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  1. #21

    Hybrid HOV Waiver in Virginia

    Dang, just when I thought I had it figured out. Looks like ULEV is one tier below ILEV, but it's unclear where the AT-PZEV fits in (maybe this is a California thing).
    I read the ILEV bit in the legislation, but I too didn't read all the various code sections that were referenced.
    Maybe I won't think too hard about this and just let the State bureaucrats declare what standards they'll require for their respective HOV waivers.

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  3. #22

    Hybrid HOV Waiver in Virginia

    I don't check this board every day, but Tom, you are wrong about increasing speeds not increasing throughput. If a vehicle is doing 25mph for 10 miles, it's on the road for 24 minutes. If it can do 60mph, it's on the road only 10 minutes. If you have 10,000 vehicles going that stretch of road per hour at 60mph, the road only contains an average of 1667 vehicles. Slow it down to 25mph and now because each vehicle is on the road 24 minutes instead of 10, to do 10,000 vehicles at 25mph means the road needs to hold 4000 vehicles.

    Slower speeds = more gridlock.

    I'm sorry that you don't understand that, but the good news is I just explained it to you, so now you know. Feel free to do independant research on your own as well so you can be a more informed person before you think that having traffic slow to 25mph doesn't hurt throughput.

  4. #23

    Hybrid HOV Waiver in Virginia

    Photosmith doesn't mention it, but traffic flow is analyzed using fluid dynamics. Vehicles are discrete particles in a stream, slowing down at flow restrictions and speeding up afterward (the Oakland Bay Bridge toll booths come to mind). There are even standing-wave effects and ripples, seen by drivers as slowdowns in places where an accident has been cleared, but the traffic still slows.

  5. #24

    Hybrid HOV Waiver in Virginia

    Wow Photosmith, your panties sure are in a bunch today.

    Photosmith said:
    "I don't check this board every day, but Tom, you are wrong about increasing speeds not increasing throughput...

    ...Slower speeds = more gridlock...

    ...I'm sorry that you don't understand that, but the good news is I just explained it to you, so now you know. Feel free to do independant research on your own as well so you can be a more informed person before you think that having traffic slow to 25mph doesn't hurt throughput."

    Photosmith, you didn't understand my post. I agree that congestion decreases as speed increases, and I never said anything to the contrary. However, my point was that we can't simply improve congestion solely by having everyone speed up. We get slower speeds and congestion because there are too many cars for a given stretch of road. Again, if we could all just speed up (which is what we would like to do anyway), we wouldn't have a problem. But alas, we can't speed up until we get to a section of road that has more physical capacity because it has more travel lanes or because there are fewer vehicles (e.g. after lots of cars exit at a popular offramp).

    Next time, kindly re-read a post before you reply, so you understand it and so you realize that no one is attacking you.

  6. #25

    Hybrid HOV Waiver in Virginia

    The point of my original post is that if you more effectively load-balance the available traffic lanes, you'll increase average speeds. During peak hours around here, on a freeway with 3 or 4 standard traffic lanes and one HOV lane, you may see where the standard lanes are doing 20-25mph average and the HOV lane is doing over 55mph. That's not effective use of the available lanes.

    The whole point of HOV lanes is social engineering. You're trying to get people to make a lifestyle choice that benefits the environment. Carpooling reduces emissions per person (in theory, although one old F-150 with two people puts out way more than a new Civic LX with one person) just like hybrids reduce emissions and fuel consumption per person.

    It would only really become a problem once enough people are using the HOV lane that it no longer has the social engineering benefit of saving time by having a higher average lane speed. At that point the scam of social engineering is exposed for what it is when folks realize they played along with the government system and didn't do any better than anyone else. Sure, the average traffic speed may have been raised to 32mph instead of 25mph, but people only want to use the HOV lane to go faster than everyone else.

    Bottom line - stop trying to do a social engineering experiment at the expense of the 90% of the people who now have a lower average speed, longer commute, and thus spend more time in an inefficient part of their vehicles powerband putting out more polution. Convert all lanes to general use and raise the gasoline tax. Raising the gas tax is the surest way to provide an incentive to get people to drive more fuel efficient vehicles or try to save money by carpooling.

  7. #26

    Hybrid HOV Waiver in Virginia

    Hey folks,

    I really like the discussion and am interested in helping extend the HOV privileges for Hybrids. I think the benefits of cleaner air and better gas mileage (less dependence on oil) are equal to the goal of reducing congestion. I like the legislation that mandates hybrids with 45mpg or better get the exemptions because a lot of the new hybrids don't get better mileage than compact cars, such as the Honda Civic.
    How can we pool together and get the VA legislature to extend the Hybrid HOV waiver?

  8. #27

    Hybrid HOV Waiver in Virginia

    Tom, Photosmith and Wagonman---All three of you, go out and get lives.

  9. #28

    Hybrid HOV Waiver in Virginia

    Ok. I will make a confession. I bought a hybrid for the simple reason that I get to use the HOV. I know that people get very upset when people do this but my commute was getting to be over an hour and ahalf to two hours. If Virginia / DC / MD will not do anything about the traffic then I will do whatever I have to in order to save time.

    I cannot count on any form of ride sharing due to the erractic nature of my work.

    The one thing I notice is that it seems like there a fair amount of psuedo government vehicles that are non hyrbid, non HOV. I would say that there is at least 1 in 10 if not more. These are not police and most do not have governement plates. They have license plates from MD, VA and DC. So my question is why is the government allowing their employees to violate the HOV restrictions? These are not emergency vehicles rushing to a scene. These are government people going to work.

    It seems like a precedence is being set. If you have the means or the power you will be able to use the HOV lanes.

  10. #29

    Hybrid HOV Waiver in Virginia

    Here is my thoughts on it and my response to some of the other comments in the blog.

    I personally think that VA should keep the Hybrid waiver. The law was put in place to reduce emissions and to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Reducing the traffic was just a plus.

    I like the idea of them increasing the number of HOV lanes on 66. They should have 2 hov lanes and 2 non hov lanes during rush hour. If traffic was bottlenecked down to 2 non hov lanes, you better believe that people would carpool and use hybrids.

    They could also increase the throughput of traffic by keeping the trucks in the 2 right lanes.

    And for you who are into politics, KK Kilgore wants to increase the lanes inside the beltway on 66 to 3 lanes. That just means that more people will violate the HOV lanes (mostly taxi's and DC plated cars).

    There will always be people out there who think they are above the law and will break them. Just because there are a lot of violators in the HOV doesn't mean that it doesn't have the right idea in mind, to reduce emissions.

    And those of you that say SUVs get worse gas mileage than a small vehicle are correct but hybrid SUV's use less gas than the same non hybrid vehicle.

  11. #30

    Hybrid HOV Waiver in Virginia

    I agree with leaving Hybrid's on HOV. The intent is to help the environment - to include reducing gas consumption and to preserve air quality. The large SUV's don't do either.
    Traffic congestion will only get worse if you move the Hybrids out of HOV.
    Until federal government mandates stronger requirements for automobile makers to address gas consumption nothing will change.
    The oil companies will continue to see larger and larger profits and the roads will remain jammed.

    Feedup in Va

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