Transportation plan might take a toll...

Transportation plan might take a toll on you

There are 59 comments on the Hampton Roads Daily Press story from May 27, 2008, titled Transportation plan might take a toll on you. In it, Hampton Roads Daily Press reports that:

Federal officials say tolling programs can encourage carpooling and cut down on rush-hour traffic congestion.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hampton Roads Daily Press.

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Eve

United States

#41 May 27, 2008
I think the LAM MAKERS need to take another look at how to deal with the problem other then TAXING/TOLLING people to get to work. My word....is there NOTHING that people can do anymore without having to pay the IRS, THE STATE, OR THE CITY?

Just where do you think people are going to come up with all the MONEY that each one of these indites wants from the PEOPLE each and every day.

Next you will be TAXING/TOLLING us to breathe.
Eve

United States

#42 May 27, 2008
correction....LAW MAKERS**
Sitting in traffic

United States

#43 May 27, 2008
Depressed Hamptonian wrote:
Anyone ever conside the impact of housing and their values when you put a light rail system in?
Look at Chicago. What if they decided to put the light rail next to your property, or better yet, on your property?
How many people actually use the bus now? I see about 89% empty all the time, but they still run.
Once they drop you off at your station, how are you going to get to your destination? Are they going to make drop off points at every building or workplace?
You think you can just walk from a station to work? We are not designed like DC, which is underground. It would take alot of property to make stations convenient (which if they aren't, we are just blowing money in the wind because no one would use them) And what about scheduling? Hope your boss is flexible. Or, I hope you are about getting up at 4am to get to work on time.
We are at Sea Level, so we can't put it under ground.
Who wants their house next to a rail system?
Just wondering if those who propose light rail ever considered these issues?
No one with a car is going to give it up to light rail. Sorry, they just aren't, otherwise, we would all be touting the light rail mantra.
Used to live in Baltimore and this is too true. Once beautiful, middle class neighborhoods are now nothing more than slums due to subway stops being placed nearby. What a shame. And do you want to live at a busstop? People move here for a reason and it's not mass transit. The third crossing, as it stands, is only a boon to the terminal traffic. Fix the damn HRBT! There are thousands of us out there EVERYDAY waiting to get home. Think of the gas and time wasted.
SouthernGal72

Gloucester, VA

#44 May 27, 2008
I am also a Gloucester resident and moved here prior to the bridge expansion/toll implmentation. If it wasn't bad enough that we had to pay 50 cents to get home from work initially, then they raise the tolls again, but only for those using the EZ Pass "uh-yeah" spoke of earlier.

Make it "easier" for us and not make us stop at the toll plaza, but by all means don't make it easier by lifting the toll and stopping the withdrawls from our bank accounts for the convenience. The bridge has been paid for at least twice over now and I'd like to see just where this money is being spent. We can guarantee it hasn't been to provide our county with major road improvements or assist with other area construction. We have a beautiful new palace of justice and only one high school with the ambiance of a trailer park.

So next time "Uh-yeah" would like to comment on property costs or anything else having to do with the lives of those here, he or she should see how irritating it has become to pay out to simply make it home each and every day.

Since: May 08

Norfolk, VA

#45 May 28, 2008
I have to say that I echoe the sentiments of a number of readers in regard to Hampton Roads traffic issues. Unfortunately, I do not have it in me to blame the state legislature. Fact is, Hampton Roads had the chance to get onboard with a regional Light Rail project years ago. The state, seeing how great the need was [and still is] was ready and willing to back our efforts but it required the entire region to get onboard.

As many of us know the citizens in 6 of he 7 cities jumped to vote overwhelmingly to approve the project. The lone stand-out? Virginia Beach! And now that Norfolk has said "screw the rest of you, we will go it alone" Virginia Beach immediately seems interested, then not interested again.

