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Dr. Gridlock: August 8, 2010 - August 14, 2010

Online DMV reminders for Va. drivers

Virginia officials are urging drivers to sign up for an online service to get reminders about renewing their vehicle registration.

By Michael Bolden  | August 13, 2010; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Virginia  
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JetBlue passenger released

JetBlue Airways says a flight from Boston to the Dominican Republic had to land in the Washington area because of an unruly passenger.

By Michael Bolden  | August 13, 2010; 2:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Airports  
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NY lays off 194 subway workers

From New York comes a reminder that the revenue problems facing Washington's public transportation systems aren't unique. The New York area Metropolitan Transit Authority faces an $800 million deficit, and Friday 194 New York City subway workers lost their jobs.

By Michael Bolden  | August 13, 2010; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro  
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Metro to expand red warning lights

Metro will swap the white lights along the platform edge that blink when a train is approaching for red LED ones at 14 stations, on top of the 24 or so stations that have gotten them in recent years. It says the red ones are more visible and thus safer, and that the energy efficiency of the LED lights will save it $100,000 per year.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 13, 2010; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  
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$10M in federal money for BRAC roads

Maryland's senators say nearly $10 million in federal money will help fund intersection improvements near three military facilities. Three military facilities will soon see increased traffic as tens of thousands of jobs are relocated due to base closings and realignments.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 13, 2010; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  BRAC  
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The weekend and beyond

Heading for a Redskins or Nationals game this weekend, or maybe you prefer modern dance at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre? Here's some traffic and transit information that may help ease your travels this weekend and beyond.

By Robert Thomson  | August 13, 2010; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Escalators out at Foggy Bottom

...that's right, all of them. The station has also experienced a leaky roof during recent storms, including yesterday's.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 13, 2010; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Escalators  
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Storm's impact on traffic lingers

The region is still reeling from the storms that pounded the area yesterday, resulting in flash flooding, downed wires and power outages.

By Mark Berman  | August 13, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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MARC delays and crowding

Another morning rush hour with the potential for crowded MARC trains.

By Mark Berman  | August 13, 2010; 5:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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Headaches on the horizon

Travelers had plenty to worry about with Thursday's storms, but they should save some room for a couple of traffic and transit programs that could affect trips over the weekend and next week.

By Robert Thomson  | August 12, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories, Construction, District, Driving, Green Line, Orange Line, Weekend Work, Yellow Line  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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A complicated commute home

Severe thunderstorms moving through the area will further complicate the p.m. commute. The Capital Weather Gang says intense storms moving through Montgomery County will move into the District over the next 30 minutes and have produced dangerous winds.

By Michael Bolden  | August 12, 2010; 6:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Commuting, Driving, Virginia Railway Express  
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Weather causing flight delays

The Federal Aviation Administration is reporting arrival and departure delays at all of Washington's major airports. Departure delays at Reagan National and Dulles International are running 90 minutes. BWI is delaying some arriving and departing flights. Airports throughout the Northeast are affected. Boston is the only current major airport in the region not reporting any delays.

By Michael Bolden  | August 12, 2010; 6:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports  
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Expect crowding on MARC trains

5:30 p.m. Update: The MTA says MARC 875 arrived at Rockville 30 minutes late. MARC 877 is running 10 minutes late as it approaches Rockville. 5:10 p.m. Update: MARC 875 is on the move, but is running 32 minutes late,...

By Michael Bolden  | August 12, 2010; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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VRE delays for p.m. commute

Riders on the Virginia Railway Express Fredericksburg Line can expect delays this evening as CSX crews repair a section of track, VRE officials said.

By Michael Bolden  | August 12, 2010; 3:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Northern Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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Conn. Ave. reopens

According to D.C. Fire/EMS spokesman Pete Piringer, a burning transformer underground at 1875 Connecticut Ave. has caused closures in the vicinity. The fire is now under control.

