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Dr. Gridlock: January 30, 2011 - February 5, 2011

Wheaton station has reopened

Update, 6:30 p.m.: The station has reopened. Original post: The Wheaton station on Metro's Red Line was closed temporarily Saturday evening after escalators and elevators went out of service, Metro said. Metro said trains were passing through the station but...

By Martin Weil  | February 5, 2011; 6:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Accidents at 14th St. Bridge

5 p.m. Update: D.C. officials say the accident has been cleared from the northbound lanes of the Southeast-Southwest Freeway have Original post: District officials said there are two multi-vehicle accidents on and near the 14th Street bridge at the start...

By Clarence Williams  | February 4, 2011; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion, District  
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Freezing rain will make trips icy

Freezing rain advisories, affecting Frederick, Montgomery and Howard counties and the Baltimore region may may early-morning travel dangerous. Accumulations are estimated to be less than a tenth of an inch, but that's still enough to make driving and walking difficult....

By Washington Post Editors  | February 4, 2011; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Weather  
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Manual Metro trains to continue

etro General Manager Richard Sarles predicted that Metro would not return to automatic train controls until next year as a result of safety upgrades required by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

By Ann Scott Tyson  | February 4, 2011; 1:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro, MetroAccess, Metrobus  
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Chinatown crowds, detours on Sun.

The Chinese New Year Parade will close some streets in the District's Chinatown on Sunday. There will also be a Caps game, Metro delays and Metrobus detours.

By Mark Berman  | February 4, 2011; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, District, Driving, Events  
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The weekend and beyond

Travelers should have no problems with the weather during the day Friday, but the Capital Weather Gang says that after 9 p.m., some sleet and freezing rain may fall before changing to rain, which will continue early Saturday. Travelers bound for the Chinese New Year parade in the District or Super Bowl parties on Sunday should find the weather sunny and mild. Here's a look at some of the traffic and transit delays along the way.

By Robert Thomson  | February 4, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Biking, Commuting, Congestion, Construction, Driving, Events, Metro, Metrobus, Transit, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Inner loop snarled in MD

Temperatures dropped last night, which means remaining snow and slush could have refrozen and the roads could see some black ice this morning.

By Mark Berman  | February 4, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Yellow Line delays cleared

The Yellow Line has some delays due to a train malfunction at Braddock Road. There are delays heading to Huntington.

By Mark Berman  | February 4, 2011; 6:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Potential for crowded MARC trains

Once again, several of MARC's Penn Line trains will run one car short this morning. As a result, expect to encounter crowding on the remaining cars on several trains

By Mark Berman  | February 4, 2011; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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Md. mulls $.75 toll increase

Tolls on Maryland bridges, highways and tunnels would increase an average of 75 cents statewide under plans being considered by the Maryland Transportation Authority.

By Katherine Shaver  | February 3, 2011; 6:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Driving, Maryland  | Tags:  Inter-county connector  
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Debris cleared on 295

Only one lane is getting by on 295 southbound near the East Capitol Street exit due to debris on road. An alternate route may be preferable.

By Luke Rosiak  | February 3, 2011; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  District, Driving  
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Sarles talks about Metro goals

Richard Sarles, the no-longer-interim general manager of Metro, met with the Metro RIders' Advisory Council last night to outline his goals and answer some frequently asked questions.

By Robert Thomson  | February 3, 2011; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, Richard Sarles  
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How HOT lanes network will work

If the I-95 High Occupancy Toll lanes project goes ahead as described by Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton, then the state will have created a remarkable 40-mile long network of managed lanes for commuters who work in such job centers as Tysons Corner, Merrifield, Fort Belvoir and Quantico.

By Robert Thomson  | February 3, 2011; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Commuting, Construction, Virginia  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, HOT lanes  
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Delays on Outer Loop at I-66

Check back here throughout the morning for updates on what to expect during your morning commute.

By Mark Berman  | February 3, 2011; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Crowding on MARC's Penn Line

A number of trains heading in both directions on MARC's Penn Line will be running one car short this morning, which means these trains could see some crowding on the remaining cars.

By Mark Berman  | February 3, 2011; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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Yellow Line delays cleared

There are delays on the Yellow Line towards Mt. Vernon Square due to a track circuit malfunction outside of L'Enfant Plaza.

By Mark Berman  | February 3, 2011; 5:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Va. cancels plans for I-395 HOT lanes

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton will announce Thursday that the state no longer plans to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on a six-mile stretch of I-395 inside the Capital Beltway, the subject of a contentious lawsuit filed by Arlington County against the state.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 2, 2011; 6:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  BRAC, Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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Escalator problem at Ballston fixed

This morning, a Metrorail rider sent me a copy of an e-mail he sent to Metro's general manager, Richard Sarles, complaining about all the out-of-service escalators he encountered at Ballston during this morning's rush. There was a power problem that temporarily shut down all the station's escalators, though the two elevators remained in service, Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said.

By Robert Thomson  | February 2, 2011; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Metro, Orange Line  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Examiner: Metro to grow finance, IT staff

Metro wants to add 263 positions to its roughly 11,000-person staff in 2012, despite a budget shortfall of $72 million, the Examiner reported today.

