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The first generation of Americans without driver’s licenses

Westlake Legal Group CalifTraffic715 The first generation of Americans without driver’s licenses Traffic The Blog self-driving future Drivers Licenses driverless cars

The pace of implementation may be slower than was once anticipated, but the reality of self-driving vehicles is already upon us. While there have been plenty of snags along the way, including one woman who was struck and killed by an autonomous vehicle in Arizona last year, the technology is moving forward and already being deployed in multiple locations. One of those is a private development in Virginia where low-speed shuttles carry people from large parking lots to their eventual destinations.

At a building site in Reston, there is something small and quiet on the roads alongside big noisy dump trucks: automated shuttles that ferry office workers whose routines have been disrupted by the construction.

The shuttles’ job is to make runs from parking lots that have been shifted farther from people’s offices. But when the new offices, apartments and stores go up on the 36-acre Halley Rise development in Northern Virginia and a Metro station opens nearby, the company that operates them hopes the vehicles will speed people on the first or last mile of their daily commute.

These developments have made me wonder about what the future looks like when this technology is fully ubiquitous. We’re already seeing self-driving Ubers you can summon and shuttles taking large groups of passengers. There are trains with nobody driving them in Japan. And autonomous (probably electric) cars for personal use aren’t far away.

That seems to be the future and it’s not far off. The first generation of Americans who largely will never have or need a driver’s license is likely being born right now. They will live in a world where the ability to drive a car or truck is an oddity, a relic from a time they only see in classic films and television shows.

So is this a good thing? It’s obviously a case of cultural evolution happening at an accelerated pace, particularly in a country like the United States where “car culture” has been part of our makeup for over a century. But like any other form of evolution, it comes at a cost. We will have a country full of people who no longer possess the skill to drive a vehicle. And most likely, roadways full of vehicles that eventually won’t even have steering wheels or pedals allowing a human being to operate them.

You might be wondering why they would need such things once the change takes place. But just as with all the other technological wonders we’ve adapted to, the day may come when the technology shuts down, potentially for a long time. A massive EMP that takes out the satellites and fries most of the power transformers will immediately render all of this technology useless. Various other catastrophic scenarios are possible, if (hopefully) unlikely. How will people travel? More to the point, how will food and other necessities be transported?

We continue to build a future that was something out of a science fiction movie only one generation ago. But we’re also evolving toward a society that will be incapable of caring for itself without all that technology.

The post The first generation of Americans without driver’s licenses appeared first on Hot Air.

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All GW Parkway lanes back open after monthslong sinkhole fix

After more than five months of lane closures to repair a gaping sinkhole, commuters on Northern Virginia’s George Washington Parkway can breathe a little easier: The roadwork is finally done.

One of two northbound lanes of the parkway has been closed since May.

Work near Dead Run has been completed and both northbound lanes are now open to traffic, said the National Park Service in a Friday morning news release.

Repairs included the removal of a decades-old subterranean brick drainage structure and the installation of a new concrete drain pipe, requiring workers to dig down over 50 feet into the earth.

Workers were able to backfill the excavated area with concrete and resurface and repaint the road.

The National Park Service blamed a ruptured stormwater drain for the sinkhole, measuring in at about 10 feet deep and 30 feet long — roughly the size of a bus — before being patched up over the course of several months.

The lane closure has led to heavy backups along the 25-mile-long, heavily-traffic commuter route.

Commuters can still expect some lane closures due to restoration work during off-peak hours throughout the course of several weeks.

Work on targeted repaving at night will continue on the George Washington Memorial and Clara Barton parkways through the fall, according to NPS.

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Emergency road closures on I-66, major delays expected through afternoon rush

Heads up to those who commute on westbound Interstate 66 in Fairfax County: Plan to avoid it all day Wednesday, says the Virginia Department of Transportation.



An emergency work zone between Virginia Route 123 and U.S. Route 50 closes two left lanes for both the morning and afternoon rush hours.Two right lanes get by.

VDOT recommends that drivers should avoid I-66 altogether as major delays are expected, especially for the afternoon commute when westbound traffic will be the heaviest.

Crews are working to fix a “hole/void” that was discovered under the road, according to VDOT.

Stay with WTOP and the WTOP Traffic Center for the latest.

