Would you like to offer your input on the proposed high occupancy vehicle (HOV) and high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on Interstate 95 between Edsall Road in Fairfax County and Garrisonville Road in Stafford County?
VDOT is holding public hearings this week in Northern Virginia from 5-8 p.m.:
- Monday, Sept. 26, Botts Fire Hall, 1306 F Street, Woodbridge, VA 22191
- Wednesday, Sept. 28, Waterford at Springfield, 6715 Commerce Street, Springfield, VA 22150
- Thursday, Sept. 29, North Stafford High School, 839 Garrisonville Road, Stafford, VA 22554
You can offer oral or written comments at the hearings. Comments regarding the project design and environmental analysis should be sent to John Lynch, P.E., Regional Transportation Program Director, Virginia Megaprojects, 6363 Walker Lane, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22310 or to info@I-95hotlanes.com by Oct. 14 with “I-95 Joint Meetings” in the subject line.
You also can send comments about the I-95 Transit and TDM plan to Public Information Office, DRPT, 600 E. Main Street, Suite 2102, Richmond, VA 23219 or to firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 26, 2011.
To view these documents, visit http://www.vamegaprojects.com/faqsdocuments/#95HOT
According to a VDOT press release, the proposed I-95 HOV/HOT Lanes would:
- Provide a seamless connection to the I-495 HOT lanes (under construction) and Tysons Corner.
- Add new or improved access to and from the HOV/HOT network at key locations along the corridor.
- Expand the I-95 HOV lanes from two to three lanes for 14 miles, from the vicinity of Edsall Road to the Prince William Parkway.
- Extend the HOV lanes for nine miles, from Dumfries in Prince William County to Garrisonville Road in Stafford County, alleviating the worst bottleneck in the region. Stafford County would have HOV lanes for the first time.
- Improve six miles of existing HOV lanes from the Prince William Parkway to Route 234.
- Allow free travel for carpools with three or more persons as well as buses, vanpools, motorcycles and emergency vehicles.
- Charge single person vehicles a toll based on time of day and travel distance.
Construction could begin as early as spring 2012 and likely take three years to complete, according to VDOT.
Toll, Parking Increases
The arrival of the new year has hit Northern Virginia commuters hard in the pocketbook, with Dulles Toll Road increases taking effect on New Year’s Day and new parking meter changes in downtown DC.
Commuters are now paying $1 at the main toll plaza and 75 cents at on and off ramps – up 25 cents from last year. The increase, approved by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in November, will help pay for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail extension project to Dulles International Airport.
The following New Year’s Days will bring further increases, as the MWAA board also approved 25-cent increases at the main gate in 2011 and 2012.
In downtown DC, drivers in many areas are now paying $2 per hour at parking meters, up from $1 previously, and they’re required to pay until 10 p.m. and on Saturdays for the first time. The rules apply to the district’s Premium Demand zones, but we like Dcist.com’s advice:
Don’t assume anything about the existing rules when you park at a meter. Always check the signage to make sure you’re in compliance.
For more information on DC parking meter changes, visit the District Department of Transportation.
New Challenge Looms for HOT Lanes
As the I-95/I-395 HOT Lanes project languishes in federal court, Alexandria Delegate David Englin has introduced legislation in the state assembly to require state transportation officials to conduct an environmental study of the project route before the public-private partnership moves forward.
Arlington officials last summer sued state and federal transportation officials over the same issue, saying that the project was moving forward without considering the environmental impacts on surrounding jurisdictions.
The lawsuit is on hold as the parties attempt to negotiate a settlement, according to the Sun Gazette.
According to VDOT, the 56-mile project would expand the existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-95/395 from two to three lanes and extend two new lanes south to Massaponax. All of these lanes will become High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes – meaning buses and carpools with three or more people can continue to use the lanes for free, while non-HOV motorists can choose to pay a toll to access the lanes.
Toll prices will be based on demand. They will change throughout the day according to real-time traffic conditions to manage the number of cars in the HOT lanes and keep them congestion free – even during rush hour.