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Hard Shoulder Lane on Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia

Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia has recently added clay colored surface treatment to the shoulder to allow traffic to use the shoulder during rush hour.  It is difficult to explain how this works in words so here is a video from a TV station in the area.

Do you think that such an approach would work in the Roanoke Valley?

  • Would it work in the future when there is more traffic?
  • Would it work on I-81?
  • Would it work on I-581?
  • Would it introduce safety issues our area?
  • Would it provide any spillover benefits such as saving money, or making the area look more urban and advanced to visitors and economic development prospects?

Please answer these questions and provide your own ideas in the comment boxes below.  Let’s get a conversation going.



  • Ben Neely says:

    Personally, I don’t believe that the “traffic” in the Roanoke Valley warrants this type of alternative solution (at this time). I would love to have as many options as possible in those times when you do need it though. I am not sure if in areas like 419, 460, 581, sections of 81 if there is adequate shoulder area to be able to provide this type of alternative. Also, cost of signage, construction costs, a properly completed costs vs. benefits analysis would be interesting for sure.

    I love the idea of bringing the area up in efficiency and show some sign of progressive movement but that is a significant culture clash with many in the Roanoke Valley. Especially at a time when layoff after layoff or job relocations are showing up in the news on a weekly basis.

    Great question!

  • Mark McCaskill says:

    Ben, Thanks for the feedback. Do you think technology such as more variable message signs, traffic signal coordination or more traffic cameras would help in our region?

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