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D.C.: If you’re stuck in traffic today, blame climate activists

Westlake Legal Group CalifTraffic715 D.C.: If you’re stuck in traffic today, blame climate activists washington D.C. Traffic The Blog protest Climate Change beltway

As if Mondays aren’t bad enough already, our friends in Washington, D.C. may have yet another headache to contend with this morning. If you work in or around the District and have to commute to work, you may find some of the highways and surface streets shut down. The climate change protesters who have been up in arms around the world all weekend are still in town. Their stated plan (along with the name of the group organizing this fiasco) is “Shut Down D.C.” And that’s what they hope to do. (WaPo)

A broad coalition of climate activists called “Shut Down D.C.” plans to block streets throughout the nation’s capital during the Monday morning commute to draw attention to climate change.

The protest is timed to coincide with the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, at which climate activists and leaders, including 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, are slated to speak. It follows a strike across six continents Friday and a youth conference at the United Nations on Saturday.

The traffic shutdown is meant to send a particular message to D.C.’s powerful political elite, according to Liz Butler, an organizer for Shut Down D.C. and vice president of organizing and strategic allegiances for Friends of the Earth.

There’s already a picture circulating of some kid carrying a sign in the middle of the street that reads, “Sorry for the inconvenience. We are trying to save the world.” Do I really need to point out yet again what a monumentally bad strategy this is?

Yes, we’ve been through this before. It plays out the same way whether we’re talking about Black Lives Matter, gun confiscation enthusiasts or any of the other so-called “social justice” groups. And now we have the climate alarmists doing it.

The whole idea of holding a protest, march, etc. is to get your message out, draw attention from members of the public who might not be aware of the issue and hopefully win over more support. Short of drowning people’s kittens and puppies in front of them, I can’t think of many other worse ways to win over hearts and minds than to strand someone in their car in a totally unnecessary traffic jam while advertising the cause you are supporting. Commuting around D.C. (as well as most other major cities) is already a nightmare. It only takes one distracted jerk or unfortunate accident to bring the Beltway grinding to a halt.

People seriously dread this. (One of the main reasons I am extremely grateful to be among those who work from home.) An accidental traffic jam is bad enough. But when commuters see your sign and realize you did this intentionally, the only emotion you will instill in them is hatred. Specifically, hatred of you. Even someone who might have been sympathetic toward the cause of combatting climate change is going to come away from this remembering you and your cause with a seething fury.

March on the side of the roads. Hang banners on the overpasses. Get a permit and gather in the park to get your message out. But “shutting down” the District during a Monday rush hour will produce precisely the opposite of the desired effect. Stop being stupid.

The post D.C.: If you’re stuck in traffic today, blame climate activists appeared first on Hot Air.

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4 dead in tragic Saturday on Maryland, Virginia roads

An unusually deadly weekend on the D.C. region’s roads claimed four lives across suburban Maryland and Virginia in four separate fatal incidents, two of which involved a vehicle leaving the roadways and striking trees.

In addition to two deaths from Saturday crashes along Route 4 in Prince George’s County, and on Brent Town Road in Fauquier County, two more people were killed in other crashes, adding to a tragic 15-hour time span starting early Saturday morning.

It was around 8:30 a.m. Saturday when Prince George’s County saw its second deadly crash of the day, this time on what many consider to be the deadliest road in the region.

Prince George’s County police said two people were standing outside a disabled truck along Route 210/Indian Head Highway, near Wilson Bridge Drive, when they were struck by another vehicle.

One of the two victims who were hit was killed, and the other was hospitalized in critical condition with injuries considered life-threatening.

That evening, police in Fairfax County said a car with four passengers struck a tree on Telegraph Road near Beulah Road, in the vicinity of Kingstowne, around 6 p.m.

‘The crash left one person dead while the other three had what police called minor injuries.

Elsewhere, a serious collision in Anne Arundel County injured four but did not result in immediate loss of life.

On Friday night, four teenagers were traveling on Sands Road through Lothian when their vehicle left the roadway and collided with a pole.

Anne Arundel County police said two people were transported to be treated for injuries considered life threatening, the Capital Gazette reported.

Two others were hospitalized with injuries considered serious, but not life threatening.

