Monday, January 25, 2021
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VDOT Analysis Shows “faster commutes on I-66 and  average round trip...

The following press release from VDOT seems to refute a lot of the criticisms from outside-the-Beltway northern Virginia politicians... 66 EXPRESS LANES INSIDE THE BELTWAY...

Traffic snarls for HOURS with tunnel/bridge closures

From Pilotonline:

Saturday was a traffic nightmare if you needed to get from the Peninsula to the Southside as the geniuses with VDOT decided to close both the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel AND the James River Bridge for the weekend. They eliminated 2 of the 3 crossings then had the gaul to compare it to the ususal backups seen in the busy summer driving season.

VDOT said the repair was scheduled after the tourist season but loacalities push hard to extend the season into the Fall. Virginia Beach hosted the Ocean Air show and had multpile festivals at the Oceanfront. Also, what a great time to travel to the Outer Banks!

The cherry on top was when on Saturday afternoon, the Monitor Merrimac Tunnel, the only available crossing, was closed because of a car fire in the tube. Really, who would think that afer hours of stop-an-go traffic, a older car might just break down or catch on fire?!!

Bob McDonnell’s VDOT Serving Developers, Not Commuters

US 460 in Rural Dinwiddie County 2The Coalition for Smarter Growth warns Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation plans will only add more cars from sprawling new developments to Virginia's existing traffic problems:
The state is borrowing $3 billion in state and federal funds on top of their normal annual spending for transportation, and we'll be paying this back for years. We should be setting smart priorities, but instead, VDOT is:
  • Reviving the controversial Outer Beltway through historic landscapes at Manassas Battlefield -- the first ten miles of which could cost $250 million to $475 million -- instead of focusing on fixing existing commuter routes in Northern Virginia.
  • Shifting $200 million in statewide money to a bypass in Charlottesville that won't fix major local traffic problems.
  • Giving $750 million of our tax dollars to subsidize a private toll road (Route 460) through empty farmland southeast of Richmond.
Meanwhile, when asked to help fund critical Tysons Corner transportation needs, the Examiner reports that "Virginia's Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton warned Fairfax to look elsewhere for cash."
It's not surprising Bob McDonnell's pandering to developers - he's gotten more than $5 million in campaign cash from developers, real estate & construction, by a wide margin his biggest source of private sector contributions. The Coalition for Smarter Growth has a 10-step transportation agenda for Northern Virginia - really radical stuff, like "Bring our local elected officials back to the table in transportation decision making."

Tell Gov. McDonnell to put our transportation dollars towards real solutions.

Can’t Wait For An Evacuation

The VDOT emergency information system was ineffective and inoperable in Hampton Roads during a torrential downpour yesterday. The Highway Advisory Radio transmissions were overpowered by the storm's electrical discharges and the electronic variable message signs displayed random lights. Note to Republican gubernatorial pretenders: those signs are a constant McAuliffe reminder.

This should concern Hampton Roads evacuation planners: the chaos of a more chronic weather event such as a hurricane will not be mediated by the VDOT system. A two hour storm rendered it ineffective. The low power transmitters used by VDOT are simply insufficient (actually, even during "good" weather). Yesterday, the transmissions were completely overwhelmed by the atmospheric conditions. And the signs...well you can see how helpful. This one is near Williamsburg at the end of the storm, but was typical of the entire system before, during and after. The only thing missing were HOV reversible control and exit ramp gates raising and lowering on their own.

But I understand. We probably need to sell off the ABC Stores before we can fix this.