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Dr. Gridlock: December 5, 2010 - December 11, 2010

Arlington denies new cabs

The Arlington County Board on Saturday unanimously rejected adding 75 taxis to the 765 already on county roads.

By Christy Goodman  | December 11, 2010; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Congestion, Driving, Virginia  
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FAA revises plane record-keeping

The Federal Aviation Administration has launched an effort to sort out aircraft record-keeping, saying that ownership information for nearly a third of the 357,000 planes on its registry is inaccurate. The agency is notifying owners and pilots about changes to federal rules finalized in July on re-registering their planes every three years.

By Reuters  | December 10, 2010; 5:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Aviation  
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Group uneasy about Va. road plan

A conservative group that played a major role in last month's Republican congressional election victories is uneasy about Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's transportation financing plan. Americans for Prosperity said in a release Friday that it's disappointed that McDonnell is borrowing "when voters have spoken overwhelmingly against such practices."

By Associated Press  | December 10, 2010; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Virginia  
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Heineken promotes taxi app for holidays

If you have been drinking, don't drive. Instead, use the free Taxi Magic app from your iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Palm Pre to catch a cab.

By Christy Goodman  | December 10, 2010; 3:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  District, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, Traffic Safety  
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A cold p.m. commute

In the District, drivers were shrugging off the few flakes that began to fall Thursday morning, but north and west of the city communities were contending with widespread impacts due to snow and ice. Traffic on Interstate 270 North ground to a halt as a five-vehicle accident blocked the lanes at Route 109. From Clarksburg south to Germantown traffic wasn't moving. From Sam Eig Highway north drivers were contending with conditions that blocked lanes and left cars skating around the pavement. Accidents also circled the Baltimore Beltway, with an overturned tractor-trailer delaying traffic further near Eastern Boulevard. The Interstate 70 and 270 corridors were lined with accidents as snow passed through the area at midday. Snow that found little purchase to the south made roads through Frederick and other communities slippery enough to cause travel headaches. Medians and other areas were covered in a light dusting of flakes.

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 10, 2010; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Advisories, Highways, Maryland  
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K Street tunnel reopened

The tunnel that carries K Street under Washington Circle in downtown Washington is closed due to a police chase, the Post's Steven Ginsberg reports. The suspect appears to be wanted for a carjacking in Washington Circle.

By Luke Rosiak  | December 10, 2010; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories, Driving  
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The weekend and beyond

Your weekend travel will be done in cold weather, with rain on Sunday, says the Capital Weather Gang. That won't stop people from checking out the many holiday light displays, including the one at the National Zoo or the lighted boat parade in Annapolis. Leesburg is holding its holiday parade on Saturday morning. In this cold weather, there aren't a great number of work zones or big events to slow down travel, but there seem to be enough of them in strategic places to get in the way of your holiday outings. Here are some highlights.

By Robert Thomson  | December 10, 2010; 8:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Congestion, Construction, Driving, Metro, Transit, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Circulator detours lifted

Due to a water main break in Columbia Heights, the DC Circulator route between Woodley Park and McPherson Square is facing a detour.

By Mark Berman  | December 10, 2010; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuter Bus  
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Bethesda Ave blocked in Bethesda

Check back here throughout the morning for all of the other updates on things to expect as you head out today.

By Mark Berman  | December 10, 2010; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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All MARC trains on time

MARC's tracking system is not working properly at this time, but right now all trains are reported as on time. We'll alert you if any MARC trains are delayed or anything.

By Mark Berman  | December 10, 2010; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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NTSB to devote year to child safety

The National Transportation Safety Board kicked off a child safety forum at its L'Enfant Plaza headquarters in Southwest Washington Thursday morning to draw attention to passenger practices aboard airplanes and in automobiles. NTSB chief Deborah A.P. Hersman is chairing the one-day forum, with all five members of the board scheduled to participate.

