Friday, October 11, 2019

VDOT Announces New Richmond District Engineer

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Chief Deputy Commissioner Robert Cary, P.E., L.S., announced today that Shane Mann, P.E., has been selected as the agency’s new Richmond District engineer. Mann brings over 25 years of transportation experience to the position 
“Shane’s years of successful program leadership, technical expertise and Richmond District knowledge make him well-suited to address the unique travel needs and challenges in the Commonwealth’s capital,” said Chief Deputy Commissioner Cary.
Mann will be responsible for the construction, maintenance and operations of nearly 19,000 lane miles of roads in the Richmond District’s 14 counties: Amelia, Brunswick, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico (except secondary system), Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, New Kent, Nottoway, Powhatan and Prince George. The Richmond District is VDOT’s largest roadway network in the Commonwealth.
“From overseeing successful completion of major construction projects to monitoring overnight snow removal operations, I have thoroughly enjoyed serving in the Richmond District, and am looking forward to stewardship of its future success,” said Mann.
As Richmond District construction engineer, Mann managed a construction program of over $350 million and oversaw successful completion of major district projects, including the I-95 Temple Avenue interchange improvements and roundabout project in the City of Colonial Heights, the I-64 widening project in Henrico and New Kent counties, and five phases of the Virginia Capital Trail in the City of Richmond, Henrico and Charles City counties.
A licensed professional engineer in several states, Mann holds an associate’s degree in drafting and design from Southside Virginia Community College, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Old Dominion University and a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia.
Mann will assume the new role on October 1, 2019 following Bart Thrasher’s selection as VDOT chief engineer.
 (END)

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

I-395 Express Lanes Open This Fall

Coming to you this November, the 395 Express Lanes will offer the same quick, simple and predictable travel you’ve come to know from the 495 and 95 Express Lanes. They’ll pick up where the 95 Express Lanes leave off around Edsall Road and run up to the 14th Street Bridge in D.C. A new choice for your everyday travels is coming soon.

Read more about the new express lanes here!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Public Feedback Invited On Interstate 95 Corridor Improvement Study

RICHMOND, Va. – The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, under the leadership of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), are studying Virginia’s 179 miles of the Interstate 95 corridor between the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Alexandria, Virginia and the North Carolina border. The public is invited to attend the second set in a series of in-person meetings through late fall 2019. An online engagement tool will be available for those interested to learn more details and provide input throughout the study’s duration.
As requested in similar resolutions from both chambers of the legislature (Senate Joint Resolution 276 and House Joint Resolution 581) during the 2019 General Assembly session, the CTB has initiated a data-driven study to develop the I-95 Corridor Plan which will identify key problem areas along the corridor, and identify potential targeted solutions and areas for additional review and study.
Feedback provided by members of communities, industries, and other stakeholders will be considered as team members continue study of the corridor and prepare a draft plan report in the fall. The CTB plans to report to the General Assembly in January 2020, prior to the opening of General Assembly session. 
This second series of meetings will be focused on reviewing potential targeted safety and congestion solutions along the I-95 corridor.
The meetings will begin with a brief presentation followed by an open house format, which will allow attendees to speak one-on-one with study team members, ask questions and provide written comments.
The study team has also developed an online engagement tool as an option for corridor users who may not be able to attend the meetings. The tool will ask users to provide input on various types of improvement solutions and priorities.
The team will hold one more series of meetings along the corridor with additional opportunities for public comments to be received in person and online. The second series of meetings will focus on targeted solutions and the final series will cover recommended packages of improvements.
Public meetings will be held at the below-listed dates and times at the noted locations.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Fredericksburg
James Monroe High School  2300 Washington Ave. Fredericksburg, VA 22401
6–8 p.m.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019*
Richmond
Richmond Marriott –
Short Pump
4240 Dominion Blvd.
Glen Allen, VA 23060
4-7 p.m.
*This meeting is combined with regularly-scheduled Fall Transportation Meetings.
Thursday, October 17, 2019**
Northern Virginia
Freedom High School
15201 Neabsco Mills Rd.
Woodbridge, VA 22191
6–8 p.m.
**This meeting will include information about the auxiliary lane project on southbound I-95 between Route 123 and Prince William Parkway.
The Northern Virginia meeting will also include information and opportunity for input on the auxiliary lane project on southbound I-95 between Route 123 and Prince William Parkway. The Richmond meeting will be combined with the region’s regularly-scheduled Fall Transportation Meeting.
Comments can be submitted at the meetings or via email to: VA95corridorplan@vdot.virginia.gov. The online engagement tool, as well as other meeting materials, will be available on the project website beginning October 7, 2019.
The first comment period will end October 25, 2019. Additional comment opportunities will be available throughout the study period.
For more information about the study, or to view meeting materials and access the online engagement tool, visit VA95Corridor.org. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

