News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ask not for whom the bell tolls...

It looks like it's going to get a bit more expensive to drive to Ashburn. We're struggling to figure out what exactly in Loudoun County would be worth spending as much as $9.60 round trip to visit. I mean, if you want to see soul-crushing particleboard townhouses, there's always Centreville, Herndon, or Chantilly. There's this, I suppose, but it's only open one month of the year.

Don't panic, though -- the state commission overseeing the private consortium which owns the Greenway (which includes Kellogg, Brown & Root, known for their selfless penny-pinching efforts in Iraq and elsewhere) -- did point out that the company could choose to lower tolls at any time they like. It could happen, right?

On the bright side, if your travels take you the other direction on the Toll Road and you've gotten a ticket in the mail, there's a chance it just might be one of the 8,000 violations being summarily dismissed. Apparently, transitioning from a system where scofflaws were punished by hearing a jarring, presumably guilt-inducing bell -- and absolutely nothing else -- to actually installing cameras that actually prosecute violators has been a bit of a chore. The Toll Road opened in 1984, but they didn't get around to that until late 2006. One key glitch? Apparently forgetting that the toll collectors periodically have to leave "for emergencies or bathroom breaks or what have you."

Maybe they're all trying to get out to Ashburn.

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