Woodbridge meeting on I-95 HOV/HOT lanes held today

(Image by Jczart via Flickr)

The first of three meetings will be held Monday night to discuss hot lanes or toll lanes as a way to solve the traffic nightmare on I-95 in Springfield and all points south.

The decision will affect thousands of commuters who have to use I-95.

“I hate sitting in traffic for three hours and it's just traffic, there are no accidents, it's just traffic,” one commuter said.

Traffic from Springfield through Prince William County is likely to get worse, a recent environmental impact study reveals. The study is available online at the VDOT's megaprojects site.

The proposal by the the Virginia Department of Transporation would add another lane to the current HOV lanes and allow single-driver cars to use those lanes long as they pay a toll. The toll price will vary throughout the day, with the highest price during rush hour.

“Every once in a while I would love to pay toll and head south,” said Dale Pasley. Another commuter disagreed, saying he felt he was already paying for the roads through his taxes and doesn’t think there should be an additional toll.

Commenter Dave called the project “a waste of taxpayers’ money” on the WJLA website, saying that a more effective way to reduce congestion along the interstate would be to make public transportation more accessible and affordable.

The project would cover a 29-mile stretch from Edsall Road just north of the Beltway down to Garrisonville road in Stafford County, going beyond Route 234 in Manassas, the chokepoint where regular lanes and current HOV lanes merge.

Tolls may not be only roadblock for drivers: the section of 95 in Springfield just survived a massive construction headache of what is now known as the “mixing bowl.” If hot lanes get the nod, construction will start in spring and last three years.

Monday's meeting is the first in a series of three planned community meetings on the project. The meetings will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the following locations:

Monday, Sept. 26, Botts Fire Hall, 1306 F Street, Woodbridge, Va.
Wednesday, Sept. 28, The Waterford at 6715 Commerce Street, Springfield, Va.
Thursday, Sept. 29, North Stafford High School, 839 Garrisonville Road, Stafford, Va.