International Walk to School Day

What is International Walk to School Day (iWalk)? International Walk to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day to raise awareness of the benefits of walking and biking and need for Safe Routes to School. It began in 1997 as a one-day event, and has become the signature fall event for the year-round Safe Routes to School movement. Today, thousands of schools across America – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam – participate in a variety of ways every October.
When is International Walk to School Day? Walk to School Day is held annually on the Wednesday of the first full week in October. The dates for the coming years are:
  • Walk to School Day 2018 – October 10
  • Walk to School Day 2019 – October 2
Remember that all of October is Walk to School Month, and schools are encouraged to host events whenever is most convenient for them.
Why should my school participate in Walk to School Day? Participating in iWalk and hosting an event is the perfect way to encourage walking to school, teach safe pedestrian skills, and kick off a Safe Routes to School program for the school year. Most importantly, it’s fun for everyone! Be sure to check out the iWalk resources below to help plan your school’s iWalk event.
What if students can’t walk to school? Even if students live too far or are unable to walk all the way to school, they can meet up with their classmates at a designated spot nearby and walk from there. Or the school can host a Walk at School event, where all students are invited to walk around the school grounds before class begins, during recess or enrichment classes.

iWalk in Virginia

The popularity of iWalk continues to increase each year thanks to dedicated school staff, community partners, parents and volunteers who help plan and host events at their schools.
In 2018, Virginia schools hosted a total of 364 events, breaking the previous record for the 9th year in a row!
WTSD Events 2010-2018

Tuckahoe Elementary, Arlington
Waterman Elementary, Harrisonburg
Ginter Park Elementary, Richmond

VDOT Walk to School Day Resources

Learn it. Do it. Live it!

Event IdeasFirst Time Tips For Planning a SRTS EventHow to Plan a Walk or Bike to School Event in 7 Days
Conduct a Walk or Bike AuditHow to Organize Park and Walk Sites 


Event Flyers

 Call for VolunteersEvent FlyerBlank Flyer
PDF - color
PDF - B&W
PDF - color
PDF - B&W
PDF - color
PDF - B&W

Communication Tools

 For Students & ParentsFor the Press
Announcement ScriptPress release template and instructionsMedia Advisory template

Incentives

 StickersPunch cardsYou Did It! Certificates
Walk with me to school tomorrow!I walked to school today!
Color
Black & White


Coloring Book




National Center for SRTS Resources                 

Visit www.walkbiketoschool.org for more advice and customizable resources.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Interstate 81 Advisory Committee Meeting

