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Dr. Gridlock: June 20, 2010 - June 26, 2010

Closures, delays due to carnival

The 2010 Caribbean Carnival promises a good time for festival goers, but drivers and Metro bus riders will encounter some headaches. Here's what to watch out for:

By Michael Bolden  | June 25, 2010; 7:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Congestion, District, Driving  
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Lane closures Sunday on Key Bridge

The District Department of Transportation plans to inspect the Francis Scott Key Bridge Sunday between 6:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. The inspection will require single lane closures on the outbound side of the bridge during that time frame. DDOT officials...

By Michael Bolden  | June 25, 2010; 7:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion, Construction, District  
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D.C. lifts some parking meter rules

Just in time for the summer campaign season, the District has lifted new parking meter rules that required motorists to feed meters while trying to enjoying a night out on the town.

By Michael Bolden  | June 25, 2010; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  District, Transportation Politics  
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Tysons Metro work ramps up

Work on the Silver Line rail extension through Tysons Corner will increase dramatically this summer, according to officials with the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. The work will be especially noticeable in the media of Route 267 and near the location of the four stations going in along Routes 7 and 123.

By Michael Bolden  | June 25, 2010; 5:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Highways, Metro, Silver Line  
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Ride On fare hike starts Sun.

Increased fares on Montgomery County's Ride On bus service will go into effect June 27. The fare will be $1.50 with a SmarTrip card, or $1.70 in cash--up from $1.35 and $1.45, respectively. Express Ride On along Route 70 will go up to $3.65.

By Luke Rosiak  | June 25, 2010; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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The weekend and beyond

Travel in the D.C. area is going to stay hot this weekend, according to the Capital Weather Gang. The forecast for the start of the work week is about the same. I've got some advice about some potential road and rail delays this weekend, when you may be attending the National Barbecue Battle or the D.C. Caribbean Carnival, plus a preview of some of the July 4 weekend action.

By Robert Thomson  | June 25, 2010; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Beltway crawling near Telegraph Rd

A roundup of the morning commuting headaches

By Mark Berman  | June 25, 2010; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  | Tags:  i-95 inner loop, i-95 north, inner loop, morning commute  
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Metro to Va.: Renew pledge for cash

Metro Interim General tyson.gifManager Richard Sarles on Thursday warned Virginia that if it does not act within 24 hours to renew its pledge to provide $500 million to match federal funding for Metro over the next 10 years, that it will jeopardize the contract to purchase new Metro rail cars.

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Metro, Transportation Politics, Virginia  
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Metro board OKs fare hikes, budget

The Metro board has voted to approve the budget for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1. That budget includes an expansive package of fare increases designed to help the agency cover a $189 million budget gap. The fare increases will hit riders on all lines and services, including rail, bus and MetroAccess, the service for elderly and disabled riders.

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Advisories, Blue Line, Green Line, Metro, Metrobus, Orange Line, Red Line  
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Been caught by a speed camera? E-mail us your story.

Have you ever been caught in the glare of a speed camera's flash? E-mail us at transportation@washpost.com....

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 2:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Listen live to Metro board

Preview | A rush to implement the plan | Fare changes The board is discussing its 2011 budget and the fare increase which starts Sunday. You can listen to audio from the Metro meeting here....

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Gainesville interchange underway

The Virginia Department of Transportation broke ground Thursday on a new interchange designed to ease a chronic bottleneck at Route 29 near Interstate 66.

By Robert Thomson  | June 24, 2010; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Construction, Driving  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, VDOT  
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Cooling problem at Dupont Circle

Metro just tweeted that there is a mechanical problem affecting the cooling system at Dupont Circle Station. The problem should be resolved Friday morning, but that means waiting in the station won't be any fun in the heat that's gripping Washington.

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro, Red Line  
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Delays ahead for VRE passengers

Virginia Railway Express passengers can expect some delays tonight as the extreme heat will force trains to slow down during the evening commute.

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 12:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuter Rail, Commuting, Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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Delays tonight on Va. Beltway

Drivers should expect delays on the Capital Beltway at the Telegraph Road interchange Thursday night as ramp and multiple lane closures take place in both directions.

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 11:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Capital Beltway, Congestion, Highways  
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O'Malley apologizes on MARC ride

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says people were so focused on fixing the MARC train that broke down earlier this week, they lost sight of the passengers stranded for hours in the heat.

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Amtrak, Commuter Rail, MARC  
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Geese cause a minor traffic jam

Michael Bolden/Post I was waiting to turn on to Route 50 in Prince George's County this week, when this minor traffic jam on route 704 caught my eye. The geese weren't in a hurry and drivers were becoming a...

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Congestion, Highways  
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Traveling in the heat? Send us reports.

It's supposed to be a scorcher today, according to the Capital Weather Gang, and that means if you're traveling on Metro or commuter rail, you may encounter stifling conditions if the air conditioning isn't up to par. Here are some...

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Metro  
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A DVD and a Metro ride

A panel of Metro's board of directors is expected on Thursday to approve licenses that would allow retailers to place DVD rental machines and trolley tour ticket booths at 13 Metro stations.

