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Cameras Sought to Nab Dulles Access Road ‘Backtrackers’
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Cameras Sought to Nab Dulles Access Road ‘Backtrackers’ - February 10, 2010, 05:02 AM

From loudouni.com Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Two local lawmakers have introduced legislation that would inject technology into the pursuit of toll road dodgers.


State Sen. Mark Herring (D-eastern Loudoun) and Del. Tom Rust (R-Sterling) have identical bills in Virginia’s General Assembly that would allow the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to install either a "photo-monitoring system" or a "automatic vehicle identification system" along the Dulles Access Road to catch motorists who are not supposed to be on the restricted highway.
Rust, whose bill is known as HB 1295 while Herring's is SB 667, said officials at the Airports Authority approached the two about introducing the legislation. He said they told him they needed additional help in nabbing “backtrackers,” a term that describes motorists who cut through the airport in order to hop on the access road.

“This would just give them the technology they need to enforce this,” he said.

The four-lane road is sandwiched between the lanes of the Dulles Toll Road and dedicated solely to people coming and going to Dulles International Airport for airport business.

Courtney Prebich Mickalonis, a spokeswoman for the Airports Authority, said police handed out 1,172 citations in 2009 for misuse of the road, a fraction of what officials think are the actual violators, she said.

She said the reasons some people backtrack include avoiding the tolls and traffic on the Dulles Toll Road and being able to access the HOV lanes on Interstate 66 during rush hours.

“Our current traffic enforcement efforts are labor intensive,” she said. “Being able to use a photo-monitoring system or an automatic vehicle identification system will allow us to enforce this law more effectively.”

According to language in both bills, the system would work like those found at some traffic signals, as cameras would identify a violator then a ticket would be mailed out to the vehicle’s registered owner.

A fine of $50 would be levied on first-time offenders. But the fine would go up to $100 for a second offense in one year, $250 for a third offense within two years of the second offense and $500 for a fourth and all subsequent violations within three years from the second offense. Fines would be reduced if the motorist decides to waive any challenges to the violation and “prepay” the fine. An administrative fee of up to $100 would be added to tickets beyond the first violation.

John Townsend, manager of public and governmental affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said he understood the need for the technology but sympathized with those avoiding "the traffic and increased tolls" on the Dulles Toll Road. He suggested opening up the access road at a "small fee" to those commuting to and from work.

"They are prisoners of their geography," he said of backtrackers. "They already pay property taxes, and they are tired of being nickled and dimed."

Rust said the recent increase in tolls on the Dulles Toll Road likely played a part in the Airports Authority approaching him. He also said a similar system is being planned for the HOT lanes now being added to the Beltway, and because of this, he said he's confident his legislation would be approved this winter.

“This is not new technology,” he said, “so I think its chances would be pretty good.”

Both bills are currently being reviewed in the House and Senate. On Jan. 28, the Senate Transportation Committee approved Herring's bill 14-1.

annnnnnnnnnnnd discuss.............


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February 10, 2010, 05:47 AM

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February 10, 2010, 07:22 AM

I wonder how something like this would work? There are a lot of people on that road working on the metro everyday as well as people who use it to commute to and from Dulles airport to work. I'm not sure a camera could discern who is who... I guess they would figure all of that out with support from the camera equipment suppliers, who will probably get half the money from the fines lol.


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February 10, 2010, 07:30 AM

You know what I don't like... automatic photo monitoring that can be used in any way the owners see fit. These cocksuckers want to impune the public with higher tolls and worse traffic, and yet they won't do anything to improve it.

INFRASTRUCTURE SCALABILITY!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a simple fucking concept. Build out the metro faster, scale alternatives like Route 7, create perks for telecommuting within the government and government contracts.... I'm in Cameroon right now, when I get home 99% of my job could be done at home with a Fob that costs the government $450 a year to give me... 99%!!!! But the idea is that if I'm at work I'll work harder... NOT true, I slack just as much at work, and then I work my ass off and live in a hotel for half the year in some god-forsaken west african country (my shower water looks like earl grey tea)... Hilton... swanky.

