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Dr. Gridlock: October 24, 2010 - October 30, 2010

Rally riders strain Metro

UPDATED, 5:21 p.m. As of about 20 minutes ago, Metro Center was still crowded. The Red Line platform headed to Shady Grove was packed, six people deep, from end to end. The Smithsonian station is also crowded, about two to...

By Washington Post staff reports  | October 30, 2010; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Archives-Navy Memorial reopened

UPDATE: 1:29 Metro reports the suspicious package has been cleared and the station has reopened. ORIGINAL POST Metro's Archives-Navy Memorial Station is closed due to a suspicious package. Metro says shuttle service has been requested. Check back with PostLocal.com for...

By Washington Post editors  | October 30, 2010; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Travel tips for Stewart/Colbert rally

The Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will take over the eastern side of the National Mall, the side nearest the U.S. Capitol, from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. Here's how to get to their Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

By Robert Thomson  | October 30, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Advisories, District, Driving, Events, Metro, National Mall, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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Metrorail work for the weekend

Beginning Friday Metro has several projects scheduled around the rail system that will affect travel on the Red, Orange and Green lines. Red Line -- Repair work on the deteriorated platform at Rockville Station continues. Riders traveling between Shady Grove...

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 8:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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The weekend and beyond

You can rally on Saturday, you can run on Sunday. You can just dodge the resulting traffic. Do stay alert for the trick-or-treaters on Halloween, and don't party too hard in Georgetown. Whatever activity you're planning this very busy weekend, you'll be doing it in clear weather, but the temperatures will turn cooler. Here's a guide to planning the weekend's travel in the D.C. area.

By Robert Thomson  | October 29, 2010; 8:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories, Congestion, Events, Metro, Metrobus, National Mall, Traffic Safety, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Man struck by train at Metro Center

10:15 p.m.The disruption at Metro Center has been cleared, WMATA says, but between the early disruption and scheduled track maintenance, expect delays. 9:10 p.m. Update: The Maryland Transit Administration says the shutdown of the Red Line at Metro Center may...

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 7:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Metro  
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Eastern Avenue Bridge closed

The Eastern Avenue Bridge is closed to traffic. The Polk Street and Eastern Avenue exits off DC 295 north are blocked. The Eastern Avenue exit from 295 south is also blocked....

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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MetroAccess vehicle carjacked

5:45 p.m. Update: D.C. police have the suspect in custody, authorities said. Original post: One person is dead and two people were injured Friday after a shooting in Northwest Washington. The shooting, which appears to be a domestic incident, occurred...

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Sleepless nights on Glebe Road

William Langhorst, who works early morning hours for his job, woke up to jackhammers Sunday night. It will continue until Nov. 14. Arlington County started a sewer project to add three manholes and replace a sanitary sewer line with a...

By Christy Goodman  | October 29, 2010; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction, Northern Virginia  
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Aviation security to increase

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Friday aviation security measures are being increased in the wake of suspicious packages found on cargo planes ultimately bound for the United States. "The public may recognize specific enhancements including heightened cargo...

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 1:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports, Aviation  
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NoVa officials discuss streetcar needs

Transportation officials in Arlington and Fairfax counties are trying to decide on features for the Columbia Pike streetcar line as they begin working on environmental documents and federal funding applications. The five-mile planned route from Pentagon City to Skyline in Fairfax County will need about 14 streetcars, street-level platforms, the possibility for people to enter the cars from both sides simultaneously, and the ability to collect fares at points along the line, said Steve Del Giudice, Arlington's transit bureau chief, to members of the Northern Virginia Streetcar Coalition Thursday night. Transportation officials are still trying to work out issues surrounding overhead power lines, locations for six power stations and a maintenance facility and "how to integrate those in the community," he said.

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Northern Virginia, Transit, Transportation News, Transportation Politics  
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Cautious train operator made report

1:10 p.m. Update: Caution by a Metro train operator led to a report of a possible person on the tracks, a sign of Metro's heightened safety awareness, according to Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein. No one was found, she said. Farbstein...

