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Dr. Gridlock: January 9, 2011 - January 15, 2011

The weekend and beyond

This long holiday weekend includes two major transportation projects that will affect both transit users and drivers. Metro needs to replace four track switches at the Foggy Bottom Station, a big project that will require closing the station for the entire weekend. Meanwhile, drivers should avoid the Capital Beltway's Telegraph Road interchange, where lanes and ramps will be closed as part of the Wilson Bridge project.

By Robert Thomson  | January 15, 2011; 9:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Blue Line, Capital Beltway, Congestion, Construction, Metro, Orange Line, Red Line, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Metro travel tips for weekend

Starting at 10 o'clock Friday night and continuing through the long Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, Metro's maintenance program will disrupt service on the Blue, Orange and Red lines. Use these links to learn more about the plan. Here are some tips that riders might find handy.

By Robert Thomson  | January 15, 2011; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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What it takes to drive a Metrobus

The Post took a look at 208 test results from three pools of applicants who sat for tests last month, which were posted online with anonymized names so applicants could see whether they were invited back for an interview. If you score at least 70 percent on customer service and reading comprehension and at least 50 percent on a behavioral assessment, you've got an interview.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 14, 2011; 10:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Metro, Metrobus  
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VRE #337 must board 313 train

VRE train 306 is running about 20 minutes late this morning. The train stopped south of Fredericksburg with locomotive issues and is now on the move en route to Fredericksburg.

By Mark Berman  | January 14, 2011; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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Car overturns on Beltway at Riggs

An overturned automobile on the Beltway in the area of Riggs Road in Adelphi is causing lane closures.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 14, 2011; 4:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories, Driving  
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Delays after MARC train hits person

MARC train 878 is stopped at Gaithersburg due to police activity. Trains 894 and 880 are behind it and expecting major, major delays. Metro will honor MARC tickets from Shady Grove into Washington. We are looking into it and will update when we have more.

By Mark Berman  | January 14, 2011; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  MARC  
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Don't miss last Metro train

Jim Hughes, Metro's planning director, had two practical tips for travelers during this weekend's big disruptions on Metrorail: dress warmly and plan your route for Friday night.

By Robert Thomson  | January 14, 2011; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Canal Road closed in NW DC

A fatal accident is blocking Canal Road in both directions at Clark Place in Northwest Washington.

By Mark Berman  | January 14, 2011; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Red Line delays

There are big Blue Line delays this morning. Trains are sharing the same track between Stadium-Armory and Capitol Heights, and as a result the disruption between Benning Road and Capitol Heights is delaying trains in both directions.

By Mark Berman  | January 14, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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I-66 West lanes reopen at Beltway

A roundup of road issues and problems in the D.C. area.

By Mark Berman  | January 14, 2011; 6:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Backups on 395 cleared

Virginia Railway Express train 307 was cancelled due to a signal issue. This may cause crowding on subsequent trains.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 13, 2011; 5:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Potomac Mills slashes parking lot

Potomac Mills mall General Manager Mike Sullivan said the Woodbridge outlet shopping center will be reducing the number of commuter spaces in the roughly 1,000-space lot it provides down to 275 spaces Feb 14. Sullivan said the reduction is needed to make way for new commercial development.

By Jennifer Buske  | January 13, 2011; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Commuting, Driving, Transportation News, Virginia  
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Metro could consider sponsored names

Metro estimates it will pay about $7.3 million in extra overtime in fiscal 2012 due to shortage of bus drivers and rail operators, Metro officials said at a finance committee meeting of its board of directors this morning.

By Ann Scott Tyson  | January 13, 2011; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Metro, Transportation Politics  
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TSA tip: thermos bomb threat

Shortly before Christmas, federal officials received a tip that terrorists might be concealing bombs in thermos liners carried aboard planes, Transportation Safety Administration head John S. Pistole said Thursday.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 13, 2011; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports, Transportation News, Transportation Politics  
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VRE tweaks this morning

VRE train 326, along with later trains, will use the far tracks at Rolling Road and Backlick Road.

