Proposal: Make I-495 Express Lanes non-routable

Moderators: jondrush, CBenson, jondrush, CBenson

Re: Proposal: Make I-495 Express Lanes non-routable

Postby arlenm2012 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:54 pm

syborg_sasquatch wrote:
russblau wrote:Those users who want to use the Express Lanes will still be able to do so, of course, and in most cases, when they enter, Waze should snap to the parking lot segment and then recalculate their route from that point. I say "should" because, with the close proximity between the main and Express lanes, there are bound to be some GPS errors in this process, so we will probably still have some user complaints.

In my experience, I have found that the tolerance for GPS "errors" increases when a route is active in the app. If I am on I-270 and for some reason choose the local lanes instead of the express lanes with an active route, many times I will not snap to the lanes I am in for quite some distance. If I stop the route navigation, I usually snap to the appropriate lane and then I would restart my route. I recall having this happening with the I-495 Express lanes when I was new to the app and didn't think to turn off tolls. So for those entering the Express Lanes from either ends, the app may not snap to the Express Lanes until there is a large enough gap between them and the regular lanes. Maybe this is not a big deal so long as the car icon will snap over before the first exit ramp.

I appreciate how much of a pain it is to deal with all the URs currently being generated but I agree with CBenson that this change could significantly impact Exp Lane users. For instance, the Express Lanes have a couple on-ramps that the non-express lanes do not have. If we convert the Express Lanes to PLot segments, users willing to use the Exp Lanes will not be routed to them.

And if there is a significant backup on the Exp Lanes (say, due to an accident), the user would not be able to tell until they were in the lanes and their icon snapped over or unless they scanned ahead on the map (probably while trying to drive).

Personally, I like being able to compare routing times between the Exp and Non-Express lanes by toggling the toll setting. I only use the Exp Lanes if I feel the time savings are worth the cost. And there have been times it has saved me ~15 minutes from I-66 to its northern terminus which made it worth the ~$1.75.

10/4!
arlenm2012
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:05 pm
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Proposal: Make I-495 Express Lanes non-routable

Postby arlenm2012 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:59 pm

sprinx wrote:I think there should at least be a warning pop-up (with option to disable future warnings) that an EZ-pass is required for a toll road.

I don't mind paying an extra buck or two for convenience, but I just paid a $25 fee due to Waze routing me through I-495 at 10 am on a Sunday morning (i.e. absolutely no traffic on the main Interstate). I realized after a few miles what had happened, but there was no escape.

Bottom line is realizing that until the software is changed to have some other type of notification, just disable tolls. The express lanes are 99% always going to be faster so you can chose that route if you want to.
arlenm2012
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:05 pm
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Proposal: Make I-495 Express Lanes non-routable

Postby CBenson » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:53 pm

My view is that this would be a fairly significant inconvenience to Waze users that do use the Express Lanes. To be effective at choosing the fastest route, waze has to have the fastest route as an available option.

If I understand correctly, at this point you should not be routed on the Express Lanes if you have avoid toll roads selected. I'm not sure I want to accommodate those who (a) don't want to pay the toll, but haven't seleceted "Avoid Toll Roads" or (b) aren't paying attention to the directions given them at the expense of users who wish to have the option of taking the faster Express Lanes at least presented to them. The EZ-Pass only limitation is an issue.

I guess the question becomes, how successfully is waze at giving accurate ETAs that distinguish between using the Express Lanes and not using them. Not commuting over there, I don't know. I can say that waze gives me extremely different routes with "Avoid Tolls Roads" selected or not when routing from Annapolis to the Shenandoah Valley, but presumably that is due to the Dulles Toll Road and Greenway not the Express lanes.
Regional Coordinator: Mid-Altantic, US
Verizon, Droid Turbo, Android 4.4.4, Waze 3.9.4.0
CBenson
Waze Global Champs
Waze Global Champs
 
Posts: 9032
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:13 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD, US
Has thanked: 748 times
Been thanked: 1803 times

Re: Proposal: Make I-495 Express Lanes non-routable

Postby Dachannien » Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:45 pm

My normal commute is on I-95 south of the Beltway, and I can vouch for the fact that Waze usually does a pretty good job of deciding whether the HOV lanes or the regular lanes will be faster for a given trip. However, it also has a lot of trouble figuring out when I've second-guessed it by taking the lanes it didn't choose. This is with a substantial amount of space between the regular and HOV lanes in many spots - it takes probably 200-300 feet of separation from the planned route before Waze will figure out I didn't go that way (there are a couple of places along I-95 where the lanes separate by that amount).

In the case of the 495 express lanes, there are no places where the separation between the lanes becomes that large, and it's likely that Waze will never figure out that you went the other way until you get to the exit it suggested for you. To make matters worse, it's not just a matter of the express exits being on the opposite side from the regular exits - there are exits in each set of lanes that have no equivalent exits on the other side.

Finally, the person a couple of posts above raises a good point. What you really want along this section of highway is an estimate of how bad the traffic is in the regular lanes. The dynamic tolls in the express lanes are already supposed to provide some indication of how crowded the lanes are (so that people will take them when they are uncrowded and avoid them when there is more traffic).

So, my vote is in favor of the original proposal. Either change the entire lanes to PLR, or change the entrance segments and on-ramps to PLR.
Dachannien
Map Editor - level 2
Map Editor - level 2
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:46 am
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 0 time

Re: Proposal: Make I-495 Express Lanes non-routable

Postby Dachannien » Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:59 pm

Poncewattle wrote:So anyway, I think they set the dynamic toll rate based on how busy the express lanes are, not how busy the regular lanes are. That's my theory at least. And if true, that kinda sucks because I want to know how busy the regular lanes are before I decide whether or not to use the express lanes.


