Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Temporary Relocation of Rt. 610 Staffordboro Blvd. and Mine Road Slug Stations at the Pentagon



Effective Monday, July 23, Rt 610 Staffordboro Blvd. and Rt 610 Mine Road PM Pick-Up locations will be relocated to the Kiss and Ride areas on North Rotary Road between Corridor 2 and 3 entrances.

Due to the current 395 Express Lanes/Eads Street construction project and increased traffic volume observed on surrounding roadways, two slug stations for PM pick-up along Fern Street will be temporarily relocated to North Rotary Road as a traffic mitigation strategy.

Beginning Monday, July 23,

• Rt. 610 Staffordboro Blvd. and Rt. 610 Mine Road slug stations will be temporarily relocated from Fern Street to N. Rotary Road Kiss & Ride areas on North Rotary Road for afternoon slugging pick-ups.
• Rt. 3 Fredericksburg and Rt. 17 Stafford will remain in the same location near Fern St. and the Motorcycle Lot.

Signage will be in placed in the Pentagon South Parking areas to direct slugs and vehicles to the temporary locations. Please see attached map for the temporary locations and vehicle/pedestrian navigation on the Pentagon Reservation. Please follow signage and traffic control direction. If you have any questions, please contact the WHS TMPO at 571-372-7124 or whs.pentagon.em.mbx.dod-shuttle-bus@mail.mil.

Monday, 1 January 2018

New sluglines along I-66 corridor to assist drivers to avoid the outrageous I-66 tolls

Happy New Year! 
It is evident that people living outside beltway are outraged by the new I-66 tolls. More than 14,000 clean fuel vehicle drivers lost their HOV exemption who were allowed to use I-66 during HOV hours. With tolling in effect, many residents in the region are now considering slugging, the nation’s most efficient transportation system, organized and manged by the commuters, for the commuters.
Organizing sluglines is not an easy task, it is a major change in the way people commute. It requires commitment and flexibility from the commuters. To identify pickup and drop off locations, commuters are coordinating via I66sluglines, a facebook group. We have about 500 commuters interested in slugging and expected to grow organically by number of locations and commuters as it did along I-95 corridor. Commuters are encouraged to join the group to share their preferred locations and time.  
After a month of coordination and communication with I-66 commuters there are five morning pickup locations along  I-66 and five afternoon pickup locations inside beltway and DC. We still have to run it through the local government.  Most of the afternoon sluglines are co-located with the existing sluglines in DC. Depending on the demand locations may be added or modified by the commuters.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Tire Thefts at Horner Road Commuter Lot is Not an Isolated Incident!

Wheels Stripped off at Horner Road Commuter Lot - March 31, 2016
Wheels Stripped off at Horner Road Commuter Lot - May 19, 2016
Finding a parking space at the Horner Road Commuter Lot and commuting to work is stressful enough. To come back from work to finding cars оn blосkѕ, ѕtrірреd оf all four wheels and vandalized is whole another thing. It didn't happen to all 3000 commuters who park at the lot, but had happened for about 40 commuters in the last one year.

  1. 18th May, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/frankjprincipi/posts/815825411882072 - Approx. 7 vehicles vandalized
  2. 31st March, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/sluglinesdotcom/posts/1164142536929666 - Approx. 12 vehicles vandalized
  3. 10th March, 2016, http://wtop.com/prince-william-county/2016/03/thieves-strike-horner-road-commuter-lot/ - Approx. 4 vehicles vandalized
  4. 21st February, 2016, http://potomaclocal.com/2016/02/21/sedan-left-on-blocks-at-horner-road-commuter-lot-in-woodbridge/ - Approx. 4 vehicles vandalized
  5. 14th January, 2016, http://wtop.com/prince-william-county/2016/01/tire-thieves-targeting-horner-road-lot-in-woodbridge/slide/1/ - Approx. 4 vehicles vandalized
  6. 19th October, 2015, Wheel thefts reported at park-and-ride lot in Prince William County - Approx. 3 vehicles vandalized
  7. 9th September, 2015, http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Commuters-Find-Cars-Stripped-of-Tires-at-Va-Park-and-Ride-Lot-326853841.html - Approx. 4 vehicles vandalized
  8. 28th May, 2015, http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Tire-Thieves-Hit-Va-Commuter-Lot-Again-334388281.html - Approx. 3 vehicles vandalized
Surveillance cameras are definitely a good deterrence, but the last incident on the 31st March, 2016 was executed while there were cameras at both choke points. That leaves us with questions, if those cameras are good enough to recognize the license plates? Do we have tools to analyze the video footage? Should the cameras cover the entire parking lot?

