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The electronic toll pass might not be a big deal here yet, but it probably will be in the next few years.
First, there are the coming express lanes (nee HOT lanes) that are going to be added in what is now the Interstate 95 median in Stafford County. Those lanes will work like HOV lanes for those with enough riders, but others will have to pay a toll. And the state might add tolls on I-95 to our south.
VDOT is considering the $1 monthly fee because of such coming growth in the E-ZPass program, which the state says will double in the next few years.
VDOT spokeswoman Tamara Rollison said the monthly fee would cover the costs of administrating the program. "We will not make a profit off of the fee. The front-end costs are pretty steep."
So far, the proposed fee has generated quite a bit of negative buzz.
"I would have to say they don't like the idea of paying a fee," Rollison said of the responses VDOT has had so far.
VDOT had planned to institute the monthly fee on July 1, but if the state decides to go with the fee, it will probably start a little later.
Here's how you can send in a comment:
Mail: Office of Communications, Third Floor/Annex Building, Virginia Department of Transportation, 1401 E. Broad St., Richmond, Va., 23219.
For more details about the E-ZPass program and the proposed fees, see virginiadot.org/newsroom/ e-zpass_info.asp.
Dear Scott: Can someone check the after-rush-hour (late-night) timing on Spotsylvania Parkway and U.S. 1 lights?
When the light turns green and you start across U.S. 1 toward State Route 208, the light turns yellow while you are in the middle of the highway.
The car behind you is getting the red light before it reaches the other side.
Also, making a left or right turn off U.S. 1 at that same stoplight gets a very short cycle.
--Linda Garrett, Spotsylvania
VDOT checked the signals during the period mentioned and found no problems, spokeswoman Kelly Hannon said. At that time of night, westbound drivers on the parkway get 25 seconds of green-light time and 7.5 seconds of yellow light. Just in case, VDOT added another two seconds to the green time.
You may laugh at that two seconds, but at traffic signals every one counts.
If this doesn't solve the problem, Hannon said, VDOT would like to know. And, she said, it helps to have a specific time of day when addressing traffic signal issues. That way, VDOT engineers can focus on that specific time when they check the lights.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436