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Dr. Gridlock: July 11, 2010 - July 17, 2010

New phase on 14th St. bridge

Drivers entering the District on Interstate 395 this weekend should watch for a developing change in the traffic pattern on the northbound 14th Street bridge and the closing of the ramp from northbound I-395 to the 12th Street tunnel. Also, D Street SW, just east of 12th Street, is closed.

By Robert Thomson  | July 17, 2010; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Construction, District, Driving  | Tags:  14th Street Bridge, Dr. Gridlock  
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Headaches on the horizon

Traveling conditions tonight will be on the sultry side, but there's only a slight risk of a shower or storm, the Capital Weather Gang says. There will be plenty of time to stew if you get caught up in one of several significant road projects developing tonight and tomorrow morning.

By Robert Thomson  | July 16, 2010; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Yellow and Blue lines moving again

Update 5:30pm: The stalled train has been moved and residual delays abated. Original post: Trains are single-tracking between Pentagon City and Arlington Cemetery due to a train immobilized outside Pentagon--a tie-up sure to cause complications during the Friday night rush....

By Luke Rosiak  | July 16, 2010; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro, Yellow Line  
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Fliers: We can fix Metro's escalators

The union whose members originally installed Metro's escalators are mounting a public campaign to convince the rail system thatt private contractors--its members--would do a better job than Metro's employees.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 16, 2010; 4:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Escalators  
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Crash on 14th Street Bridge

New York Avenue is re-opened. Delays are likely when crossing the 14th Street Bridge driving away from the city due to a two-car accident.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 16, 2010; 4:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting  
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Blue Line delays at Van Dorn

Power has been disconnected to both the inbound and outbound tracks between Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street stations, according to Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel.

By Michael Bolden  | July 16, 2010; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro  
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DOT: Short-muzzled dogs at risk

The Department of Transportation released data Friday morning that shows about half of the dogs that have died while being transported as air cargo over the last five years were breeds such as pugs and bulldogs.

By Michael Bolden  | July 16, 2010; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports  
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Report: Rigid formulas handcuff VDOT

Over the course of 12 audits, 17,000 man-hours and more than a million dollars, reviewers have consistently come to the same conclusion about the Virginia Department of Transportation: In the words of a report posted yesterday on the watchdog journalism site Old Dominion Watchdog, "VDOT is like a high-maintenance girlfriend and the general assembly an overbearing father." That's because, according to public and private audits funded by the department, the state legislature and others, longstanding formulas determine very narrowly where it may spend its money, even if department officials feel they have urgent priorities.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 16, 2010; 10:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Virginia  | Tags:  VDOT  
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The weekend and beyond

Shaken off the earthquake and ready to enjoy the weekend? You'll be traveling in hot and humid conditions, the Capital Weather Gang says. There's no one, big event that will dominate the traffic and transit scene, though you'll find plenty of activities, like Friday's Mars Day at the Air and Space Museum, or Saturday's Star Wars: In Concert at Verizon Center. See our Going Out Guide. Here's a getting-around guide to help plan your trips this weekend and beyond.

By Robert Thomson  | July 16, 2010; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Red Line returning to normal

A Red Line train heading to Shady Grove is experiencing a door malfunction, according to Metro spokesman Reggie Woodruff. The train is being examined right now and they aren't sure of the specific problem, he said. There are still delays on the Red Line, but he said they expect the delays to clear up soon.

By Mark Berman  | July 16, 2010; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  
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Teams checking bridges, tunnels

Inspection teams are checking out underground facilities, vaults, tunnels, bridges and overpasses throughout the day, according to D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services. No damage reports. And there's no damage or injuries according to reports from Metro, the National Parks Service, any water or gas utilities or local transit agencies, D.C. Fire reports.

By Mark Berman  | July 16, 2010; 5:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  | Tags:  morning roundup  
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Headaches on the horizon

Travelers may encounter a stray shower tonight, but otherwise it will be just hot and muggy, the Capital Weather Gang says. Tomorrow night, the HOT lanes project is planning to begin a shift in the Capital Beltway lanes near Braddock Road.

By Robert Thomson  | July 15, 2010; 7:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, HOT lanes, Headaches on the horizon  
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MARC train disruption cleared

Update 6:13pm: The passengers are safely back to the station and boarding the next train. Original post:Penn Line train 436, scheduled to depart at 5:30pm towards Perryville, broke down minutes after leaving Union Station and is without power near the New York Avenue Metro. After repairs were unsuccessful, a rescue locomotive was attached, and MARC plans to have that locomotive tow it back to Union Station.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 15, 2010; 5:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC  
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Metro suspect may have fled country

A former taxi driver being tanveer.JPGsought in connection with an alleged sexual assault of a disabled woman may have fled the country, according to Metro officials.