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Operations normal at D.C. airports

No suspicious packages have been reported so far on cargo planes at the Washington region's three airports, authorities said Friday, but it was still unclear if security had been heightened in the wake of reports that suspicious packages had been...

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports, Aviation  
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CSX fire causes train delays

A minor mechanical fire in a CSX locomotive around 10 a.m. Friday morning on tracks in Crystal City caused minor delays for some commuter trains, Arlington fire officials said. Stoppages lasted about 10 minutes before they were diverted, but trains...

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Northern Virginia, Passenger Rail, Transportation News  
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A disappointing year for transit

Transit agencies nationwide have raised fares, cut service and jobs, and are not seeing as much revenue coming in, a transit official said Thursday night, but the long-term trends are good for building new systems.

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, Transportation News, Transportation Politics  
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Hole found in plane from Miami

A 1-foot-by-2-foot hole was found in the fuselage of a commercial airliner that suddenly lost cabin pressure shortly after taking off from Miami, authorities said. Passengers aboard American Airlines Flight 1640 were hysterical when the Boston-bound flight lost cabin pressure Tuesday night, a passenger said.

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports, Aviation  
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Amtrak to buy new locomotives

Amtrak plans to add 70 new electric locomotives to its fleet in an effort to improve service along the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak officials said Friday. The company awarded a $466 million six-year contract to Siemens to build the locomotives -- a move that will also create 250 jobs in Sacramento, Calif., and at plants in Ohio and Georgia, Amtrak official said. Joseph Boardman, president and chief executive office for Amtrak, said the new locomotives will be more reliable and allow the company to meet the needs of a growing ridership. Boardman said the first of the locomotives will be delivered in February 2013 and have the ability to operate at speeds up to 125 mph on the Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston and up to 110 mph on the Keystone Corridor from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pa.

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Amtrak  
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Two MARC trains delayed

Here's a problem for MARC Brunswick Line riders: two trains are being held.

By Mark Berman  | October 29, 2010; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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McPherson Square station reopened

The McPherson Square station is closed due to a suspicious package outside of the station.

By Mark Berman  | October 29, 2010; 6:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  
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Traffic issues around McPherson Sq

Check back here throughout the morning for updates on headaches awaiting you on your morning commute

By Mark Berman  | October 29, 2010; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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Lanes closed on Georgia Ave. N

Two of three northbound lanes of Georgia Avenue are closed at Wayne Avenue due to a water main break, the state of Maryland reports. Drivers should expect delays....

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 6:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Maryland  
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Federal Center SW Station reopens

5:59 p.m. Update: Metro reports that the station has reopened. The package has been cleared and roads in the are area reopening. 5:01 p.m. Update: U.S. Capitol Police are investigating a suspicious package at the entrance to the Federal Center...

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Metro facing bus driver shortage

Metro's board of directors voted against a proposal Thursday that would allow the transit agency to increase the pool of candidates for bus driver jobs. The $750,000 contract would have allowed Metro to outsource some of the screening for the...

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 4:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Metro, Metrobus  
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MARC delays; a train 1 car short

4:55 p.m. Update: Third Street between S Street and Virginia Avenue SW is also closed to traffic. 4:45 p.m. Update: Camden Line 853 is now 20 to 25 minutes late. Original post: Camden Line Train 850, scheduled to leave Union...

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 3:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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Southwest to offer $5 WiFi

Southwest Airlines, which announced a deal in September to buy AirTran for $1.4 billion, will offer WiFi on its planes for an introductory rate of $5. Airline executive Dave Ridley made the announcement Thursday on a company blog. That rate will apply for trips of any duration and to both laptops and handheld devices, he said.

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Aviation  
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Chain Bridge closing this wknd.

The District Department of Transportation plans to close Chain Bridge this weekend for repair work, which includes the replacement of bridge supports. The closing comes as Washington gears up for the Marine Corps Marathon, which will close both the Key...

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  District, Events, Northern Virginia  
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Randolph Rd still blocked in Md.

