Today was the big day. The 495 Express Lanes opened in Virginia from 395 to the Dulles Toll Road, and all my traffic hopes were pinned on them. Sure enough, my commute was about 10 minutes faster than normal today. However, I was not impressed.
First off the lanes confused drivers, and there have been five accidents since the lanes opened on Saturday because of people getting in the wrong lane and trying to adjust at the last minute. Just so you know, if this happens to you, and you end up heading for the pay lanes it’s not a big deal, stay in your lane, VDOT will send you a bill. It only costs a few bucks, and it’s better than wrecking your car.
The second thing that I was not impressed with is the way 395 connects to the express lanes. Commuters from 395 must enter on the right and cross 4 lanes of the beltway to get to the express lanes on the far left. Ugh, who planned a four lane cross? That’s going to make a mess there every rush hour. Really? Billions of dollars, and years of nightmare construction for this poor design?
I love the National Capital Area, but I hate the traffic and I don’t see these express lanes as doing much to alleviate the nightmare that is the Capital Beltway in the morning. This photo that I found on, http://msn.foxsports.com/olympics/story/gymnast-mckayla-maroney-president-barack-obama-not-impressed-photo-white-house-111712,
expresses my feelings about the new Express Lanes.
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