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Dr. Gridlock: December 19, 2010 - December 25, 2010

Capital Bikeshare back in service

11:07 a.m. Update: Capital Bikeshare has reopened. Original post: Capital Bikeshare reports that it's going to temporarily close as of midnight and will reopen when "conditions are safe for operation."...

By Terri Rupar  | December 25, 2010; 7:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Metro prepping for snowstorm

Metro has crews on standby to remove snow from station platforms and other areas as the region prepares for Sunday's storm. The transit agency said in a news release that it has 559 pieces of snow equipment prepared to deal with snow and will monitor conditions to keep functioning as effectively as possible.

By Washington Post Staff Writers  | December 25, 2010; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, Weather  
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D.C. area snow removal information

Share photos | Capital Weather Gang | Dr. Gridlock's snow guide Here is some information on snow removal and where you can turn for help. Keep in mind that in most jurisdictions, property owners are responsible for clearing adjacent sidewalks....

By Washington Post Editors  | December 25, 2010; 5:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Weather  
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DC Circulator curbed on Christmas

The DC Circulator will not be running on Saturday, Christmas Day. Service will resume on all routes on Sunday, Dec. 26.

By Mark Berman  | December 24, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Bus  
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Parking enforcement for holidays

If you're still in town for the holidays and wondering what the rules are about parking, look no further. Here's a roundup of some of the parking rules and restrictions: The District There will be no enforcement of parking meters,...

By Mark Berman  | December 24, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Driving, Parking  
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Holiday changes for ART and STAR

Here are some changes that will impact Arlington's ART routes as well as STAR (Specialized Transit for Arlington Residents) services for this weekend and next weekend:

By Mark Berman  | December 24, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuter Bus, Virginia  
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Quiet at local airports, crowds on roads

A look at travel conditions as folks head out for the holidays.

By Mark Berman  | December 23, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Airlines, Driving, Getaways  
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Traffic-reduction grant boosts Bikeshare

Using money from the federal transportation department's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program, Capital Bikeshare will expand by about a third early next year, DDOT announced today.

By Luke Rosiak  | December 23, 2010; 2:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Biking, District  | Tags:  Capital Bikeshare  
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Metro holiday schedule

Wondering what the plan is for Metro's scheduled service this weekend? Wonder no more.

By Mark Berman  | December 23, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Beijing to cap new car registrations

BEIJING -- China's capital plans to sharply limit new vehicle registrations to try to ease massive traffic jams that are rapidly turning Beijing's streets into parking lots. The city will only allow 240,000 vehicles to be registered next year, said Zhou Zhengyu, vice secretary general of the Beijing city government. The figure is equal to a little more than one-third of the total number of new cars put on the capital's streets this year. Traffic jams in Beijing have worsened recently, with the city dithering over how to clear up the smoggy congestion while still allowing the Communist country's burgeoning middle class the automobiles they crave.

By Associated Press  | December 23, 2010; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation News  
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SoberRide operating through Jan. 1

The SoberRide program, which helps keep our roads safe by providing free taxi rides (up to a $30 fare), is operating through Jan. 1.

By Mark Berman  | December 23, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving, Events  
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Lights out on Georgia Ave., 16th St.

Many signals lights are dark on 16th Street and Georgia Avenue NW because of a power outage. The department of transportation reminds drivers that intersections must be treated as four-way stops, even if they're travelling on a busier thoroughfare than the cross streets.

By Luke Rosiak  | December 23, 2010; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, District, Driving  
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Current road conditions for getaways

A look at the roads during the peak day of the holiday getaway.

By Mark Berman  | December 23, 2010; 8:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Driving, Getaways  
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Current situations at airports

Looking over the flight departure information at the three major area airports, I'm not seeing any major delays right now. Parking is also clear.

By Mark Berman  | December 23, 2010; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports, Getaways  
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Heading out of town?

Heading out of town for the holidays? Let us know what you see.

By Mark Berman  | December 23, 2010; 7:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Getaways  
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Accident closes S. Dakota Ave NE

An accident and resulting oil spill at 3110 South Dakota Avenue in Northeast Washington has closed South Dakota Avenue between Myrtle and Rhode Island avenues. The closures are expected to remain through the morning rush hour, so avoid the area if possible.