Crime breeds crime, 40 victims in one year is good for some thought and action. 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

New SlugLines Mobile application to connect commuters



Every Northern Virginia resident knows the pain and anguish they experience in a gridlock while commuting between home and office.  The Sluglines assist drivers by reaching the two or three persons High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) requirement, and passengers in getting a free ride to their destination.

Sluglines Mobile App

Drivers had to drive to the slug line to check if riders are waiting. Sometimes they have to wait to get riders while there are riders waiting half a mile away. Now with the Sluglines mobile application, riders can check in to show their availability drivers can find real-time status of the line and navigate to other pickup locations where there are more riders. It works the same way for the riders

No more long waits, connect with commuters in real time with the Sluglines app, navigate your way through for a quicker commute. The Sluglines mobile application is available on Google Play Store and Apple iTunes for free. Download the Sluglines App and start Checking In

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

New HOV-3 ramp to Mark Center on I-395 to set to open today

The new HOV-3 ramp set to open today Jan 12, 2015 is guaranteed to save time for the Mark Center commuters. HOV traffic exiting to the Pentagon also may get some relief as this new ramp may take some of the traffic that exits at the Pentagon and circle back to the Mark Center.


I-395 HOV ramp to Mark Center
I-395 is the first reversible High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes build in 1969, it was initially built for buses and then evolved into HOV-4 and then to HOV-3. I-395 is one of the best investments that the federal government made, it moves 14% more people in 2 HOV lanes compared to the 4 general purpose lanes.

In 2005 the BRAC realignment approved by the congress mandated the move of many DoD offices from leased office space to secure sites that could meet DoD's security standards. As a part of BRAC initiative, the Mark Center was built in 2012 by the federal government to house about 7000 staff with about 2800 parking spaces.

To elevate the peak hour traffic caused by the new Mark Center, DoD invested $20 Million to construct short-term improvements along Seminary Road and enhanced public bus transportation. VDoT invested additional $76 Million to build 0.8 miles of reversible HOV-3 ramp from I-395 HOV lanes to seminary road, an auxiliary lane on I-395 north, bike trail and other developments along Seminary road. Construction of the HOV ramp began in March 2014 and is set to open on January 12, 2015. These lanes are expected to carry over 500 high occupancy vehicles during peak hours alone. This includes the Mark Center traffic as well as other regional traffic.

Today there are about 300 commuters slugging into the Mark Center from Woodbridge, Stafford and Fredericksburg, mostly coordinated by email groups restricted for Mark Center staff. There is also a designated staging area for slugging along the north parking garage entrance on Mark Center Dr.  Eventually, slugging is expected to grow as drivers possibly drop of slugs at the Mark Center and take off to nearby destinations like they do at the Pentagon. Unlike the Pentagon where Metro rail and buses are available, the Mark Center is served by limited public bus service that can take slugs to nearby work locations.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Today marks the first anniversary of I-95 Express Lanes