The real problems here are the people calling the shots don't have the where-with-all to understand emerging concepts for work, and suburban sprawl. And someone is getting rich off this stuff... trust you me, this money isn't being reinvested into our communities... and those cameras, we're going to pay for them. Traffic won't get better, no real changes will happen, we'll just have cameras that take 20-50 personnel to run/repair that have to be paid, and more ticketing mechanisms.

Stupid.


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February 10, 2010, 07:31 AM

So what about people like me?

I used to go to the Airport to get my shoes shined. That guy who is near the TSA security area is probably the best shoe shine in NoVA, cheap and fast. In and out in less than 5 minutes, but with a vehicle recognition system, I would get a ticket. Fun times.


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February 10, 2010, 07:39 AM

How about a novel idea - make the toll road 7 lanes with one HOV. TOO MANY FUCKING CARS.

While they are at it, make more ways to get out of Ashburn.


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February 10, 2010, 07:50 AM

I hate how the way to deal with every fucking problem in this area is more bureaucratic bullshit, more administrative and fiscal overhead, and the fines or taxes to support it.


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February 10, 2010, 07:57 AM

sucks for all the people that used to use that trick, I have before and it works great

the work from home thing: I'd agree that in general, people would get much less done. I'm sure there are people that work better from home, but majority I would guess not.


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February 10, 2010, 07:58 AM

i admit i use that road all the time going down to dc, specially on bikes, and most of the toll booth i squeeze by the gate I DON"T PLAY TOLL. we pay VA state tax.


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February 10, 2010, 07:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by B View Post
I hate how the way to deal with every fucking problem in this area is more bureaucratic bullshit, more administrative and fiscal overhead, and the fines or taxes to support it.
When the truth is, the road infrastructure is built terribly here and the man is pissed that some people get to work in a reasonable amount of time without a fucking run-away Prius.

Fix the roads without one that costs almost 10 bucks a day to use. Idiots.


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February 10, 2010, 07:58 AM

The toll road is an absolute dagger when it comes to price. There are months where my bill is over $300. That sh*t starts to get expensive.

I am not sure how they will distinguish the people using the airport from those doing the looptee loop. I was under the impression that if you used the gas station that you were using airport services and therefore okay.
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February 10, 2010, 07:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by B View Post
I hate how the way to deal with every fucking problem in this area is more bureaucratic bullshit, more administrative and fiscal overhead, and the fines or taxes to support it.
+++++++1,0000000000000

The next revolt needs to be to cut the government in half.

As long as people are looking to the government for a handout...it will never happen.
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February 10, 2010, 08:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by B View Post
I hate how the way to deal with every fucking problem in this area is more bureaucratic bullshit, more administrative and fiscal overhead, and the fines or taxes to support it.
I heard about this on EITM this morning, but I agree with ya B


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February 10, 2010, 08:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nudist View Post
How about a novel idea - make the toll road 7 lanes with one HOV. TOO MANY FUCKING CARS.

While they are at it, make more ways to get out of Ashburn.

+1. . . I've been saying this forever. What is the use of having an HOV lane that moves just as slow as the regular lanes 75% of the time. The airport lanes are always empty, every once in a while it will get backed up b/c of the metrorail construction, but other then that its wide open.

Anyways, why does the airport need its own lane to leave the airport. You're not trying to catch a flight, so timing shouldn't be an issue. I believe eastbound in the morning definietly should be open to HOV. Then make the current HOV lane a regular lane for non HOV to help ease congestion.

I'm also interested in the details of this camera. According to the rules surronding the use of the airport lanes, you can use it as long as you're conducting some sort of business on the airport. Which includes purchasing products such as gas. . . . does that mean i'm getting a ticket everytime I'm filling up?


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February 10, 2010, 08:27 AM

I have been using the inside lanes of the toll road for over 4 years. I got a ticket for backtracking about 5 years ago. Ever since then, I stop at the gas station, every time.

Not sure how how a camera system or vehicle recognition system would really work. People drop off folks on the departure deck, pick people up on the arrival deck. Basically just a stop and go...what would prevent them from getting a ticket? Unless they look at photos from a certain time period and look for repeat offenders.

Either way, it still sucks and I agree with Ben.

They need to fix the fucking traffic problem in the area! Nate, once they hook you guys up with more ways out of Ashburn, send 'em over here. We need more ways out of South Riding. 50 and 606 both suck serious donkey balls during rush hour.


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