By Michael Bolden  | July 15, 2010; 5:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Metro, MetroAccess  
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Red line holdup cleared

A stalled inbound train at Rhode Island Avenue station meant that Red Line passengers in the direction of Shady Grove experienced delays, according to Metro and riders.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 15, 2010; 4:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Line  
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Suspicious package at 13th & G NW

4 p.m. Update: Meredith McDermott, an intern for Hearst Newspapers, snapped pictures of the package that police were investigating. She reports that the box, which appears to contain some sort of equipment, was closed at the beginning of the incident....

By Michael Bolden  | July 15, 2010; 1:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro  
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German train reaches 122 degrees

And riders on the infamous overheated MARC trains thought their experience was rough. Even as MARC trains continue to be plagued by delays stemming from overheated equipment and the overheated customers that can result when a train breaks down--MARC created a Web page titled MARC Train 538 Incident Response, and Amtrak announced today it would distribute bottled watter at Union Station on hot days--other railroads are undergoing similar woes. German authorities are looking into whether Deutsche Bahn "negligently caused bodily harm" by continuing a train's journey after its air conditioning broke, the German publication The Local reported this week.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 15, 2010; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Amtrak, MARC  | Tags:  High-speed rail  
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Power back on at Reagan National

Power is back on, the airports authority said. They're warning passengers to print boarding passes at home, because ticketing lines are backed up.

By Michael Bolden  | July 15, 2010; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Airports  
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Amtrak providing cold water

Dr. Gridlock's hot weather travel tips | Photos: Coping with the heat | Video: Memories of the snow The Maryland Transit Administration notified MARC commuters this morning that Amtrak will provide cold water at Union Station on days that exceed...

By Michael Bolden  | July 15, 2010; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Amtrak, Commuter Rail, MARC  
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Airline fees may obscure best deals

A government watchdog says airline fees for checked bags and other services are complicating things for consumers trying to find the best deal on airfare.

By Michael Bolden  | July 15, 2010; 10:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Airlines  
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Red Line delays cleared

There are delays on the Red Line heading towards Shady Grove.

By Mark Berman  | July 15, 2010; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  | Tags:  metro delays, red line delays  
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Beltway lanes open in Va.

Here's a roundup of the headaches facing commuters this morning

By Mark Berman  | July 15, 2010; 5:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  | Tags:  morning roundup  
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Headaches on the horizon

Construction updates | D.C. area travel tips The weather should not interfere with your travels tonight and tomorrow morning. The Capital Weather Gang says we're in for only an isolated shower -- nothing like the storms of previous evenings. Here...

By Robert Thomson  | July 14, 2010; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Silver Line work to affect WB Toll Road

Beginning tonight, construction of the Metrorail extension to Dulles will alter the flow of traffic temporarily on the westbound Dulles Toll Road near where it crosses Wiehle Avenue. Lanes will shift to the right to make way for construction on the Wiehle Avenue station, which will be in the median of the highway.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 14, 2010; 5:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Construction, Silver Line, Traffic Safety, Tysons Corner  
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Closures on WB Columbia Pike

5:15 p.m. Update: According to Arlington officials, westbound Columbia Pike is blocked at Wakefield, too, because of a traffic accident. 4:55 p.m. Update: ART bus route 41 is affected by the closure. Some stops are not being served. Original post:...

By Michael Bolden  | July 14, 2010; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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The Force was with them...

When we're riding Metro, we sometimes see strange things. However, Princess Leia being seized by Imperial Stormtroopers generally isn't one of them. That's what some New Yorkers saw when the group Improv Everywhere staged a "Star Wars" scene this...

By Michael Bolden  | July 14, 2010; 4:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Transit  
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MTA bus shelter condemned

The Maryland Transit Administration says riders on MTA Route 904 should be careful near the bus shelter located at the Prince George's Equestrian Center. Officials said the shelter has been condemned due to storm damage that occurred Tuesday night. Crews...

By Michael Bolden  | July 14, 2010; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Bus, Maryland  
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Police seek help locating suspect

Metro Transit Police are looking for Tanveer Fayyaz, 31, an employee of Regency Cab, in connection with an alleged sexual assault reported by a MetroAccess customer. Regency Cab is a subcontractor for MV Transportation, which provides MetroAccess service for the disabled for Metro.

By Michael Bolden  | July 14, 2010; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, MetroAccess  
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U Street NW reopens in both directions

6:24 p.m. Update: DDOT says U Street has reopened in both directions. 5:05 p.m. Update: U Street is still closed because of the multi-car accident, according to the District Department of Transportation. You should use an alternate route. Original post:...