Express lanes as the name indicates are the fastest roads one can take to work during peak hours. The traffic flow is not only fast, but smooth too and the route leads to I-495 Beltway and I-395 lanes. Hot lanes are like the traffic hotline for when you need to save your time, a hot lane on an average day can save a commuter some 30 to 45 minutes. But the use of this road is subjected to a toll, which has caused it's popularity to be divided into two popular thought schools. Many believe that a few dollars are worth nothing in exchange for their valuable time whilst others argue the government is responsible for the provision of such roads for free, after all these were made out of taxes.
The I-95 express lanes comprises of a 29 miles runs between Edsall on the north and 610 on south. Most commuters that hit the road on a daily basis have a routine to follow, some everyday location to make to, in time. The fastest route you can take, almost no traffic jams and fast driving with almost no brake slamming make it a tempting option for many.
Launched on December 16, 2014 this project makes use of a distinct dynamic tolling, you pay tolls based on what kind of traffic you had to drive through as you accelerated your ride down the highway.  And laden with dynamic sign boards such as speed limits make this an exciting ride, much like weather conditions and human responses this highway is responsive to traffic conditions. Looking at the level of ease that the road has been able to provide the masses with has the authorities considering another extension in the project that connect to Washington, DC.
Lane closures are yet another reason to love this dynamic road, from changing speed limits to a constantly updated closure schedule online if a road could get any smarter it would take over the city. Lanes have been dedicated to commuters, for instance heavy traffic and commercial transport have their respective lanes making not only the commuting faster but smoother and hassle free. High speed mobility in a metropolis is a challenge, getting anywhere in time with unexpected traffic conditions is no longer the kind of stress that should bring you down before that important flight, meeting or appointments. Getting anywhere, everywhere around the city faster is the one thing that I-95 came with, unless you have a great deal of time to waste you should feel in no way but positively towards this marvel if modern day engineering and civil planning. One project done well.

Monday, 16 November 2015

New Commuter Bus Service from Woodbridge to Mark Center

A new commuter bus system will mean less congestion and reduced travel times, but can construction be completed in time for the program’s launch?

Great news for commuters headed to Mark Center who are tired of the grinding drive. Starting December 7, 2015, there will be an alternative for commuters who are looking to skip the drive. Two new OmniRide commuter bus routes will be opening that lead straight to the Alexandria facility. The bus routes will be completely funded by the VDRPT (Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation) in an effort to reduce congestion and gridlock along I-395.

These two new routes are the first of their kind, and offer a significant advantage for Prince William County commuters looking to skip the drive for the morning and afternoon rushes—each route will offer four trips for the morning and evening. Commuting via bus offers the distinct advantage of being able to relax on your commute or get some work done, effectively negating the worst aspects of commuting alone in your personal vehicle. Commuter buses will travel via the I-95 Express Lane and take advantage of the new I-395 HOV ramp located at Seminary Road.
Source: http://www.prtctransit.org/commuter-bus/mark-center.html
With one route starting in Dale City, and another in Lake Ridge, these new commuter services will provide ease of use and value to numerous commuters. Riders with SmarTrip cards will pay $6.20 one way, or $8.30 cash. For those slugging from Mark Center, the designated taxi-drop off and line up point is along Mark Center Drive, around the corner from the transportation center.

While all of this information is good news, there is one problem; we don’t know when the new ramp from the I-395 HOV lane to Seminary Road will be open. Virginia DOT has the ramp opening scheduled for early December 2015, but there hasn’t been a firm date released yet. The total construction project is slated to be completed in the spring of 2016, and there are concerns regarding the coordination of the new commuter bus service and the opening of the Seminary Road HOV ramp in time for bus service to begin.

In the meantime, slugging is coordinated by three different mailing lists specific to different locations:
    Horner / Tacketts Mills: whs.mc-alex.hrd.list.sluggers-horner-tacketts@mail.mil
    Route 234: whs.mc-alex.hrd.list.sluggers-montclair-234@mail.mil
    Stafford / Fredericksburg: whs.mc-alex.hrd.list.sluggers-stafford-fredericksburg@mail.mil
While hopeful commuters wait for the good news, it’s back to the daily grind.