According to traffic reports, Randolph Road remains closed between Georgia Avenue and Denley due to downed trees and wires that fell overnight. Eastbound traffic is diverted at Dalewood Drive. Westbound traffic must turn left or right on Georgia Avenue.

By Mark Berman  | October 28, 2010; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Driving, Maryland  
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UPDATED: Rosslyn Metro entrance work starts

Arlington County officials broke ground Wednesday morning for a $32.6 million entrance to the Rosslyn Metro station in the Metro Park on North Lynn Street, directly across from the current entrance. The new entrance is expected to open in spring 2013. The second entrance, which will be under construction in about a month, will add three new high speed, high capacity elevators, an emergency stairwell and passageway to the Rosslyn station. The changes will allow some 2,000 additional passengers to enter and exit the Metro station per hour, said Chris Zimmerman, vice chairman of the Arlington County Board.

By Christy Goodman  | October 28, 2010; 1:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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DUI crackdown for Halloween weekend

Local law enforcement and the Park Police plan to roll out their ninth-annual Checkpoint Strikeforce to crack down on drunk driving this Halloween weekend. The operation is a three-day campaign of increased enforcement across the Washington area. Fifty-eight percent of...

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Driving, Events  
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DOT makes high-speed grants official

High-speed rail between Charlotte, N.C., and Washington moved closer to reality Thursday after the Department of Transportation awarded $68 million to help fund studies and preliminary engineering for the Southeast corridor. According to the DOT, the long-term vision would enable trains to travel at 110 miles per hour along the corridor and reduce travel time between Washington and Richmond by one third.

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation News, Transportation Politics  
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Survey: Metro safety violations common

A survey of Metros 10,000 employees has found that nearly two-thirds of them have observed a safety violation in the past year. The news came Thursday morning during a meeting of the safety and security committee of Metro's board of...

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Minor delays for Amtrak

Amtrak trains are facing minor delays between New York City and Washington. A railroad spokesman says there is a commercial power problem in Harrisburg, Pa. NJ Transit says delays of up to 15 minutes on Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast...

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 9:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amtrak  
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Driverless vans complete road trip

Across Eastern Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan and the Gobi Desert -- it certainly was a long way to go without getting lost. Four driverless electric vans successfully ended an 8,000-mile test drive from Italy to China -- a modern-day version of Marco Polo's journey around the world -- with their arrival at the Shanghai Expo on Thursday. The vehicles, equipped with four solar-powered laser scanners and seven video cameras that work together to detect and avoid obstacles, are part of an experiment aimed at improving road safety and advancing automotive technology.

By Michael Bolden  | October 28, 2010; 8:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation News  
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VRE delays

There are some early VRE delays to look out for this morning

By Mark Berman  | October 28, 2010; 5:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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Potential for crowded MARC trains

Some MARC trains on two lines are running with some changes this morning that might cause crowding.

By Mark Berman  | October 28, 2010; 5:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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Video: Metro police chief on alleged plot

Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn held a news conference Wednesday to address the arrest of Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Ashburn, who is accused of conspiring with people he believed to be al-Qaeda operatives to attack the stations at Arlington National Cemetery, Pentagon City, Crystal City and Court House.

By Eric Athas  | October 27, 2010; 8:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Multiple MARC train delays

7:54 p.m. Update: Train 852 is still at Union Station. When it departs, it will make all local stops, MARC said. 6:23 p.m. Update: Train 852 will be delayed an additional 20 to 30 minutes while the locomotive is replaced,...

By Michael Bolden  | October 27, 2010; 5:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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D.C. reopens Eastern Ave. bridge

It was impossible to tell while staring into the heavy rains along Kenilworth Avenue, but the District today reopened the bridge that takes Eastern Avenue over Kenilworth. This follows a complete rebuilding of the bridge that took less than 10 months, thanks to $10.4 million in federal stimulus funds, a $1 million federal grant and innovative construction techniques.