NATURAL BRIDGE, Va. – The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) are inviting members of the public to attend the second meeting of the Interstate 81 (I-81) Advisory Committee next week.
The advisory committee meeting will be held Tuesday, October 1, at 3 p.m. at the Natural Bridge Conference Center, located at 15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge, VA 24578.
The I-81 Advisory Committee is charged with providing advice and making recommendations to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) regarding the development of the I-81 Corridor Improvement program and updates to the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, as directed in 2019 Acts of Assembly Chapter 846. The plan was approved by the CTB in December 2018, following a comprehensive study of the corridor. The I-81 Advisory Committee will meet four times a year and report to the Governor and General Assembly each December.
The committee has 15 voting members: seven Virginia lawmakers, three CTB members representing the Bristol, Salem and Staunton districts and the five chairs of the planning district commissions. VDOT’s commissioner and DRPT’s director will serve on the committee ex officio in nonvoting capacities.
Legislation passed in the 2019 General Assembly established the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program, Fund and Committee. The legislation also provides revenues for the Fund through the creation of a new registration fee and diesel, regional and road taxes. Governor Ralph Northam announced amendments in March, providing dedicated annual funding to the corridor, estimated initially as $103 million in fiscal year 2020 and growing to an estimated $163 million in fiscal year 2025. These funds will support a $2 billion improvement program.
Any questions or comments about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan can be directed to
VA81CorridorPlan@OIPI.Virginia.gov.  The meeting agenda is available for viewing.
For more information about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, visit http://www.VA81Corridor.org. For additional information about the CTB, visit http://www.CTB.Virginia.gov/.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

VDOT Announces New I-81 Program Delivery Director

Following the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan and new dedicated funding as a result of 2019 legislation, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Chief Engineer, Bart Thrasher, P.E., announced today that Dave Covington, P.E., will lead VDOT’s implementation of projects and initiatives identified in the plan. As the new Interstate 81 program delivery director, Covington will oversee corridor-long strategy and program-level consistency as projects and initiatives from the plan are developed, constructed and prioritized by the I-81 Advisory Committee.  
“As we found in the study, I-81 is a critical driver of economic vitality in Virginia, serving 11.7 million trucks and transporting $312 billion in goods each year,” said Thrasher. “Having a strong leader at the helm of project implementation across district lines will ensure success of our goals to improve safety and reliability along Virginia’s 325 miles of the corridor.” 
Covington has over 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, with diverse, yet vast expertise in design, maintenance and construction. Most recently, he has served as the Staunton District maintenance engineer. 
In design and construction, he has managed complex design-bid-build projects and large-scale design-build contracts, both with private engineering consultants to VDOT and as an employee of VDOT. Recently, he led VDOT’s $250 million Route 29 Solutions program in Charlottesville. Throughout the development and delivery of these major infrastructure projects, Covington utilized sound risk-management principles to ensure that projects were delivered safely, completed ahead of schedule and under budget, and that Virginia residents and taxpayers received good value for their investments. Covington will be charged with employing the same principles in managing implementation of the $2.2 billion package identified to improve the I-81 corridor. 
Covington is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. He will assume the new role on September 25, 2019.

Monday, September 23, 2019

VDOT and DMV Notify Customers with Clean Special Fuel License Plates of Changes to High-Occupancy Vehicle Lane Use

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are sending letters to over 16,000 Virginians with registered vehicles bearing clean special fuel license plates to notify them of two upcoming changes that will affect high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane access privileges. 

Effective September 30, based on a federal law which applies nationwide, most hybrid vehicles will no longer be able to use HOV lanes without the required number of occupants. Only hybrid plug-in electric vehicles will continue to be allowed access to HOV lanes without the requisite number of occupants. The rule applies even if the vehicle displays a clean special fuel license plate. Other alternative fuel vehicles with clean special fuel plates will continue to have HOV access. 

This fall, VDOT will be converting HOV lanes on Interstate 395 in northern Virginia to Express Lanes. The date that the lanes will be converted to Express Lanes will be announced in the upcoming weeks. Once the I-395 HOV lanes are converted to Express Lanes, all vehicles (except motorcycles and buses) will be required to have a properly mounted E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex. Vehicles bearing clean special fuel license plates, like other vehicles, can access the Express Lanes with a standard E-ZPass or, if they meet the HOV-3+ requirement by having three or more occupants in the vehicle, can travel toll free with an EZPass Flex in the HOV mode. 

E-ZPass and E-ZPass Flex transponders are available online at www.EZPassVA.com and at many DMV customer service centers, including all 14 offices in northern Virginia. In addition, E-ZPass On-the-Go may be obtained at DMV 2 Go mobile customer service centers. For locations, visit www.dmvNOW.com/dmv2go. 