By Michael Bolden  | July 14, 2010; 3:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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MARC train to operate one car short

Maryland Transit Administration officials said MARC Train 879, which departs Union Station at 5:35 p.m. for Martinsburg, W.V., will operate one car short today....

By Michael Bolden  | July 14, 2010; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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NTSB confirms date for crash hearing

The National Transportation Board confirmed Wednesday that it will hold a meeting on the cause of the June 2009 Red Line crash later this month.

By Michael Bolden  | July 14, 2010; 2:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, Red Line, Transportation Politics  
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A new entrance for Rosslyn Metro

The Arlington County Board approved Tuesday night the construction of a second entrance into the Rosslyn Metro station.

By Michael Bolden  | July 14, 2010; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro, Orange Line  
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A rider's 'vital signs' report?

Post reporter Ann Scott Tyson notes in her Wednesday story on frustration over Metro escalators that: The performance of Metro escalators has continued to fall, according to a Metro "vital signs" report issued this month. Escalator availability dropped to 89.6 percent, compared with the Metro goal of 93 percent. Let's look at the report, and what it says about Metro riders' experience.

By Robert Thomson  | July 14, 2010; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus, Metrorail  
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NY bus driver saves lives

Between allegations of physical battery of an anti-crime mascot, abuse of vulnerable adults and deception used by a teen to get behind the wheel, in the DC area, it's sometimes easy to forget that those who drive the buses, vans and trains of mass transit play an important role in our communities, and many of them will go out of their way to help. In Buffalo, New York, a bus driver is being credited for saving 10 people asleep inside a burning home by pounding on the door. After his heroics, Richard Lucas got back behind the wheel and finished his route.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 14, 2010; 10:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags:  Bus  
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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  | July 14, 2010; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Metro  
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Blue and Orange Line delays

Blue and Orange Line delays

By Mark Berman  | July 14, 2010; 7:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  | Tags:  metrorail delays  
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MARC delays

Flooding delays MARC Camden Line

By Mark Berman  | July 14, 2010; 6:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  MARC  | Tags:  marc, marc camden line  
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Beltway lane reopens in VA

Here's a look at some headaches that might impact your commute:

By Mark Berman  | July 14, 2010; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  | Tags:  morning roundup  
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A watery commute Wednesday morning

Transportation agencies are warning drivers this morning to be on the lookout for slick roads and standing water during the morning commute after a storms swept through the region overnight.

By Mike McPhate  | July 14, 2010; 5:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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Headaches on the horizon

Travelers are in for off-and-on showers and thunderstorms overnight and into Wednesday morning, the Capital Weather Gang says, so the nightly construction programs that can slow your ride may be delayed. Here's a look at some of the main projects.

By Robert Thomson  | July 13, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Construction, Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Traffic signals out in Clarendon

Arlington County reports that traffic signals are out in Clarendon due to a power outage. Expect traffic delays in the vicinity. Officials estimate power will be restored by 7 p.m....

By Michael Bolden  | July 13, 2010; 5:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Metro investigates sexual assault

Metro Police are investigating tyson.gifa report from a woman who alleged that the driver of a MetroAccess vehicle sexually assaulted her on Thursday in Montgomery County after picking her up from an adult day care center, according to a statement from Metro.

By Michael Bolden  | July 13, 2010; 5:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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Free passes for stuck MARC riders

MARC passengers who were stuck for two hours on a stalled train last month are eligible for free rides.

By Michael Bolden  | July 13, 2010; 4:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Metro  
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Too many turns at dance

The main criticism I've heard from travelers about the District's experiment with a Barnes Dance style pedestrian scramble in Chinatown is that drivers are making too many turns. So I spent an hour today loitering on the corner of 7th and H streets NW counting turners

By Robert Thomson  | July 13, 2010; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  District, Driving, Traffic Safety  | Tags:  Barnes Dance, DDOT, Dr. Gridlock  
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A Metro connection in bus crash?

William Jackson, the 19-year-old who allegedly deceived Metro security and drove off in a bus on Friday, apparently shares an address with a man who has the name of an actual Metro bus operator, according to public documents. Jackson was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and fleeing an accident. Property records show that a man named Stephen Dabney owns a house at the address listed in the charging documents.

By Michael Bolden  | July 13, 2010; 2:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Bridge floats down the river

This falls into the category of amusing transportation news from elsewhere. We're used to using bridges to cross rivers, but it's not often that we see a bridge floating down a river. That's happening in New York right now.

By Michael Bolden  | July 13, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Waterways  
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N.Y. geese gassed for air safety

The dramatic landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River last year brought significant attention to what can happen when a bird strike cripples a plane. But some Brooklyn residents were surprised recently to realize that hundreds of geese in a popular park had disappeared.

