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Dr. Gridlock: July 4, 2010 - July 10, 2010

Project to affect 16th St. NW

A National Park Service project to repair the wall alongside Meridian Hill Park will partially close a heavily used portion of 16th Street NW starting next week, the park service says.

By Robert Thomson  | July 9, 2010; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Construction, District  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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Blue Line train misdirected -- again

A Blue Line train was misdirected onto the Orange Line for the second time in two weeks on Friday morning after a Metro worker set the tracks incorrectly, according to a Metro official.

By Michael Bolden  | July 9, 2010; 2:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro  
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395 reopens after accident

3:50 p.m. Update: Traffic cameras now show traffic moving well in both directions. 3:30 p.m. Update: The car has been been placed on a wrecker and moved to the shoulder. The reversible lanes are currently occupied with emergency vehicles. Original...

By Michael Bolden  | July 9, 2010; 2:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Northern Virginia  
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DDOT's plea: Please adopt a tree

Wanted: People to care for the District's street trees. The D.C. Department of Transportation's forestry division is as asking residents to help water some of the trees lining the city's streets amid the heat of summer.

By Michael Bolden  | July 9, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  District  
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The weekend and beyond

Travelers will enjoy a slight dip in the temperatures Friday and Saturday, the Capital Weather Gang says, but the forecast keeps us in the low 90s well into next week. I'm planning to discuss hot Metro cars in Sunday's Dr. Gridlock column, but there are plenty of other traffic and transit issues you should be aware of for this weekend and next week.

By Robert Thomson  | July 9, 2010; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Chat with the DDOT director

Do you have questions about the District's plans to bring back streetcars? Or perhaps you're wondering about the network of bike lanes expanding across the city. You can chat with the man responsible for many of these changes today at...

By Michael Bolden  | July 9, 2010; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  District  
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Arlington water main break delays

2 p.m. Update: The repairs continue, according to Arlington officials, and traffic is being detoured. Some residents may also lose water temporarily, officials said. The work is expected to be completed by early evening. Original post: A water main break...

By Michael Bolden  | July 9, 2010; 8:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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MARC Camden Line delays

MARC Camden Line delays

By Mark Berman  | July 9, 2010; 8:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, MARC  | Tags:  marc, marc delays  
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13th St NW reopens

Here's a look at the headaches facing commuters this morning.

By Mark Berman  | July 9, 2010; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  | Tags:  morning commute  
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Headaches on the horizon

HOT lanes Watch for a new traffic pattern starting Friday night on the Capital Beltway's inner loop near North Springfield.

By Robert Thomson  | July 8, 2010; 7:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, HOT lanes, Headaches on the horizon  
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Malfunction causes Orange Line delays

8:22 p.m. Update: Metro says the track circuit malfunction has been resolved, but delays continue in both directions on the Orange Line. 7 p.m. Update: Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato said there is a switch problem outside Vienna on the outbound...

By Michael Bolden  | July 8, 2010; 6:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Orange Line  
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Metro faces a/c problems on trains

As temperatures hover around triple digits in the D.C. area, some Metrorail riders are complaining about sweaty commutes on cars with air conditioning problems.

By Michael Bolden  | July 8, 2010; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Metro  
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Ehrlich pledges improved MARC service

The Post's John Wagner writes on the Maryland Politics blog that former Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich is picking up the recent troubles of MARC passengers as a campaign issue.

By Michael Bolden  | July 8, 2010; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland, Transit, Transportation Politics  
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Beltway lanes reopened after mobile home accident

The Outer Loop is crawling on the southbound portion between the I-270 spur until just north of Rte. 267 near Tysons Corner after a tractor-trailer carrying a mobile home overturned, leaving the oversized load on the righthand lane. Three lanes are open, and police estimate that the scene will be cleared by about 6p.m.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 8, 2010; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting  | Tags:  Outer Loop  
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Art coming to Gallery Place station

(Rendering from Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) Work by a Maryland-based artist may soon be on display at the Gallery Place-Chinatown rail station. A Metro board of directors committee preliminarily accepted the donation of the piece by Martha Jackson-Jarvis....