For full service E-ZPass account management, the Woodbridge DMV Customer Service Center offers EZPass account set-up, account replenishment, violation processing and transponder return and replacement. Transponders can also be obtained at many retailers (Giant, Wegmans, etc.), online or by calling toll-free 877-762-7824. For more information, visit www.EZPassVA.com. 

To learn more about the 395 Express Lanes project, please visit www.expresslanes.com. If you have questions about the 495, 95 and 395 Express Lanes, call the Express Lanes customer service team at 855-495-9777.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Expect Major I-95 North Delays at Fredericksburg on Saturday, Sept. 21 through Sunday, Sept. 22

Northbound travelers on Interstate 95 will encounter major travel delays in the Fredericksburg area beginning in late afternoon on Saturday, September 21 through the morning of Sunday, September 22.
Lane closures are needed for 18 consecutive hours of paving, lane striping and preparation to finish building the transition point for drivers to enter three temporary travel lanes for I-95 northbound in the median.
I-95 motorists are strongly encouraged to choose an alternate route to avoid delays, especially through travelers with destinations outside the Fredericksburg area.
What’s Being Done
Construction crews need to replace the existing I-95 northbound overpass of Route 17 at Exit 133 in Stafford County over the next 12 months. Two existing Route 17 overpass bridges – northbound and southbound  – are being replaced as part of the I-95 Southbound Rappahannock River Crossing project.
To build the new overpass, all I-95 northbound traffic will be diverted to travel in temporary lanes in the median, parallel to the interstate.
The weekend work zone during Sept. 21-22 is the final step before the temporary lanes open. When lanes reopen at 10 a.m. Sunday, northbound I-95 traffic will begin traveling in the temporary lanes.
Over 18 hours, crews will put down around 2,000 tons of asphalt and 20,000 feet of lane markings, and place around 5,000 feet of concrete barriers.
What Drivers Can Expect
Beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, I-95 northbound will be reduced to two lanes near the Rappahannock River bridge, which is located between the City of Fredericksburg and Stafford County.
I-95 northbound will be reduced to a single lane at 5 p.m. Saturday. The northbound exit ramp and entrance ramp at Exit 133, also known as a collector-distributor lane, will remain open. It will serve as a second northbound travel lane.
From 8:30 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, all I-95 northbound traffic will be diverted onto the collector-distributor lane.
Between 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday, northbound I-95 traffic can exit to Route 17, but Route 17 traffic cannot use the entrance ramps to access I-95 northbound. Detour signs for local traffic on Route 17 will be directed to use Route 1 northbound and Exit 136 (Centreport Parkway) to access I-95 northbound.
I-95 southbound will remain open in the Fredericksburg area during the Sept. 21-22 weekend work zone. Additionally, all I-95 southbound ramps at Exit 133 at Route 17 will remain open.
This work zone has been scheduled weather permitting. If the work zone is cancelled, it will be rescheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 through 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 29.
Weekend Work Zone
Performing this work in a single 18-hour period, during mostly overnight hours, will avoid disrupting travelers over multiple weeks of evening work.
These hours were identified using traffic analysis as the least disruptive time for work to be scheduled. Accomplishing the work over the weekend avoids delays to weekday commuter and commercial traffic.
To encourage travelers to use an alternate route, VDOT will:
  • Lift lane closures on Route 1 northbound in the Fredericksburg area during the work zone, and along Route 207 northbound in Caroline County and Route 301 northbound in Caroline and King George counties
  • Adjust signal timing on these alternate routes to meet additional demand
  • Use overhead message boards along the I-64, I-95, and I-295 corridors in Virginia to make motorists aware of lane closures ahead at Fredericksburg, and encourage travelers to use Exit 104 (Carmel Church) on I-95 to travel along Route 207 and Route 301
Stay Updated
Real-time updates on this work zone, lane closures and congestion will be available on 511Virginia.
Download the free mobile 511Virginia app for Apple and Android devices to stay connected, or visit www.511Virginia.org. Motorists also can reach 511Virginia by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia.
Follow VDOT Fredericksburg District on Twitter at @VaDOTFRED.
Project Background
Construction to build the $132 million I-95 Southbound Rappahannock River Crossing began in August 2018 and will be underway through May 2022.
The project seeks to reduce I-95 congestion in the Fredericksburg area by providing local traffic with additional lanes to travel between the Route 17 and Route 3 interchanges without merging into the interstate’s general purpose lanes.
The Rappahannock River Crossing project will build three new general purpose lanes for I-95 southbound stretching six miles in the current median of I-95. The new lanes will begin in the vicinity of Truslow Road, just north of Exit 133 at Route 17 in Stafford. The new lanes will end 1.2 miles south of Exit 130 at Route 3 in Fredericksburg, in Spotsylvania County.
The three existing I-95 southbound lanes will be converted to carry those traveling to the Route 17 and Route 3 interchanges, as well as the Safety Rest Area and Virginia Welcome Center.
For additional information, please visit the project page on the Improve 95 website at www.Improve95.org