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 9:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Metro  
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New welcome center in Del. on 95

Drivers traveling through Delaware on Interstate 95 will soon be greeted by a new welcome center.

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Highways  
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MARC Brunswick Line delays

MARC Brunswick Line delays

By Mark Berman  | June 24, 2010; 8:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  marc, marc brunswick line, marc delays  
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I-95 S lane blocked at Telegraph Rd

A roundup of commuting headaches

By Mark Berman  | June 24, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags:  morning commute  
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Blue and Yellow Line delays

Blue and Yellow Line delays

By Mark Berman  | June 24, 2010; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  | Tags:  metro delays, metrorail delays  
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MARC riders still angry

Seventy of the 900 passengers who were stranded on a MARC train that broke down Monday evening without air conditioning have signed a petition because they were "concerned and disgruntled" with how the incident was handled, said Calvin Spears, a passenger who collected the signatures.

By Luke Rosiak  | June 23, 2010; 5:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Commuter Rail  | Tags:  MARC, Penn Line  
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O'Malley plans MARC train ride

Katherine Shaver reports on the Post Now blog that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) will ride a MARC train from the Baltimore area to New Carrollton on Thursday morning to talk with passengers about improving the commuter rail line after a breakdown Monday evening that stranded 900 people in a train without air conditioning in the sweltering late afternoon heat, a spokesman said Wednesday.

By Washington Post Editors  | June 23, 2010; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Amtrak, Commuter Rail, Maryland, Traffic Safety  
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Alexandria: Va. should pay Metro match

The Alexandria City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to endorse a transportation panel's position that Virginia provide Metro with $50 million, the state's share of a match required for the federal government to provide $150 million for capital spending on rail cars and safety improvements.

By Michael Bolden  | June 23, 2010; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Metro, Northern Virginia  
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Families release doves at vigil

Families and friends of several victims of the June 22, 2009 Red Line crash released white doves at an evening vigil near the New Hampshire Ave bridge overlooking the accident on Tuesday.

By Michael Bolden  | June 23, 2010; 12:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro, Red Line  
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Metro official on DOT rail safety panel

A new advisory committee announced by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will assist the Federal Transit Administration in developing national safety standards for rail.

By Michael Bolden  | June 23, 2010; 12:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Metro, Transportation Politics  
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Orange Line delays

Delays on the Orange Line

By Mark Berman  | June 23, 2010; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  orange line, orange line delays  
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I-270 South still partially blocked

Here's a look at headaches facing commuters this morning

By Mark Berman  | June 23, 2010; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting  | Tags:  i-270, i-95, morning commute  
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I-270 closed in Montgomery County

Southbound I-270 is closed after a tractor-trailer brought down power lines.

By Mike McPhate  | June 23, 2010; 4:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Highways, Maryland  
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Headaches on the horizon

Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to pitch at Nationals Park in a 4:35 p.m. start Wednesday. On an afternoon when the Capital Weather Gang says the temperature will be in the upper 90s, you'd think the bloom might be off that particular rose, but no, it's still likely to be a crowded game, just as rush hour is getting underway.

By Robert Thomson  | June 22, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories, Events  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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All MARC trains delayed

The overhead wires that power locomotive engines navigating the Union Station railyards failed this afternoon, and all early-evening MARC trains passing through will experience delays, according to the commuter rail agency.

By Luke Rosiak  | June 22, 2010; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuter Rail  | Tags:  MARC, Penn Line  
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Senior drivers weigh in on study

After reading Ashley Halsey III's story on a recent study of senior drivers, several readers wrote in to talk about why they believe seniors are having fewer accidents. Here are their comments

By Michael Bolden  | June 22, 2010; 3:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Highways, Transportation Politics  
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Hot weather travel tips

Temperatures will stay in the 90s through Sunday, the Capital Weather Gang says. AAA Mid-Atlantic reported a spike in roadside assistance calls. MARC issued an apology to the passengers stranded in the hot cars of Train 538 Monday evening. Metro riders are complaining about the heat aboard the trains and in stations. Here are some survival tips.

By Robert Thomson  | June 22, 2010; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Driving  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Hot weather  
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Families: Metro wants suit dismissed

A representative of eight of the families of the nine people killed in the June 22 Red Line crash said in a statement that the day of remembrance was marred by recent actions Metro has taken in court in response to litigation pending over the accident. The families are suing for wrongful death and negligence. The family of train operator Jeanice McMillan was not a party to the statement.

By Michael Bolden  | June 22, 2010; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro  
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Today's read: Older drivers get safer

Insurance Institute study: Older people are driving more, crashing less and their fatal accident rate has dropped by 37 percent. The biggest drop of all came among drivers over the age of 80. (Ashley Halsey III)

By Robert Thomson  | June 22, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Driving, Traffic Safety  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, senior drivers  
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Trapped on the MARC train?

Probe launched into stalled train Were you on the crippled MARC train whose passengers were confined for two hours last evening in powerless cars, leading equally-powerless riders to bust open windows in the packed, double-decker boxes or even consider disembarking...