By Michael Bolden  | July 8, 2010; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Heat delays for MARC, VRE -- again

The heat may have lessened today compared to earlier in the week, but passengers on commuter rail will still experience delays Thursday afternoon as offcials take precautions.

By Michael Bolden  | July 8, 2010; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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New phase of Red Line rehab

Metro has launched a new phase of its long-term rehabilitation project on the Red Line, and it will affect your travels on weekends and late nights over the next year.

By Robert Thomson  | July 8, 2010; 1:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, Red Line  
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DC ducks not connected to Philly

A Georgia-based tour company says it has suspended duck boat operations nationwide after an accident in Philadelphia that left two people missing.

By Michael Bolden  | July 8, 2010; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  NTSB, Waterways  
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MWAA: Senate, limit DCA flights

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority called on Congress to "honor the compact it has steadfastly kept with the National Capital Region" and preserve the character and ease of service at Reagan National Airport by abandoning a plan to increase long-distance flights out of National--a plan hatched by some Western lawmakers as part of legislation funding the Federal Aviation Administration and reported yesterday by the Post's Lisa Rein.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 8, 2010; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Airports  
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Relief for Rover at area airports

If man's best friend nationalA.JPG dullesA.JPGneeds a place to go at Washington's three major airports, he now has his own designated areas.

By Michael Bolden  | July 8, 2010; 10:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Airports  
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MARC extends call center hours

The impact of this week's heat wave on MARC commuter rail service is prompting the Maryland Transit Administration to extend the hours of its customer call center.

By Michael Bolden  | July 8, 2010; 10:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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Street closures in Columbia Heights

(Map courtesy DDOT) Work on Monroe and Newton Streets at 14th Street NW will require road closures Thursday and Friday as construction crews excavate and pave, according to the District Department of Transportation. Drivers are urged to use alternate routes....

By Michael Bolden  | July 8, 2010; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction, District  
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Metrobus in accident in Silver Spring

July 8 Update: The Post's Michael S. Williamson snapped this photograph of a Metrobus that wound up in a yard in Silver Spring. Montgomery County police are investigating. 3:55 p.m. Update: The bus was out of service and wasn't...

By Michael Bolden  | July 8, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Maryland, Metro, Metrobus  
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Red Line delays cleared

There are Blue and Orange Line delays to Largo Town Center and New Carrollton.

By Mark Berman  | July 8, 2010; 6:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  | Tags:  metro delays  
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I-495 N slow at I-66

Here are the headaches and snafus on the road today

By Mark Berman  | July 8, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting  | Tags:  i-95 north, morning commute  
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MARC delays

issues for MARC riders this morning

By Mark Berman  | July 8, 2010; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, MARC  | Tags:  marc, marc brunswick line, marc delays, marc penn line  
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Headaches on the horizon

An excavation project overnight Thursday will temporarily shut off the west side of two 14th Street NW intersections in Columbia Heights. Traffic delays are likely.

By Robert Thomson  | July 7, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, District, Driving  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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MARC and VRE train troubles

Alerts from MARC don't indicate it, but a rider who brought train delays to our attention yesterday reports that MARC cancelled his 4:40 train, Penn 432, today "due to a transformer issue" and made the 5:20 train, typically is an express to BWI, a local. Those expected to arrive on that train would be behind schedule, and the train will likely be crowded. The 428 and 450 numbered trains will be 15 minutes late.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 7, 2010; 5:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC  
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A surreal streetsweep scene

Between midnight and daybreak, street sweeping equipment will attempt to tackle sand cleanup in the area bounded by 7th Street on the east, 16th Street on the west, V Street on the north and Rhode Island Avenue on the south.  Six thousands gallons for water-soluble degreaser may be sprayed. Parked cars will be worked around, a Department of Public Works employee wrote to residents.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 7, 2010; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Driving  
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MARC delays for p.m. commute

The Maryland Transit Administration has issued a message to MARC riders warning that the severe heat hitting the area this week could cause problems for MARC trains.