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 9, 2010; 7:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Aviation, Driving, NTSB, Traffic Safety  
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DOT redirects high-speed rail funds

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said $1.2 billion in high-speed rail funds originally designated for Wisconsin and Ohio will be redirected to states "eager" to develop faster-rail corridors. California and Florida will be the top recipients of the money, receiving as much as $624 million and $342.3 million respectively, the Transportation Department said in a statement today. DOT recently announced awards of $2.4 billion for high-speed rail projects in 23 states, including $45.4 million for Virginia to help fund studies and preliminary engineering to improve service between Richmond and Washington. The administration previously distributed $8 billion in stimulus money for high-speed rail projects.

By Bloomberg News and Staff Reports  | December 9, 2010; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Passenger Rail, Transportation News  
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NJ Transit hires Patton Boggs

New Jersey is expected to take another step to fight a $271 million bill for the scuttled Hudson River rail tunnel. New Jersey Transit's board of directors on Thursday is set to consider whether to hire D.C. law firm Patton Boggs. The firm would be paid $485 per hour to challenge the Federal Transit Administration's tab.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | December 9, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation News  
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Closings, detours for tree lighting

The National Christmas Tree Lighting and the headaches posed by the closing of some downtown streets is drawing nigh. The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday on the Ellipse, south of the White House. According to the District Department of Transportation, the following streets will be closed beginning about 4:30 p.m. through the end of the event: -- 15th Street from Pennsylvania/E Street NW to Constitution Avenue -- 17th Street from New York Avenue NW to Constitution.

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 9, 2010; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  District, Driving, Metro, Metrobus  
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I-95 S to close overnight Thurs.

The Maryland State Highway Administration plans to close all lanes of Interstate 95 southbound between Caton Avenue (Exit 50) and I-695 (Exit 49) between 11 p.m. Thursday and 4 a.m. Friday. State officials said the total closures will be for 15-minute intervals as crews install a large overhead sign as part of a project to widen and reconfigure the I-95 ramps to westbound I-695. Closures will began as early as 7 tonight, with crews closing one lane. Two lanes will close by 9 p.m. The total closure will then begin at intervals after 11. Officials also said that the ramps from southbound 95 to east and westbound 695 will also be temporarily closed as crews hang the sign.

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 9, 2010; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction, Maryland  
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Delays on Metro's Blue Line

2:15 p.m. Update: Metro sends an all-clear. 1:08 p.m. Update: Metro says the track problem has been resolved but delays continue. Original post: Metro is reporting that a track problem outside the Franconia-Springfield Station has trains turning back at Vorn...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 9, 2010; 12:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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30% of buses 6+ minutes off schedule

Metro this morning took the second major step of its initiative to make information on service disruptions, routes and timetables public and available in digital form, by adding API methods for buses. Rail info has been provided since August. Among other possibilities, the realtime bus positions, which indicate how many minutes ahead or behind of schedule a bus is running, offer a window into performance. At 10:30 this morning, there were 266 buses navigating the region, and a quarter were running 7 minutes or more behind. (Ten percent were at least 13 minutes late.) Ten percent were two minutes early.

By Luke Rosiak  | December 9, 2010; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Metro, Metrobus  | Tags:  Online tools  
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Minority firms seeks rail delay

A group of minority business owners demanded Wednesday that the federal government withhold more than $3 billion in funding for California's bullet train project while they investigate claims of unfair contracting practices by high-speed rail officials. Associated Professionals and Contractors filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation alleging that small firms, many of which are owned by minorities, were largely excluded in the bidding process for design and engineering contracts worth millions of dollars.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | December 9, 2010; 9:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Passenger Rail, Transportation News  
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Downed wires stop Amtrak train

Some 250 passengers had to be transferred from a disabled Amtrak train in New Jersey that was headed from Washington to Boston. Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole says Train 110 encountered downed wires in South Brunswick, N.J., at 6:40 a.m. Thursday....