By Mark Berman  | January 13, 2011; 6:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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Outer loop lanes blocked in VA

Check back throughout the morning for more updates on your morning commute!

By Mark Berman  | January 13, 2011; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Light Rail headaches continue

Once again, Light Rail riders are in for a tricky commute: Trains will not operating north of Timonium Station to the Hunt Valley stop due to damage to the overhead wire.

By Mark Berman  | January 13, 2011; 5:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Maryland  
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D St. SE reopened on Hill

D St. SE is closed between North Carolina Ave. and 1st St., and 2nd St. southbound is closed from D to Independence Ave., according to Capitol Police, who are responding to a situation on the scene.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 12, 2011; 6:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, District, Driving  
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Mass. Ave. apartments get car charger

425 Mass, one of a string of luxury high-rises erected along a strip of Massachusetts Avenue NW near the Mount Vernon area in recent years, unveiled today the first residential electric car charging station in the District.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 12, 2011; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  District, Driving  
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New countdown signals in Bethesda

Montgomery County has installed pedestrian countdown signals at five busy intersections on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. There were 17 pedestrian accidents in this area from 2005 to 2009, according to county statistics, so it's a good target zone for safety enhancements like this. Countdown signals are generally popular where they have been installed in the D.C. region and across the nation. They give pedestrians and drivers the comfort of knowing how long a signal cycle will last. But what's their role in safety?

By Robert Thomson  | January 12, 2011; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Traffic Safety  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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Full NE Amtrak service resumes Thurs.

Amtrak has temporarily suspended service between New York City and Boston due to a fallen tree. The tree damaged the overhead power system near Sharon, Mass., causing the suspension of both Acela Express and Northeast Regional train service between New York City and Boston.

By Mark Berman  | January 12, 2011; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Big weekend project on Va. Beltway

If you're going to be traveling in the D.C. area this holiday weekend, you may well have heard about Metro's big program of track work. But drivers also will face a significant snag on the Virginia side of the Capital Beltway at Telegraph Road

By Robert Thomson  | January 12, 2011; 9:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Capital Beltway, Congestion, Construction, Driving  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Wilson Bridge  
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Roads slick and icy after snow

A roundup of icy roads and other traffic issues this morning

By Mark Berman  | January 12, 2011; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Flights might be impacted by snow

If you're flying today, check with your airline to see if your travel plans may be affected. Here are some resources to use if you are supposed to head out today:

By Mark Berman  | January 12, 2011; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports  
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Red Line delays cleared

There are delays in both directions on the Red Line due to a track problem outside of Bethesda. Trains are sharing the same track between Friendship Heights and Grosvenor.

By Mark Berman  | January 12, 2011; 6:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Light Rail headaches in MD

If you commute in Maryland and take the Light Rail, be warned: Light Rail trains will not operating north of Timonium Station to the Hunt Valley stop due to damage to the overhead wire. Shuttle bus service is in place from Timonium to Hunt Valley.

By Mark Berman  | January 12, 2011; 6:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Maryland  
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VRE operating full service today

The VRE is operating its full schedule today. Yesterday's snow has resulted in some ice out there, and VRE personnel have been out treating the stations.

By Mark Berman  | January 12, 2011; 6:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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Alexandria aims to protect Metro sway

The Alexandria City Council and city staff have worked up their own plan to change the Metro compact agreement that they plan to shop around to other jurisdictions beginning as early as next week. The plan includes a 17-member board...

By Christy Goodman  | January 11, 2011; 8:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Metro, Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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Alexandria approves express buses

The Alexandria City Council approved $600,000 to rehabilitate four city DASH buses that will be used for express bus service between the King Street Metro station and Mark Center. The express service is the first transit improvement put in place...

