I-66 traffic: Epic fail, congestion to double
A new study finds the amount of time that I-66 is jammed could double to ten hours a day in each direction within 30 years.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at WTOP-FM Washington.
#1 Feb 27, 2013
Oh boy, the article says Hot Lanes would be a good idea. NOOOOO!! I can't believe they would even think about recommending that. Must be greedy politician behind that study getting paid by the same people that build the one on 495. How about just bringing the Orange line out here and adding a lane or two in each direction. They said one solution won't fix it. That's two right there and no need for wasting space for those dumb hotlanes.
#2 Feb 28, 2013
I think nothing short of a major, multi-billion dollar megaproject that increases capacity, improves interchanges, and adds or extends mass transit can solve 66's woes. Unfortunately there just isn't any money to do this. So I think VDOT is trying to figure out some short-term things they can do, like the upcoming ATM system, widening 66 from Rt. 29 to Rt. 15, etc.
Politicians love HOT lanes because being a public-private partnership they can rely on Transurban or whoever to front most of the money to build. The problem is these contracts are usually riddled with loopholes that allow them to get bailed out by the taxpayers if the lanes lose money or even don't allow muncipalities to build "competing" roads for decades. Congestion pricing might be a good idea in practice but I don't think it's the answer for 66 unless it's just a part of the solution. I don't even think adding lanes alone will solve anything.
In my opinion the ideal situation would be to create an actual dedicated HOV/HOT highway (not the left lane HOV garbage we have currently), improve the interchanges (especially 66/28 and 66/286) and extend both the Orange line and VRE out to Gainesville. But like I said this is ideal and I don't see most of those things happening within the next 20 or 30 years. VRE to Gainesville/Haymarket is the most realistic as they've been wanting to do it for years but are still doing studies on it, so MAYBE they can pull it off before 2020.
Bottom line is things are going to get a lot worse before they get better, barring some kind of economic catastrophe for the DC metro area.
#3 Mar 12, 2013
Turn route 50 into an 8 lane no crossover highway. Also do the same to route 7. Then turn I-66 into a complete toll road and raise money to make more spokes into the hub. The problem is one highway cannot handle all that traffic.
#4 Mar 18, 2013
Seriously, turn 66 into a toll road? That's not the answer. What should be happening is new developments should have to pay extra to pay for the increase in road and rail infrastructure. If a developer wants to build 200 houses, they should have to contribute to a fund to improve the roads so those people can drive on the roads. It only makes sense, infrastructure should follow with development, not after. I also feel 66 needs to be widened at least an extra lane, so its 4 lanes all the time, with the additional hov lane during rush hour, so 5 lanes total during rush hour. In addition to that Metro should come out to Gainesville. I don't see how the ATM system is going to help any, its just going to show us there is traffic, everyone's cell phone already does that, let alone just looking 2 feet in front of you and seeing the cars bumper because traffic is at a standstill. The only way it might help is if they stopped using the Red X lanes and let traffic flow on that lane at all times. If there is an accident or broken down car then they could shut down a lane. but at times with not issues, it should always be open. As well all know rush hour on 66 is 24/7
Since: Mar 13
#5 Mar 18, 2013
But they also need more arteries going into and out of Washington that are not city streets. One thing almost all government jobs are nine to five. They could change that and go to shift work. Most aren't providing personal customer service business, so really it doesn't matter what hours they work. Also Washington need to stop the presidential motorcade every time the president travels to the Capital building for meetings. Doesn't his helicopter work. If he used that more that would stop the shut done of streets and allow traffic to flow more freely. I am not the smartest brick in the pile but Northern VA has built up so fast and every time they build a highway it is 20 years out of date. So that is what you have to live with in the big government sinkhole called the Washington Metro Area.
#6 Mar 20, 2013
You can widen roads and build all the bridges you want, but all those cars travelling east to west still have to go somewhere. Taking cars off the road should be a higher priority than building new roads. While I'm not against new roads, I'm enough of a realist to know it's only a temporary fix, since most "parkways" in Northern Virginia tend to end up being developed on both sides and have traffic lights every half mile.
#7 Mar 20, 2013
Honestly they really need to move jobs out of the city and into the suburbs, and I mean way out, like start building offices in South Riding, Gainesville, Leesburg, Haymarket. So much open land, would be a great place to build things. The problem is the government keeps all their offices so close to the city, but honestly with today's technology we don't need that. I know the FBI want's to move out of the city and are looking at this area. That's good, we need more big government agencies to do that. Not only that but allow more teleworking, especially on busy days like Tuesday,Wednesday and Thursday. Get traffic going in the opposite direction and less of it. That with better mass transit would be a good step in the right direction.
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