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Audit: Va. should track transp. recs.

An independent review of the Virginia Transportation Research Council has found that more needs to be done to determine if its findings are being implemented.

According to its Web site, the council is "responsible for all research at the Virginia Department of Transportation."

The review was one of four looking into Virginia's transportation programs that Gov. Robert F. McDonnell requested in April. McDonnell announced the findings of the audit on Tuesday.

Currently, the council does not track whether its suggestions are implemented. The audit suggested a formal tracking process.

It also suggested changing the name to the Virginia Transportation Innovation Center to reflect a focus beyond just roads and bridges.

The council works with the University of Virginia and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to research, test and implement transportation improvements.

-- Associated Press

By Michael Bolden  | August 24, 2010; 7:24 PM ET
Categories:  Transportation Politics, Virginia  
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Comments

virginia is fubar when it comes to urban sprawl, road construction, etc. virginia continually underfunds road construction projects and places a really low priority on road construction, take route 64, for example, it's still two lanes in most areas... and has needed to be expanded to 3 or even 4 lanes for more than 20 years...

it's hilarious to see virginia use HOV lanes on I-95 south of DC and on RT 66 too... these are the busiest roads during rush hour -- these roads need all capacity they have.... face it HOV lanes don't do anything to help the environment -- only increases in public transportation will...

virginians love to spend their time stuck in traffic

Posted by: FranknErnest | August 24, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't normally use HOV lanes during rush hour, but it seems to me that if every one of those 3-person carpools on I-395 during rush hour were instead out in the local lanes carrying 1 person each (driver only with no passenger), the traffic would be immensely worse than it is now. Go take a look at the size of that commuter parking facility located at the I-95/Prince William Parkway interchange. 95% of the cars parked there on any given weekday belong to slugs. (The facility is always full, too.) You're making the mistake of equating "capacity" with "general capacity." There's a very strong argument that at rush hour I-395 has greater capacity for moving an overall number of people (as opposed to moving a number of cars) than it would without the HOV restriction. I-66 outside the Beltway doesn't work nearly as well because it's not a barrier-separated HOV facility. When the adjacent lanes are at a complete stop, only a fool would try to do 65 mph in the left HOV lane because of the risk someone will cut out in front of you (HOV restriction notwithstanding).

I find it very amusing to see how so many people come down either as "transit-only" or "roads-only." Neither one alone will work. The DC area doesn't have the density nor the money to support nor build a transit system along the lines of the New York or Tokyo Subways, London Underground, or Moscow Metro, and the nature of a lot of people's jobs makes bus travel impractical (anyone who works for the law firms, for example, generally cannot rely on taking the Metro to a bus at precisely the same time every day). The "transit-only" crowd also seldom offers any comment on WHERE their proposed transit should go. We often hear "we need rail," but to where? Around the Beltway? Very few business centers are located on the Beltway (aside from Tysons and MAYBE the new PTO in Alexandria), and asking people to change to the bus to finish their trips is a non-starter for the majority of DC-area commuters.

It's absolutely right that we cannot simply pave our way out of congestion by building more roads or more lanes, but targeted road improvements go a long way towards helping to alleviate the traffic. I live south of the Beltway between the Springfield Interchange and the Wilson Bridge and I've seen very clearly how much of a difference those two projects have made in clearing up the traffic flow in this part of the county (even though they're not finished yet). But you definitely reach a point where adding more lanes or building new roads doesn't accomplish the goal of alleviating congestion.

Posted by: 1995hoo | August 25, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Roads? Not in the general vicinity of the county in which my backyard might be!

Posted by: jiji1 | August 25, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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