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Posted at 5:40 AM ET, 12/17/2010

Prepare for a slippery, icy commute

By Mark Berman
Mark Berman

Share and view photos | Snow guide

9:10 A.M. UPDATE:

In Virginia, the I-66 West lanes have reopened. However, I-66 East is backed up at the Beltway. The Inner Loop is jammed up at Arlington Boulevard and Telegraph Road.

In Maryland, the water main break on Georgia Avenue at Dawson Avenue in Silver Spring is still blocking one lane in each direction. The Beltway is actually pretty slow in both directions at Colesville Road.

And generally, roads are still wet and icy in many spots. Expect delays and add more time to your commute. If you need resources for snow removal, check after the jump.

8:40 A.M. UPDATE:

In Virginia, an accident on I-66 West is blocking the left lane and one of the shoulders. The Inner Loop is pretty backed up near Telegraph Road. In Maryland, the Beltway remains a slog in both directions near Georgia Avenue.

8:20 A.M. UPDATE:

Scratch that! The accident at New York Avenue and 6th Street has been cleared.

8:18 A.M. UPDATE:

While westbound New York Avenue is blocked at 6th Street due to an accident, inbound traffic does not appear hugely impacted so far. Traffic cameras show that there's some light congestion where New York Avenue crosses North Capitol Street, but nothing extraordinary.

Meanwhile, the Inner Loop in Maryland is incredibly slow and jammed up from I-270 on through Georgia Avenue. You should anticipate delays no matter where you're heading, because the Outer Loop is also looking pretty sluggish.

8:05 A.M. UPDATE:

An accident at New York Avenue and 6th Street in Northwest Washington has blocked westbound New York Avenue. Traffic is being diverted from 6th Street to L Street, and you can expect big, big headaches as commuters approach this mess. Try to avoid the surrounding area if at all possible, and especially avoid New York Avenue, which will slow to a crawl approaching this spot.

7:45 A.M. UPDATE:

Congestion remains on the Inner Loop approaching Georgia Avenue. Meanwhile, an accident on the Inner Loop at University Boulevard is blocking one of the shoulders and could stretch out the delays.

7:25 A.M. UPDATE:

Okay, all lanes are definitely open on the Inner Loop at Georgia Avenue, but it's still incredibly backed up around that spot. Cars are moving, albeit very, very, very slowly. If you are approaching Connecticut Avenue, you are approaching a massive, unmoving traffic jam.

7:12 A.M. UPDATE:

Traffic is at a standstill right now, so it appears the two Inner Loop lanes might not have reopened near Georgia Avenue. The backups stretch as far back as Bradley Boulevard, and traffic is barely crawling for a big stretch of the Beltway.


Two Inner Loop lanes have reopened after Georgia Avenue. Two lanes are still blocked, and travelers should expect big, big delays.

The water main break on Georgia Avenue at Dawson Avenue in Silver Spring is blocking one lane in each direction.

Meanwhile, I-66 East is backed up at Chain Bridge Road and the Beltway, while I-395 North is slow around King Street.

6:30 A.M. UPDATE:

There are wet roads being throughout the region as commuters begin heading out. And there's already a major Beltway problem: An accident on the Inner Loop after Georgia Avenue is blocking all lanes (earlier it was only blocking two lanes).

Additionally, a water main break on Georgia Avenue at Dawson Avenue in Silver Spring is blocking one lane in each direction.

6:10 A.M. UPDATE:

The Virginia State Police received more than 4,700 calls for service between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. Thursday. Of the 4,798 calls they received, 1,947 were for traffic accidents and 678 were for disabled vehicles, according to the agency. There were 109 accidents and 135 disabled vehicles alone in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Loudoun and Prince William. Two state troopers were struck by out-of-control vehicles while investigating traffic accidents, though neither was seriously injured.


Good morning, commuters. Get ready for a slow and tricky trip into work this morning. Thursday's snow resulted in slush and ice all over the area's roads, and that snow isn't going to melt until the warmer, sunnier hours later today. And we're in for wind that will blow some of the snow around as an added bonus, says the Capital Weather Gang. There are plenty of school delays and closings, while it's a normal day for federal employees.

Generally, just anticipate icy roads and try to use public transportation if you can. If you have to drive, add a lot of time to your commute and travel slowly. (Even though there wasn't that much snow, it was just enough that driving too fast can lead to accidents.) And check back here throughout the morning for updates on the headaches and things to avoid.

Here is some information on snow removal and where you can turn for help if you need an area. Keep in mind that in most jurisdictions, property owners are responsible for clearing adjacent sidewalks.

  • Alexandria snow removal information: Visit the snow report Web site of call the snow emergency hotline at 703.746.4488.
  • Arlington County's snow removal information is here. In the past, officials have said the hilly terrain in sections A, C, and D means it takes longer to clear those areas.
  • The Viriginia Department of Transportation is responsible for snow removal in Fairfax County and most other areas.
  • You can also visit Virginia 511 for the latest information Virginia road conditions.
  • Track snow plows in the District here. The District Department of Information checks tweets sent to DDOTDC. You can also call the Mayor's Call Center at 311 or complete a form on the Web site.
  • Check Montgomery County snow removal here. Check to make sure the county is responsible for you street, and not one of the local jurisdictions or the state of Maryland, which plows numbered state routes. Here is a link with more information on who clears snow. You can report the problem to Montgomery County using this link or by calling 240-777-6000.
  • Prince George's County snow information is here.
  • State of Maryland snow information

By Mark Berman  | December 17, 2010; 5:40 AM ET
Categories:  Commuting  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Metro to begin random bag inspections
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Hi, Dr. Gridlock, I have a question. What if your sole access to your living quarters is through an alley. Will the District plow an alley if it's your only way to egress/ingress your apartment? Thanks

Posted by: charlesmurphy85 | December 17, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Might be time to invest in a shovel. DC has a hard enough time clearing actual roads.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 17, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

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