Friday, June 07, 2013

Speed limit increases coming for 495 Express Lanes in NoVa

Governor Bob McDonnell announced on Friday that the speed limit on the 495 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia will increase from 55 mph to 65 mph. The speed increase will take effect on or about June 24 and provide Northern Virginia drivers with an even faster, more predictable option on the Capital Beltway in Virginia.

The Governor commented:
“The 495 Express Lanes are helping to alleviate traffic congestion along one of the most congested roadways in the Commonwealth. The new speed limit increase will help Northern Virginia Beltway drivers save even more time on their commute. A faster trip on the Express Lanes improves access to key employment centers, sets the region up for growth and makes Northern Virginia an even more attractive place to live and work.”
While the speed limit on the 495 Express Lanes will increase to 65 mph, the speed limit on the mainline Beltway lanes will remain 55 mph. Capital Beltway drivers in Northern Virginia should expect to see signage changes reflecting the speed increase on or about June 24 (weather permitting). New sign installation will not occur during rush hour and will not disrupt traffic. Another announcement will be made when the speed limit change is in effect.

Safety remains a top concern on all Virginia roads including the 495 Express Lanes. As the Express Lanes are a new travel option in Northern Virginia, drivers are reminded to make sure they know the rules of the road before taking their first trip in the Express Lanes. When traveling in the 495 Express Lanes drivers should mind the barrier that separates the mainline Beltway and the Express Lanes and avoid distractions, as distracted driving increases the risk of an accident four-fold.

The 495 Express Lanes operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Dynamic pricing based on real-time traffic conditions manages the demand for the lanes, keeping the Express Lanes moving. All drivers need an E-ZPass® to use the Express Lanes – there are no toll booths or options to pay cash. Carpoolers traveling HOV-3+ need an E-ZPass® FlexSM to ensure a toll-free trip on the Express Lanes. Other drivers may pay a toll for a faster, more predictable trip.

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