By Mark Berman  | July 7, 2010; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, MARC  | Tags:  marc, marc penn line  
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Paving planned at Antietam

A popular destination for tourists from the D.C. area is about to encounter its own little traffic problem. Paving is set to begin next week on the tour roads through the Antietam National Battlefield in western Maryland.

By Robert Thomson  | July 7, 2010; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction, Maryland  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, travel tips  
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Heat restrictions for MARC, VRE

The extreme heat Wednesday will cause delays again for passengers who ride the Fredricksburg Line on Virginia Railway Express and MARC passengers on the Brunswick Line.

By Michael Bolden  | July 7, 2010; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuter Rail, MARC, Northern Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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100 degrees on a Metrorail car

"Let's just ride with the doors open," one passenger in a sweat-soaked blue shirt called out as the Orange Line's car 5121 made its tandoori trip toward Vienna on Tuesday evening.

By Robert Thomson  | July 7, 2010; 8:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, metrorail  
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Dupont Circle escalators out

The 19th street entrance escalators are out of service at the Dupont Circle station.

By Mark Berman  | July 7, 2010; 6:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  metro, metro escalators, wmata  
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U Street grease spill stalls morning rush

A truck transporting a load of kitchen grease apparently sprung a leak around 16th and U streets in Northwest Washington and drove about seven blocks eastbound along U Street before it stopped, said William Howard, the director of D.C.'s Department of Public Works. The truck, likely belonging to a private company, remains at large, officials said. The mess caused massive closures along U Street Wednesday morning.

By Washington Post  | July 7, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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Coal train derails near Fredricksburg

A freight train derailment in the Fredericksburg area has caused Virginia transportation officials to close one westbound lane of Route 3, also known as Kings Highway, near the Ferry Farm Walmart, Virginia Department of Transportation officials said. The rail tracks run along the road, which will remain partially closed until after all cleanup efforts are complete, VDOT said. No one was injured, a CSX spokesman said.

By Michael Bolden  | July 6, 2010; 7:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Metro: Man may have fallen on tracks

Metro says that a preliminary police investigation indicates that a man struck and killed by a train at Minnesota Avenue Station on July 4 fell onto the tracks and that no foul play was involved.

By Michael Bolden  | July 6, 2010; 5:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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20-30 min. MARC delays

Surprise--MARC trains out of Washington are running 20 to 30 minutes late this evening due to power problems at Union Station and Landover stations; single-tracking near New Carrolton; and congestion on the Camden Line, MARC reports. Rider Kevin Scott tells us his 4:40 train left Union Station forty minutes past its scheduled departure. "They've communicated well but that doesn't help us move!" he wrote. CSX issued heat orders for the Brunswick/Camden Lines this afternoon, too. The overhead power lines are highly sensitive to heat, and this summer's weather has repeatedly pushed the system past its max.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 6, 2010; 5:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  MARC  | Tags:  Penn Line  
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Delays on the Red Line due to heat

4:50 p.m. Update: Metro is slowing trains through the area due to the kink between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue stations. A press release said that the heat kinks can "form when overheated tracks expand and cannot be...

By Michael Bolden  | July 6, 2010; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro, Red Line  
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I-95/395 lane times adjusted

For the second summer, the Virginia Department of Transportation has extended the weeknight hours that southbound drivers can use the reversible lanes on I-95/395. From today through Sept. 23, the lanes will remain open southbound until midnight.

By Robert Thomson  | July 6, 2010; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Driving, Highways, Virginia  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, HOV, VDOT  
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Virginia expands 'Move Over' law

From time to time, travelers inquire if there's a law that requires drivers to change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle by the side of a highway. Answer: Yes, in most places, and in Virginia, the law was just expanded.