By Michael Bolden  | August 12, 2010; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Driving  
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Cleveland Park Station reopens

Metro hopes to open Cleveland Park Station for the afternoon commute, but workers are still removing mud and debris from an area in the station that was flooded on Thursday morning, according to a Metro official.

By Michael Bolden  | August 12, 2010; 1:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuting, Metro  
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Storms wreak havoc on AM commute

Major storms tore through the Washington region this morning, knocking out power, flooding roadways and wreaking havoc on traffic. We may get to do it all again this afternoon. The Capital Weather Gang says we may have strong thunderstorms and gusty winds.

By Mark Berman  | August 12, 2010; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories, Airports, Commuting, Congestion, Driving, MARC, Metro, Red Line  
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Emergency for BWI-bound plane

An AirTran Airways flight from Indianapolis bound for Baltimore has instead landed in Ohio because pilots got a warning about a possible electrical problem.

By Michael Bolden  | August 12, 2010; 9:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports  
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Traffic lights for bikes?

An experimental project has had traffic signals added on New Hampshire Avenue to shepherd cyclists across 16th Street, and if it's successful, more lights for cyclists could be on the way on U Street.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 12, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Biking  
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Lots of potential MARC crowding

Several MARC trains might be crowded this morning due to running one car short.

By Mark Berman  | August 12, 2010; 5:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  MARC  
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Delays at airports tonight

Stormy weather is causing delays of upwards of two hours at Dulles International Airport this evening, and more than an hour at BWI. Flights are somewhat delayed at Reagan. Check with your airline before heading to the airport if you're picking someone up or flying out of town tonight.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 11, 2010; 7:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Airlines, Airports  
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Headaches on the horizon

Travelers may encounter a stray shower Wednesday night, and the high heat will diminish on Thursday, though it will stay humid. You should know about one emergency lane closing Wednesday night and a couple of potentially bad traffic delays as you begin your weekend planning.

By Robert Thomson  | August 11, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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NTSB wants child seats on planes

Letter to the FAA from the NTSB Federal safety officials are recommending that flight rules be changed to require child safety seats on planes for children less than 2 years old. The National Transportation Safety Board made the recommendation Wednesday...

By Michael Bolden  | August 11, 2010; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Aviation, NTSB  
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Delays on the Red Line

4:30 p.m. Update: Metro says the problem has been resolved but delays are going to continue for a while. Original post: Metro is reporting a train malfunction at Twinbrook that is causing delays on the Red Line. A train having...

By Michael Bolden  | August 11, 2010; 4:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro, Red Line  
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Fallen tree delays Amtrak's NE trains

Train passengers along Amtrak's busy Northeast Corridor faced delays of up to two hours after a fallen tree knocked out power and rail signals Wednesday.

By Michael Bolden  | August 11, 2010; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amtrak  
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Bikeshare program rolls out sign-up site

In preparation for a September launch, the Capital Bikeshare program today unveiled new details and allowed prospective members to sign up. Here's how the bike-sharing program will work:

By Luke Rosiak  | August 11, 2010; 2:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Biking, District  | Tags:  BikeShare  
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NTSB wants marine cellphone rules

A federal agency is recommending that the Coast Guard develop a policy on the use of cellphones and other wireless devices as part of its investigations into two separate collisions last December.

By Michael Bolden  | August 11, 2010; 1:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  NTSB  
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Bikeshare memberships debut

Washington cyclists can sign up now for the region's new bike-sharing network, Capital Bikeshare, which is scheduled to debut in September.

By Michael Bolden  | August 11, 2010; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Biking, District, Northern Virginia  
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Riders ask about slow Orange Line

Several Metro riders have written to ask why the outbound Orange Line trains are slow between East and West Falls Church. Metro says there's no speed restrictions on that section of track. There is a work zone farther out, between Dunn Loring and Vienna, where trains must move at 35 to 45 mph. That's where Metro is replacing cross-ties, work that is scheduled to continue this weekend.