The state now has to ty to formulate solutions to the best of their ability to resolve this issue.. ie - tolls, proposals for MORE ROADS AND BRIDGES [like we need more of thos to encourage more driving]. Thing is, anyone with half a brain should understand that public transportation in the form of LIGHT RAIL is the only way to ease up the traffic woes of this region. I just saw on CNN yesterday that all over the country, the areas that have subways, lightrail and a good bus communter system working in tandem have helped residents cope with the increase in fuel pricing.

And now the opposition to Light rail in Hampton Roads seems slightly interested again now that it will cost us millions more to construct a regional highspeed mode of transportation due mainly to HIGH FUEL COST!

People [including me] may at times have issue with Barack Obama but one thing I have learned from his run for the presidency is that YOUNG VOTERS [age 18 - 36] neeed to be more active in local, state and federal politics because I know for a certainty it was a bunch of old retirees in Virginia Beach who have no concept of modern living that played a role in shooting down the regions initial effort.
angry conservative

Quantico, VA

#46 May 28, 2008
bob hart wrote:
<quoted text>
I fail to see the point of housing / land costs. Isle of Wight is / was less expensive also but the JRB toll was removed when the 4 lane was built. So, how can you reconcile the disparity between the Coleman and the JRB. Oh, by the way, the Coleman did not have a toll when I moved here. It was a 2 lane that was expanded to 4 just like the JRB. The toll was a republican legislative response to make a new bridge look pretty to it's constituents instead of creating a bond issue like the other highways. Because Gloucester has very poor representation in Richmond we were stepped on again. I don't believe Mr. Morgan has much time left in office.
Mr. Gloucester the Democrats controlled both chambers in the legislature when the coleman bridge was expanded. Sen. Norment(republican) has filed numerous pieces of legislation to repeal the tolls only to have them killed by other interest.
definetly not Janis

Quantico, VA

#47 May 28, 2008
Eve wrote:
I think the LAM MAKERS need to take another look at how to deal with the problem other then TAXING/TOLLING people to get to work. My word....is there NOTHING that people can do anymore without having to pay the IRS, THE STATE, OR THE CITY?
Just where do you think people are going to come up with all the MONEY that each one of these indites wants from the PEOPLE each and every day.
Next you will be TAXING/TOLLING us to breathe.
evidently EVE believes in the asphalt jenie. Improvements have to paid for. if not from this pot then it would be another.
Jo Mama

Dutton, VA

#48 May 28, 2008
Depressed Hamptonian wrote:
I say "true conservatives" BECAUSE the two mentioned in this article say they are Republicans.
The Republican Party has been known in the past as conservatives, although moderates are now a big part of the party.
I am not saying a conservative can fix this problem, but what I am saying is that if you are going to be a Republican, than be one and not one in name only.
I totally agree, we need normal people who know the price of bread, the amount taken out of their paycheck each week, the cost of things because they live in a budget.
Until we get rid of career politicians who lose touch with their constituency, we will always have this as our answer.
We need term limits because until they can forget all about getting re-elected and focus on their job as a statesman/woman, then, they will always cave to the big interests, whether it be developers or other special interest groups that dont' represent the entire population they represent.
The budget is rising past the pace of inflation. They need to sit down and figure out what is the FUNCTION of government and get out of the business of handouts and concentrate on transportation, security, and commerce and cut the rest. I didn't include education because at its current status quo, I am not sure if that is what you can call it. That is a total other issue anyway.
As for highway contractors, these businesses are folding daily. I know. It isn't the contractors that are up there lobbying. It is developters doing that.
The costs of road construction outpace any of the VDOT estimates because those estimates are years old and the price of goods, especially asphalt.
The heavy equipment used to do the jobs require diesel fuel which has hit the roof. Should a company bidding those jobs just eat that extra cost? I don't think that would be a good business practice.
So, when a bid comes in and all companies bidding outprice the estimate, who is at fault? VDOT for using old pricing standards without taking into consideration the current costs of materials, labor, etc. or a company who wants to stay afloat because one job is better than none and that is what is happening to these companies. There
is NO roadwork jobs right now. The few that are out there are barely enough for the few companies left that haven't already fired half their crews, etc. to argue over.
We agree on many points.. and I consider myself a moderate/liberal! Go figure. I'm a big supporter of term limits - I think being a representative in our legislature should be public service and not a career. And my comments were more directed about the developers or whomever is at the top of the food chain in that business. Usually, they hire out pieces of the job to subcontractors, and they have to eat a lot to make ends meet, which is also not fair. The nature of the business in road and building construction is that whomever wins the bid has a license to steal and they don't even care if it's a concealed permit :) By "true conservatives", I mean the extreme, kool-aid drinking crazoids. There are a lot of conservatives out there with some great ideas. Unfortunately, their ideas get buried under the blasts of noise from the "true conservatives" who don't believe in a vigirous debate of issues and insist that everyone march in lockstep with their extremism. I suspect this does not describe you. You seem as though you think things out, which is not necessarily a value shared by those sealots I fear and despise. I also feel the same about the extremists on the other end of the spectrum. Extremism, regardless of what Mr. AuH2O said, IS a vice.
Jo Mama