By Luke Rosiak  | June 22, 2010; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Commuter Rail  
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Metro remembers Red Line victims

About 300 people gathered near Fort Totten Metro station on Tuesday morning and observed a moment of silence for the nine people killed and dozens injured in the tragic Red Line crash that happened one year ago.

By Michael Bolden  | June 22, 2010; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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NTSB statement on Red Line crash

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman, who was front and center in the days after the Red Line crash providing information about the federal investigation, delivered remarks about the accident crash during the opening of an NTSB meeting Tuesday morning on a motor coach accident in Arizona. Here is the text of her remarks. The NTSB is scheduled to release a formal finding into the Red Line crash on July 27.

By Michael Bolden  | June 22, 2010; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, Transportation Politics  
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Video: 495 bridge demolished in Tysons

Crews recently demolished the old Beltway bridge over Route 123 in Tysons Corner, requiring the complete closure of Route 123. The outer loop bridge was torn down the weekend of June 11 as part of the I-495 HOT Lanes project. According to Mike Salmon, a spokesman for Virginia Megaprojects, crews finished early and reopened Route 123 10 hours ahead of schedule.

By Michael Bolden  | June 22, 2010; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction, Highways, Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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I-495 North slow at I-66

Here's a roundup of headaches facing commuters this morning

By Mark Berman  | June 22, 2010; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  | Tags:  i-95 north, i-95 south  
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MARC train stalled at New Carrolton

MARC train 538 on the Penn Line has been stopped south of New Carrollton for more than an hour, leaving passengers restless and wondering what's going on. MARC says a mechanical problem will delay the train by a total of 75 to 90 minutes; a rescue locomotive was dispatched to the scene around 6:30.

By Luke Rosiak  | June 21, 2010; 7:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Maryland  | Tags:  marc delays  
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Headaches on the horizon

Delays are likely on I-95 south just past Lorton between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights while crews replace two overhead sign structures. The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close the HOV lanes at 9 p.m. and two regular southbound lanes at 10:30 p.m. each night. A single southbound lane will remain open.

By Robert Thomson  | June 21, 2010; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Construction, Driving  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Penn. Ave. bike lanes open Tuesday

The long-awaited opening of the Pennsylvania Avenue bike likes is planned for Tuesday afternoon.

By Michael Bolden  | June 21, 2010; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Driving, Transportation Politics  
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Expect delays on New Hampshire NE

District officials report that drivers should expect significant backups on New Hampshire Avenue NE near the D.C./Maryland line this afternoon. Only one outbound lane in the vicinity of the 6100 block will be open.

By Michael Bolden  | June 21, 2010; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Metro  
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Riders prepare for fare hikes

I noticed during my online chat today that riders are starting to focus on fare increases, now less than a week away. We heard about so many potential changes during the winter and spring that it's still tough to sort through what we'll wind up paying for various rides.

By Robert Thomson  | June 21, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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SoberRide still needs funds for Fourth

More than $13,000 has been received to help provide no-cost cab rides home for those too intoxicated to get behind the wheel over the July 4 holiday, but the group that has sponsored the program for 17 years remains $18,000 short of the money it needs.

By Michael Bolden  | June 21, 2010; 2:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Driving, Events  
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Dirty trains in NYC? What about Metro?

New York City subway cars have gotten dirtier, and budget cuts are to blame, a watchdog group said. Metro has its own money problems. Do you think it's getting dirtier? Cleaner? or is there no change.

By Michael Bolden  | June 21, 2010; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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North tip of Mass Ave closed

It's a scenario that triggers uncomfortable associations this summer: Diesel fuel is spilling into a creek in a pristine, scenic area near the Potomac, after a truck carrying asphalt plummeted through a guardrail near where Massachusetts Avenue terminates in Glen Echo.

By Luke Rosiak  | June 21, 2010; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Heat orders will slow MARC trains

The Maryland Transit Administration reports that CSX has issued heat orders for Monday afternoon from 1 to 7 p.m. This will affect trains on the Brunswick and Camden lines, which will operate 20 miles per hour under their normal maximum speed. Officials said trains won't travel at less than 40 mph, but delays can range from 10 to 15 minutes.

By Michael Bolden  | June 21, 2010; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Transit  
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Share your commuting stories

Share your experiences riding the rails and roads in our discussion group, Taken for a Ride. Life on the Red Line | Life on the Orange Line | Life on the Green Line | Life on the Yellow Line |...

By Michael Bolden  | June 21, 2010; 9:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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The week ahead in traffic, transit

Summer starts today. Travelers in the D.C. area will definitely notice the heat. The Capital Weather Gang says we may be in for temperatures above 90 each day this week. Travelers may start to notice a decline in traffic as vacation season really gets underway. Here's a look at some of the issues commuters will confront this week.

By Robert Thomson  | June 21, 2010; 7:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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MARC delays

MARC delays

By Mark Berman  | June 21, 2010; 6:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags:  MARC, marc delays  
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I-495 North lane blocked at 50

A roundup of the morning rush hour.

By Mark Berman  | June 21, 2010; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  | Tags:  i-395, i-66, inner loop, morning commute, outer loop  
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