A very interesting routing occurred this evening, just before 7pm (for those editors contributing to mapping the NoVA I495 HOT lanes.
I go the same time several times a week. Routing has always told me at times to take the regular lanes, and at times to take the HOT lanes. So, its not always a default for the HOT being faster. Actually, the distance in the HOT lanes is somewhat longer going south bound from 267 to Braddock Road. Not much, probably not more than 100 yards or so. But this is just an aside.
The curious thing is that it was posting the ramp from 267 to the HOT Express lanes as RED for major traffic backup. Not true, no one was on it at all. But what was most curious was the routing it gave me.
I am coming from Reston down 267, the routing told me to take the exit ramp to the regular south bond I495 lanes, travel south to route 7. Exit at route 7 and then with a couple stay rights and lefts it was onto the ramp for the South bound HOT lanes.
Now, if that is actually possible, its not a bad idea, if there was truly a backup where the red was indicated. However, in the past there have been some impossible connections at the Route 7/I495 interchange. I don't know personally, I avoid that intersection and that part of route 7 at all costs. But the navigation map showed it as a fairly smooth and direct connection, not a bunch of loop arounds and double backs which I have seen from time to time.
My question - I am wondering if the road really do connect like that, or if there is a mapping error there.
I thought it best to post it here rather than log a problem report via Waze and get lost in the jumble on the map.
I do know that the near term future whenever the aerials are updated, that there is some needed work on the various ramps. some are really out of position.
Another anomaly I had been tracking and finally made note of involves traveling south bound on the HOT lanes at the Braddock Road exit. The verbal directions are correct, but way out of time between the way the exit ramp is drawn and the directions you get.
The initial notice is not bad, at least you are in advance of the exit somewhat. But that's just chance. When you get the 1/4 mile alert that in 1/4 mile stay to the left - in actuality you are already on the ramp and going up the elevated grade. This is not the case of the ramp connection being at the end of the dotted lines for the exit lane, its off enough that when you are actually on the separated ramp going up hill that you get the note that you need to exit in 1/4 mile. So the ramp connection to the HOT lane is about 1/4 mile too late. It really is a long exit ramp, most are on the HOT lanes since they need to go uphill to meet an elevated road.
We may need to wait for some better aerials, but, some of these that we actually go exploring on we might take to reporting here and to have those that work those specific areas do some corrections, report back, and the next time we travel it after the tiles are updated, report on how close it is.
Anyway, I won't be doing my usual M-W-F travel of the hot lanes until next Wednesday. Off to Milwaukee for a major national competition. Otherwise, I might try to explorer that connection at 7 and 495 and the hot lanes. Also now that the signage is all in place and revealed, we need to do some cleanups on the ramp names. The vast majority are pretty good. But I have noticed that some of the new signage for older ramps has dropped some of the additional locations you are headed towards. If a ramp headed south used to say 'Richmond, Alexandria' the new signs have probably dropped the Alexandria. Something sticks in my head about an article I read over a year ago that signage for interstates was typically going to drop local landmarks and towns in lieu of more distant towns, unless it was an exit directly to the local area. Thus, we locals will no longer know we can get to Alexandria on 495, only to Richmond. If we are local, we are supposed to know the former I guess -grin!
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