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Should more roads be like highways?

Thursday - 6/14/2012, 4:33am  ET

traffic interstate highway (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Traffic often is stop and go along the area's interstates. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - If the region has outgrown its roads, and there really is no room for expansion -- as Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton says, then what's the solution?

WTOP's Director of Traffic and Transit Operations Jim Battagliese has some creative solution ideas.

"We can't make roads like I-66 any bigger, so we should start looking at some of the other roads, like Route 50 in Virginia," says Battagliese.

Battagliese wonders if there's a way to turn a road like Route 50 into a limited access highway.

"Get rid of the traffic lights, put some on and off ramps in there and have some of the load from I-66 hop onto Route 50," Battagliese says.

The same thing could be done on Route 7 in Virginia, he says.

Of course, those fixes take time and money -- not an easy sell for residents or politicians in many places.

One thing Battagliese says is absolutely true about the region:

"There is nowhere to go. We really do need more roadways around here, but we don't have the space to put them in."

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)