Monday, June 25, 2007

This will be Hampton Roads in a decade or two

Originally uploaded by Driven.
Here in Hampton Roads we're probably ten or twenty years behind Northern Virginia & the Washington metro area in terms of traffic gridlock. Wondering what we're in for here? Just look north, I assert.

One of Northern Virginia's biggest challenges was the Mixing Bowl at Springfield, the interchange of the Beltway and I-95. After years of planning and construction, the Mixing Bowl has been revamped.

From Eric M. Weiss in the Washington Post:
After eight years and $676 million, all of the swirling ramps and bridges are open at the Springfield interchange, and traffic is flowing freely through one of the busiest crossroads on the East Coast, where interstates 95 and 395 hit the Capital Beltway.

But there is growing concern that navigating the new Mixing Bowl's 50 ramps and 24 lanes is confusing and could be creating different safety problems. Drivers complain of counterintuitive highway splits...
I didn't realize it, but the four young women who died earlier this month died at the Mixing Bowl.
The worst accident at the new interchange occurred June 14, when four young women died in a collision with a tractor-trailer at a point where two left lanes of the Capital Beltway's inner loop split off and head to I-95 south, Virginia State Police said.
Perhaps we could consider the Mixing Bowl an adventure: Don't have plans to go anywhere specific, but just see where you end up.

And that'll be Hampton Roads in two decade: don't have plans to go anywhere, but just see where you end up.

And, if we continue to act parochially and continue to not buy into decent public transportation, we'll have done nothing and we will end up nowhere except stuck in traffic.

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