By Mark Berman  | December 23, 2010; 7:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Driving  
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Holiday schedule changes for MTA

Travelers hoping to take the MARC (or any MTA service) during the holiday season, be advised about some changes and holiday scheduling.

By Mark Berman  | December 23, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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Limited VRE service today, none Friday

Due to the arriving holiday, VRE trains will be running an "S" schedule today. There will also be no VRE service on Friday due to the holiday.

By Mark Berman  | December 23, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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Pr. George's to replace Metro member

Metro board member Marcell Solomon has been notified by the new Prince George's county executive that his contract will be terminated Jan. 21, a move that comes as the transit authority's board experiences significant changes in its leadership. Scott Peterson,...

By Ann Scott Tyson  | December 22, 2010; 8:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Ann Scott Tyson, Metro  
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Airlines offer free WiFi for holidays

AirTran Airways, Delta and Virgin America airlines are partnering with Google to offer free wireless Internet sevice on their flights through Jan. 2.

By Washington Post Editors  | December 22, 2010; 7:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Airlines  
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Rte. 1 closed due to water main break

5:08 p.m. Update: A 16-inch water main break caused massive delays during evening rush hour Wednesday on Route 1, closing traffic in both lanes from Sunnyside Avenue to Ewing Road.Crews from the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission were working last night...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 22, 2010; 4:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving, Maryland  
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How are your travels?

Headed somewhere for the holidays? According to the American Automobile Association's recent survey 2.2 million of us are traveling more than 50 miles from home. Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney reports that he took a midday flight from Reagan National...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 22, 2010; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Airports, Driving, Passenger Rail  
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Groups collect petition signatures

Two groups opposed to Metro doing random bag checks plan to be at Union Station Wednesday evening to collect signatures on a petition opposing the action. The D.C. Bill of Rights Coalition and the Montgomery Civil Rights Coalition said they...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 22, 2010; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro, MetroAccess, Metrobus  
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London tube workers plan strike

London Underground workers will hold a 24-hour strike the day after Christmas following the collapse of talks aimed at resolving a dispute over pay and working conditions, Transport for London said Wednesday. Representatives for the union Aslef walked out of talks today with London Underground and ACAS, the U.K.'s state-funded mediator, TfL said in an e-mailed statement. "Nothing changed at this morning's meeting and therefore the strike will go ahead," Aslef General Secretary Keith Norman said in a statement on the union's Web site.

By Bloomberg News  | December 22, 2010; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Fire damages school, closes roads

3:50 p.m. Update: The District Department of Transportation reports that all lanes on Piney Branch have reopened. 2:50 p.m. Update: According to D.C. schools officials, the structure is so heavily damaged that students won't be able to return there in...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 22, 2010; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Congestion, District, Driving  
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NJ gets extension for tunnel bill

TRENTON, N.J. -- The U.S. Transportation Department has granted New Jersey an extension of just over two weeks to pay back the $271 million it owes for a scrapped rail tunnel to New York City.

The extension was granted in a letter dated Monday to Patton Boggs, the D.C. law firm that New Jersey Transit hired to fight the debt. Patton Boggs had requested the extension in response to a Nov. 24 letter demanding full repayment within 30 days.

Gov. Chris Christie killed the $8.7 billion tunnel project in October because of possible cost overruns. The Federal Transit Authority then demanded repayment of federal money already spent on the project.

By Associated Press  | December 22, 2010; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Preparing for airport getaways

Metro riders were reporting in Twitter messages this morning that the transit system and the streets around stations seemed less crowded. Perhaps it's a sign the holiday exit already has begun, though I'd watch for extra congestion throughout today and Thursday around the malls. The Capital Weather Gang's forecast shows good getaway weather through Christmas Eve, though the forecast for the weekend remains unsettled.