By Robert Thomson  | October 27, 2010; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction, Driving  | Tags:  DDOT, Dr. Gridlock  
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Alexandria, Arlington work together on Route 1

The Alexandria City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to join Arlington County in environmental planning and preliminary engineering for the proposed streetcar along Route 1. Council members Frank Fannon and Alicia Hughes were the dissenting votes. The streetcar line is...

By Christy Goodman  | October 27, 2010; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Flood restrictions to end on VRE

4:10 p.m. Update: According to VRE, the restrictions are expected to end at 4:15. However, Train 331, which departs Union Station at 5:05 p.m., will operate with two less cars. The rail agency said equipment had to be move around...

By Michael Bolden  | October 27, 2010; 4:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Virginia Railway Express  
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Metro details upcoming rail project

The transit authority has a lot of maintenance to do on the aging Metrorail system, and "we're running out of weekends," said, Jim Hughes, one of Metro's top planners. We were standing on the mezzanine at Stadium-Armory Station, under a sign advising riders about upcoming track work that will disrupt service on the weekend of Nov. 5-7.

By Robert Thomson  | October 27, 2010; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, metrorail delays  
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N.J. governor kills rail tunnel

The nation's biggest public-works project, a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, was canceled Wednesday when the governor of New Jersey announced that his state didn't have the money to pay its share of the almost $9 billion cost. Gov. Christopher Christie, a Republican, who came into office last year promising fiscal restraint, said New Jersey couldn't afford the construction overruns. He previously rejected any gasoline tax increase to pay for the project.

By Michael Bolden  | October 27, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Transportation News  
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Trains get OK to silence whistles

Trains crossing Forest Glen Road just north of the Capital Beltway in Silver Spring will no longer be required to blow their whistles as of Monday, when the area becomes the first in Maryland designated as a "Quiet Zone." Nearby residents fought for the designation for 10 years, saying they needed noise relief.

By Michael Bolden  | October 27, 2010; 2:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Maryland, Transportation News  
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Arrest in Metro terror sting

An Ashburn man was arrested today for attempting to assist people he thought were al Queda members to plan bombings of Metro stations, federal authorities said.

By Luke Rosiak  | October 27, 2010; 2:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  
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Alexandria lowers parking fees

Parking meters in Old Town Alexandria will soon drop 50-cents to $1.25 an hour until new multi-space parking meters are installed, thanks to action taken by the Alexandria City Council Tuesday night. Final city council action is expected Nov. 13,...

By Christy Goodman  | October 27, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Northern Virginia  
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Being seen on Halloween

Halloween is this Sunday. We'll still be on Daylight Saving Time for another week, but the days are growing shorter and there will be plenty of children out after dark. On Thursday and Friday, the Maryland State Highway Administration will again be offering Vests for Visibility. The highway agency lends reflective safety vests to parents or guardians for free, so they can be placed over children's Halloween costumes.

By Robert Thomson  | October 27, 2010; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Events, Traffic Safety  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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A close call for Metro track workers

[This post has been updated] A Metro work crew experienced a close call on Sept. 20 on the Yellow and Blue Lines near Braddock Road, according to Metro spokesman Reggie Woodruff. The news was first reported by WTOP. A track...

By Michael Bolden  | October 27, 2010; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Ann Scott Tyson, Metro, MetroAccess, Metrobus  
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Metro plans for Sunday marathon

Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. Sunday to accommodate the runners and spectators heading to the Marine Corps Marathon. In addition to opening two hours earlier than normal, the transit authority will put on extra Blue Line trains.

By Robert Thomson  | October 27, 2010; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Events, Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Marine Corps Marathon, Metrorail  
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Are you a regular MARC rider?

Do you ride MARC's Brunswick or Camden lines? Have you had to deal with the recent delays and cancellations? Send an e-mail describing your experiences and with your contact information to Katherine Shaver. From the Post's archives: Two MARC trains...

