My letter to VDOT...a rant

>> Monday, September 17, 2012

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Dear VDOT, 

Thanks for releasing a response to the horrific situation of the weekend, HOWEVER your response just makes me laugh!!  Ok I internally started chuckling when I read the first statement 

"The Virginia Department of Transportation ( VDOT ) understands the frustrations and empathizes with the delays motorists experienced on Saturday, Sept. 15"  
HA!  FIRST you try to lay blame on the public for not heeding your warnings stating 
"We have done our best to inform the public for the past month about these closures using all paid, social and earned media outlets we have at our disposal"  
Well yes...that's all well and good, and I am sure we can all agree that we appreciate the knowledge (although I am quite positive most of us were left scratching our heads as to why in the world you would close 2 of the 3 bridges going the SAME way on the SAME weekend.  THEN you follow the previous statement with 
"in the hopes motorists would be able to use this information, anticipate these delays and adjust their plans accordingly."  
OK SERIOUSLY?!?!  *facepalm*  Here is what I hear in the first paragraph...*dripping with patronization* We understand and are SO sorry that you were inconvenienced by our Virginia roadways.  We honestly did everything in our power to get the word to everyone!  We can't imagine why on Earth travelers didn't heed our warnings!  Since we were so through in getting word out, everyone should have expected the delays and adjusted their plans accordingly (Oh wait...that last part was actually in there!!)   

Ok VDOT that is quite some nerve you've got there...YES most of us read about and accepted your idiotic plan of the closures and most of us planned for delays...HOWEVER sitting in backups for what some have reported as 6 hours + are not EVER (and should never have to be) expected.  I know that you can't completely predict the # of travelers, therefore you are limited in your available actions when traffic gets SO backed up (and I am not even going to again mention how not smart closing 2 bridges on the same weekend was again) and I mean honestly I do understand that no matter what you do, someone will always complain...BUT DO NOT PATRONIZE US, and DO NOT try to act like you are innocent in this matter!!  

Our normally 45 minute drive home from Williamsburg last night took over 3 hours...and it seems we may have been some of the lucky ones.  Don't get me wrong...this is not about our trip...THANKFULLY we didn't have the kids with us, and were not in a hurry to get home...this is more about the other travelers that I have been reading about that have stories about almost missing their wedding, people leaving hours early for other events only to still miss them, people who have had their children have accidents due to lack of a bathroom, etc

You go on to explain your reasoning for the multiple closures at the same time (which I appreciate), but there HAD to be some kind of leeway...OH and this bit: 

"If the constant nine-mile delay at MMMBT was made worse by a significant issue, our emergency personnel would have initiated the plan to pull the HRBT work early to release the congestion, but to enact that plan can take upwards of two hours and would have also come with it’s own set of difficulties: one milled lane with jagged edges against a raised lane filled with potholes inside a tunnel with no shoulders can create a extremely dangerous driving situation that could only be allowable under the most dire of circumstances, and only for a short duration." 
...just makes you sound condescending...not really a good move there...

I am not going to nit pick the rest of the article, but I can't leave the ending alone...

"The I-64 east HRBT will be closed for paving again next weekend starting on Friday at 9 p.m . We need to complete the work that was begun this weekend. While internally we will be reviewing the details of what occurred Saturday to potentially develop an additional mitigation strategy for next weekend, I urge motorists to make a plan for themselves and anticipate delays traveling from the Peninsula to the Southside during this time."  
I would like to take the time to ask everyone to please not complain about the closures next weekend...see VDOT has warned us yet again to expect delays...and now we ALL know that when preparing for a VDOT delay, don't forget to wear comfy clothes, load your iPod, pack food and drinks, OH and don't forget the diapers (both child and adult) since there are still to my knowledge no line of port-a-potties down 64/664.  

No excuses from now on people!!!  *eyeroll*

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