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Old 08-18-2009, 01:14 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,341,583 times
Reputation: 6895

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The road originally referenced in the post, Leesburg Pike, Route 7, is not a limited-access highway, despite having a 55 mph speed limit in places. It's a secondary road, that has two to three lanes per direction with lights, turn lanes, and intersections with neighborhood streets and side roads, so the adoption of NJesque laws about staying right, except to pass, would not even apply. Moreover, there are stretches of that particular road where people freak out because the person in front of them is not traveling at 70+mph. I really don't think that people complaining about that on Route 7 are upset that someone is traveling at 50 in a 55 zone, causing them to slow down from 55. And, parts of that road drop to 35 mph in built-up areas, yet people don't slow down at all.

The real offense is tailgaiting, believe it or not, since the tailgater is the one at risk of a ticket, not someone who is driving at what they believe to be a reasonable speed, given the traffic conditions, within the guidelines of the speed limit. So the following vehicle doesn't get to their destination a couple of minutes earlier, big deal...for that it's allowable to tailgate and harass a motorist who is driving within the scope of the law?

On a limited-access highway or Interstate, lane discipline is an issue in the United States, as is the mentality that a motorist is going to play frustrated police officer and drive at a deliberately slow pace to impeed traffic flow. That's an issue of passive-aggressive driving that is just as dangerous as the aggressive driver who tailgates, flashes lights, slows down suddenly/deliberately, and cuts off other motorists to prove a point. And, taken together, the two are more lethal to those drivers who are neither, and just happen to be driving on the same road at the same time.
__________________
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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Old 08-18-2009, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,101 posts, read 67,193,623 times
Reputation: 15748
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwguydc View Post
The road originally referenced in the post, Leesburg Pike, Route 7, is not a limited-access highway, despite having a 55 mph speed limit in places. It's a secondary road, that has two to three lanes per direction with lights, turn lanes, and intersections with neighborhood streets and side roads, so the adoption of NJesque laws about staying right, except to pass, would not even apply. Moreover, there are stretches of that particular road where people freak out because the person in front of them is not traveling at 70+mph. I really don't think that people complaining about that on Route 7 are upset that someone is traveling at 50 in a 55 zone, causing them to slow down from 55. And, parts of that road drop to 35 mph in built-up areas, yet people don't slow down at all.

The real offense is tailgaiting, believe it or not, since the tailgater is the one at risk of a ticket, not someone who is driving at what they believe to be a reasonable speed, given the traffic conditions, within the guidelines of the speed limit. So the following vehicle doesn't get to their destination a couple of minutes earlier, big deal...for that it's allowable to tailgate and harass a motorist who is driving within the scope of the law?

On a limited-access highway or Interstate, lane discipline is an issue in the United States, as is the mentality that a motorist is going to play frustrated police officer and drive at a deliberately slow pace to impeed traffic flow. That's an issue of passive-aggressive driving that is just as dangerous as the aggressive driver who tailgates, flashes lights, slows down suddenly/deliberately, and cuts off other motorists to prove a point. And, taken together, the two are more lethal to those drivers who are neither, and just happen to be driving on the same road at the same time.
Why, exactly is Route 7 six lanes in Sterling, six lanes in Tyson's Corner, but in between through the Reston/Great Falls area it is only four lanes? I never quite understood that one, considering with nearly 60,000 people living in Reston alone planners should have known well in advance that this stretch would become a rush-hour "choke" spot.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:19 PM
 
159 posts, read 337,125 times
Reputation: 49
Well, how about the idiot who is flashing his lights when I'm 10 miles above the speed limit and have 3 trucks lined up in the right lane on I-81. What am I supposed to do, run the trucks over so the idiot can speed up? Believe you me, I speed a lot whenever I feel like, but it's annoying when you're being flashed and you have a bunch of trucks in the right lane and you have no place to go. Well, I slow down even more.

Last edited by dod236; 08-18-2009 at 04:20 PM.. Reason: changes
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:26 PM
 
Location: In the woods
3,315 posts, read 8,774,073 times
Reputation: 1510
One time, I had a friend from VA (born and raised in northern VA) visiting NJ. He tried that slow-riding-in-the-left-lane nonsense in NJ and was surprised when a car came right behind him, turned on its high beams and kept on honking. He (my friend) finally went into the right lane and asked, "Geez, why was that guy threatening me?" And I just said, "He wasn't threatening you. You just need to get your a** out of the left lane."

I drive two different ways: the right way in NJ and very cautionary in VA. I accepted that a long time ago and life is just better now.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Centreville, VA
15 posts, read 39,334 times
Reputation: 18
My fiance (who also shares this username with me and isn't happy about me writing this post) does the same thing on her commute. She claims that she likes to go 70 while people in the right lanes go 50. I explained to her that what she should do is either drive in the right lanes and pass in the left lane (duh) or drive 70 in the left lane and move over so whenever the few people who want to go 80 do, they can do so then she can get back to the left lane going 70 which most people are fine doing during rush hour commute. She claims that constant lane changing will then create more congestion/slow traffic. My response - not if everyone knows how to drive which unfortunately is not the case.