By Michael Bolden  | October 27, 2010; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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Transit benefits may decrease

The Post's Lisa Rein reports that a benefit allowing workers to set aside $230 in pre-tax money for commuting costs will decrease by almost half at the end of the year if Congress does not extend the break. The benefit was increased from $120 in 2009 as part of stimulus efforts to jump-start the economy. Rein reports that the U.S. Department of Transportation, which manages transportation benefits for 110 federal agencies, has begun distributing information on the change.

By Michael Bolden  | October 27, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro, Transit  
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Mikulski ad criticizes Metro

A new commercial for Maryland Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's reelection bid is harshly critical of Metro, according to a report from TBD and ABC 7. The commercial intersperses images of Mikulski with scenes from Metro and faux news headlines. One frame shows the words "Deadliest disaster in Metro history" and "Unbelievable nightmare" imposed on a scene from the 2009 Red Line crash while Mikulski says, "Nine people killed. Seventy-six injured. This wasn't a terrorist attack. It was death by Metro, death by mismanagment."

By Michael Bolden  | October 27, 2010; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Maryland, Metro, Transportation Politics  
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'Straddling bus' headed to U.S.?

Earlier this year we reported that a Chinese company was working on building a "bus" that will actually straddle traffic. Now reader Scott Knight has passed along this interesting tidbit from Wired magazine's Autopia blog: The "straddling bus" may be coming to the United States.

By Michael Bolden  | October 27, 2010; 8:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro, Transportation News  
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VRE also seeing delays

There are also delays on the VRE

By Mark Berman  | October 27, 2010; 7:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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MARC delays this morning

Headaches and delays for MARC riders.

By Mark Berman  | October 27, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, MARC, Maryland  
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Wet and windy A.M. commute

A roundup of the morning traffic headaches.

By Mark Berman  | October 27, 2010; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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Two MARC trains canceled

5 a.m. Update: Trains 878 and 892 are canceled, according to MARC. The Metro option is available for Brunswick Line riders. 4:45 a.m. Update: MARC says it has received confirmation from CSX, which operates the Brunswick Line for MARC, that...

By Michael Bolden  | October 27, 2010; 12:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Metro  
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Body near tracks delays MARC trains

8:55 p.m. Update: The tracks have reopened. MARC officials say passengers should listen closely to announcements being made at Rockville Station to ascertain the destinations of departing trains. 7:46 p.m. Update: The MTA says buses are approximately 30 minutes from...

By Michael Bolden  | October 26, 2010; 7:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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Rough commutes possible on Wed.

The Capital Weather Gang reports that the storms that caused flight delays and harrowing commutes in the Midwest on Tuesday will move into the Washington region overnight. The ferocity is expected to diminish -- some were calling it "Windpocalypse" in Chicago -- but it may still make tough going for commuters in our area.

By Michael Bolden  | October 26, 2010; 7:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Driving, Metro, Metrobus  
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Philly train travel suspended

8 p.m. Update: NBC Philadelphia reports that the problem was caused by a person who climbed a railroad tower and had to be coaxed down from above the railroad tracks. Original post: Train service into Philadelphia's 30th Street Station has...

By Michael Bolden  | October 26, 2010; 6:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Amtrak  
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Holiday travel? Expensive, crowded

Airline passengers can expect ticket prices to be 7 percent to 18 percent higher this holiday season than last year, as an economic recovery -- however modest -- spurs growing demand for air travel. Travelers can also look forward to more crowded flights: The airlines have added few new planes or routes in the past several years. "I expect prices to be quite high compared to the last couple years, as demand is strong and supply is weak," said Rick Seaney, chief executive of the travel website FareCompare.

By Michael Bolden  | October 26, 2010; 4:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports, Aviation  
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Metro option open for MARC riders

Metro will honor MARC tickets on the Red Line this afternoon due to Monday morning delays that affected the Brunswick Line, the Maryland Transit Administration said. The Brunswick Line provides service between Washington and points north and west, including Frederick...

By Michael Bolden  | October 26, 2010; 3:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Metro  
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Sunday marathon to disrupt traffic

I've been getting some inquiries from residents in the D.C. area who want to avoid the Marine Corps Marathon traffic on Sunday. Several readers who live close in are particularly concerned with getting to and from Reagan National Airport.