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That NYC Uber and Lyft protest missed the point

Westlake Legal Group CalifTraffic715 That NYC Uber and Lyft protest missed the point uber Traffic The Blog protest New York City minimum wage lyft app

This event really didn’t make much of a splash in the national news this week, particularly with all of the Lewandowski circus activities going on, but it’s definitely worth bringing up. Yesterday morning during the rush hour, traffic on FDR Drive on the east side of Manhattan ground to a halt for a couple of hours, totally ruining the commute for thousands of Big Apple residents. The jam was caused by a dozen or more Uber and Lyft drivers who said they were protesting pay and working conditions. The activity was apparently the brainchild of the Independent Drivers Guild, a union representing the gig economy drivers. (CNBC)

Uber and Lyft drivers, protesting over pay and working conditions, brought traffic on the FDR Drive to a nearly dead stop at rush hour Tuesday morning.

Video from Chopper 4 showed a caravan of black cars slowly rolling up the northbound FDR, with a massive line of stalled traffic behind them.

Some cars attempted — at time unsuccessfully — to squeeze past the caravan, which appeared to be dozens strong.

First of all, as I’ve said following many other protests of this type around the country, shutting down a major highway during rush hour is no way to get your point across. All you’re doing is angering everyone stuck in traffic and they will be far less likely to support your cause once they find out who created the mess. And most of those people vote. It’s just not a productive tactic.

But beyond that, the drivers need to understand who and what they are protesting. The union is saying this is about pay, but those drivers very recently got a raise, thanks to new laws passed by the city over the objections of Uber and Lyft. In response, just as they promised to do, Uber and Lyft started restricting the number of drivers that could log onto the app based on demand. That means that a lot of the drivers were unable to pick up riders and earn any money.

But that was the only response the two companies had available. They can’t pay the literally tens of thousands of drivers fifteen dollars per hour to sit around waiting for a rider. Any driver not actively transporting a passenger is costing them money. The only reason they’re being locked out of the app is because of what the city government did.

But the real conflict runs on a deeper level than that. The union and the drivers are claiming that they want either the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission or the Mayor to “do something” to change the gig economy policies and help them. Here’s what they don’t seem to understand. The Commissioners, the City Council and the Mayor have no interest in helping you. Quite the opposite, in fact. They passed those laws to try to drive Uber and Lyft out of business in their city. They’re not trying to save your job or improve it. They’re trying to eliminate it.

If you really want to protest someone, protest the Mayor and the City Council. They’ve been out to remove your line of work for years, and now they’re finally having a serious impact on it.

The post That NYC Uber and Lyft protest missed the point appeared first on Hot Air.

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Site of fatal I-66 crash is 2nd-most incident prone section of the highway

The stretch of Interstate 66 in Virginia where a crash claimed the life of one person and sent several others to the hospital on Saturday is the second-most crash prone stretch of the highway, according to the WTOP Traffic Center incident database.

The roughly 2 1/2 miles between the Fairfax County Parkway and Route 28 has seen 444 reported crashes near or between the two interchanges on I-66 since the beginning of last year. Of those crashes, 283 were reported to have occurred in the westbound lanes while 161 were eastbound.

Only the area between Nutley Street and the Capital Beltway saw more reported incidents with 585 crashes reported in that area in the same time period.

WTOP Traffic Reporter Dave Dildine said that not only are crashes here frequent, the layout of the road means the effect they have on traffic is sizable.

“We often expect to see at least a couple wrecks per day in the westbound lanes as drivers merging from Fairfax County Parkway weave with drivers shifting right to exit at Route 28,” Dildine said.

“Jersey walls for the ongoing express lanes project are blocking much of the right shoulder on this portion of the highway, so when the crashes happen here, they immediately block lanes. Usually, they happen on the right side.”

In 2016, the Virginia Department of Transportation installed lane control signs to manage the flow of traffic and direct drivers to use the right westbound lane beyond Fairfax County Parkway as an exit-only lane onto Route 28 during the morning rush hour. That lane control system was taken apart at the beginning of the 66 Express Lanes project.

WTOP’s Dave Dildine contributed to this report.

