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Dr. Gridlock: November 28, 2010 - December 4, 2010

Signal work at S.D Ave, Riggs Rd.

The District Department of Transportation plans to upgrade the traffic signals at South Dakota Avenue and Riggs Road in Northeast Washington this weekend, which means the lights will be dark at times while crews complete the work from 7 a.m....

By Washington Post Editors  | December 3, 2010; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Construction, Driving  
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The weekend and beyond

Whether you're heading for a Night at the Newseum, the BB&T basketball classic or just out buying a tree, bundle up for your travels in the D.C. area this weekend. The Capital Weather Gang says it will be cold and increasingly windy. Late-season paving projects are slowing down as the temperatures get colder, but there's still plenty of road work in the region, and Metro workers will be out on the Red and Orange lines. Next week, watch out for the lighting of the National Tree on the Ellipse, an annual event that puts commuters in a Grinch-like mood.

By Robert Thomson  | December 3, 2010; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Construction, Driving, Events, Metro, Transit, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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VRE train without lights, heat

Bundle up if you're headed home on VRE. Train 307 on the Fredericksburg Line is operating without lights or heat, according to Virginia Railway Express officials....

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 3, 2010; 4:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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DOT proposes rear-visibility rules

Rearview cameras could become more common in future cars and trucks under rules proposed by the government Friday to address concerns about drivers unintentionally backing over children. The new requirements from the Transportation Department are intended to improve rear visibility in cars by the 2014 model year. Most carmakers would comply by installing rear-mounted video cameras and in-vehicle displays. The government estimated that video systems would add about $200 to the cost of each new vehicle.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | December 3, 2010; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Transportation News  
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Alexandria closures for Christmas walk

Several streets in Old Town Alexandria will be closed for the 40th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk on Saturday.

By Christy Goodman  | December 3, 2010; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Events, Northern Virginia  
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Federal Center SW Station reopens

2:30 p.m. Update: D.C. officials say surrounding streets have also reopened. 2:15 p.m. Update: Federal Center SW Station has reopened, Metro says. 1:55 p.m. Update: The 400 block of Third Street SW is closed due to the police investigation, according...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 3, 2010; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  District, Driving, Metro  
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A slippery commute on 495

An effort to prevent the Capital Beltway from turning into a skating rink accidentally turned it into one Friday morning when a contractor pre-treating the highway to melt snow spread the wrong stuff by mistake.

By Ashley Halsey III and Mark Berman  | December 3, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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Police on watch for drunk drivers

As the holiday season tippling gets into full swing so do police efforts to snare drunk drivers. Fairfax County police say drunk driver arrests are 78 percent higher in December than during the other 11 months of the year. So...

By Ashley Halsey III  | December 3, 2010; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Driving  
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270 back to normal after crash

1:10 p.m. Update: Cameras show traffic flow has returned to normal. 12:50 p.m. Update: The Post's Josh White reports that traffic is barely moving through the area of the accident scene, where one car appears to have been crushed. Original...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 3, 2010; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Driving, Maryland  
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Gifts could pose problem at airports

Airport security may take a bit of the ho-ho out of your holiday season if your beautifully wrapped gifts appear to contain something worthy of closer scrutiny, the Transportation Security Administration said Friday."It might make sense to wrap your gifts...

By Ashley Halsey III  | December 3, 2010; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Airports, Aviation  
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DDOT director to host online chat today

District Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein will take questions online in a live chat at 12:00 pm today. "Residents and anyone else interested in transportation in the city are invited to join or follow the discussion," the Department said.

By Luke Rosiak  | December 3, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  District, Streetcar, Transportation Politics  
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Ferry stranded on the Potomac

A ferry was stranded on the Potomac River on Thursday due to debris caused by the storms earlier this week.

By Mark Berman  | December 3, 2010; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Red Line delays cleared

The Red Line is delayed heading to Glenmont due to an earlier train malfunction at Dupont Circle. The malfunction was resolved, but the delays remain.

By Mark Berman  | December 3, 2010; 7:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Freight train delays MARC train

4:25 p.m. Update: Train 873 is about 20 minutes late approaching Rockville. 4:20 p.m. Update: MARC Train 891 is operating about eight to 12 minutes late behind Train 873. Original post: The Maryland Transit Administration says a 1.5-mile freight train...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 2, 2010; 4:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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All checkpoints won't get body scanners

The plan to use 1,800 of the controversial full-body scanners at the nation's airports will leave about 500 security checkpoints without the new high-tech machines, according to Congressional testimony on Thursday.

By Ashley Halsey III  | December 2, 2010; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Aviation  
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Va. police to step up I-66 patrols

Virginia State Police say they'll ramp up enforcement on the Interstate 66 corridor Friday and Saturday as part of Operation, Air, Land & Speed. The traffic safety action also includes the Interstate 64 corridor which extends from West Virginia...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 2, 2010; 3:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Traffic Safety, Virginia  
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VRE p.m. train canceled

Virginia Railway Express Train 335 will be canceled this evening, following this morning's mechanical failures. Some riders exprienced delays of more than an hour. VRE officials said Train 333, which departs Union Station at 5:30 p.m., will be extended to...