By Robert Thomson  | December 22, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Airports, Driving, Getaways, MARC, Metro, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, travel tips  
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Streetcar work closes 7th St NE

Streetcar-related construction work could cause a traffic headache in Northeast Washington today. The District Department of Transportation will close 7th Street between H and G streets from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the installation of streetcar tracks across the intersection of 7th and H streets.

By Mark Berman  | December 22, 2010; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction, District, Streetcar  
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Green, Yellow line delays cleared

There are delays on the Green and Yellow lines due to unscheduled track maintenance between Georgia Avenue and Prince George's Plaza.

By Mark Berman  | December 22, 2010; 5:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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295 North jammed at U.S. 50

A roundup of the driving issues and headaches awaiting commuters.

By Mark Berman  | December 22, 2010; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion, Driving  
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Virginia HOV and work zone changes

The Virginia Department of Transportation is removing temporary work zones on major roads for holiday travelers this weekend.

By Mark Berman  | December 22, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Events, Getaways, Virginia  
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3 MARC trains to be short Wed.

Three Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) trains on the Penn Line will operate with one less car than normal for the Wednesday morning commute, according to the Maryland Transit Administration. The trains are: -- Train 402 (northbound to Perryville from...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 21, 2010; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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S. Glebe Rd. closed for repairs

South Glebe Road is closed between 22nd and 26th streets for gas main repairs. Exits 7A and 7B from Interstate 395 to Glebe Road are also closed for the work, which may also affect surrounding streets. Officials estimate that repairs...

By Washington Post Editors  | December 21, 2010; 4:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving, Northern Virginia  
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Reader questions on Metro bag checks

I just finished a lively online chat about the bag inspection program that Metro launched today, but there were scores of questions and comments left over. So I'd like to share some of these previously unpublished ones with you in this posting. Occasionally, I'll come in with a response.

By Robert Thomson  | December 21, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Metro, Metrobus, Transportation Politics  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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BRAC-133 parking plan trimmed

The Secretary of the Army is required to submit transportation plans and identify funding for traffic improvements surrounding the new Washington Headquarters Service building at Mark Center in Alexandria. The legislation authored by Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) capping...

By Christy Goodman  | December 21, 2010; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  BRAC, Northern Virginia  
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Tough travel in Europe

LONDON -- Britain's prime minister offered troops to help clear airport delays on Tuesday and Europe's top transportation official said the failure to keep flights operating in winter weather was unacceptable, as exhausted and outraged passengers struggled to get home for the fourth day. Prime Minister David Cameron said his government had "offered military assistance" to the company that operates Europe's busiest airport and others in Britain. Heathrow said it was grateful for the offer and didn't need the help, but still would be unable to restore full service until at least Thursday morning.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | December 21, 2010; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports, Transportation News  
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ACLU: 'Deep concern' on Metro checks

In my last posting on Metro's ill-conceived policy of inspecting people's property, I noted that I'm not a lawyer, just a traveler. So I was interested to see that the American Civil Liberties Union -- the ranks of which include plenty of lawyers -- has sent a letter about the policy to the Metro board chairman and interim general manager. "We write to register our deep concern to such searches and the constraining effect they would have on long-cherished individual liberties of millions of innocent citizens, says the letter, sent Monday and signed by representatives of the ACLU from the District, Maryland and Virginia.

By Robert Thomson  | December 21, 2010; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Metro, Transportation Politics  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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Bag checks a 'necessary evil'?

Responding to no specific threat against the transit system, the transit system today began to randomly threaten its riders with police searches. In my Sunday column, I said that Metro launched this program of rider intimidation without discussing it with the riders, who I think even Metro would concede are involved in the operation of the transit system. I'd like to share one of the responses I got from readers and discuss it with you.

By Robert Thomson  | December 21, 2010; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Metro, Transportation Politics  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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MARC train will be one car short

MARC Train 534 on the Penn Line, which is scheduled to depart Union Station at 5:20 p.m., will be one car short, according to the Maryland Transit Administration....

By Washington Post Editors  | December 21, 2010; 9:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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Mayor: Rome device not explosive

ROME -- An explosive device was found Tuesday in a subway car in Rome, Italian news agencies reported. The ANSA and Apcom news agency said the device was found Tuesday inside a train during a stop in Rebibbia, on the outskirts of Rome.