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Funding Approved For Highway Safety, Authorizes Partnership On Dulles Toll Road Study

At its September meeting, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved funding to accelerate highway safety initiatives and voted to support an agreement with Northern Virginia partners on an upcoming Route 28/Dulles Toll Road study.
The CTB approved amendments to the Fiscal Year 2020-25 Six-Year Improvement Plan and initiated a systemic implementation plan to capitalize on available safety funds. By programming safety funds and optimizing funds provided on safety projects underway, the CTB earmarked nearly $137 million to accelerate key highway safety initiatives statewide, including high-visibility backplates, flashing yellow arrows, curve signs, pedestrian crossings, unsignalized intersections, shoulder wedges and  rumble strips on pavement centerline and edgeline locations.
“Ensuring that Virginia’s roadways are safe is our top priority,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “With funding allocated, these proven safety initiatives can be accelerated over the next six years, and are forecasted to save more than 60 lives and prevent over 1,200 injuries per year statewide.”
The board authorized Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Commissioner Stephen C. Brich to enter into an agreement with Northern Virginia partners to study Route 28/Dulles Toll Road/Dulles Greenway. Partners, which include VDOT, Loudoun County, Fairfax County, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and the Toll Road Investors Partnership (TRIP II), will identify mitigation strategies to improve operations and safety at the interchange of Route 28 and Route 267 (Dulles Toll Road/Dulles Greenway), as well as analyze roadway changes, land development needs and projected traffic growth to develop a master plan to program future project efforts.
CTB members also joined Secretary Valentine in commemorating the 10-year anniversary of Virginia-sponsored passenger rail service at Main Street Station. In October 2009, daily round-trip service was launched from Lynchburg to Washington, D.C., providing intercity passenger rail service for the first time in the Commonwealth.
“I am honored to have been part of launching the first Virginia-sponsored Amtrak train in the Commonwealth in 2009,” said Shannon Valentine, Secretary of Transportation. “Standing on the shoulders of many, we continue to build a rail network that supports job creation, workforce recruitment, tourism, and business investment throughout our Commonwealth.”
In this month’s meeting, the CTB also approved two VDOT contracts totaling $17.8 million. 
  • A $10.2 million contract was awarded to Branscome Inc. of Williamsburg, to relieve congestion on Longhill Road in James City County. The project will expand the road from two lanes to a four lane divided highway from just east of Williamsburg West Drive to just west of the Olde Towne Road/Devon Road intersection in VDOT’s Hampton Roads District. The outside lanes will include extra width to accommodate cyclists. A 10-foot multiuse path will also be constructed as part of the project. Completion is expected in fall 2021.
  • A $7.6 million contract was awarded to Kanawha Stone Company Inc. of Nitro, W.Va., to reconstruct a portion of Route 622 (Lynbrook Road) in northwestern Campbell County as a wider roadway. The road will also be shifted north approximately 600 feet to improve alignment with Route 683. As part of the project, a portion of Flat Creek will be relocated, and a new bridge will be constructed. This is the latest project on Route 622 in VDOT’s Lynchburg District. Once complete, it will provide motorists with an improved corridor between the Bedford County line and Route 29. Completion is expected in late summer 2021.
Appointed by the governor, the 17-member CTB establishes the administrative policies for Virginia’s transportation system. The CTB allocates highway funding to specific projects, locates routes and provides funding for airports, seaports and public transportation.
For more information:

