular lane to the HOV lanes we could probably up the standard to HOV-4 and actually reduce congestion on the remaining three regular lanes below what it is now.
The whole flaw in this HOTLANE idea is that NO ONE who planned the deal uses the I-95 corridor for anything, not even beer runs. These people know nothing of the existing horrendous conditions YET they wanted to increase the number of cars on the road without adding anymore pavement.
America's worst congestion and heaviest traffic load was on I-70 on the East Side of Indianapolis. Mitch Daniels moved ahead with Super 70 which added more capacity to the road. I've driven on that chunk of road several times since it was completed and I can tell you it was a great idea.
I-395 from the Beltway to DC has always been America's second most congested and heaviest traffic load highway. It's gotten far worse. I've driven on it several times in recent years.
Let me tell you I'd drive I-70 in Naptown ahead of I-395 anytime!
This highway was built with gasoline taxes ~ not everybody pays them.
Naa, Tol. I think their issue was the same one we had here in Texas, where the governor was trying to give away our highways to foreign interests (yea, I know, lease...for 99 years or so...LOL). The drivers get TOTALLY SCREWED because the way the new owners make their money is by building up congestion and forcing people to use their private highway - and the more congestion, the more money they make. At least if the government owns the highway, there is some accountability. About the only people that benefit from these schemes are the governor and the transportation director (and in Texas, the transportation director actually sat on the board of the company our governor was trying to hand the highways to).
Mitch Daniels pulled the same stunt in Indiana when he sold off their toll road. The people there are just starting to wake up to having a private operator, with monopoly protection, with unlimited tolling capability, and with no accountability (as in a government-owned highway) running their tollway for the next 75 years. Hopefully their great grandchildren will correct their mistake in the year 2080, because no one else can do anything about it before then.
“Mitch Daniels moved ahead with Super 70 which added more capacity to the road. I’ve driven on that chunk of road several times since it was completed and I can tell you it was a great idea.”
LOL. I guess we think differently about Mitch Daniels. Regardless, he stuck his foot in his mouth again today, calling for “civility” with the Democrats (or something like that) so I don’t think he’s going to get too far, in any case. He has no clue as to how angry the Republican base is - he could be standing out now and calling out Obama over Mubarak...but he’s not (as far as I can tell anyway)...and neither is any other Republican candidate, that I know of.
Sounds like you have a real problem up there.
Cut 20% of the Federal budget, and you might find the traffic congestion easing immediately.
Consolidate and move the offices of some DC agencies to other states, and traffic congestion will also be cut down.
In america we don’t ask people in a public place if the deserve to be there. But I wish to start asking any foreign bastard that want to buy part of an american road to leave the country.
TheIn america we don’t ask people in a public place if the deserve to be there. But I wish to start asking any foreign bastard that want to buy part of an american road to leave the country. They are needed with the rest of their brotherhood in egypt.
Doesn't matter "who" the owner is ~
As it was the state of Indiana had a fabulous amount of money tied up in a road that served only a small part of the State in the Northern fringe of counties, butt up against Chicago, serving mostly traffic from Illinois and Ohio, or holding down the mintfields and that money had been paid by people throughout the state.
It was time to return the value to the people.
The lease fund pays for highway construction all over Indiana.
1/7 of the jobs around here are with the federal government. You could eliminate all the agencies downtown and we’d STILL have massive congestion.
The door is open, don’t let hit you in the rear on the way out, those third world hell holes love their toll roads. Get busy.
Don't tease us that you know what Obama has on his mind. Around here everybody knows there's NOTHING on Obama's mind.
Are you telling me Thomas Jefferson's mind was muddled on the matter?
Sounds to me like you failed to properly assimilate ~ best start by studying American history.
“The people opposed to renting out the Indiana Toll Road are among the first to fail to tell you it parallels I80 and I94.”
LOL. The people supporting the toll road need to look at a map. I80 is the Indiana Toll Road (now privately owned, by the way, due to someone stealing from future generations), and I94 is about 40 miles north and requires adding an extra 70 miles of driving to what is otherwise a 150 mile trip.
You guys defending this are no better than the people screaming that they want “their” Social Security money, even though they know it has already been spent and instead they want my kids and future grandkids to pay for their Winnebego’s (which, I guess, does also help Indiana’s economy - so it must be good for the country).
In this case, you lockout the highway for future generations unless they pay HUGE TOLLS, lockout the right-of-way to competition, and then defend foreign ownership, so that that you guys will have some play money for a few years.
If you’re into that, fine. It’s a free country - but don’t lie about I-80 and I-94, it makes having a civil debate quite difficult.
In any case, Daniels stuck his foot in his mouth again today, so I’ll probably lay off of him unless a bunch of IDIOT REPUBLICANS start pushing for him again.
“The lease fund pays for highway construction all over Indiana.”
Yea and my gas tax pays for the New York City subway - I guess you’re fine with that also.