By Robert Thomson  | July 6, 2010; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Driving, Traffic Safety  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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Police remove woman from VRE train

Tuesday morning VRE riders aboard Train 308 were delayed about 30 minutes because of an unruly passenger, spokesman Mark Roeber said. A woman on the Fredericksburg Line train did not validate her ticket and refused to get off the train....

By Michael Bolden  | July 6, 2010; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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Rail lines prepare for heat wave

Dr. Gridlock's hot weather travel tips | Cooling centers Photos: Coping with the heat | Video: Memories of the snow 1:45 p.m. Update: Virginia Railway Express passengers can expect delays Tuesday as the extreme heat forces trains to slow down....

By Michael Bolden  | July 6, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amtrak, Commuter Rail, MARC  
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New cellphone restrictions in Delaware

Drivers in Delaware will be prohibited from texting while driving and from talking on hand-held cell phones under a new law signed by Gov. Jack Markell. The legislation signed by Markell on Tuesday also bans e-mailing and using the Internet while driving. Cellphone conversations will have to be conducted via speaker phone or other hands-free devices.

By Michael Bolden  | July 6, 2010; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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The week ahead in traffic, transit

Commuting temperatures will remain above 90 all week, the Capital Weather Gang says. The Code Orange air quality forecast for Tuesday means that drivers should avoid filling up their gas tanks, which releases fumes, making a bad situation worse.

By Robert Thomson  | July 6, 2010; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Metro 4th of July rail trips decline

Trips on Metro were down by almost 49,000 this Fourth of July compared to 2009. Last year, the agency reported 631,206 trips. This year's ridership totaled 582,286. That was also less than the ridership in 2008, which was 598,898.

By Michael Bolden  | July 6, 2010; 9:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Metro  
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New York Ave. and 295 reopen

Here's a look at what might impact your morning commute

By Mark Berman  | July 6, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting  
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Traffic delays in Va. for Byrd funeral

Arlington County police plan to block or limit access to several roads Tuesday to accommodate the funeral of West Virginia Sen. Robert C. Byrd. Byrd's funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Memorial Baptist Church in Arlington, according to his...

By Michael Bolden  | July 6, 2010; 8:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion, Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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Pentagon may change Metro security

The Pentagon is considering changes in security at the Metro station that would restrict the ability of commuters to access walkways and escalators there, according to a report by Markham Heid in the Washington Examiner.

By Michael Bolden  | July 6, 2010; 8:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro, Northern Virginia, Yellow Line  
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"Unruly passenger" delays VRE

An unusual delay for VRE riders this morning. Train 308 heading towards Washington has been held in Quantico for nearly 40 minutes due to an unruly passenger.

By Mark Berman  | July 6, 2010; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Virginia Railway Express  | Tags:  vre, vre delays  
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It's tricky traveling in the heat

We thought we had seen hot this summer, but apparently today and Wednesday will make us wish for the piles of snow we saw in February. The Capital Weather Gang says temperatures could reach 102 today. 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.

By Michael Bolden  | July 6, 2010; 7:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Commuting, District, MARC, Maryland, Metro, Northern Virginia, Transit, Virginia  
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Brunswick and Camden Line delays

Brunswick and Camden Line delays

By Mark Berman  | July 6, 2010; 6:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, MARC  | Tags:  marc, marc delays  
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Timeline: Coverage of plane mishaps

The Post's Ashley Halsey III reports Monday on close calls between planes over the Washington area.

By Mike McPhate  | July 5, 2010; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports  
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Poll: Do you feel safe on area flights?

The Post's Ashley Halsey III reports Monday that close calls at Washington area airports in the past six months has surpassed the total of 18 in 2009.

By Mike McPhate  | July 5, 2010; 8:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Airports  | Tags:  airports  
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Man struck by Orange Line train dies

Noon Update: The main man struck by an Orange Line train at Minnesota Avenue early Sunday morning has died, according to a Metro press release. The statement described the man as 28 years old but did not provide any additional...

By Michael Bolden  | July 4, 2010; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Maryland, Metro, Orange Line  
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