By Robert Thomson  | August 11, 2010; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Metro, Orange Line  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Heat restrictions for VRE trains

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  | August 11, 2010; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Northern Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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SmarTrip problems at Metro lots

From time to time, Metro riders who park at the transit lots and garages report problems with the SmarTrip card readers at the exits, but in the past week, the reports have been more widespread than usual. Here's an example.

By Robert Thomson  | August 11, 2010; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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MARC trains will be shorter

Two MARC trains will each operate with one less car Wednesday evening, according to the Maryland Transit Administration, increasing the probability for crowding. MARC Train 534 on the Penn Line, which departs Union Station at 5:20 p.m., and Camden Line...

By Michael Bolden  | August 11, 2010; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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Today's read: Metro brawl strategy

The Post today featured news and opinion about the Friday night fight on Metrorail. Handing fights that migrate: Metro Transit Police will escort potentially disruptive groups of people through the rail system in the wake of a weekend brawl that left several people injured, a senior police official said Tuesday. (Ann Scott Tyson)

By Robert Thomson  | August 11, 2010; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Blue and Orange Line delays lifted

There are delays on the Blue and Orange Lines heading towards Franconia-Springfield and Vienna, respectively.

By Mark Berman  | August 11, 2010; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro  
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Big MARC delays

The three trains on MARC's Penn Line that ran one car short yesterday morning will be running one car short today as well, which could lead to crowding.

By Mark Berman  | August 11, 2010; 5:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  MARC  
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17th St reopened

Here's a look at the traffic headaches awaiting you on the road today.

By Mark Berman  | August 11, 2010; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Metro probes alleged bus hit-and-run

Metro is investigating a reported incident in which a Metro bus allegedly rear-ended a car carrying three people at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and Glebe Road in Ballston on Tuesday afternoon and then left the scene.

By Michael Bolden  | August 10, 2010; 7:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro  
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All lanes open on 295

9 p.m. Update: DDOT reports that all lanes have reopened. Original post: One of the lanes of northbound DC 295 prior to the 11th Street Bridge is closed due to a traffic accident involving three vehicles, according to D.C. officials....

By Michael Bolden  | August 10, 2010; 7:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Driving  
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Headaches on the horizon

Travelers will find it's still pretty hot during their evening activities, and temperatures are likely to climb back into the mid- to upper 90s Wednesday. Road crews are out in this weather, too, and there are plenty of active projects across the D.C. region. Here's a sampler of those likely to affect your travels over the next two days.

By Robert Thomson  | August 10, 2010; 7:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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More fare chart mysteries

I've described the variety of new signs Metro posted to mark the fare increases, but as this occasional rider describes his problems with the signage, he points out something I hadn't noticed till today: The main chart, the one that lists the station-to-station fares, indicates a charge of 45 cents for a peak of the peak trip.

By Robert Thomson  | August 10, 2010; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Closures on 18th & G NW

A car fire at 1800 G Street in Northwest Washington precipitated closures on surrounding streets, which will cause delays for drivers traveling downtown. According to D.C. emergency officials, the fire is under control but 18th Street is closed between F...

By Michael Bolden  | August 10, 2010; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Driving  
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Heat will delay VRE, MARC trains

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

By Michael Bolden  | August 10, 2010; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Virginia Railway Express  
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Vague threat targets Metro

Metro has not taken any extra security precautions in the wake of an unspecific warning from the Department of Homeland Security about a potential threat against the transit system, according to Metro Transit Police.

By Michael Bolden  | August 10, 2010; 1:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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Strasburg, traffic set to return

Last time I posted an alert saying that Stephen Strasburg was scheduled to pitch at Nationals Park, the young phenom didn't make it out of the bullpen. Still, the game was a sellout, generating extra traffic along some D.C. routes and crowding Metro's Green Line.

