Traffic & Transit

Traffic at I-95 at Rt. 123 at Occoquan stinks. Would this fix it?

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This post started by someone sending us a Tweet about improving congested traffic conditions the intersection at Interstate 95 and Route 123 near Occoquan. 

The Twitter account “Fix Route 28” and the organization behind it is one we are familiar with. The organization regularly argues for improvements along Route 28 between Manassas, Manassas Park, and I-66 in Centreville.  (more…)

SUV overturns near Dumfries

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A overturned SUV halted traffic on Interstate 95 near Dumfries today.

The driver of an Acura was traveling north on the highway and crashed about 12:56 p.m. and turned onto its side in the left lane of the highway just before milepost 152.

Rescue crews and Virginia State Police were called the scene. Minor injuries were repoted, said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

Several motorists stopped and got out of their vehicles to help the occupant of the SUV. The bystanders began pushing on the car in an attempt to right the vehicle.

Martino finds hope amid transit funding crisis

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There is hope for Prince William County’s bus system.

County officials said it can fund the $9.2 million budget shortfall looming over the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) in fiscal year 2017, that begins July 1.

Prince William Acting County Executive Christopher Martino proposed using half of a $12 million of a pot of state money given to the county from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) for local road construction projects, to fund Virginia Railway Express.

That would leave the full pot of revenues generated in Prince William County by the state’s motor fuels tax solely for PRTC.

The commuter bus agency will continue to face a $10.5 million budget shortfall ($2.1 million each year between 2018 and 2022). The county stopped providing motor fuels tax general funding to PRTC in 2008, and the agency was forced to rely on a fuels tax reserve fund that built up when fuel prices were sky high. (more…)

Crews hitting streets before snow showers, bitter cold sets in

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Snow showers should pass through the region this evening. While the showers will be light in nature, we all remember what happened last time the forecast called for “light snow.” 

The snow should move through this evening late into the afternoon rush hour. Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation will deploy snow plows to treat the roads early this afternoon, said VDOT Northern Virginia spokeswoman Jennifer McCord. 

Crews will also monitor conditions and treat roads where necessary in the Fredericksburg region, too. Stafford County is included in this region. (more…)

Transit crisis comes as bus loads lighter, drivers leaving

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Morale among bus drivers at the region’s commuter transit agency is low.

It’s the kind of mood you would expect from employees if your bosses, the heads of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation, are heard in public, and in the media talking about a “doomsday scenario” where operations as you know them could come to an end.

It’s no joke that PRTC faces a $9.2 million budget shortfall every year over the next five years. If state and local leaders don’t find the money, the transit system that thousands of residents, federal workers, and carpoolers (Slugs as they’re called in Northern Virginia) rely on could be blown up, changed, and rerouted to only ferry commuters to Metro stations.

All of this comes at a time when some drivers who trained at PRTC are leaving to make more money driving buses for other agencies. (more…)

Mark Center commuter bus begins operation

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New commuter bus service from eastern Prince William County to Mark Center begins today.

Commuter buses will take riders from neighborhoods in Dale City and Lake Ridge to Mark Center, the federal employment hub in Alexandria that is the home to the Department of Defense’s Washington Headquarters Services, and other Department of Defense agencies.

Four trips in the morning and afternoon will be offered to commuters on the both the Dale City and Lake Ridge routes. (more…)

If PRTC gets a ‘floor,’ drivers would pay a ‘few pennies more’

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Some relief for cash-strapped OmniRide could come in the form of legislation in Richmond.

A new bill by Sen. Frank Wagner (Norfolk, Virginia Beach) would set the gas tax “floor” at February 2013 rates. That means OmniRide’s parent agency Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission would get it’s 2.1% funding from the state’s motor fuels tax based on 2013 prices, which averaged $3.17 per gallon statewide that year. Diesel fuel averaged $3.36 per gallon statewide. 

Compare that to today’s average price at the pump: $1.68 for regular and $2 for diesel, according to today’s AAA’s Fuel Gauge report. 

The gas tax is a primary source of state funding for OmniRide, which operates heavily-used commuter buses from Prince William County and Manassas to Washington, D.C. (more…)

VDOT will review miserable commute after blizzard ends

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The roads last night were treacherous across the region, as less than an inch of snow that fell quickly turned to mush, and then to ice. 

Vehicles traveling on Route 610 slipped and slid all over the roadway as drivers tried to make their way home.

I was one of the drivers that never made it home last night.

Several crashes on Route 610, as well as a jackknifed tractor trailer made it impossible to drive Route 610 west beyond Joshua Road. It was one of the more troublesome spots (especially in Stafford County, I’m told) where road conditions deteriorated quickly.  (more…)

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