I am not a commuter.  I rarely go down I-66 in rush hour.  In fact, I pretty much move heaven and earth to NOT go down I-66 during rush hour.   Today was an exception.   I got caught in the thick of it between 3:30 and 4:00 PM.  There was no escape.

So here I am, riding along in my rather elderly SUV, looking at all the cars in the HOV2+ lane and all of a sudden, it dawned on me–90% of the cars were occupied by just one person.  I looked at my clock, I looked at my cell phone, just to make sure that I had the right time.

They simply didn’t give a crap.  90% of the cars in an HOV2+ lane should not be single occupant cars!  Where is the state of Virginia?  Where are the cameras?  Where are the drones?  Why are people not being fined within an inch of their lives for this violation?

Traveling in an HOV lane is a moving violation on your record if you are caught.  These people didn’t seem to have a care in the world.  There were also a bunch of commercial trucks just tooling along.

Shame on the State of Virginia for allowing this flagrant violation.  Shame on them for not enforcing their own laws.  No wonder I-66 is such a mess.  I am shocked, stunned and disappointed.   A pox on the house of the HOV violator!


16 Thoughts to “HOV 2+ lanes…why bother?”

  1. Scout

    I assume you were outside the Beltway. Inside, I think compliance is a little better. I still see scofflaws during the morning rush, but I’d estimate the rate is around 10%. The Commonwealth is now advocating severe tolling as an antidote, and I think it might be worth a try if they can get the reader technology in place. Demand-based tolling might be a better response than trying to have the police pull people over. That would just add to the congestion, I think.

    1. Yes, I was outside the beltway, between the 123 exit and Manassas. I actually had a wave of dyslexia run over me. 90% might be an under-estimate. I had this overwhelming sense that left was right and that one wasn’t one. Close to every car was a single driver and multiple riders was totally the exception.

      My time was between 3:30 and 4. Like I said, I am not a commuter. I was speechless.

      What is demand-based tolling?

  2. Scout

    It’s like they now have on the Beltway – when demand is high, tolls are high. So if you want to use 66 inside the beltway at rush hour you pay $17.

  3. Lyssa

    I’m from the northeast – if there are lanes available they should be used by anyone or at least strategically. Nothing more ridiculous than the sight of a a 10 mile backup on 95north while six cars zip south in the HOV lanes.

    1. I can’t imagine no 2+ cars on the lane in rush hour. I think the plan is to encourage carpooling…thus the incentive.

      If Northern Virginians don’t want HOV lanes then they should vote to change the law. Just ignoring it sets a bad tone!!!

      On another traffic note, Loudoun County is the home of the round-about. Will Prince William consider round-abouts? They seem like a good idea for some areas.

    2. I did notice that the shoulders (x) had been opened up during non-rush hour. That’s a good thing. It always bothered me that those weren’t being utilized.

      Let’s face it, all of 66 is rush hour, any time of day. During certain times in the morning and afternoon, it is uber rush hour.

  4. Steve Thomas

    Don’t try illegally using the HOV lane East-bound, in the morning, outside the beltway. Lot’s of VASP and Fairfax County looking to nail the violators.

  5. Steve Thomas

    As someone who frequently uses 66 in the morning, I would say the best way to improve traffic-flow would be to build a dedicated lane for those intending to exit at 28 North, and fix 28 North. No need for there to be any stop lights on that road. This is what causes the major back-up in the morning, in and around Manassas/Gainsville. All those people trying to merge into stalled traffic at 234, and then merge to exit at 28 North. Once you clear 28N, you are rolling good, until you hit 123. Briefly delayed there, and you are rolling again to the beltway. It is the volume trying to exit onto these heavily-used secondary roads that jams everything up…as well as the fact that “alternate merge” is an alien concept in this area.

  6. Mom

    Another way of saying zipper merge. BTW, for once I agree with Lyssa.

  7. Lyssa

    @Mom. Its not a first. I can’t recall, but I know it’s happened. Some libertarian-ish thing probably.

    Round-abouts (or rotaries as we call them in the northeast) are more effective in smaller towns. The ones on 15 make sense – I’m trying to imagine the incidents if a rotary was put in at
    Liberia and the Parkway. NJ has the famous jug handles…

    1. I agree,they wouldn’t fit in just anywhere.

  8. El Guapo

    I don’t know if this is real. I didn’t see the notice. I have an acquaintance who lives right next to I-66 (God give ’em strength), and they supposedly received a notice from the Commonwealth that they are considering confiscating some of their land for the purpose of widening I-66. She lives off of Balls Ford Road near 234 business.

    1. Don’t they pay her for her land?

  9. Steve Thomas

    Rotaries and Jug-handles…grew up with both of them. Remember the first time I took Mrs. T (my then fiance) home to Boston to meet the family. I was giving her directions (she wanted to drive) and I said “get off at 9 on the Rotary”. She said “what’s a rotary?” I said, “a traffic circle”. She laughed at me. Then I said, “we’ve got a jug-handle coming up. She said “a jug handle? What’s that?” I told her it’s like a right-exit off of a highway, where you turn left at the top of the over-pass, except there’s no over-pass and….I got to laugh at her! She asked if the roads were designed by crazy people in Boston. I told her everyone in Boston is crazy, so the answer is “yes”

  10. Lyssa

    @Steve – my spouse blew through four red lights the first time he visited my hometown. Green stop lights on the side of the road were unfamiliar to him. As was the famous “rolling stop” explained to him by my Boston cousins – if three people arrive at a stop sign in a line – they can all three go through without car 2 and 3 stopping.

    I do love Boston though….Mikes on Hanover Street???

Comments are closed.