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7/8/2008 New Virginia Toll Lanes Designed to Create Congestion
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7/8/2008 New Virginia Toll Lanes Designed to Create Congestion - July 8, 2008, 07:06 PM

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/24/2458.asp

"Illegal political donations helped give Australian company full control over Virginia transportation until the year 2087.

Illegal political contributions helped an Australian firm land a lucrative toll road deal that grants the company unprecedented power over Northern Virginia's transportation future. Last week, Transurban wrote and asked state lawmakers to return checks that the Melbourne-based toll road operator had written in violation of federal campaign laws (details). But the deal these contributions helped bring about has already been finalized.

In June, the US Department of Transportation created a first-of-its-kind $1.6 billion financing package that consisted of tax-free bonds, loans and state taxpayer grants to support the project that will add a pair of High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes to the Interstate 495 Capital Beltway just outside of Washington, DC. To this amount, Transurban only added $349 million of its own capital -- less than the cost of interest -- toward the construction of the toll lanes (details).
.."
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July 9, 2008, 08:06 AM

:::sigh:::

I love the part about Austin Texas. Add a toll road, then lower the speed limit on a nearby road in order to provide additional incentive to use the toll road. Absurd.

This is why Toll roads are stupid ideas, and the entirety of road costs should be collected from gas and registration taxes.

Now you've got a whole mess of bureaucracy to deal with if you want to make other improvement - and you have to care about the impact on the toll road operators bottom line rather than just IMPROVING TRAFFIC.

Dumb. But hey, when you don't want to pay the taxes but you want the goods - this is the kind of crap you get.


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July 9, 2008, 04:28 PM

Haha. Company i work for did the majority of the design work on the 495 hot lanes before i moved down here. I am lead designer on the 395-95 HOT lanes project currently in RFE phase now. Don't shot me, im just one laborer of many!

PS - i work for HNTB, which is contractor for Transurban

FYI - the hotlanes or "lexus" lane concept has been debated for a while. There has been numerous public meetings and such in the area for years, this didnt happen overnight. I have no idea why VDOT would allow Transurban such a controlling stake in the hotlanes but i would hope there is another side to this arguement. As im just a lowly designer, i cant provide any input in the finacing speicifcally. just that 495 design is done and slanted for construction shortly and 395-95 is a good 2-3 years out for construction. Basically all existing toll lanes on 395-95 will become HOT lanes from 14th st to stafford county more or less.

Last edited by LVegaJr; July 9, 2008 at 05:17 PM..
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July 9, 2008, 04:50 PM

I'm sure everyone also knows that the Dulles Toll Road is actually owned by a foreign operator. I believe its a Dutch company. Most of its proceeds will be funelled to them for another century. However, it was built by the tax payer's money.


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July 9, 2008, 05:30 PM

Anyone have any idea how traffic conjestion impacts real-estate and inflation? I don't feel like typing it all out but I encourage you to look into it. Very interesting and enlightening once you start putting 2 and 2 together.



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July 9, 2008, 05:34 PM

I hate traffic but love convenience!


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July 9, 2008, 05:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rekoniz
Anyone have any idea how traffic conjestion impacts real-estate and inflation? I don't feel like typing it all out but I encourage you to look into it. Very interesting and enlightening once you start putting 2 and 2 together.
i can see how it affects real-estate. People want to be close to save on traffic time, price increases with demand, ppl cant afford price and move farther out for value in turn creating more congestion?

do you mean real-estate inflation or inflation in general economy around the congestion?
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July 9, 2008, 06:15 PM

I'll have to see if I can dig up the study I read several years ago but I think it was in relation to retail prices in general. My wife, who used to be a regional store manager clued me in on it back when we were just dating. Its been like 10 years.



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July 9, 2008, 06:28 PM

Dulles Toll Rd was supposed to have the toll removed once it was "paid for". Yup, remember that? Also, why does VDOT plow snow and Va St. Troopers patrol a private road (Greenway/ Toll Rd.)? Do they pay the Commonwealth a "toll" for those services? Hmmmm......


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July 9, 2008, 11:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Evil Twin
Dulles Toll Rd was supposed to have the toll removed once it was "paid for". Yup, remember that? Also, why does VDOT plow snow and Va St. Troopers patrol a private road (Greenway/ Toll Rd.)? Do they pay the Commonwealth a "toll" for those services? Hmmmm......
Humm.....I wonder if there is any legal ramifications to speeding tickets on the toll road from it being a private road and our tax dollars are being used to patrol it.


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July 9, 2008, 11:34 PM

wtf are they doing in richmond??? how stupid/greedy could a politician be?
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July 10, 2008, 12:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbagums
wtf are they doing in richmond??? how stupid/greedy could a politician be?
Is that a rhetorical question? LOL.
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July 10, 2008, 12:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Evil Twin
Dulles Toll Rd was supposed to have the toll removed once it was "paid for". Yup, remember that? Also, why does VDOT plow snow and Va St. Troopers patrol a private road (Greenway/ Toll Rd.)? Do they pay the Commonwealth a "toll" for those services? Hmmmm......
What I heard was that the owners of the Greenway (not the Dulles Toll Road) have some kind of contract with VA State Police, and there are one or two cruisers dedicated to the Greenway because of it.


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July 10, 2008, 12:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbagums
wtf are they doing in richmond??? how stupid/greedy could a politician be?
As stupid as you pay him to be.


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