I guess the unfortunate reality is living in a large metro region we will have to learn to live with this (I've been here my whole life and understand it, just hate it). I think the only answer is moving out to South Boston, VA where there is only one lane in either direction on their busiest highways and people are decent enough to pull over to the shoulder if you want to pass them. Good luck getting a job there though.

I heard today that in DC there are six job postings for every one uneployed person. Best in the nation. Don't know the numbers for South Boston but in Detroit there are 18 unemployed for every one job posting. Some things suck about DC, but not a lot.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:42 PM
 
141 posts, read 259,230 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
Does anyone have an effective solution as to how we can help to rid Northern Virginia of its "left-lane hogger" pandemic? I commute along Route 7 daily between Reston and Tyson's Corner, and I routinely find myself tail-gating people in the left-hand lane doing 5-10 miles under the speed limit as others zoom by in the right-hand lane and then get back in the left-hand lane in front of this "left-lane hogger" in front of me (in essence, passing on the right). I was always taught that you were to "stay right, except to pass." Is this no longer the case? Thankfully since it is August traffic has been relatively easy to endure, but once the congestion thickens I'm not going to be quite as "forgiving" with these left-lane hoggers. I realize some people might be turning left from Route 7 East onto Lewinsville Road, for example, but why get in the left-hand lane and STAY THERE, poking along, miles before the intersection? Why aren't the Fairfax County Police pulling people over for being in the left-hand lane for an extended period of time without passing? They certainly know how to harass people for speeding, though, when these left-lane hoggers are just as dangerous for encouraging aggressive driving. I myself don't want to be viewed as being a dangerous driver for tailgating, but what else CAN you do to alert the driver in front of you that they don't belong dawdling in the passing lane? Honk? Flash your high beams?

Good Lord the Metro can't come to Reston soon enough!
we have a big problem with this in maine, i complained about it in craigslist once discovered there is a lot of hateful drivers that like screwing over others
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,341,583 times
Reputation: 6895
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
Why, exactly is Route 7 six lanes in Sterling, six lanes in Tyson's Corner, but in between through the Reston/Great Falls area it is only four lanes? I never quite understood that one, considering with nearly 60,000 people living in Reston alone planners should have known well in advance that this stretch would become a rush-hour "choke" spot.
Route 7 adds and drops lanes throughout much of its route, but the density in Vienna/McLean/Great Falls never called for the road to be widened, much less Eastern Loudoun that was farmland. Now, since Eastern Loudoun built-up and more density has come to Reston, it's a matter of funding as money has been pumped into other roads in the area. Also, there are active citizens' groups in McLean and Great Falls that want no improvements to Route 7, namely the intersection with Georgetown Pike, until the entire route can be improved to Tysons Corner, so that Georgetown Pike does not become choked with any more traffic trying to avoid part of Route 7.

Georgetown Pike, itself, is sacrosanct as an historic landmark with ties to Washington and the Madisons, hence why it does not conform to modern road design and was never/will likely never be widened. Lewinsville Road is another route that has successfully been blocked from being widened, and has active citizenry opposed to any change to the road. With those two roads effectively blocked from change, the capacity has to be absorbed by Route 7 and the Toll Road.
__________________
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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Old 08-19-2009, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Metro Kansas City
56 posts, read 116,052 times
Reputation: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
Why, exactly is Route 7 six lanes in Sterling, six lanes in Tyson's Corner, but in between through the Reston/Great Falls area it is only four lanes? I never quite understood that one, considering with nearly 60,000 people living in Reston alone planners should have known well in advance that this stretch would become a rush-hour "choke" spot.
I see a lot of your posts like this, and I'm curious why you think these planners are so prescient that they "know" what areas are going to be developed in 20-30 years and will need to be changed/widened/access increased etc. No one knows what the future is going to be. You can make educated guesses, but no one in Loudoun ever thought they would see triple digit population increases so fast. The current traffic (and some other) woes in NoVa are the result of economic changes, governmental growth, uneven and unexpected population changes, demographic changes, some poor planning, and no overall supervision/coordination in planning. If there is someone who can accurately predict and plan for all this, we should be putting them in charge of the country, not Route 7.

Just my $0.02
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:57 PM
 
Location: In the woods
3,315 posts, read 8,774,073 times
Reputation: 1510
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedKnightt View Post
I see a lot of your posts like this, and I'm curious why you think these planners are so prescient that they "know" what areas are going to be developed in 20-30 years... Just my $0.02
I agree. When I moved to Sterling/Loudoun County in 1992, there was NOTHING around Rte 7 except Home Depot and the NOVA campus. No Cascades, no Ashburn, no Landsdowne, no Dulles Town Ctrs mall, Price Club, shopping centers, just nothing. In fact, the County did not even require emissions inspections on cars because I was told that emissions inspections is determined by the population size of a county. I used to love driving from Sterling to Leesburg on an open road with nothing but open fields and farmlands. And it was especially beautiful if it snowed. There even used to be some really cool old barns but now they've all been demolished. Now, everything and everybody are out there and that area can no longer be called bucolic . . .
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:59 PM
 
141 posts, read 259,230 times
Reputation: 77
prescient? no, but 20 yrs later let's put some of those high taxes into adding a lane or making another route more commuter friendly
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