By Robert Thomson  | October 26, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports, District, Events, Virginia  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Marine Corps Marathon  
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High Heel Race tonight

No, I'm not about to recommend high heels as a form of transportation. This is just a reminder that the annual and very popular High Heel Race is scheduled for 9 o'clock tonight in Dupont Circle.

By Robert Thomson  | October 26, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, District, Events, Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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Water main break on Central Avenue

D.C. Water is repairing a 16-inch broken water main in the 5500 block of Central Avenue in Southeast Washington. The site is between 54th and 56th streets. Expect delays in the area. Customers may also experience a disruption in water...

By Michael Bolden  | October 26, 2010; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction, District, Driving  
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Accident slows inner loop

10:35 a.m. Update: The accident has been moved to the left shoulder but delays continue on the Beltway and on I-270 southbound. Original post: A collision on the inner loop between Rockville Pike and Connecticut Avenue has Beltway traffic crawling....

By Michael Bolden  | October 26, 2010; 10:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Capital Beltway, Congestion  
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NTSB probes airline partnerships

A federal panel is examining whether regional airlines are being held to the same safety standards as their major carrier partners. The National Transportation Safety Board is holding a two-day forum at its L'Enfant Plaza headquarters beginning Tuesday on "code sharing" agreements that allow major carriers to sell seats on flights operated by smaller carriers.

By Michael Bolden  | October 26, 2010; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Airlines, Aviation, NTSB  
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New entrance for Rosslyn station

Federal, state and local officials will break ground Wednesday on a project designed to improve access to the Rosslyn Metro station. In July the Arlington County Board approved the construction of a second entrance into the station. The groundbreaking is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday. The new $32.6 million entrance will include three high-speed, high-capacity elevators, a new emergency stairwell and underground mezzanine. It will be located across the street from the current escalator entrance on North Moore Street.

By Michael Bolden  | October 26, 2010; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, Northern Virginia  
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Drivers keep licenses despite violations

Dozens of Maryland drivers who had racked up enough penalty points to lose their licenses apparently got some extra time behind the wheel thanks to a software glitch at the Motor Vehicle Administration, according to state auditors. The audit, made public last week, found that over a six month period ending in May 2009, MVA officials were not aware that at least 139 drivers had accumulated 12 points -- enough to have a license revoked -- but were still being allowed to drive.

By Michael Bolden  | October 26, 2010; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Maryland, Transportation News, Transportation Politics  
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Va. gets $45 million for high-speed rail

Virginia is one step closer to getting its own high-speed rail service and thereby reducing traffic along the notoriously clogged Interstate 95 corridor. The state has been awarded $45.4 million in federal transportation grants toward the development of a high-speed passenger rail service between Richmond and Petersburg and Washington.

By Kafia Hosh  | October 26, 2010; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Commuting, Northern Virginia, Transit, Virginia  
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MARC delays

Brunswick Line train 870 is approaching Rockville 35 minutes late due to a switch problem, The Maryland Transit Administration warns that ensuing trains will run about 20 minutes behind.

By Mark Berman  | October 26, 2010; 6:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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I-66 East backed up at I-495

Here's a look at the headaches and traffic woes awaiting you on your morning commute. Check back here throughout the morning rush for updates.

By Mark Berman  | October 26, 2010; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion, Virginia  
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MARC Camden Line trains delayed

7:18 p.m. Update: Delays continue along the Camden Line due to power failure at Greenbelt. Some trains are operating as much as 40 minutes late. MTA officials said Train 856, which was scheduled to depart Union Station at 7:35 p.m.,...

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 7:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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The week ahead for traffic, transit

Rain is a possibility through Wednesday, but the forecast looks good after that. This coming weekend will be a busy one, with the Marine Corps Marathon, Halloween and a time change. But there will be plenty to watch for on the roads and rails before then.