By Associated Press  | December 9, 2010; 9:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amtrak, Passenger Rail  
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Snow causes travel chaos in Europe

Travelers in Paris and Frankfurt slept at the airport after snow and ice caused travel chaos. Pop singer Shakira canceled a concert in Germany, while the French prime minister missed a gala at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater. Many European commuters suffered through traffic jams on slushy streets Thursday, and Scotland even called in the army to clear the snow. Flights out of Paris and Frankfurt were still delayed after bad weather forced the temporary closing of airports a day earlier. Paris, a city of frequent rain, is unprepared for snow. Amid Wednesday's snowfall of four inches, bus service was shut down, traffic backed up, tourists were ushered out the Eiffel Tower and Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris was forced to close for an hour and a half.

By Crystal Becerril, Associated Press  | December 9, 2010; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports, Aviation, Transportation News  
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MARC delays this morning

MARC Penn Line riders: Amtrak train 151 is running 15 minutes late, while Penn Line train 513 is about 15 minutes behind schedule.

By Mark Berman  | December 9, 2010; 7:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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Inner Loop backed up in VA

A roundup, updated throughout the morning, of the headaches and issues awaiting you on your commute.

By Mark Berman  | December 9, 2010; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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VRE delays

Delays for VRE riders.

By Mark Berman  | December 9, 2010; 5:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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Dulles Toll Road rates to rise Jan. 1

Toll rates at the main plaza on the Dulles Toll Road are scheduled to increase by 25 cents on Jan. 1. The decision to increase the tolls was made last fall following public hearings conducted by the Metropolitan Washington...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 8, 2010; 7:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Metro, Northern Virginia, Silver Line  
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Switch problem at Union Station

7:12 p.m. Update: Train 337 has left Union Station. 7:07 p.m. Update: Train 313 has departed Union Station. 6:55 p.m. Update: VRE officials said crews planned to use equipment from Train 337 to operate Train 335, which is now at...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 8, 2010; 6:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Virginia Railway Express  
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Track problem delays MARC trains

Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm said a crew for the rail agency was working on the tracks and accidentally left equipment in place that intentionally steers trains away from the area. The equipment was removed shortly before 5 p.m., Kulm said, and trains are moving again.

By MIchael D. Bolden  | December 8, 2010; 4:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC  
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Amtrak sets Thanksgiving record

Amtrak carried a record number of passengers during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the latest figures from the rail agency. Amtrak said it carried 704,446 passengers during the Thanksgiving travel week, an increase of 2.7 percent over 2009. The day...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 8, 2010; 3:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Amtrak  
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Power, water outage in NW

3:50 p.m. Update: D.C. Water says water service has been restored. Spokesman Alan Heymann said the cause of the power outage has not been determined and that there was no water main break. Crews were performing a tap repair. 3:25...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 8, 2010; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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I-270 N to close overnight

All four lanes of Interstate 270 northbound will close overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning as crews install an overhead sign as part of the Intercounty Connector project. The closure will take place between Montgomery Avenue and Shady Grove Road. The...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 8, 2010; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving, Maryland  
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D.C. transportation after Gabe Klein

Gabe Klein, who announced this morning that he will be leaving his post as the District's transportation director, had a habit of trying new plans, gauging their effectiveness, then fixing the problems. That sometimes worked for the city and against him. But I think he'll wind up being remembered as a administrator who pushed the District toward the mainstream of urban transportation policy.

By Robert Thomson  | December 8, 2010; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  District, Transportation Politics  | Tags:  DDOT, Dr. Gridlock  
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New speed cameras on BW Pkwy.

Maryland State Police and the State Highway Administration have deployed speed cameras on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (I-295) south of I-695 in Anne Arundel County. Officials said the automated enforcement program began this week.

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 8, 2010; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Driving, Highways, Maryland  
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Southwest's on-time performance slips

Southwest Airlines Co., the U.S. industry leader in on-time arrivals since record-keeping began in 1987, finds itself in an unprecedented spot this year: eighth place. Second a year ago, Southwest is slipping as it expands at congested airports such as New York's LaGuardia while US Airways, Alaska Air and other rivals improve their performance, according to federal data released Tuesday for the 12 months ended in October. The 2010 slide marks a blow for the carrier with the best cumulative rating since the U.S. started tracking results 23 years ago. With the drop, Southwest loses the "corporate prestige" from being at or near the top of its peers, said Steve Martin, senior vice president at InterVistas Consulting in Bethesda.

