IT’S clear that the U.S. transportation system is in the midst of a technological evolution—ranging from automated cars to hyper-speed travel in tubes.

To incorporate these changes, there are a lot of smart people preparing for the drastic changes technology will bring to the transportation network. Those smart people can use all the help they can get.

To that end, the U.S. Department of Transportation is looking for other smart people to give their 2 cents—not in the form of another tax or toll, but instead something that is free: ideas.

Earlier this year the U.S. DOT created the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology Council (NETT) in an effort to prepare for the coming changes. That council wants to hear from the public, and is accepting comments through Jan. 10.

There are three ways to send in comments:

Visit the Federal Rulemaking Portal online at This link includes details about the council and a list of questions it hopes to address.

Mail comments to: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001.

In-person delivery at the same above address.

Roadwork roundup

Here’s a brief roundup—via the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Hot Spots—of local roadwork drivers might want to keep an eye out for this week.

On Wednesday, U-turns from State Route 610 will become a thing of the (legal) past as VDOT will install signs prohibiting those turns. VDOT says the volume of southbound U.S. 1 traffic turning right onto Route 610 is too heavy to allow U-turns anymore.

Also in Stafford, signal work will lead to lane closures in a pair of areas this week.

Expect U.S. 1 and State Route 630 lane closures each way for work related to the Courthouse Road widening and interchange projects. Some of the work is related to new signals, but also other aspects of the project. The interchange is slated to open on Dec. 7.

Expect lane closures also in the Ferry Farm area on State Route 3 between the Blue and Gray Parkway and Cool Spring Road. New signals are being installed as part of the Ferry Farm intersection project, which is expected to wrap up before the end of the year.

In Fredericksburg, there will be lane closures for milling and paving on State Route 2 and U.S. 17 (Dixon Street) near the Blue and Gray Parkway for exit ramp work as part of preparations for the Chatham Bridge project.

Commuter data redo

Last week’s column included some over-inflated numbers about commuters in Stafford and Spotsylvania counties. The correct figures are as follows:

There are about 72,900 commuters who live in Stafford and about 62,900 in Spotsylvania, according to a recent study by the University of Mary Washington, the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance and the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The higher totals in the previous column included commuters who drive to those counties for work.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

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