Thursday, June 30, 2005

Summer Vacations from Hell

Attention beach vacationers, you might want to avoid Interstate 64 between Williamsburg and Norfolk this weekend. The section of I-64 near the Williamsburg area has been named the second worst summer traffic bottleneck in America, according to a study by The Road Information Program (TRIP), American Automobile Association and the American Highway Users Alliance. The study ranked the Oregon Coast as the worst bottleneck in the country, with the Maryland/Delaware Shore and North Carolina's Outer Banks also falling in the Top 5.

“This is not a top 10 list that Virginia wants to be on this upcoming July 4 holiday and especially when we are planning a major celebration centered on the Jamestown settlement for 2007,” said Steve Haner, vice president of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and steering committee coordinator of Virginians for Better Transportation (VBT). “And with no long-term funding available to help remedy Virginia’s transportation crisis, the situation will only get worse. It’s time to address these problems to better our quality of life and enhance Virginia’s reputation as a vacation destination.”


At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The solution? It's called a train. Not a new thing. The Italians swarm their beaches on their holidays and while they have congestion problems here and there, they are nothing compared to the U.S. Many Italians and tourists simple take one of the many many trains and get wherever they want to go.

In 1945 the United States had the most high-speed rail lines/trains in the world. Then government started massive subsidies for highways and cut the funding for rail. It's time to go back to trains and mass transit.

At 6:27 AM, Anonymous SDH4VBT said...

Agreed. That is a long narrow corridor that just begs for rail service that goes not just to Virginia Beach and Norfolk but on down to the Outer Banks. That is clearly part of the solution, but we can't afford that either under present circumstances. Rail requires also right of way, moving the dirt, butying tons of steel, but when you're broke, you're broke.

At 8:04 AM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

I'm not a fan of mass transit, but I do ride the trains. skiing in New England works well on the train because you can take an overnight train with a sleeper and arrive at the slopes in the morning, whereas because of the flight schedule flying costs you a half day of skiing on both ends.

I once took the train from Lisbon to the beach at Cascais: it was fast convenient and cheap. But in this situation the train went from a heavily populated area to the beach. It was equivalent to traveling from Baltimore/Washington to Ocean City.

In addition, Cascais was set up to accommodate train travelers. There were showers on the beach and places to store stuff and other amenities to support pedestrians.

Virginia Beach draws travelers from long distances, so the local train would have to be only part of a much larger solution.

At the time I was in Cascais, Portugal was operating under a socialist or near socialist government, I'd hate to think what the real cost of the train I took was.


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