Thursday, September 5, 2019

VDOT Is Prepared For Hurricane Dorian

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is prepared to keep Virginia roads safe ahead of forecasted effects of Hurricane Dorian. Crews across the state stand prepared to respond to any unsafe traveling conditions and damage resulting from the storm.
Coastal and southeastern Virginia is expected to begin feeling impacts of the storm beginning Thursday afternoon. Potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian include coastal and inland flooding, storm surge, damaging winds and prolonged power outages. Ahead of the storm, VDOT staff and crews are:
  • readying trucks and equipment
  • inspecting drainage facilities and clearing them, where necessary
  • planning for staff augmentation of Safety Service Patrols and Traffic Operations Centers for additional traffic monitoring, emergency response capabilities and assisting motorists in distress along major routes
  • lifting lane closures, where possible, on major routes in affected areas to keep roads clear for emergency responders and evacuees
  • notifying additional debris/tree removal crews to be on standby once the storm arrives
VDOT is working closely with local and state partners at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Virginia State Police ahead of the storm to plan and coordinate emergency response. VDOT is also coordinating with utility companies statewide in advance of potential downed power lines.
Preparation tips
  • Clear any debris from drainage facilities on your property to prepare for heavy rains.

Information resources
  • Get the latest road conditions - call 511, go to 511virginia.org or download the mobile app at the 511 web site.
  • Report downed trees, hazardous road conditions or talk to a customer service representative – call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).
  • Statewide traffic information is also available on Twitter @511statewideVA.
  • For general VDOT information, follow @VaDOT on Twitter or VirginiaDOT on Facebook.

Monday, August 26, 2019

VDOT Wins Two Regional Awards

SAVANNAH, Ga. – At the annual meeting of the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) this week, the Commonwealth of Virginia was recognized with two America’s Transportation Awards from SASHTO’s 12th annual regional competition. SASHTO represents fourteen departments of transportation across the southeastern United States.
The Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) won the award in the Quality of Life/Community Development category for their collaborative effort to fund and construct The Pulse, a bus rapid transit system in the City of Richmond. VDOT also was honored with an award in the Operations Excellence category for its innovative towing program, which incentivizes tow companies to clear complex commercial vehicle crashes from major highways as quickly and safely as possible.
“We are honored to be recognized by our national peers for innovative solutions that improve quality of life and expand access to economic opportunity,” said Shannon Valentine, Secretary of Transportation. “The work our team has accomplished is changing lives and transforming communities.”
With partnership from the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC), the Federal Transit Administration, the City of Richmond, Henrico County, and DRPT, the state-of-the-art Pulse system was constructed by VDOT in only 18 months within existing right-of-way along a 7.6-mile corridor of U.S. Route 250 in the City of Richmond and Henrico County. It features two bus-only lanes, 26 real-time connected stations, environmentally-friendly transit vehicles, and a priority traffic signaling system to ensure true bus rapid transit. Additionally, the Commonwealth funded a system-wide bus network redesign that feeds into the corridor served by The Pulse. Since its launch in 2018, The Pulse continues to exceed ridership expectations. The bus rapid transit service, combined with the redesign of the GRTC network, have led to an overall transit ridership increase of 18%.
The Pulse is an example of a creative transportation solution that is providing new mobility options and improving the transportation system for the entire region,” said Jennifer Mitchell, DRPT Director. “DRPT is proud to have been a part of this amazing team from start to finish.”
VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich added, “We are dedicated to our roles in building and operating a world-class transportation system that serves as the foundation for Virginia’s economy and quality of life. The SASHTO awards serve as reminders that each of our initiatives and projects can make positive impacts in the communities we serve.”
“This recognition is very well deserved,” said Gary Armstrong, GRTC Board Chairman. “The hard work of DRPT and VDOT was evident throughout the design and construction of the system, and DRPT’s dedication to successfully implementing a state-of-the art BRT system was front and center from application through award of the TIGER grant.”
Awarded for operational excellence, VDOT’s new towing response initiative, called the Towing Recovery and Incentive Program (TRIP), uses financial incentives to encourage tow companies to clear complex commercial crashes and incidents on Virginia interstates as efficiently as possible. 2018 data shows that, on average, travel lanes opened 103 minutes quicker with the TRIP program, allowing for smoother traffic flow, reducing congestion, and saving travelers valuable time and money.
As recipient of the two awards, Virginia will now be eligible to compete for the national award, presented by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) at its annual meeting in October.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Know and Follow The Slow Down / Move Over Law