Dutton, VA

#49 May 28, 2008
No tolls - Anywhere wrote:
<quoted text>
Haha, please visit the Philadelphia/Camden NJ area for a week and tell me EZ pass does not cause a jam. They split out into a bunch of lanes so we can drive through and be scanned, but then you have to merge back into 2 lanes. We all know how well we merge.
Driving in the Philadelphia area is just plain scary. If Philadelphians know how to merge, it's one of the few things they do right/sanely on the highways. I'd rather drive through midtown Manhattan during rush hour than drive in Philly at any time of the day. Those people are flippin' animals.
Jo Mama

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#50 May 28, 2008
Sitting in traffic wrote:
<quoted text>The third crossing, as it stands, is only a boon to the terminal traffic. Fix the damn HRBT! There are thousands of us out there EVERYDAY waiting to get home. Think of the gas and time wasted.
People tend to vote with their steering wheels. When the MMBT was built, it took forever for usage to climb to where it is now. The biggest indicator of where the real need is the tourist traffic that we are about to be inundated with. If you're coming from DC or NYC to Va Beach, are you going to make your trip a llittle longer by going the long way around Norfolk and taking the MMBT? Nooo... they all queue up at HRBT, which is also where MapQuest and Google and the GPS systems all tell them they are supposed to go. MMBT was nice for developers wanting to build houses in Chesapeake and Suffolk, but useless for the real traffic that we have and likely will always have. The Third Crossing is more of the same stupidity. You can force people to go somewhere other than where they're going, especially if it's longer and gas is expensive. And they never thought that there wasn't enough room on an already full I-64 on the Peninsula to handle all of the truck traffic that is going to be coming this way and tailgating us and having their tries explode in our windshields.
Ja Mama

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#51 May 28, 2008
SouthernGal72 wrote:
I am also a Gloucester resident and moved here prior to the bridge expansion/toll implmentation. If it wasn't bad enough that we had to pay 50 cents to get home from work initially, then they raise the tolls again, but only for those using the EZ Pass "uh-yeah" spoke of earlier.
Make it "easier" for us and not make us stop at the toll plaza, but by all means don't make it easier by lifting the toll and stopping the withdrawls from our bank accounts for the convenience. The bridge has been paid for at least twice over now and I'd like to see just where this money is being spent. We can guarantee it hasn't been to provide our county with major road improvements or assist with other area construction. We have a beautiful new palace of justice and only one high school with the ambiance of a trailer park.
So next time "Uh-yeah" would like to comment on property costs or anything else having to do with the lives of those here, he or she should see how irritating it has become to pay out to simply make it home each and every day.
I feel for you, ma'am. It's not bad enough that you have to suffer the indignity of living in Gloucester, but then you have to pay to get there on top of it. Maybe it's all part of the plan by the renegade Board of Supervisors y'all have up there to keep out anyone who isn't already their friend or is related to them. Oh, wait... sorry... they're only doing that with respect to county jobs. THey just want to turn your lovely bucolic rural setting into a golf course. Move :)
Ja Mama

