Over at GreaterGreaterWashington.org, David Alpert says the Virginia Department of Transportation can both speed commutes in the I-66 corridor AND save money – if it makes the right choices:
Virginians have debated widening I-66 for many years, but preliminary results of a VDOT study show that I-66 commuters could get the same benefits and save hundreds of millions by just converting existing lanes to HOT lanes instead. Drivers and transit riders alike would also benefit from turning the shoulder of US-50 into a dedicated bus lane.
VDOT is close to completing its “multimodal” study of the I-66 corridor inside the Beltway. The study team looked at a wide variety of options, from Metro to buses to adding lanes to Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies like better rider information and dynamic ridesharing.
Unfortunately, the administration of Gov. Bob McDonnell has shown little inclination to choose smart or affordable options. Instead, McDonnell has prioritized hugely expensive new highways, even going so far as to sign a new law that lets the unelected Commonwealth Transportation Board override city- or county-level decisions on behalf of his real estate & construction industry patrons. Why should we think McDonnell & VDOT will do the right thing here?