Saturday, January 03, 2015

95 Express lanes south of DC

I am sure that I have ranted about I-95 between Richmond and DC, particularly around Quantico and Fredericksburg.  Because the 95 system is but a single pipe through there, because there are no alternatives parallel to it, there is all too often butt nasty traffic through there.  I hate it.

But today we were able to take the fresh express lanes south from the 95/495/395 confluence for 15-20 miles, courtesy of our EZ Pass.  In several places, we were cruising at 70 while traffic in the local lanes was crawling.  I felt like a king.

As of now, I don't know how much it cost us to do that.  10 bucks, 12?  I could look it up on the EZ Pass website, and I'm sure I will.  Saving us 30-40 minutes and the heartache associated with dad sitting there in the front seat acting pouty and grumpy made it money well-spent, for sure.

But what if I were a commuter and came through there a lot, daily.  The ducats would add up pretty quick. It would, in fact, be a pretty regressive and exclusionary road, a perk for those willing to pay the premium to book these expenses daily.  And how much did it cost to build this highway for the pretty wealthy?  I'm sure I could look that up too.  It was maybe 20 miles of road that goes north with morning rush hour and south at the end of the day, therefore with complex reversible entrance/exit ramps.  My guess is not less than $10 billion.  Is that the best use of our transit dollars?  Hard to say.

It worked for us today, I can tell you that.

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