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Pining for the Pinnacle of Stupid: Students Petition to Change White Pedestrian Crossing Lights to a Shade Closer to People of Color

Westlake Legal Group car-831928_1280-620x410 Pining for the Pinnacle of Stupid: Students Petition to Change White Pedestrian Crossing Lights to a Shade Closer to People of Color woke Uncategorized Traffic stick figure Social Justice racism Race Politics george washington university george the colonial Front Page Stories Education democrats Culture crosswalk crossing sign college campus reform

 

 

We’ve all been there: You’re about to cross the street, when suddenly you spot a sign with a stick figure, and you’re paralyzed by oppression. And it’s basically the same as the worst things that have ever happened to anyone in history, because you wisely and thoughtfully understand the high stakes and scope of potential human suffering.

And if there’s any justice in this world, you’ll one day be delivered from the horror that is straight lines drawn in a configuration that triggers you. Comprised of an absolutely soul-crushing hue.

Or you could just cross the street and go on with your life.

According to Campus Reform, a group of students at George Washington University erred somewhere between those two ideas, in the name of that most superior of all things on the planet — inclusivity.

New Woke Rules, so far as I can tell:

Most virtuous thing: inclusivity
Most unacceptable thing: anything “problematic”
Most inclusive thing: anything exclusively left-wing
Most racist thing: all things that can be said to be things

In a recent CR video, Campus Correspondent Ethan Cai polled GWU peeps: Would they be willing to sign a petition demanding a ban on the ubiquitous — say it ain’t so — white stick figure that signals “Walk” on pedestrian crossing signs, on account of its dastardly oppression?

Most in the clip gave a joyful Affirmative.

The college was chosen because of another mercilessly soul-crushing, problematic issue that the student body just voted to squash: its now-defunct mascot, George the Colonial.

As per the petition to junk George, his presence was “received as extremely offensive not only by students of the University, but the nation and world at large.”

Wow — these youngsters know about the whole world. Touché.

Indeed, Jerky George “[glorified] the act of systemic oppression.”

Here’s how CR’s goofy, phony-baloney petition read:

“As we students cross the street, we are told by the symbol of a white man when it is okay to cross. Many students from diverse backgrounds, including individuals of color, gender fluid individuals, and LGBTQA+ individuals, feel oppressed by this. … [We] vehemently urge the University to consider changing the crosswalk signs.”

Check out the results:



It’s almost as if you can hear the air leaking from their brains as they speak.

I wonder if any of the Woke Warriors — in an effort to banish the white light — have considered that light itself is white? In fact, in the video, they’re also standing in — yea, they are absolutely bathing inwhite light. The light of the sun. They’re drenched in it. In the horrible, inherently and unbearably evil color of white.

No word yet on how they’ll be able to see the stick figure if it’s changed to black — the absence of all light. Will people being hit by cars be less “problematic”?

Either way, as I understand the rules to go, the black stick figure will be inclusive. Even though no human beings are actually black. Or — it should be noted in the consideration of how idiotic this entire thing is — white.

In the future, we’re all in big trouble.

-ALEX

 

Find all my RedState work here.

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The post Pining for the Pinnacle of Stupid: Students Petition to Change White Pedestrian Crossing Lights to a Shade Closer to People of Color appeared first on RedState.

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Northbound travel stopped on GW Parkway after fatal crash

One person is dead after a crash early Sunday morning off the George Washington Memorial Parkway in McLean, Virginia.

All northbound lanes of the GW Parkway remain closed between Va. 123 and the Capital Beltway while police continue to investigate a crash involving a vehicle going off the roadway shortly before 6 a.m.

U.S. Park Police officers responding to the crash found a vehicle off the road past the tree line. Its driver and sole occupant was pronounced dead on the scene.

Northbound traffic on the GW Parkway is being diverted onto Va. 123. Commuters should follow police direction. Southbound travel is not impacted.

For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page.

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Planning on driving on July 4? Here’s what you need to know this year

Westlake Legal Group VDOT Planning on driving on July 4? Here’s what you need to know this year travel Traffic News & Updates News independence day fourth of july plans Fourth of July
Photo by Alexander Popov

Day-to-day driving is stressful enough. We spend hours watching the traffic stack up in front of us, only to watch our estimated arrival times get extended beyond our breaking points. Add holiday travelers into the mix? Things can get heated pretty quickly.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has a few tactics to help drivers avoid the aggravation during upcoming Fourth of July travel.

The department released an interactive map for travelers to use prior to their departure for Independence Day, lifted lane closures across the state (although some will not be lifted due to semi-permanent work zones) and wants drivers to know about the resources they have if an emergency occurs.

