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Input sought on Va. transportaton

Public input is being sought on Virginia's proposed program for transportation improvements over the next six years.

A draft of the $7.7 billion program has been posted on two state Web sites, and

The Virginia Department of Transportation says the proposed program includes $5.6 billion for highway construction and $2.1 billion for rail and public transportation.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board scheduled four public hearings on the proposed program. The first was held Wednesday evening in Richmond, followed by hearings May 26 in Fairfax, June 2 in Chesapeake and June 3 in Dublin.

The Northern Virginia hearing will be held at Fairfax City Hall, 10455 Armstrong St. An open house begins at 6 p.m, followed by the public meeting at 7.

-- Staff and wire reports

By Michael Bolden  |  May 20, 2010; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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I'd like to think that if I show up and ask for more NoVa bus lines and for them to run frequently during rush hour, they'd hear me. But in my years of asking for it, all I hear is that they're waiting for more users first. I've talked to perspective users ... they're waiting for usable bus service! The reason for traffic on 395 from people "local" to DC is the POOR bus service. Would I be heard this time, or delivered more excuses?

Posted by: dcombs001 | May 20, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Something easy to do and relatively cheap to build: Construct a ramp between the Seminary Road interchange and the I-395 express lanes so that northbound traffic can exit (in the morning) and southbound traffic can enter (in the afternoons). This ramp would essentially be largely identical to the one currently in place on the other side of that interchange. With that huge new Defense Department office building going up just off the highway there as part of the BRAC project, building an HOV ramp there is an obvious step that should have been part of the project from the very beginning. The Pentagon gets a huge amount of HOV traffic as it is; potentially this place could as well if there were a ramp (as no doubt some of the existing slug lines would have people who are relocated to this new facility).

Posted by: 1995hoo | May 20, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Another thought I just had: The interchange of southbound I-395 and Duke Street is very poorly designed in that the right lane of I-395 ends just before the exit towards Landmark Mall. So the road narrows down to three lanes and everyone has to get over, including exiting traffic. It would make a lot more sense if the right lane were extended to become an "Exit Only" lane there. One problem with doing this, however, is that the interchange is a modified cloverleaf with no C/D road, such that traffic coming FROM the mall uses a loop-around ramp to southbound I-395 and the weave lane is immediately adjacent to the right thru lane. Dumping that entering traffic into an "Exit Only" lane that would potentially have exiting traffic moving at high speed would be rather dangerous. Ideally they'd redesign this spot to eliminate the lane drop (which is really a silly thing to have so close to an exit) while also eliminating the weave area that's adjacent to thru traffic. I don't really have a good sense in mind for how that could be done, though, given the cramped footprint there, short of building a flyover ramp that would be probably be overkill for the traffic volume.

(The Edsall interchange just to the south has a similar weave area, but the road doesn't back up nearly as much, perhaps because there is no lane drop.)

Posted by: 1995hoo | May 20, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

OK, one more. Yeah, I'm thinking of things after I hit "submit" and then following up. This one would be the most disruptive of the things I've suggested, as well as the most expensive: Extend the quad-carriageway configuration now under construction on the Beltway in Virginia as part of the Wilson Bridge project. It's currently supposed to end just to the west of the Eisenhower Connector interchange. If it can be done with the money available, I think they ought to extend that configuration west to a point just to the east of the Springfield Interchange (i.e., somewhere between the eastern end of the I-95 flyover ramps and the Van Dorn Street interchange). Provide NO exits from the inner carriageways such that they truly become "express" lanes for long-distance traffic, and make sure the signs at Springfield say "NO EXIT IN VIRGINIA." This would complete the segregation of local and long-distance traffic on that portion of the Beltway. The western end might require some level of careful design to eliminate weaving and merging, however, in terms of people coming off the flyover who want the local carriageway and people coming from the Beltway who want the express carriageway. Perhaps the way to do it would be that flyover traffic becomes the express carriageway, Beltway traffic becomes the local carriageway, and each has a single slip ramp to the other set of lanes to allow for crossover; perhaps it would also be necessary to construct a dedicated off-ramp at the Van Dorn exit from the express carriageway due to a potential lack of space for safe lane changes for flyover traffic.

Posted by: 1995hoo | May 20, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

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