By Jennifer Buske  | December 2, 2010; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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Mont. Co expands pay-by-cell-parking

Montgomery County officials are expanding a program that allows users to add, or remove, time from a meter with their cellphones, The Gazette reports. After piloting the program in downtown Bethesda, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation has decided to open the option to all 12,000 meters in county parking districts, said Stephen Nash, chief of the division of parking management. The districts are in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton and Montgomery Hills.

By Washington Post Editors  | December 2, 2010; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Montgomery County, Parking  
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Residents argue against Metro tax

Potomac Greens residents are continuing their fight against a special tax district to raise money for the Potomac Yard Metro station project in Alexandria. "They are targeting us and it is ridiculous," said Roger Nisley, a Potomac Greens resident. "This is not about Metro. It is about the fairness of it."

By Christy Goodman  | December 2, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Metro, Northern Virginia, Transportation Politics, Virginia  
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Metro delays Thursday night

Deterioration along the platform at Rockville Station. (WMATA) Metrorail riders will encounter several delays tonight as the transit agency conducts repairs and installs new equipment. Here's a roundup of what to expect: Red Line -- For travel between Shady Grove...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 2, 2010; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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Va. mulls transportation shortfall

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) is considering a host of options to help cover a massive shortfall in state transportation funding, including a small sales tax, tolls and the use of toll credits, according to state House and Senate...

By Derek Kravitz  | December 2, 2010; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Virginia  
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Today in transportation

Here's a look at some of what's happening today in Washington in the transportation world and events that Post staff writers are attending. Check back later for developments. Derek Kavitz attends a meeting on transportation funding hosted by the Northern...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 2, 2010; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Aviation, Metro, NTSB  
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Orange line delays cleared

Green Line delays to Greenbelt.

By Mark Berman  | December 2, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  
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DC Circulator detour

The DC Circulator route from Union Station to the Navy Yard is being detoured due to a street closure on Constitution Avenue. The northbound stop at Louisiana Avenue and D Street is not in service.

By Mark Berman  | December 2, 2010; 7:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuter Bus  
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VRE trains delayed

Delays for a VRE train that stopped working.

By Mark Berman  | December 2, 2010; 6:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Virginia Railway Express  
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Big delays on inner loop in VA

A roundup of issues and problems awaiting commuters this morning.

By Mark Berman  | December 2, 2010; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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Delays around the Beltway, beyond

Rainy weather and flooding is slowing the afternoon commute around the Washington area. Be alert for water on roadways and accidents.

By Washington Post Staff Writers  | December 1, 2010; 6:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories, Congestion, Driving  
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Free Metro option for MARC riders

MARC 436 on the Penn Line is currently stopped at Odenton with "an unknown problem," the MTA says. It's currently 23 minutes late. Original post: MARC Brunswick Line riders headed home this evening can also ride Metrorail for free. The...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 1, 2010; 5:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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Rush hour ridership and Union Station

A new blog from Metro's Office of Long-Range Planning has several interesting visualizations of system usage. This simulation of the Union Station mezzanine models what is all too familiar to riders entering that station: A convergence of MARC, Amtrak and VRE train riders mixing with other Metro passengers in a narrow hallway before bottlenecking at the narrow escalators. (That many of the escalators there have been chronically out of service was not taken into account.) That station will soon be undergoing alterations.

By Luke Rosiak  | December 1, 2010; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Online tools  
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Problems on Georgia Ave.

A tractor trailer reportedly jackknifed at the intersection of Georgia Ave. and Norbeck Road, a major intersection between Aspen Hill and Olney. A fuel spill was reported with a hazmat team dispatched, and the truck's driver may be trapped. The incident could cause delays both on the eastern-western Norbeck and northern-southn Georgia routes.

By Luke Rosiak  | December 1, 2010; 11:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Driving, Maryland  
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MARC delays and crowding

MARC Brunswick Line train 878 is running 30 minutes late due to a signal problem at the Brunswick station.

By Mark Berman  | December 1, 2010; 7:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Amtrak to allow guns to be checked

Amtrak travelers will soon be allowed to check guns and ammunition on some rail cars. The new policy takes effect Dec. 15. Congress passed a law in December 2009 requiring the change in policy as part of a transportation funding...

By Michael D. Bolden  | November 30, 2010; 6:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Amtrak  
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Weather may delay a.m. VRE trains

Virginia Railway Express officials said the heavy rain predicted for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning could cause delays for morning commuters. A flash flood watch is in effect for the majority of the VRE service area and if it turns...