By Bloomberg News and Staff Reports  | December 8, 2010; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Aviation  
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Amtrak NE Corridor service restored

10:49 a.m. Update: Amtrak says all tracks between Baltimore and Philadelphia are back in service. There may be some residual delays as train service returns to normal. Original post: Amtrak has resumed limited service between Baltimore and Philadelphia Wednesday morning...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 8, 2010; 10:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amtrak, Passenger Rail  
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Woman killed in tractor-trailer crash

Maryland State Police say a Damascus woman is dead after her car collided head-on with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 near Frederick. Police say 49-year-old Jennifer Owens was killed about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday. They say her 2005 Acura entered the...

By Associated Press  | December 8, 2010; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Driving, Maryland  
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Gabe Klein to leave DDOT

NBC 4 is reporting that District Department of Transportation chief Gabe Klein is expected to announce his departure Wednesday morning. Klein has invited members of the media to a press conference at city hall at 10:15 where he will make a brief statement. The move would come as Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray prepares to take over from departing Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. Klein has been selling an urban lifestyle that depends less cars and more on trains, buses, bicycles and walking. He is following the credo of like-minded transportation planners in Portland, Seattle and New York that public transit can revive ailing cities.

By Washington Post Staff Writers  | December 8, 2010; 9:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  District  
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Why lasers and airplanes don't mix

The number of incidents where lasers are pointed at airplanes are growing, and the Federal Aviation Administration is trying to raise awareness of the safety issue. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt took up the issue Wednesday morning as a guest on...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 8, 2010; 9:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Aviation  
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Rail Advisory Board could be axed

An advisory board that has advocated for rail projects in Virginia is in jeopardy as the governor looks to make government more efficient. Formed about six years ago under Gov. Mark Warner, the Rail Advisory Board brings members of Virginia Railway Express, CSX, Norfolk Southern, the railroad unions and other organizations together to support rail projects and improve freight and passenger rail in the commonwealth. Governor Robert F. McDonnell's Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring, however, recommended in its report released last week that the rail board be eliminated. It is one of 133 recommendations the commission made to McDonnell, who is now reviewing all the items with the goal of streamlining government and cutting costs.

By Jennifer Buske  | December 8, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Passenger Rail, Virginia Railway Express  
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Blue Line delays cleared

The Blue Line is delayed heading to Largo Town Center. An earlier train malfunction at Franconia-Springfield was cleared, but the delays are lingering.

By Mark Berman  | December 8, 2010; 8:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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VRE delays

VRE train 322 has stopped at L'Enfant due wheelchair lift problems.

By Mark Berman  | December 8, 2010; 6:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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I-395 N snarled at 14th St Bridge

Keep your eyes here throughout the morning for updates on any headaches awaiting you on your commute.

By Mark Berman  | December 8, 2010; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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Major delays for MARC

All MARC Brunswick Line trains will board passengers from the opposite track this morning at the Rockville Station, Garrett Park Station and Kensington stations due to a broken rail.

By Mark Berman  | December 8, 2010; 5:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC  
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JetBlue flight has close call

A quick-thinking air traffic controller at Boston's Logan International Airport urgently told a JetBlue flight to "hold" just before it entered a runway where another plane was about to take off. JetBlue Airways Corp. says Flight 1264 arriving from Austin, Texas, on Nov. 24 with 91 passengers landed safely, but while taxiing to the gate the pilot inadvertently took a right instead of turning left.

By Associated Press  | December 7, 2010; 7:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Aviation  
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MARC train will be 1 car short

Camden Line Train 847 will be one car short when it leaves Baltimore Wednesday morning, according to the Maryland Transit Administration. The train is scheduled to depart at 6:40 a.m....

By Washington Post Editors  | December 7, 2010; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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DC-295 speed cameras are gone

The D.C.-295 work zone speed cameras are gone. The mobile camera units, which had been stationed near the new Eastern Avenue Bridge in July to help protect workers from speeding vehicles, were taken away last week, D.C. Assistant Police Chief Patrick Burke said.