By Robert Thomson  | October 25, 2010; 7:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Driving, Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Bomb scare slows Red Line

A bomb scare triggered massive delays along the Red Line Monday as the evening commute was in full swing. According to a Metro spokesman, the delays began at Tenleytown when a passenger thought he overheard another person make a comment "saying they had a bomb." The train at Tenleytown was offloaded and Metro Transit Police "did a complete scan of the train. Nothing was found at all," said Steven Taubenkibel.

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 6:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Commuting, Metro, Red Line  
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H St. Shuttle continues through year

The H Street Shuttle, a free, city-funded service designed to ferry restaurant and bar patrons to businesses while the burgeoning Northeast corridor is torn up to install a streetcar and wide sidewalks, will continue through the end of 2010, the District Department of Transportation said this afternoon.

By Luke Rosiak  | October 25, 2010; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Bus, Transit  | Tags:  h street shuttle  
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Getting to Jon Stewart rally

During my online chat today, a reader asked about getting to the rally that Comedy Central's Jon Stewart has scheduled for Saturday on the National Mall: "how much lead time do you think people need to have to get downtown via Metro (Red Line from Glenmont)? I have friends coming from out of town to go." Here are some things you should know.

By Robert Thomson  | October 25, 2010; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  District, Driving, Events, Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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MARC Penn Line train terminated

Penn Line Train 533, which was scheduled to leave Perryville at 2:35 p.m., is terminating at Baltimore due to an engine problem, according to the Maryland Transit Administration. Passengers will transfer to Train 435, which departs Baltimore at 3:45 p.m.,...

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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Tysons Metro tunnel breaks through

Tysons tour photo gallery It was late Wednesday night and a team of roughly 30 engineers, technicians and laborers were toiling away inside a massive, 29-foot-wide tunnel buried beneath Tysons Corner, drilling away sand, gravel and clay. And then, suddenly,...

By Derek Kravitz  | October 25, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Metro, Silver Line, Transportation Politics, Tysons Corner, Virginia  
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NYC derailment snarls train travel

New Jersey Transit adjusted service and said passengers may experience delays and crowding after one of its trains derailed in New York City's Penn Station complex. The incident occurred at about 10:50 a.m. and is blocking access to 8 of 10 station tracks, Dan Stessel, an agency spokesman, said in a telephone interview. No injuries were reported by the 300 passengers on the train, NJ Transit said in a statement. The Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line may have "significant delays" and commuters should expect "crowding conditions" because some trains will be combined, the web site statement said. Amtrak reported delays of 15 to 30 minutes and said it has a single track operating in and out of Penn Station.

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amtrak, Commuter Rail, Passenger Rail  
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A push for federal members at Metro

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) is urging the General Services Administration to press forward with appointing two additional federal members to Metro's board of directors. The Obama administration named veteran transportation official Mortimer Downer and planning executive Marcel Acosta to the transit agency's board in January. Federal officials described the appointments as an urgent move in the face of a leadership vacuum, budget deficits and widespread concerns about safety at Metro. Metro general manager John. B. Catoe Jr. had announced his resignation earlier that month

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  
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Tax for Potomac Yard station targeted

Alexandria's Citizens for Common Cents has begun distributing 200 yard signs to 16 locations to protest a proposed special tax district to help pay for the Potomac Yard Metro station.

By Christy Goodman  | October 25, 2010; 1:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro, Northern Virginia, Transportation Politics  
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Metro rescuer downplays heroism

The rescuer who pulled a man to safety from tracks at the Virginia Square Metro in August downplayed the act of heroism in an interview with WUSA 9 Monday. The video was posted last Wednesday to the Arlington Now blog.

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Metro  
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Bethesda escalators reopened

The two escalators between the platform and mezzanine at Bethesda's Metrorail station are working again, ending a maintenance project that lasted half a year.

By Robert Thomson  | October 25, 2010; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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D.C. street sweeping ends Friday

D.C. residents can rejoice. The District is suspending street cleaning for the season starting Friday. Parking restrictions due to daytime street sweeping will be lifted and drivers won't have to do the dance of moving their cars on street-cleaning days....