By Associated Press  | December 21, 2010; 9:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro, Transportation News  
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Metro begins random bag inspections

Metro began random inspections of passengers' bags and packages this morning, five days after first announcing the checks.

By Ann Scott Tyson and Mark Berman  | December 21, 2010; 7:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  Metro  
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I-66 E lane blocked at Beltway

A roundup of the morning traffic woes during this abbreviated holiday week

By Mark Berman  | December 21, 2010; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Blue Line delays cleared

There are Blue Line delays heading to Franconia-Springfield, stemming from an earlier train malfunction at Benning Road. The train malfunction has been resolved, but the delays remain.

By Mark Berman  | December 21, 2010; 5:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Gas demand may begin long decline

NEW YORK -- The world's biggest gas-guzzling nation has limits after all.After seven decades of mostly uninterrupted growth, U.S. gasoline demand is at the start of a long-term decline. By 2030, Americans will burn at least 20 percent less gasoline...

By Jonathan Fahey, Associated Press  | December 20, 2010; 5:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation News  
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Petition against Metro bag checks

Two rights groups have launched an online petition against Metro's announced plan to conduct random bag searches on the subway system. Patrick Elder, a co-founder of DC Bill of Rights Coalition, believes the plan is against the 4th Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches.

By Associated Press  | December 20, 2010; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro, MetroAccess, Metrobus  
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Metro option for some MARC riders

Riders on MARC's Penn Line have the option Monday evening of using Metrorail's Orange Line for free, according to the Maryland Transit Administration. Riders should show their MARC tickets to station managers for access. The Penn Line runs from Washington...

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 20, 2010; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland, Metro  
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First transit TV makes debut

There's a new big-screen TV in the Reeves Center, but patrons of the center can't watch it. Instead, the TV is facing out the window, clearly visible from the heavily-used bus stop at 14th and U streets. Pedestrians can see at a glance the positions of relevant buses, Metro trains, Capital Bikeshare stations and transit news.

By Luke Rosiak  | December 20, 2010; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Transit, Transportation News, Transportation Politics  
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What's best Christmas route south?

Dear Dr. Gridlock: I plan on driving south to Columbia, S.C., on the 23rd for the holidays (leaving 8-9 a.m.). I haven't left this late because I was a student, so I'm not sure what to expect. How bad does I-95 get before Christmas? I'm thinking of taking I-81 to I-77 to bypass 95 just in case. What would you recommend? Rachel Dolan

By Robert Thomson  | December 20, 2010; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Driving, Getaways  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, travel tips  
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Travel advice from Dr. Gridlock

No one's more of an authority on traversing the region than Dr. Gridlock, and he'll be online at noon to offer advice on how to avoid getting caught in holiday traffic jams, how to stay safe in winter conditions and anything else readers want to know. He'll also engage readers on the subject of Metro's announced search policy, and he wants to hear about any experiences you've had with those so far. You can submit questions now here, and come back to the same place at noon to discuss.

By Luke Rosiak  | December 20, 2010; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Big MARC delays this morning

Delays and issues for MARC riders.

By Mark Berman  | December 20, 2010; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, MARC  
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Blue and Orange line delays cleared

The Blue and Orange lines are sharing the same track between Federal Triangle and McPherson Square due to a sick passenger on a train at McPhersqon Square. Expect delays in both directions.

By Mark Berman  | December 20, 2010; 7:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The week ahead for traffic, transit

Friday is a holiday for federal workers and many other people. Expect a Christmas getaway on the highways, at Union Station and the D.C. region's airports on Thursday. The Capital Weather Gang is giving us a heads up about the possibility of a winter storm late Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day, but it's still early. We can talk more about getaways, as well as other traffic and transit issues during my online chat at noon.

By Robert Thomson  | December 20, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Driving, Getaways, Metro, MetroAccess, Metrobus, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Chilly commute kicks off holiday week

A roundup of traffic issues throughout the morning rush hour.

By Mark Berman  | December 20, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Metrobus  
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