By Derek Kravitz  | December 7, 2010; 6:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  District, Driving  
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Demolition keeps residents awake

A bridge demolition that is part of the Capital Beltway High Occupancy Toll lanes project has led to sleepless nights for one Dunn Loring neighborhood. Crews began taking apart the Interstate 66 westbound bridge over the Beltway a few days ago. On Sunday, they began work on a portion of the bridge where the Beltway backs up to a community of about 50 houses in Dunn Loring.

By Kafia A. Hosh  | December 7, 2010; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Capital Beltway, Construction, Highways, Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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Rail services collect Toys for Tots

Amtrak and MARC will conduct their annual Toys for Tots Drive on Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Riders are asked to make donations of new unwrapped toys or money at gates A and B at Union Station. Virginia...

By Washington Post Staff Writers  | December 7, 2010; 2:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amtrak, MARC, Virginia Railway Express  
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I-66 W closures planned

Westbound Interstate 66 is scheduled to close at the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. The work is part of the Dulles Metrorail extension project. Officials said crews...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 7, 2010; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Construction, Silver Line  
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MARC train will be 1 car short

Camden Line Train 850, departing Union Station at 5:16 p.m., will be one car short, according to the Maryland Transit Administration....

By Washington Post Editors  | December 7, 2010; 2:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC, Maryland  
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Lawmaker seeks auditor for Dulles rail

Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), whose district encompasses much of the route for the new Metrorail extension into Loudoun County, is requesting that the agency overseeing construction of the line bring in an outside auditor to monitor design and construction of the second phase of the project. The 23-mile extension of the Washington region's subway to Dulles International Airport and beyond is being constructed in two phases: A section from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue, which is scheduled to open in 2013, and a leg from Wiehle Avenue to Ashburn in eastern Loudoun County. Phase 2 is slated to open in 2016.

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 7, 2010; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro, Silver Line  
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Feds: Tarmac delay rule is working

The government says October was the first month when no airplanes were stuck on the ground for more than three hours, since it started collecting such data in 2008. Long delays are rare in October, because it's one of the slowest months for air travel and weather is relatively mild in most of the country. Still, the Transportation Department says the rule that threatens huge fines for airlines with long delays is working. There were 11 delays of more than three hours in October 2009.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | December 7, 2010; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Aviation  
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Water main break on Eastern Ave.

[This post has been updated] A water main break in the 3400 block of Eastern Avenue is expected to cause traffic issues along a major commuter route. Expect problems between Rhode Island Avenue and Bladensburg Road. A water main break...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 7, 2010; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  District  
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Gas prices could reduce holiday travel

This will be the most expensive Christmas for driving on record if gas prices in the Washington region continue their climb to $3 a gallon for regular, the American Automobile Association predicted based on its weekly gas price survey.

By Ashley Halsey III  | December 7, 2010; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Driving  
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GW Parkway lane closings planned

Drivers on the George Washington Parkway should watch out for midday lane closings through the weekend. The National Park Service says workers will be installing pavement markings from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today through Friday, and then again starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

By Robert Thomson  | December 7, 2010; 8:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Congestion, Construction, Driving  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, GW Parkway  
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Big VRE delays

VRE train 312 is stopped to the south of Fredericksburg with equipment problems.

By Mark Berman  | December 7, 2010; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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Orange line delays cleared

There are delays on the Orange Line stemming from a train malfunction outside West Falls Church. The malfunction has been resolved, but delays remain.

By Mark Berman  | December 7, 2010; 7:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Inner Loop backed up in VA

A roundup of the morning's traffic woes.

By Mark Berman  | December 7, 2010; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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MARC delays

MARC Penn Line train 503 is running 10 minutes late.

By Mark Berman  | December 7, 2010; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuter Rail, MARC  
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5-alarm fire snarls Baltimore traffic

BALTIMORE -- A five-alarm fire broke out Monday afternoon in a building in Baltimore's adult-entertainment district, spreading quickly, sending thick smoke throughout downtown and snarling traffic.