We spoke with Jeff Stapleton, the communications coordinator for VDOT, about the department’s tips to get everyone smooth sailing throughout the holiday week, and here’s a hint: some driving patience is required.

What should Virginia drivers expect from possible congestion this year?
While VDOT doesn’t track the number of cars on the road, we do know that the travel, especially around the holiday, will be heavy. One of the things VDOT likes to do is provide a travel-trends map that basically takes the history of holiday congestion for the past three years and predicts what the trends will be. It can’t specifically say how the traffic is going to be this year but this year’s trend map for the Fourth of July holiday shows that periods of moderate to heavy congestion will happen in the afternoon hours on Saturday, July 6, and Sunday, July 7.

VDOT also likes to lift as many lane closures as possible during the holiday travel period. That’s happening from noon on Wednesday, July 3 to noon on Friday, July 5. It’s important to know that VDOT can’t lift all the lane closures and suspend all the work because some projects are just too involved to allow traffic to go by. We do have a listing of all the closures that will remain on our website.

What should drivers do to prepare before departure?
It’s always a good idea to be prepared before you go. Fill up your gas tank before leaving and have an emergency kit in the car. That’s a good idea to have no matter when you’re driving. As far as things to check before you leave, we would recommend you check out the Virginia 511 app or website. That can offer a lot of information before you leave on your trip, such as construction sites that still need to happen during the holiday, and there are links to traffic cameras that you can see that are in real-time.

You’re stuck in fully stopped traffic. What do you do?
The best thing you can do is be patient. It’s not worth to it to lose your temper … everyone’s in the same mess that you’re in. A lot of the times, no matter where you are, the traffic reports you hear on the radio come from information from traffic cameras that VDOT has, or other state transportation departments have, if you’re in another state. It is a good idea to stay informed. If you don’t have access to a traffic report, the suggestion would be to stay patient and just wait it out. There usually is a good reason for congestion, but sometimes it’s just volume (the amount of the cars on the road) and that’s certainly a possibility during holidays like the Fourth of July.

If you’re the one who ends up in an accident, what do you do?
If it’s minor and there are no injuries, agencies like the state police advise you to move your car to the shoulder or an emergency pull-off area (often found within road construction zones) if at all possible. If you are pulled over on the side of the road, one of the things VDOT has is the Safety Service Patrol, where, should an emergency arise while traveling on an interstate, they can assist with traffic control and scene management. They aim to minimize incident duration, clear obstruction and debris from the roadway, as well as establish temporary traffic control for emergency responders. In less-serious cases, they can also assist with tire changes, fuel if you run out of gas, give you a jump start or water for overheating radiators and offer phone access to call local tow/recovery services if needed.

If someone doesn’t want to check the 511 app while driving, where else can they get information?
We certainly don’t want people checking their phone while driving (It is currently against the law statewide to text or email while driving). If you have a passenger with you in the car, have them check the information and pass along any real-time information. If there are small children or nobody else is in your car, it may be a good idea to find a safe place to stop and check the information on your phone when you’re not driving or call a friend or family member who can check the information for you on their computer. If you do have access to traffic information from a radio station, that’s a good place to get information too.

Many may use the “back roads” tactic for travel, is that a good idea?
Normally, with active traffic reports, apps, such as Waze or Google Maps, will give you acceptable, alternate routes. It’s a good idea to follow recommendations for alternate routes, which most of the time tend to be main roads or primary roads. But be aware that those also might be where other people are going and they can be risky, even if an app like Waze sends you on a back road, simply because it’s unknown (or it could be unknown) and it could be potentially more dangerous at night.

Is there anything else drivers should know about traveling for Independence Day in 2019?
We certainly want people to be safe and prepared any time they drive and especially during times when there’s a lot of traffic. We also want people to have safety be top-of-mind when they hit the road. They may seem like common sense things, but it’s always a good reminder to remember these other tips: have a designated driver if you plan to drink; buckle up while behind the wheel; keep your eyes on the road, not on electronic devices; take a break if you’re drowsy; don’t drive distracted.  If you see somebody driving distracted, speak up. Remember, your actions impact yourself, your passengers and everyone else on the road.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can be contacted 24 hours a day at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623). It is the place to go to report a road problem or if you have a problem of your own and you need the Safety Service Patrol. For more information on VDOT and holiday travel, please visit virginiadot.org.

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