By Michael Bolden  | July 13, 2010; 10:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports  
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N.Y. Ave. reopens after accident

10:46 a.m. Update: Westbound New York Avenue has aslo reopened, according to DDOT. Rescuers were called to the 11-story building in the 400 block of the commuter artery about 9:45 a.m. and used a crane to hoist paramedics and equipment...

By Michael Bolden  | July 13, 2010; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting  
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Weather causing flight delays

The Capital Weather Gang is forecasting more storms today, but we're already seeing weather have a significant impact on flights.

By Michael Bolden  | July 13, 2010; 7:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports  
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Dupont escalators down again

Depending on Escalators | The ups and downs of Metro | Metro brings in escalator consultant | Outages Submit your own Metro photos 11:45 a.m. Update: Now the disruptions are showing three escalators out at Dupont, two at Q Street...

By Michael Bolden  | July 13, 2010; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
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ART bus detours off Military Rd

Due to a loose electrical wire, Arlington Transit bus 53 will not be servicing Military Road.

By Mark Berman  | July 13, 2010; 7:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags:  art bus, art detour  
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MD 410 blocked in Chevy Chase

A roundup of the morning commute

By Mark Berman  | July 13, 2010; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  | Tags:  i-66, md 410  
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Headaches on the horizon

The showers and thunderstorms rolling through the D.C. area are interfering with some road work projects. The Capital Weather Gang says travelers should expect similar weather on Tuesday. Here's a look at some of the nighttime road work plans.

By Robert Thomson  | July 12, 2010; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Dupont Metro entrances both open

Update 7:10p.m.: Both entrances to Dupont are now open, according to Metro. Update 6:30p.m.:The Post's Ann Scott Tyson is on the scene, and Dupont Circle Station is filled with smoke, but is still open, with firemen attempting to direct confused crowds and train announcers telling people to either use the 19th Street exit or take a train to a different station.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 12, 2010; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  Metro, Red Line  | Tags:  Escalators  
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Relief not easy to find

Does this Metro rider's experience match your own during the past few weeks of hot weather? She encounters the double threat of air conditioning and escalators.

By Robert Thomson  | July 12, 2010; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, Red Line  
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Trapped in a cage--outside the zoo

A family of five was stuck in the elevator at the Cleveland Park Metro station for more than a half hour this afternoon. At 12:45p.m., fire spokesman Pete Piringer sent out an alert that they were trapped, and it wasn't until just before 1:30 that he wrote that the family was "freed and happy." A family of five was stuck in the elevator at the Cleveland Park for more than a half hour this afternoon. At 12:45p.m., fire spokesman Pete Piringer sent out an alert that the elevator had broken with the parents and children trapped inside, later adding that everyone was safe and unharmed. It wasn't until just before 1:30 that he wrote that the family was "freed and happy." The elevator runs up a lengthy shaft from the Metro station mezzanine to Connecticut Avenue near the zoo, and is often used by families with strollers and young children bound to check out the animals--but the family likely expected to be outside, with the animals confined to their cages, not the other way around.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 12, 2010; 1:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Metro, Red Line  | Tags:  Elevators, Escalators  
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Safety patrol to aid drivers in distress

The regional airports authority recently started a safety patrol to help drivers who run into problems on the Dulles Toll Road and the Dulles Airport Access Highway.

By Michael Bolden  | July 12, 2010; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Airports, Highways, Northern Virginia  
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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  | July 12, 2010; 9:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting, Metro, Metrobus  
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High-speed rail hearings begin

North Carolina officials are beginning public hearings about a high-speed rail segment that will stretch from North Carolina's capital into Virginia.It's a section of a rail corridor that will eventually connect Charlotte to Washington with trains traveling at top speeds of 110 miles per hour.

By Michael Bolden  | July 12, 2010; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Transportation Politics, Virginia  
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Green and Yellow Line delays

Green and Yellow Line delays

By Mark Berman  | July 12, 2010; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  | Tags:  metro, metrorail delays, wmata  
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Arlington paratransit fares rise

Higher fares take effect on Monday for Specialized Transit for Arlington Residents (STAR). The paratransit service provides rides to the elderly and the disabled.

By Michael Bolden  | July 12, 2010; 7:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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Rt. 123 blocked near county line

Roundup of the morning commute

By Mark Berman  | July 12, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags:  morning commute  
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The week ahead in traffic, transit

Daytime travel temperatures will rise into the low-90s all week, says the Capital Weather Gang. As I said in my Sunday Dr. Gridlock column, temperatures can rise to at least 100 degrees in a Metro car if the air-conditioning is busted. That's just one of many travel issues D.C. area commuters will confront this week.

By Robert Thomson  | July 12, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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