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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - John B. Townsend Ii
D.C. police activated 100 new "next-generation" traffic cameras this weekend to target a growing number of motorist violations ranging from failure to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks to blocking the box.
High-occupancy toll lanes on the Beltway in Northern Virginia are underperforming a year after opening, a hurdle similar to others across the country during the infancy of road projects.
Twelve months into a massive three-year project to establish, expand and improve high-occupancy toll lanes between Alexandria and Stafford County, Virginia transportation officials are standing by their predictions of smoother commutes in the near future — even though the current reality is construction-related gridlock and delay.
Memorial Day travelers will have slightly less company on the roads this year because of the effects of sequestration, travel officials said Tuesday.
The seven D.C. employees responsible for "booting" cars with delinquent tickets immobilized more than 15,000 vehicles last year — a rate of 61 per day, according to figures compiled by AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The Maryland Senate this week will consider a House-approved proposal to raise the state's tax on gasoline, even as states such as Virginia have recently questioned the long-term value of tying transportation funding to fuel consumption.
D.C. parking enforcement officers stuck 1.9 million tickets on car windshields in fiscal 2012 — a rate of one ticket every eight seconds — raking in $92.6 million in revenue for the city, according to figures from the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.
Average gas prices topped $4 a gallon in Washington, D.C., for only the fifth time ever on Thursday, the 35th straight day of increases that have seen prices rise by a total 42 cents.
If justice prevails, Washington will have to refund all $1,814,150 collected on the 14,167 defective citations issued in the Third Street Tunnel, as highlighted by Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Mark Robinson ("Shot with own speed camera, D.C. cop fires back," Web, Tuesday). If justice truly prevails, the city will have to refund more than $10 million collected on more than 100,000 defective citations due to other errors that invalidate the citations.
Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Mark Robinson tried for months to persuade D.C. traffic officials to rescind more than 100,000 defective citations he said were a result of unreliable speed cameras, but when he got caught by one of them himself in the Third Street Tunnel, he took a different course.
"It gives a new meaning to the phrase 'all over the map,' " said John B. Townsend II, a spokesman for the group. "Motorists will encounter a plethora of automated traffic enforcement cameras in every quadrant and quarter of the map and streetscape of the city."
But changing drivers' commuting habits will take "constant messaging," Mr. Townsend said.