Yes, sorry, I was perhaps a little imprecise writing what I wrote. The tolls are based on the amount of traffic in the express lanes and generally give no direct indication of what's going on in the normal lanes. (Sometimes they can, from people taking the express lanes as an alternate route when they know the normal lanes are packed, but frequently the correlation is low.)
Dachannien
Map Editor - level 2
Map Editor - level 2
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:46 am
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 0 time

Re: Proposal: Make I-495 Express Lanes non-routable

Postby Mike-1323 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:39 pm

Sprinx wrote:I think there should at least be a warning pop-up (with option to disable future warnings) that an EZ-pass is required for a toll road.

I don't mind paying an extra buck or two for convenience, but I just paid a $25 fee due to Waze routing me through I-495 at 10 am on a Sunday morning (i.e. absolutely no traffic on the main Interstate). I realized after a few miles what had happened, but there was no escape.


The great big signs overhead that clearly and repeatedly state "ALL USERS E-ZPASS REQUIRED" aren't sufficient?

However, they are marked as toll roads so if you have the "avoid toll roads" option checked you should not be routed onto the express lanes.

Image Image Image
AM - Northern Virginia - Fairfax/Ft. Belvoir
SM - Virginia & CM - USA

Required reading: Quick Start Guide, Best Practices, USA Road Types
Mike-1323
State Manager
State Manager
 
Posts: 1026
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:06 pm
Location: Lorton, Va
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 186 times

Re: Proposal: Make I-495 Express Lanes non-routable

Postby n8nagel » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:55 pm

I understand the issue, e.g. I may be willing to pay the toll for the Dulles Toll Road, but not necessarily the high fees for the Greenway or the I-495 HOT lanes. Unfortunately I don't have a useful suggestion in this regard.

I would like to see it be easier to toggle on/off the "avoid toll roads" function in Waze, as e.g. if I have three people in the car taking the HOT lanes is no penalty at all, but if I'm by myself, I would like to avoid them if at all possible.
Image
n8nagel
 
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:44 pm
Has thanked: 44 times
Been thanked: 45 times

Re: Proposal: Make I-495 Express Lanes non-routable

Postby n8nagel » Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:48 pm

Another wrinkle to this issue is that the speed limit on the express lanes is 65 not 55 meaning that while some people are traveling at 70 MPH on the through lanes in free flowing conditions, a lot more percentage wise are doing so in the express lanes, so Waze will almost always think that the express lanes are faster. By how much, that's another discussion, but still...
Image
n8nagel
 
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:44 pm
Has thanked: 44 times
Been thanked: 45 times

Re: Proposal: Make I-495 Express Lanes non-routable

Postby Poncewattle » Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:58 pm

Dachannien wrote:The dynamic tolls in the express lanes are already supposed to provide some indication of how crowded the lanes are (so that people will take them when they are uncrowded and avoid them when there is more traffic).


Actually, not quite always the case. I saw a case where there was an accident on the express lanes with one lane closed and traffic backed up on it during an off-peak time. The normal lanes were free-flowing. I suppose to discourage traffic from using the lanes or perhaps triggered by traffic flow monitors, the rate from I-66 to the north exit (which is usually around a dollar off-peak) shot up to over eight bucks.

It worked for me. I took the normal lanes. Saw the backup. If I paid the money and got stuck in that mess and saw the normal lanes running fine I would have been pretty upset.

So anyway, I think they set the dynamic toll rate based on how busy the express lanes are, not how busy the regular lanes are. That's my theory at least. And if true, that kinda sucks because I want to know how busy the regular lanes are before I decide whether or not to use the express lanes.

Slightly off-topic and this was before I was using Waze so can't tell you how Waze would have routed.
Poncewattle
Area Manager: Luray, VA : Bronx, NY
Contributor to: Northern Delaware
Residences: Luray, VA / Newark, DE
ImageImageImage
AFK until May 17th
Poncewattle
Map Raider
Map Raider
 
Posts: 461
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:00 am
Location: Virginia/Delaware, USA
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 140 times

Re: Proposal: Make I-495 Express Lanes non-routable

Postby reborndata » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:38 pm

A little late to the game, but I want to add a vote for the initial proposal. I am a daily commuter form Springfield to Reston, and use Waze primarily to help me understand which of several possible routes to take based on time. The preference Waze has for the HOT lanes (because they are always faster) has nearly destroyed the utility of the app for my use case:

1. I'm OK paying *reasonable* tolls (not the $6-12 each way the HOT lanes are during rush hour), and often use the Dulles toll road in combination with the normal beltway lanes. Disabling tolls entirely will cause Waze not to use one of my good options.
2. When I'm going north and do not want to use the HOT lanes, I have go go through major caliesthenics to get Waze to recognize that I'm not currently in the HOT lanes- pick the single (bad) alternative route that is the normal beltway lanes and then wait to change it until Waze is sure I'm on it (but only after I'm north of Gallows because otherwise it will route me back onto the HOT lanes and not recognize that I didn't take the exit)

I recognize that there are software changes needed. According to this:

https://wiki.waze.com/wiki/Carpool,_HOV,_Transit_lanes

The recommendation is that such lanes should be classified as "parking lot roads", as this will give the "least surprising" behavior.

I'm in favor of doing this for the 495 express lanes because:

(a) people who are not from the area and driving through may not have the requisite EZ-pass and shouldn't be routed on to them
(b) the HOT lanes are almost always the same speed / time; regular commuters / drivers in the area are well aware they are the fastest route and don't need Waze to suggest them
(c) if classified as a parking lot road your time should be updated correctly if you choose to drive on them.
reborndata
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time

Next

Return to Virginia

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users