“Don’t tease us that you know what Obama has on his mind. Around here everybody knows there’s NOTHING on Obama’s mind. “
Oh, I know what he has on his mind, and I suspect you know the same...take this country down a few levels, to make sure that we are NEVER a world power again. That is his one ABSOLUTE GOAL as president - and I challenge you to prove me wrong.
As to Daniels - I was just saying that if ONE REPUBLICAN would challenge Obama’s drive to make Egypt into a second Iran, he would stand out and maybe even take the nomination (as that is exactly where Egypt will be in Nov. 2012). It could be Mitch, or anyone else. I would like to see someone do that.
So you are nothing more than a puppet on a string. You need to read the supreme courts statements on the subject. Now go polish the boots of your master.
You do realize that this socialist highway operation is coming to a big screeching halt with new technology at hand that will give us precise measurements of what roadways you use.
Time to put down that bottle dude.
Jefferson favored toll roads. He built a few.
He wasn't supposed to have to make decisions.
Plum BS, get the half ass politicians to run saying they want to sell the highways and see how many of them get elected.
“You do realize that this socialist highway operation is coming to a big screeching halt with new technology at hand that will give us precise measurements of what roadways you use.”
I guess it depends on one’s definition of Socialism. I consider the ability to drive where I want, when I want, without being tracked (generally), as freedom. I consider the future that you seem to look forward to more like something out of “1984”. But what’s what’s a little freedom between friends, ehhh.
I’d prefer you pay your fair share of the costs for the roads. Time to get your hand out of my wallet!
Turned out it was exceedingly popular in Indiana to LEASE the Indiana segment of the Tri-State ~ particularly since that is now paying for massive highway improvements throughout the rest of the state.
“Guy is in over his head.”
No, but it’s easy to believe that. In fact, for most people, they need to believe that. For if they believe that this is intentional, then they have to deal with the (true) fact that we actually elected a person who hates this country.
I went to college with these types, they are far from dumb. They’ve spent their entire adult life planning this - I was at some of their teach-ins, they were talking exactly like Obama decades ago.
Everything is going just fine for Obama, per his goals.
“Id prefer you pay your fair share of the costs for the roads. Time to get your hand out of my wallet!”
I sure do - I pay the gas tax when I drive. And here in Texas we don’t ROB people from out of state with insane tolls for our pet projects (yet), as we’ve managed to stop our governor’s scheme (pretty much).
More, bs, let the former halfass governor. Of indiana run for president saying he wants toll roads. You see how fast the toll BS went away on the route 69 and the I65 bridge . If the clowns want to run on selling the roads of america to foreigners, let them get out front and run on it.
These is a limit to how fast the ITR concession company can raise its rates. That limit is 2 percent, the inflation rate, or the rate of GDP increase, IIRC. The company, of course, can use the largest of the three.
You’re right, of course, so I’m even with my nemesis - neither of us were truthful...
1/7 might be federal but what percentage is a direct result of government?
If you reduce the size and power of government, much of the "industry of government" would go away. How many lobbyists, law firms, "non-profits", etc. are in downtown DC because that is where the trough is. Stop feeding them with the power to influence and all of the money and traffic would disappear.
The HOT Lane proposal would have added one lane to the current 2 all the way from Dumfries to the Pentagon, giving a total of three. The tactics used to shoehorn that 3rd lane into the limited space available between Woodbridge and the Pentagon (narrower shoulders, 11-foot lanes) were admittedly questionable.
I assure you if we got rid of all the government we could get rid of we'd still have congestion.
Most of this is a result of the State of Virginia not having built the roads needed in this area. Instead our tax money went to Southside to build roads that were mostly not needed, and still aren't needed. All we got in Northern Virginia were the Interstate and US highways ~ or what we could leverage in with bonds.
It's not the federal employee traffic, or even the government hog trough related activity that's a problem ~ just lack of highway, and this HOTLANE proposal was just more of the same.
What do you mean you don't rob people?
The I-65 bridge? You mean the one at Louisville? That's a minor issue on that route. I-65 between Indianapolis and Louisville is congested 24/7 ~ which is something most folks have missed unless they fly SW Air to get to Louisville, then rent a car to drive North on I-65.
The stretch from Seymour to Columbus is even crowded these days, and I've been there when there was 2 inch of solid ice on the road and that highway was hauling ~ something about that Wal-Mart regional service center in the area. Those places attract and generate significant amounts of traffic.
If the Toll Road deal can pay to fix up I-65, I say GO TO IT.
But I have to ask you why the Feds are trying to force high speed rail systems on States that don't want them, and whose local residents opose them.
It looks like ya’ll might benefit from the billions of dollars of Federal funds offered to many States who have already refused, because we don't need/want high speed rail.
I am trying to understand why the Feds want to force California and Florida to build a system of high speed rail that is neither wanted or needed in either state, when it might make sence to build it where you live.
Scratching my head, in endeavoring to comprehend why it would be a priority to build a high speed rail line from Tampa to Orlando, since nobody would ride it....