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Today's read: inching along I-95

And what we can do about it: A traveler wrote to me about a frustrating weekend trips up and down I-95 in Virginia. This letter was on my mind because of the Virginia elections Tuesday. I replied in my Sunday column by saying that the next governor and General Assembly should build the high-occupancy toll lanes, raise the gas tax by 10 cents and then peg biannual increases to an index, such as the consumer price index, to finance further congestion relief and tie land-use plans more closely to transportation plans.

These are among the reader responses you can find along with the column:

-- "A truly dumb article. It states a few facts that people who live in this area already know. Nothing new, no suggestions. Did Dr. Gridlock actually get paid for this?"

-- "High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes will take something that was fast, effective and free, and will change it to slower, ineffective and expensive."

-- "Leadership is totally missing. Many people have been applying band-aids since this problem first started appearing. It's as though congested traffic is like some alien visitor from outer space that landed here in Virginia and everyone is running around crying the sky is falling and then heading into their own separate basement."

-- "Dr. Gridlock, stop trying to peddle the idea that any car-based system is going to get huge numbers of people anywhere."

We can talk about the column, about upcoming issues in getting around -- including holiday getaways -- and any other local traffic or transit issue on your mind at noon today during our regular Monday online discussion. Use this link to read the chat. Use this one if you'd like to submit a question or comment in advance.

By Robert Thomson  |  November 2, 2009; 10:29 AM ET
Categories:  Congestion , Driving , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Today's Read  
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Thankfully I have few reasons to EVER drive on I-95 heading south, but when I do I am amazed by the traffic (although I-66 heading west is not that different). Taking our daughter to school in Georgia a few months ago I was unprepared for the backup at 3pm and the HOV lanes were useless. The real surprise, however, happened on our way home. We left Raleigh at 7am on Saturday expecting to be in Fairfax by noon - Google maps had this as about a 4 hour drive and I figured that traffic would be light. This was true until around Quantico when everything came to a standstill. Traffic reports on the radio were of no use and we finally reached Fairfax Circle around 12:45. The drive from Savannah to Raleigh the night before was a piece of cake compared to that slog.

Posted by: skipper7 | November 2, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@Skipper7: You aren't kidding! We have an easy time driving from Arlington to Raleigh, Wilmington, and the Outer Banks (my husband's family is all over NC) but we always have a completely hellish time getting back. From the NC border to Richmond takes less time than from 40 miles out of DC to home.

Posted by: EtoilePB | November 2, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

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