Ask the Traffic Experts

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Ask the Traffic Experts

WTOP’s traffic team and Transurban officials were in the Glass Enclosed Nerve Center taking your calls and questions about the 95 Express Lanes on Monday, Jan. 5.

Traffic backs up along the Capital Beltway in this file photo. (Associated Press) 
WTOP's veteran traffic reporter Bob Marbourg, WTOP Sprawl and Crawl reporter Ari Ashe were joined by Pierce Coffee and Mike McGurk of Transurban, which operates the 495 and 95 express lanes, to answer your questions about the new express lanes on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015.

    When will the HOT lanes be extended past Garrisonville? It appears that the bottleneck caused by the previous merge at Dumfries has only been pushed south to Garrisonville. The issue appears to be the HOT lanes merging into the traffic trying to get off at Garrisonville exit. This is causng major delays in the HOT lanes. I would be annoyed if I paid to sit in a parking lot.
    I live in Stafford, why isn't the total price revealed at the beginning of express lanes or at least b4 Woodbridge? You don't know what u are paying b4 u commit to the Express Lane...... Also am I suppose to just add every fare I see posted until I reack
    my destination
    I traveled the new lanes last week, but nothing has posted to my account. Why is it taking so long for transactions to post. I am hearing these nightmare stories of paying these administrative fees, so I reloaded my transponder with extra money as I have no clue how much it has already been charged. This is a totally unsatisfactory way of conducting business. I have my transponder on automatic refill but I am still not comfortable of that when transactions are not posting in a timely fashion to your account. HELP!!!!
    My question is why Transurban charges so much for trips on the 95 Express lanes at off peak hours. I was driving north on 95 last night around 10 PM and the toll from Stafford County to the northern end was $4.20 and then an additional dollar to Edsall Road. There was no congestion in the regular lanes so I would have gained little by taking the Express lanes except a higher speed limit in Prince William and Fairfax counties. As a taxpayer, I dislike the fact that we taxpayers paid the majority of the project's costs and have to pay a hefty toll to access the Express lane even at off-peak hours (see p. 8 of www.cbo.gov I am concerned that the real reason Transurban charges so much at off-peak hours is to benefit from VDOT's frequent lane closures that occur during overnight hours.
    Now that the 95 Express Lanes are open, will you be actively monitoring traffic in each direction to model the best times to reverse the lanes? It seems like this could be done much more quickly, and dynamically, to respond to traffic conditions in the main lanes. You could even have the lanes flowing southbound from, say, south of Occoquan and northbound to the north of there. You would make more money and traffic congestion would be eased. Can we look forward to this?
    It seems that we should be paying for efficiency of the lanes... so if the lanes are jammed or speeds are lower, shouldn't the price of tolls drop? What am I paying for if the lanes don't get me there quicker?
    I live by 301 & Rt 4 intersection. Any ideas on alternatives when Maryland starts the Suitland Parkway/Rt 4 interchange build (besides moving)?
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