By Robert Thomson  | August 10, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Congestion, Events  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Nationals Park  
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13th and I NW reopening

10 a.m. Update: The suspicious package was a container of clothing chained to a tree, according to emergency officials. Streets are currently reopening. 9:10 a.m. Update: D.C. emergency officials report that Franklin Park is the focus of the investigation. Expect...

By Michael Bolden  | August 10, 2010; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Commuting, Driving  
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Canal Road blocked by downed tree

Here's a gander at the headaches facing you this morning, and this post will be updated.

By Mark Berman  | August 10, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Potential MARC crowding

Three trains on MARC's Penn Line will be running one car short this morning, which could lead to crowding.

By Mark Berman  | August 10, 2010; 5:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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Blue and Orange Line delays cleared

There are delays on the Blue and Orange Lines in both directions due to disabled track equipment outside of Stadium-Armory.

By Mark Berman  | August 10, 2010; 5:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Transit police: Response was quick

Metro police were in the Gallery Place Station on Friday night when a large group of boisterous young people boarded a train for home, and they were at L'Enfant Plaza when a fight broke among them, Deputy Transit Chief David Webb said this afternoon.

By Robert Thomson  | August 9, 2010; 7:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, metrorail  
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Headaches on the horizon

Travel conditions will simply be warm and humid on Monday night, but Tuesday's heat should be just ghastly, the Capital Weather Gang says. There are a couple of new paving projects drivers should know about, plus a Strasburg alert for Tuesday evening.

By Robert Thomson  | August 9, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion, Construction, District, Driving  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Ruckus at JFK leads to arrest

A JetBlue flight attendant has been arrested after an argument with a passenger on a jetliner arriving at New York's Kennedy Airport, where he deployed an emergency slide to flee the aircraft.

By Michael Bolden  | August 9, 2010; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports  
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NTSB meets Metro board

Metro board members and members of the National Transportation Safety Board are lined up across the Metro board room in downtown Washington to talk about the safety panel's recommendations.

By Robert Thomson  | August 9, 2010; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Metro, NTSB, Red Line, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Red Line crash  
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MARC train to be one car short

MARC Train 534, which leaves Union Station at 5:20 p.m. and serves Penn Line commuters, will operate with one less car today, according to the Maryland Transit Administration....

By Michael Bolden  | August 9, 2010; 2:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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NTSB, Metro board meeting under way

Metro's board of directors and National Transportation Safety Board members are scheduled to meet today to dicsuss the federal safety panel's recent findings on the June 2009 Red Line crash and its recommendations.

By Michael Bolden  | August 9, 2010; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, NTSB, Transit, Transportation Politics  
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Back in the car again

Dear Dr. Gridlock: ... I was trying to do the right thing environmentally by taking Metro. But I have a job I have to get to, safely and in a timely manner. So in spite of the added expense, and the wear and tear and the extra mileage on my 12-year-old car, I'm hitting the road.

By Robert Thomson  | August 9, 2010; 10:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Commuting, Driving, Metro, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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K & I streets NW reopening

D.C. police are investigating a suspicious package in the 800 block of K Street NW. As a result, K and I streets are closed to traffic between Seventh and Ninth streets.

By Mark Berman  | August 9, 2010; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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MARC Brunswick Line delays

MARC Brunswick Line train 894 (departing Fredericksburg at 7:10 a.m.) is running 15 to 20 minutes late as it approaches Barnesville.

By Mark Berman  | August 9, 2010; 7:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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The week ahead for traffic, transit

After a weekend respite, D.C. area commuters will be traveling in high heat again this week. There will be some new obstacles in their path, but also some relief for D.C.-bound commuters in the L'Enfant Plaza area.

By Robert Thomson  | August 9, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Changes for MARC's Penn Line

Schedule changes on MARC's Penn Line are going into effect today.

By Mark Berman  | August 9, 2010; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  | Tags:  marc, marc penn line  
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VRE resumes normal service

Normal service has resumed on VRE's Fredericksburg Line this morning.

By Mark Berman  | August 9, 2010; 5:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  | Tags:  vre  
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