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#52 May 28, 2008
angry conservative wrote:
<quoted text> Mr. Gloucester the Democrats controlled both chambers in the legislature when the coleman bridge was expanded. Sen. Norment(republican) has filed numerous pieces of legislation to repeal the tolls only to have them killed by other interest.
The tolls on the new Coleman Bridge were the brainchild of the late Mrs. Davis, who was in the House of Delegates at the time, representing the citizens of York County. She was most definitekly a Republican. It was also her recommendation that they build that particular bridge at that particular place rather than the better option ont he table at the time which would have used roughly the same money and built bridges at both Gloucester Point and an extension to Rte 199 near Cheatham Annex that would have crossed the river and met up with Route 17 at Gloucester Court House, effectively giving Gloucester a more direct connection to I-64 and Williamsburg (where LOTS of Gloucesterians go to work every day). You have her to thank for the less useful and more expensive option that foisted tolls on you. You don't see any tolls on the new bridge at West Point, do you?
Depressed Hamptonian

Williamsburg, VA

#53 May 28, 2008
Not sure I agree about subcontractors stealing (using change orders) More, it is VDOT putting a bid out, the PRIME contractor gets bids from the subs, and then adds in what they need to pay their foremen, etc and make a profit less all their costs and then, they submit the bid to VDOT.
The reason why there is a change order is what the State Engineer orders for the project won't work or isn't exactly up to specs and then, the VDOT inspector allows the contractor to do that portion of the job and waits to inspect it and THEN tells the contractor it is wrong. Then the contractor has to have the engineer back out and the engineer sees that what he put on paper and what is reality is actually two different things and then, bam, you have to rip out new concrete (like the fiasco of the new 64 by Mercury when the drainage was not right and the concrete was cracking or the curvature of a bridge span like the Magruder Blvd. overpass is not right and won't hold the weight so they lose time waiting for it to be refabricated to a new spec) So, now, the PRIME may lose their bonus for getting the job done early (which is where they can make their labor costs back) unless the estimator is good at his job and puts a provision in so that they aren't penalized for the delay.
The PRIME contractor and its subs are just following a set of plans that the state gives them to follow. If the plans are wrong, there must be a change. As long as things are going according to the plan, the PRIME is bound by the bid they originally put in no matter if it takes an extra year and the costs have significantly outpaced their "estimates". This is why subs are constantly going bankrupt, because their estimators didn't take into consideration the rise of cost of goods, etc. and they can't produce the product at the price they said they could. It really is a risky thing to lock yourself into a contract these days with prices rising due to speculation ONLY and not because there is a true shortage.
So when there is a change order, it isn't the contractors fault, it was a mistake made by someone who drew up the plans and they found, that the design wouldn't work and had to come up with something different. The contractor isn't bound by a price at that point and probably steaming mad anyway because it affects so many subs to have to redo a job and rip something out. They have to be somewhat fair about their price, otherwise, they will be blacklisted by the state. And, because there was a mistake on the State's part, the new cost is beyond what they estimated which is why a job usually goes over the original estimate, but again, most of the time, it isn't the fault of the contractors.
So, as frustrating as it is to taxpayers, the State needs to really get technical with their plans and the inspectors need to get PROACTIVE versus letting it happen and then shutting the job down.
But, hey, that might get the work done sooner (one year versus 2) and then, there might not be another job for a while.... you figure it out. LOL
I think saying we are conservative or liberal these days doesn't really explain it like it should.
I am beginning to want to say I am a "frustrated voter" and that should cover all my sides! LOL
Doug Fir

Norfolk, VA

#54 May 29, 2008
Just getting Meatballs off the road and from behind the wheel of a car will impove transportation in Hampton Road, for the life of me I can not understand why everyone breaks before entering the tunnel....

