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Va. State Police to increase patrols

Planning your getaway | SoberRide has funds for Fourth

Virginia State Police will increase traffic enforcement efforts for the Independence Day holiday weekend.

Stepped-up patrols aimed at catching speeders, impaired drivers and failure to use occupant restraints will begin Friday and continue through midnight Monday.

During the 2009 holiday period, State Police statewide stopped nearly 7,400 speeders and 2,140 reckless drivers. In addition, 949 summonses were issued for failing to use seat belts or properly secure children, and officers arrested 129 impaired drivers.

Also, changes to Virginia's "Move Over" law begin tomorrow. The law already requires motorists to move over, when possible, when passing an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the road. The law will expand to include towing, repair and highway maintenance vehicles displaying amber-colored flashing lights.

-- Associated Press

By Michael Bolden  | June 30, 2010; 4:22 PM ET
Categories:  Highways, Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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Hello! I have a question about July 4 travel and assume that you will not be hosting a Q&A before then, so I'll post my question here and hope for the best. We will be driving from Old Town to Nationals Stadium for the 1:30pm game. We will leave the game and then drive to Chantilly (4:30pm or so). Are there road closures we should be aware of and where might we find those resources? Also, what would your "best route" be? I'm thinking South Cap to I-295 South to the beltway to I-66 (just to avoid anything Mall and Arlington Cemetary related). Thank you so much for your coverage!

Posted by: smc68 | June 30, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: smc68, There are plenty of road closings in DC and Arlington. I think your exit strategy is a prudent one. (I'm a bit conservative when I make my recommendations. I don't cut things too close. I like strategies that are likely to keep people moving.) Sounds like you exit via the Douglass Bridge (South Cap) rather than heading east on M Street to the 11th Street Bridge to reach 295? I'm interested in drivers' preferences on that.

I do have a list of the DC street closings. They shouldn't affect your route. I'll post that on the blog. Arlington County PD hasn't sent out its list yet, but the closings will be clustered around Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | June 30, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Whenever I go to Nationals Park I take I-395 to the ballpark and then I leave via the Douglass Bridge (South Capitol Street) and I-295 to the Wilson Bridge. I live off Van Dorn, so I'm usually home within 20 minutes. The only delay I normally experience is getting through the light at Potomac Avenue, which usually has a cop directing the traffic.

I should note that I park on the South Capitol Street side of the ballpark, so I've never had reason to try what Dr. Gridlock describes about going to the 11th Street Bridge. But if I were parked in the lots over past the new DOT headquarters, I'd probably go the 11th Street Bridge instead. A good rule of thumb, though, is to take whichever route will involve the fewest pedestrian crossings, as any time there's a sporting event the pedestrians crossing en masse will hold you up more than anything other than an accident or the Wilson Bridge being raised, since when one pedestrian crosses, all the rest of them tend to follow even if it's not their turn.

One note for "smc68" about the Beltway: When you take I-295, you'll be dumped into the "Local" lanes on the Inner Loop. Pay attention to the signs as you approach the Telegraph Road interchange. The right lane of the Beltway is currently an "Exit-Only" lane there due to the construction and you will need to funnel down to the single left lane (which merges with the "Thru" lanes) to get through that interchange.

Posted by: 1995hoo | June 30, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank you so much! This is very helpful and I appreciate it. I also noticed the July 4 posting, so I'll check that out, too.

Posted by: smc68 | July 1, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

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