Tips for Safe Driving in Virginia

State trooper at traffic stop
Virginia’s traffic laws are similar to those in other states: 
  • Buckle up
  • Obey speed limits
  • Drive alcohol- and drug-free
  • Share the road
  • Avoid distractions
  • Don’t text and drive
Virginia has two laws to keep vehicles moving safely and smoothly around traffic incidents – Move Over and Move It.

Virginia’s ‘Move Over’ Law

Virginia law (§ 46.2-921.1) states that “upon approaching a stationary vehicle that is displaying a flashing, blinking or alternating blue, red or amber light or lights,” drivers shall:
  • “On a highway having at least four lanes, at least two of which are intended for traffic proceeding as the approaching vehicle, proceed with caution and, if reasonable, with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, yield the right of way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle or,
  • “If changing lanes would be unreasonable or unsafe, proceed with due caution and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.”
A single violation of the “Move Over” law is punishable as a traffic infraction.  Subsequent violations may be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

Virginia’s ‘Move It’ Law

If you’re in a fender bender with no injuries and you can move your vehicle from the travel lanes, do so. It’s the law.
When you leave your vehicle on the road after a crash, you add to traffic back-ups, which may cause other more serious crashes in terms of property damage and personal injury.
Virginia’s “Move It” law (§ 46.2-888) states, If the driver is capable of safely doing so and the vehicle is movable, (you) shall move the vehicle from the roadway to prevent obstructing the regular flow of traffic.”
The law adds that moving your vehicle does not relieve law-enforcement officers of their duty to file a report of the accident.

If You Are In A Crash

Check for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.
If no one is injured, and traffic is blocked, move the vehicles to the nearest safe location, then call 911.
Notify law enforcement when:
  • There are injuries or fatalities
  • Vehicles can’t be moved
  • One of the drivers appears to be intoxicated
  • Damage exceeds $1,500
  • One of the drivers has no insurance
  • One of the drivers leaves the crash scene
Warn oncoming traffic to prevent other crashes. Raise your hood or use flares. 
If you need help:
  • Tie a white handkerchief to your antenna or door.
  • Wave a red flag.
  • Use a flashlight at night.
Don’t become a pedestrian fatality on the highway. Be patient while waiting for help.
 If you must leave your car, keep away from traffic and walk on the right side of the road. 
Crossing a highway or trying to stop traffic is dangerous, especially at night or when visibility is low.
Exchange information. Everyone involved in a crash should share:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number
  • Vehicle make/model/year
  • Insurance information
When calling 911 to report an accident, give an exact description of the crash location:
  • Routes
  • Streets
  • City or county
  • Distance to nearest landmark (exit number, mile marker, bridge, intersection, etc.).
From the Code of Virginia § 46.2-894:
Duty of driver to stop, etc., in event of accident involving injury or death or damage to attended property: The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident in which a person is killed or injured or in which an attended vehicle or other attended property is damaged shall immediately stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing traffic, and report his name, address, driver's license number and vehicle registration number forthwith to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency, to the person struck and injured if such person appears to be capable of understanding and retaining the information, or to the driver or some other occupant of the vehicle collided with or to the custodian of other damaged property.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Public Invited to Attend I-81 Advisory Committee Meeting