By Christy Goodman  | January 11, 2011; 7:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  BRAC, Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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Beware of ice on region's roads

How bad could a midday snow of one to four inches be, given what travelers endured in the D.C. area last winter? That pretty much depends on us travelers. The highway crews have been out pre-treating roads across the region. Metro workers are prepared to remove snow from around the station entrances and platforms. Now, it will be up to all the people who came to work today to realize that they may be dealing with different conditions on the way home. A little snow leaves some drivers -- even some pedestrians -- overconfident about their abilities to deal with it.

By Robert Thomson, Jason Samenow and Luke Rosiak  | January 11, 2011; 2:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving, Metro, Weather  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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Many Metrorail disruptions ahead

During my online chat on Monday, several travelers submitted questions about Metro's maintenance program. I'd like to use one such question to discuss what's ahead for 2011 on Metrorail. Metro Maintenance: "Why is Metro continuing to perform track maintenance that inconveniences riders, or is this Metro playing catch-up for neglecting routine maintenance?"

By Robert Thomson  | January 11, 2011; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Airfare increases likely to stick

The airlines are at it again, imposing the first fare increase of the new year and the third within a month.

By Associated Press  | January 11, 2011; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports  
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Flying today? Check with your airline

If you're planning on flying today and tonight, you should check with your airline to see if your travel plans may be affected by looming snowfall. Here are some resources to utilize.

By Mark Berman  | January 11, 2011; 9:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Airlines  
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Potential MARC crowding, delays

MARC Camden Line train 849, departing from Baltimore Camden station at 7:20 a.m., will run one car short this morning. Expect some crowded conditions on that train.

By Mark Berman  | January 11, 2011; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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Snow expected later today

We'll be updating you on the headaches impacting the morning commute

By Mark Berman  | January 11, 2011; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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BET awards close streets this weekend

There will be street closures and parking restrictions this weekend downtown in the area of E and 12th streets as the BET Honors take place. The awards ceremony will include television filming. The following streets and sidewalks will be closed:...

By Luke Rosiak  | January 10, 2011; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  District, Driving, Parking  
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Dr. Gridlock answers your questions

Dr. Gridlock chatted with readers on Monday, answering your traffic and transit questions.

By Mark Berman  | January 10, 2011; 1:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Plan for Metro board changes released

The District, Maryland and Virginia today released a joint plan and schedule for implementing changes to Metro's governance structure, following November recommendations by a coalition of regional groups including Metro's Riders Advisory Council.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 10, 2011; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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Airport stripping charges dropped

A man who stripped to his underwear at a Richmond International Airport checkpoint to protest security procedures won't face a criminal charge.

By Associated Press  | January 10, 2011; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports, Transportation Politics  
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Chat with Dr. Gridlock today at noon

Dr. Gridlock will be chatting with readers and answering your questions about anything and everything related to your commute.

By Mark Berman  | January 10, 2011; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Capitol South reopened after scare

The Capitol South station is closed due to a suspicious package outside of the station. Trains are passing through the station without picking up or dropping off passengers. Shuttle bus service has been requested between Eastern Market and Federal Center.

By Mark Berman & Associated Press  | January 10, 2011; 9:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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The week ahead in traffic, transit

Keep an eye on the Capital Weather Gang's snowcast for Tuesday, which could have an impact on several commutes this week. After that, the biggest obstacles to getting around in the D.C. area are likely to be Metro's plan for major maintenance over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and the Wilson Bridge project lane closings at Telegraph Road.

By Robert Thomson  | January 10, 2011; 9:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Construction, Driving, Metro, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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I-95 N backed up in VA

Keep your eyes here throughout the morning rush for updates on commuting headaches on the roads and rails.

By Mark Berman  | January 10, 2011; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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MARC Silver Spring ticket machine down

MARC riders, be advised: The ticket machine at Silver Spring is out of service and won't be available today, Jan. 10. Tickets can be purchased on the train with cash only and without the $3 surcharge (for round trip and one-way tickets alike).

By Mark Berman  | January 10, 2011; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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'No pants subway ride' day

It's happening again: Improv comedy aficionados have organized a transit flash mob this afternoon--one that entails riding the Metro on this January day without pants.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 9, 2011; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Metro  
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