Balitmore police warned that drivers should be alert to road closures in the area and beware of icy conditions on the roads as the temperature dips.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | December 6, 2010; 7:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation News  
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VDOT OKs $1.1 billion in spending

The Virginia Department of Transportation is advertising more than $1 billion in new road construction and maintenance projects next year. VDOT spokesman Jeff Caldwell says it's a package that includes projects that are being accelerated partly because of cash discovered in an independent audit of VDOT.

By Associated Press  | December 6, 2010; 6:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia  
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The week ahead for traffic, transit

There's some cold holiday shopping and commuting coming up over the next week, but there's not much chance of precipitation. D.C. commuters will warm to boiling on Thursday afternoon, because of the congestion around the National Tree Lighting. Many homes put up some spectacular holiday displays this past weekend, but don't let them distract your attention from the road ahead. The Capitals will crowd the Gallery Place area for 7 p.m. games at Verizon Center on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. The Wizards will be there on Friday night. Here are other potential sources of congestion.

By Robert Thomson  | December 6, 2010; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Construction, Driving, Metro, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Cold delays ICC opening until 2011

Recent rains and this week's cold snap have slowed construction on the Intercounty Connector, causing the first 7.2-mile segment to open early next year instead of later this month, an ICC spokesman said Mon

By Katherine Shaver  | December 6, 2010; 4:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving, Highways, Maryland, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Transportation News  | Tags:  Inter-county connector  
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More questions on transit benefits

Dear Dr. Gridlock: Thanks for the info Sunday on changes in transit benefits. My question is how will the cardholder know the balances in the three sections of her SmartTrip card? Will this info display at the fare machines where you purchase value? At the fare gates? Online? I haven't seen this topic addressed anywhere in the paper yet and haven't received any information at work. Terry Wittig, Germantown

By Robert Thomson  | December 6, 2010; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, SmartBenefits  
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VRE to collect Toys for Tots

The Virginia Railway Express will hold its annual Toys for Tots holiday toy collection Wednesday on all morning trains, VRE officials said. Riders are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy and leave it at their seat when they detrain...

By Jennifer Buske  | December 6, 2010; 3:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Virginia Railway Express  
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Eight air security triggers

Budget Travel, once owned by The Washington Post Co., has an interesting feature on eight items that may lead the Transportation Security Administration to single out you or your bags for additional screening. Read the complete article at budgettravel.com.

By Washington Post Editors  | December 6, 2010; 2:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Aviation  
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Water main break on U.S. 50

Expect traffic delays on Arlington Boulevard (U.S. 50) in the Seven Corners area due to a water main break. Crews may be on the scene for most of the day.

By Washington Post Editors  | December 6, 2010; 1:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving, Northern Virginia  
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Emerson St. NW closed

Emerson Street NW is closed between 14th and 15th Streets due to a water main break, according to D.C. officials....

By Washington Post Editors  | December 6, 2010; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  District, Driving  
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Safeways selling SmarTrip cards

Thirty-nine Safeway stores in the Washington region began selling Metro's electronic fare cards on Monday, according to transit officials. A list of outlets selling the SmarTrip cards, including Safeway and Giant grocery stores and CVS drug stores, is available here.

By Washington Post Editors  | December 6, 2010; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Metro, Metrobus  
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Dr. Gridlock offers advice

Dr. Gridlock was online at noon Monday answering questions your traffic and transit questions. Visit an the discussion archive.

By Mark Berman  | December 6, 2010; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Dog bites 2 on airplane

A US Airways flight headed to Phoenix made an emergency landing in Pittsburgh after a dog on board bit a passenger and a flight attendant. US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher says the flight left Newark, N.J., on Monday morning. Lehmacher says a passenger carrying a dog let the animal out of its carrier and it bit the two.