LEXINGTON, Va. – The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) are inviting members of the public to attend the first meeting of the Interstate 81 (I-81) Advisory Committee on Tuesday, August 13, in Lexington. 
As directed in Senate Bill 1716 (now 2019 Acts of Assembly Chapter 846), the I-81 Advisory Committee is charged with providing advice and making recommendations to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) regarding the development of the I-81 Corridor Improvement program and updates to the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan. The plan was approved by the CTB in December 2018, following a comprehensive study of the corridor. The I-81 Advisory Committee must meet four times a year at rotating planning district locations along the corridor and report to the Governor and General Assembly each December.
Senate Bill 1716, introduced by Senators Mark Obenshain and Bill Carrico, and House Bill 2718, introduced by Delegates Steve Landes and Terry Austin, establish the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program, Fund and Committee. The legislation also provides revenues for the Fund through the creation of a new registration fee and diesel, regional and road taxes. Governor Ralph Northam announced amendments in March, providing dedicated annual funding to the corridor, estimated initially as $103 million in fiscal year 2020 and growing to an estimated $163 million in fiscal year 2025. These funds will support a $2 billion improvement program. 
The advisory committee meeting will be held Tuesday, August 13, at 2 p.m. at the Hampton Inn,   located at 401 E Nelson Street, Lexington, VA 24450. 
The committee has 15 voting members: seven Virginia lawmakers, three CTB members representing the Bristol, Salem and Staunton districts and the five chairs of the planning district commissions. VDOT’s commissioner and DRPT’s director will serve on the committee ex officio in nonvoting capacities. 
Any questions or comments about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan can be directed to
VA81CorridorPlan@OIPI.Virginia.gov
For more information about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, visit http://www.VA81Corridor.org. For additional information about the CTB, visit http://www.CTB.Virginia.gov/

Monday, August 12, 2019

Travel Alert: Radford Rest Areas on I-81 to Close for Paving

Beginning next week, the Interstate 81 safety rest areas in Radford, northbound and southbound, are scheduled to be closed, weather permitting. The closure will be in place while the parking areas are being paved.
On Monday, August 12 at 8 a.m., the I-81 southbound Radford Safety Rest Area at mile marker 108 will close. The site will re-open on Monday, August 19, at 8 a.m.
On Monday, August 19 at 8 a.m., the I-81 northbound Radford Safety Rest Area at mile marker 108 will close. The site will reopen on Monday, August 26 at 8 a.m.  
Drivers are encouraged to plan their travel accordingly. If you need assistance with finding another safety rest area in this vicinity, visit www.virginiadot.org/travel/map-rest-area.asp.
Message boards will be posted for motorists while the rest areas are closed.
For the latest information on this closure, visit www.511Virginia.org or follow us on Twitter at @VaDOTSalem.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Mark your calendar for October 21 - 23, 2019 for this year's RMC!

Turf Valley in Ellicott City, Maryland will be the site of this year’s Roadway Management Conference, hosted by the five LTAP and TCenters of the Mid-Atlantic Region – WV, PA, VA, MD, and DE.

Registration for the 3-day conference ($150 per attendee) is now open at the conference website. Lodging ($106 +taxes) information is also linked on the site and you can reserve your room by phone or online.

The conference is an action packed, informative, fun, and affordable conference with something for everyone in the local roads management game.  Whether you operate a shovel, a backhoe, or a spreadsheet, you will find your money’s worth and your time’s worth in the technical sessions and outdoor demonstrations.  Don’t take our word for it; have a look at our agenda for this year andphotos from last year on the RMC website.

Watch this short video to better understand what the RMC is about, see some of the activities from last year, and meet some of the host personnel.