By Jennifer Buske  | November 30, 2010; 5:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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Metro to add, adjust bus routes in Dec.

Metro is launching several new direct and limited-stop bus routes in December in order to create faster service to downtown Washington, while also eliminating bus stops that are underutilized, according to Metro.

By Ann Scott Tyson  | November 30, 2010; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Commuter Bus, District, Maryland, Metrobus, Northern Virginia  
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D.C. offers residents free sandbags

The District Department of Public Works will offer free sandbags to D.C. residents Tuesday night as a cold front with the potential to cause flooding moves through the area. The region is under a flash flood watch through Wednesday afternoon.

By Michael D. Bolden  | November 30, 2010; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  District  
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Report power, road problems

The Capital Weather Gang forecasts that thunderstorms could rip through the area over the next 24 hours with flooding affecting the morning commute. In fact the region is under a flash flood watch through Wednesday afternoon. Here are some resources to help you report problems.

By Mark Berman  | November 30, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Fairfax weighs taking over roads

A takeover of roads from Virginia by Fairfax County, the region's most populous locality, would improve the area's heavily trafficked roads and allow government to be more responsive to commuters but it is unclear how the county would pay for it, according to a report released Tuesday.

By Derek Kravitz  | November 30, 2010; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Northern Virginia  
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ART detours due to fallen tree

ART bus 75 is detouring on its route due the fallen tree that took down some power lines on Walter Reed Drive.

By Mark Berman  | November 30, 2010; 6:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuter Bus  
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Walter Reed Dr closed in Arlington

A road is blocked in Arlington, work continues on Rock Creek Parkway and other road issues await drivers heading out today. Find out what awaits you on your commute.

By Mark Berman  | November 30, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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Crowded, delayed MARC trains

There might be crowding on two MARC trains operating one car short this morning: Brunswick Line trains 870 (departing Brunswick at 5 a.m.) and 892 (departing Frederick at 6:05 a.m.).

By Mark Berman  | November 30, 2010; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC  
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Arlington power line project to affect roads

Some Arlington roads will be affected by a new 230 kV underground transmission line installed by Dominion Virginia Power. The $85 million to $90 million project will run new line for 3.7 miles from the Ballston substation along 10 Street North, across Route 50 to a proposed substation in Radnor Heights in Fort Myer. The line will continue along Marshall Drive and south on Route 110 to another substation near the Pentagon.

By Christy Goodman  | November 29, 2010; 6:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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Readying for SmartBenefits change

This question came in Monday during my online chat: Q. I just became aware that effective January 1, 2011, the expanded transit benefit (what you can put on your Metro SmartBenefits card from pre-tax income) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is set to return to $120 from $230 per month.

By Robert Thomson  | November 29, 2010; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Metro, MetroAccess, Metrobus  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, smartbenefits  
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Survey: Your VRE experiences

NOTE, Updated Jan. 11: We are no longer taking submissions for this survey. If you have comments or tips about VRE, e-mail us at transportation@washpost.com. We're looking for regular Virginia Railway Express riders to tell us about their typical commute....

By Washington Post Editors  | November 29, 2010; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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N.J. has 30 days to pay tunnel bill

New Jersey owes the federal government $271.1 million for canceling a rail tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York.

An invoice from the Federal Transit Administration's chief financial officer to NJ Transit's executive director was sent Nov. 24 and is due within 30 days. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the correspondence on Monday.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | November 29, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Amtrak, Transportation News  
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How were your travels?

Fears that people protesting the use of new body scanning machines would wreck Thanksgiving travel never materialized over the holiday weekend. The TSA reported minimal wait times at most airports on the day before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year. In fact the Transportation Security Administration reported that few people opted out of what some have deemed the virtual strip search because of the scantily clad outline it provides of the human body.

By Michael D. Bolden  | November 29, 2010; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Airports, Aviation, Driving, Highways  
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The week ahead for traffic, transit

Commuters in the D.C. area will be sharing the roads today with many drivers returning from their Thanksgiving holidays, those who couldn't stand to deal with the Delaware toll plaza or other obstacles on Sunday. The region's highway departments will gradually put the orange cones back in place and the road work will resume. Join me at noon for our weekly online chat, and we'll review the holiday getaway and look forward to what December has in store. Meanwhile, here's a look about some of the issues commuters will face this week.

By Robert Thomson  | November 29, 2010; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Construction, Driving, Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Orange and Blue delays cleared

There are delays on the Orange and Blue Lines due to a train malfunction outside of the Stadium-Armory station. Expect delays to Vienna and Franconia-Springfield, respectively.

By Mark Berman  | November 29, 2010; 7:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  
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I-66 East very backed up

Check back here throughout the morning for updates on your morning commute.

By Mark Berman  | November 29, 2010; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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Airspace restrictions reinstated

Airspace restrictions, lifted for the holiday, are put back in place tomorrow morning.

By Mark Berman  | November 28, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Aviation  
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