By Associated Press  | December 6, 2010; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Aviation  
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Md. to honor impaired driving victims

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will lead a memorial Tuesday to honor the victims of impaired driving in the state. Officials said the holidays are one of the most dangerous periods for impaired driving and law enforcement will be deployed...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 6, 2010; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving, Maryland  
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Focused on older driver safety

This week is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, according to the American Occupational Therapy Association, which founded the activity with the goal of ensuring that "older adults remain active in the community ... with the confidence that transportation will not be the barrier to strand them at home." The National Transportation Safety Board says that within 15 years people 65 years of age or older will make up more than 20 percent of the driving population. The NTSB held a forum last month to look at issues related to the growing number of older drivers. Several organizations have endorsed the week, including AAA and AARP.

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 6, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving  
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VA. to hold transportation conference

Virginia state officials will gather transportation leaders together this week for a three-day conference on "transportation challenges and innovative traffic solutions." The Governor's Transportation Conference will be held at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. the event is titled "Reforming and Revitalizing Transportation in Virginia." Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is scheduled to deliver the keynote address on Thursday. Transportation experts from the public, private and academic sections are scheduled to give presentations.

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 6, 2010; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia  
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NTSB to hold child safety forum

The National Transportation Safety Board will focus on child passenger safety aboard airplanes and in automobiles during a public forum scheduled for Thursday at its L'Enfant Plaza headquarters. NTSB chief Deborah A.P. Hersman will chair the one-day forum, with all five members of the board scheduled to participate.

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 6, 2010; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Aviation, Driving, NTSB, Traffic Safety  
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A wild chase of a stolen dump truck

Police in Ohio say a 50-mile pursuit of a stolen dump truck had officers dodging bricks hurled from its window and dodging the truck itself when it suddenly went into reverse.Police cruiser video shows the truck striking police cars and...

By Associated Press  | December 6, 2010; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation News  
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Spain may extend emergency decree

MADRID -- Spain's prime minister says he may extend an emergency decree his government implemented to end a 24-hour air traffic controllers strike despite flights returning to normal after a weekend of travel chaos. The measure threatens jail time for...

By Associated Press  | December 6, 2010; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Aviation, Transportation News  
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Maryland's 'Move Over' law

This traveler's message to me started off with some holiday getaway guidance, but then took an unfortunate turn: "On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I avoided I-95 and took Route 301 through Maryland. There was no traffic and it was a very nice drive, with one exception. I got a ticket for failing to move one lane to the left when passing a state police car parked on the right shoulder. I must pay a $110 fine!

By Robert Thomson  | December 6, 2010; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Traffic Safety  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, travel tips  
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Transportation news roundup

Jennifer Buske and Luke Rosiak report on the delays afflicting Virginia Railway Express riders. The Examiner reports that Metro's decision to move forward with safety improvements recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board means a plan to increase the number...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 6, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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N St blocked by Logan Circle

We'll keep you posted throughout the morning with any headaches or areas to avoid.

By Mark Berman  | December 6, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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MARC development moves along

Plans to transform the parking lot at the Savage MARC train station in Howard County into a small community of homes, offices, stores and a hotel are moving closer to fruition, part of Maryland's long effort to redevelop mass-transit parking lots. Construction has not begun on any state-approved "transit-oriented development" projects, though a garage was built at the Owings Mills Metro station in Baltimore County. State transportation officials said that one project proposed at the State Center office complex in downtown Baltimore is expected to get under way this winter.

By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun  | December 6, 2010; 8:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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Disabled train slows Amtrak

A disabled train is slowing passengers riding the rails in and out of New York City. New Jersey Transit spokeswoman Courtney Carroll says one of its trains is stopped near the Portal Bridge in Secaucus. Amtrak spokesman Cliffords Cole says Amtrak trains are running up to 30 minutes late imn and out of New York's Penn Station.

By Associated Press  | December 6, 2010; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amtrak, Passenger Rail  
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Metro service delays this week

Metrorail riders will encounter several delays this week as the transit agency conducts repairs and installs new equipment. Here's a roundup of what to expect:

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 6, 2010; 8:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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MARC delays

Delays and issues on the MARC trains.

By Mark Berman  | December 6, 2010; 6:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC  
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Metro delays cleared

There are delays on three Metro lines right now: the Green, Yellow and Orange lines.

By Mark Berman  | December 6, 2010; 5:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  
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