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 11:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  District  
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11th St. Bridge work to disrupt traffic

The reconstruction of the 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia River is the District's biggest transportation project, but so far, much of the work has been in the middle of the river or on the shoreline, usually away from traffic. Project managers said that as the construction advanced this year, drivers would see more of an impact on traffic, though mostly at off hours. Here's a schedule for such work from the District Department of Transportation.

By Robert Thomson  | October 25, 2010; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction, District, Driving  | Tags:  11th Street Bridge, Dr.Gridlock  
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Bikeshare annual discount to end

Discounted annual membership rates for the new regional bike-sharing network will end on Sunday, according to the District Department of Transportation. Capital Bikeshare, developed by the District and Arlington County, launched in September. The program is currently offering a $25 discount off the $75 annual membership fee. Monthly memberships are available for $25, and daily memberships will be available at the bike stations for $5. The program reached 3,000 members last week.

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Biking, District, Northern Virginia  
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Meet the MARC managers

MARC riders can meet some of the people who operate the train service on Wednesday

By Mark Berman  | October 25, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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No trick: SoberRide for Halloween

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program will offer SoberRides this Halloween from 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, to 6 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. The SoberRide program provides free taxi rides to people 21 or older who may be too impaired to drive. It operates during the December/January holidays; St. Patrick's Day; and Independence Day and provides a free ride equivalent to a $30 cab fare. That is lower than the $50 fare previously offered by WRAP, but according to the group, most requested rides fall under the $30 limit.

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving  
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Emergency landing in Frederick

Frederick police say a small plane made an emergency landing at Frederick Municipal Airport after its landing gear malfunctioned. Police say the pilot was not injured and airport, which was closed during the emergency landing, was reopened shortly after the...

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports, Aviation  
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The Chevy Volt -- unplugged

The Chevy Volt, which has become an automotive rock star in the world of green vehicles, is on a 12-city U.S. tour this fall, giving American s a chance to take a close-up look at the car, which has an electric-only driving range of 25 to 50 miles miles. The Volt rolls into Washington this weekend, with a couple of different opportunities for public test drives. The first is on Friday, at the site of the former Washington Convention Center, at 11th and H streets NW, in City City parking lot A. The event is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To reserve a drive time, e-mail voltunpluggeddc@gmail.com. The Volt will also be available for test drives from 8 a.m. to 5 .m. Saturday at the same location.

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 9:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Transportation News  
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Chat with Dr. Gridlock today

Dr. Gridlock is taking questions from you, dear readers, on dealing with Metro, roads and other travel and commuting hazards, for his weekly live online chat, which takes place Monday at noon. Submit questions here, and browse back Monday at noon.

By Mark Berman  | October 25, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Dulles Toll Road update tonight

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates the Dulles Toll Road, is holding an informational meeting for the public.

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports, Construction, Metro, Northern Virginia  
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A Metro-themed Halloween

Post costume contest | Pets in costume | Kids in costume A reader over at the Greater Greater Washington blog has submitted photos of a Metro-lantern; it's a Metro rail map carved on a pumpkin. Read the post by David...

By Michael Bolden  | October 25, 2010; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, MetroAccess, Metrobus  
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MARC delays and issues

Delays and issues for MARC trains.

By Mark Berman  | October 25, 2010; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, MARC  
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Blue and Yellow Line delays

There are delays on the Blue and Yellow Lines en route to Largo Town Center and Mt. Vernon Square, respectively.

By Mark Berman  | October 25, 2010; 6:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  
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I-66 East jammed up

Check back here throughout the morning for updates on your morning rush

By Mark Berman  | October 25, 2010; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Maryland  
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Croc on a plane leads to crash

A crocodile escaped from a suitcase on board a passenger flight over the Democratic Republic of Congo, leading to a stampede that caused the plane to topple and crash into a house, according to an Australian news source.

By Luke Rosiak  | October 24, 2010; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Aviation  
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