That alone causes massive tieups at the tunnels.

New York has only 2 tunnels, and on Manhatten serving over 3 Million People, yet they don't have the problems we have here in Hampton Roads.

I would rather navigate the Lincoln Tunnel at peak hours than the HRBT during the summer from Wednesdays to Monday during peak hours.

Hampton Roads needs a Elevated Train System. Living in Newport News and having to work in VA Bch or Norfolk is impossible without a car. Why is that, if I wanted to go from Newport News to Harborview, in Suffolk or across the James River into Isle of Wright If I leave Thursday on the bus I won't get there until Saturday mid day.

For the love of god and civilization people, do something about this and don't dig into my pocket, Transportation is a whole State issue and it's the State with enough of my money already, that should strighten this mess out.

Second, stop with the Virginia Tech engineers, it's those clowns that have us in the delay pattern we are presently find outselves.
the navigator

United States

#55 May 30, 2008
Joe Ford wrote:
I dont think the $4 a gallon is nothing comment meant it is nothing, I think his point was gas is so close it might as well be $4 which will burden people. Phil Hamilton is a moron though for claiming no opposition to tolls. Tolls are an extremely inefficient method of taxation. The overhead is enormous, toll booths, toll collectors, toll machines, money counters, employees, etc etc. I know in this era of high gas prices people dont want to see even higher gas taxes but gas tax would be a true user fee. People who drive more pay more, people who carpool or drive less pay less. Plus the system to collect the fees is allready in place so a big chunk of the money wont get wasted in collecting money.
Any money collected needs to go into a rail system from Williamsburg to Virginia beach with a handful of side spurs.
Just how many people do you think would use this rail line or more importantly are you goig to use it?
Scott Pyne

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#56 May 30, 2008
the navigator wrote:
<quoted text>Just how many people do you think would use this rail line or more importantly are you goig to use it?
I would. I've read so much bashing of rail lines in here, but I see them as having been incredibly successful in the places where they've been put into service. Imagine how bad the traffic getting in and out of New York City would be without the LIRR or any of the other rail lines that bring people into the city from the suburbs and outlying areas. If done intelligently, rail can be a major boon to this area. Of course, we have to get past the whole Peninsula vs. Southside or Va Beach vs. Norfolk thing. That's just stupid and short-sighted.
uh-yeah

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#57 May 30, 2008
the navigator wrote:
<quoted text>Just how many people do you think would use this rail line or more importantly are you goig to use it?
If light rail, in combination with my bicycle and walking could get me to work I would sell my second car. That would save me every year with less maintenence and taxes. And if it could get me to shopping and other attractions like Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, the VB Oceanfront I would use it for that too. With the price of parking and traffic on our interstates who wouldn't?

Since: May 08

Norfolk, VA

#58 May 31, 2008
Cut out some unnecessary spending and you will have quite enough money for roads and other things. The state is bloated as well as the Federal Government. We have to cut spending from our budget at home when we can't afford something. Listen up, politicians!
Scott Pyne

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#59 Jun 2, 2008
uglo wrote:
Cut out some unnecessary spending and you will have quite enough money for roads and other things. The state is bloated as well as the Federal Government. We have to cut spending from our budget at home when we can't afford something. Listen up, politicians!
OK, you've repeated the standard line that our Virginia politicians and activists use for campaigning. Now, give us the specifics. Cut WHAT? Cut HOW MUCH of WHAT? And, the best part... WHY? "I don't know the specifics, but I know there's waste that needs to be cut" isn't an acceptable answer -- it's a cop out. Your answer will be very telling in where you're coming from and what your personal axe to grind is.

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