Arlington Coalition for Sensible Transportation
May 13, 2019
May 13, 2019
I am speaking on behalf of the Arlington Coalition for Sensible Transportation (ACST), not on behalf of the Arlington Transportation Commission of which I am a member.
On May 2, 2019, VDOT Tolling Division Administrator David Caudill--(804) 786-2454--provided the Arlington Transportation Commission with an overview of tolling enforcement operations on I-66 Inside the Beltway. On May 8, 2019, Mr. Caudill further reported:
“Since December 4, 2017 [during the first 74 weeks of tolling], Virginia State Police troopers have issued 258 citations eastbound and 615 citations westbound. 91 citations have been written between 7:30AM and 8:30AM.”
91 peak-hour HOV citations in the 356 tolling days during 74-week reporting period reduces to only about one peak hour citation for every four days of tolling or 0.256 HOV citations per peak-toll-price hour.
Through a FOIA request to the Virginia State Police (VSP), ACST had earlier learned that during the first 53 weeks of tolling ending on December 8, 2018, there were 702 HOV citations.
Since then only 171 (873-702) citations were issued in the 101 tolling days through May 3 for an average rate of 1.69/tolling day or 0.211 per toll-price-hour. A 99% HOV-compliance rate among the I-66 ITB facility's 14,000 daily HOV vehicle trips would equate to 140 toll-cheating trips/day or 17 citations per toll-price-hour. Actual HOV citation numbers are a fraction of that, indicating that VSP’s toll enforcement activities are lax and getting worse.
Significantly lower numbers of citations on eastbound I-66 further indicate that toll cheating contributes to higher peak hour toll prices documented in the a.m. on inbound I-66. Absent an adequate enforcement regime, tolls will continue to spike on eastbound I-66, fueling political opposition to the program, despite its success at reducing congestion.