By Luke Rosiak  | February 2, 2011; 9:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro  
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VRE CEO holds online chat today

Virginia Railway Express will hold a live online chat at noon today with its CEO, Dale Zehner, and Keolis Transportation Manager Brian Johnson. Many riders have questions about the new operator, upcoming equipment changes, frequent delays and a personnel overhaul....

By Luke Rosiak  | February 2, 2011; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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Inter-city buses canceled today

Megabus has canceled many of its trips along the Northeast, including all trips from Washington to Boston and some from Washington to New York, due to weather. Check its site for the details.

By Luke Rosiak  | February 2, 2011; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Bus  
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Wet and ice-free A.M. commute

A roundup of morning traffic issues. Check back here throughout the morning for updates on what to expect when you head out.

By Mark Berman  | February 2, 2011; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Flying? Check with your airline.

If you're flying out of town, here are some resources for more information on how your specific flight plans may be affected by the blizzard elsewhere in the U.S.

By Mark Berman  | February 2, 2011; 7:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Airlines, Airports  
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MARC changes and crowding

MARC is running full service on all three lines today, but there are a few changes to note that might impact your trip. Multiple trains on the Penn Line will be running one car short this morning (trains 503, 402, 407 and 415), which means there might be crowding on those trains. And the ticket machine is out of service at the Camden Station, so there's no penalty to buy tickets on the train.

By Mark Berman  | February 2, 2011; 5:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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Bill to combine NoVa agencies tabled

A bill that would have consolidated three major Northern Virginia transportation organizations into one is off the table for this General Assembly session, Prince William County officials said Tuesday.

By Jennifer Buske  | February 1, 2011; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation Politics, Virginia  
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TSA debuts new scanner software

New airport security scanners designed to be less intrusive than machines that captured near-naked images will debut at the Las Vegas airport Tuesday.

By Ashley Halsey III  | February 1, 2011; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Airports, Aviation  
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Metro plans holiday weekend closings

The transit authority has announced details of its plan to cut train service between Metro Center and L'Enfant Plaza for maintenance work over the President's Day weekend. This will sever service on the Blue and Orange lines in the middle of the District and close the Smithsonian and Federal Triangle stations.

By Robert Thomson  | February 1, 2011; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro, Orange Line  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Examining rail safety

Yesterday, we wrote that the Government Accountability Office faulted the Federal Transit Administration for its record-keeping of dangerous incidents on subway, passenger and freight railways.

By Luke Rosiak  | February 1, 2011; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Passenger Rail, Traffic Safety, Transportation News  | Tags:  Online tools  
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Snow will affect Amtrak Wed.

The winter storm moving across the United States is prompting Amtrak to make some changes to its service on Wednesday.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 1, 2011; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amtrak  
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Funeral procession to cause delays

D.C. Fire /EMS officials are warning that the funeral procession for a veteran firefighter may cause traffic delays around the area this afternoon. Marc E. Dancy, 37, a D.C. firefighter for five years, was found dead in the 3000 block...

By Washington Post Editors  | February 1, 2011; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  District  
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Penn Line MARC trains will be short

Two Penn Line trains will both be one car short Tuesday when they depart Union Station, according to the Maryland Transit Administration. MARC 530, which departs at 4:24 p.m., and MARC 534, departing at 5:20 p.m., will have one car...

By Michael Bolden  | February 1, 2011; 12:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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Md. gas tax increase proposed

A state senator says a proposal to shore up Maryland's transportation funding will include increases in the gas tax and vehicle registration fees, as well as a constitutional amendment to protect transportation money.

By Associated Press  | February 1, 2011; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Driving, Maryland, Transportation News, Transportation Politics  
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Airlines speed up cancellations

United Continental, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines are speeding up decisions on canceling flights and easing travel rules ahead of snowstorms as they heed the lessons of winter snarls.

By Mary Jane Credeur and Mary Schlangenstein, Bloomberg News  | February 1, 2011; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports, Aviation  
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Orange Line delays cleared

There are delays on the Blue and Orange Lines in both directions. A sick customer on the train at Capitol South is causing single-tracking between Eastern Market and Federal Center.

By Mark Berman  | February 1, 2011; 7:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Be wary of icy roads and sidewalks

There are icy roads and conditions out there. Be careful whether you're walking or driving, and check back with us throughout the morning for traffic updates.

By Mark Berman  | February 1, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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VRE running full service

The Virginia Railway Express is running full service today. However, add some extra time to your trip to the station and use caution moving around the station.

By Mark Berman  | February 1, 2011; 5:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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MARC running; train canceled

MARC will be running full service on all three lines this morning. But add extra time to your trip, because it could take longer to park and board.

By Mark Berman  | February 1, 2011; 5:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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Snow guide for roads and public transit

When snow and ice hits, here's a look at ways you can ease your travels. This advice comes from transportation officials, Metro maintenance staff, plow drivers and ordinary travelers who have been getting around the area for years.

By Robert Thomson  | January 31, 2011; 8:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Weather  | Tags:  dr. gridlock  
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Flying? Prepare for snow delays.

Video: The coming storm A big snowstorm moving through the Midwest, along with a forecast for mixed precipitation in the Mid-Atlantic over the next couple of days, means air travelers will see delays and cancellations. Airlines, such as Delta and...

By Washington Post Editors  | January 31, 2011; 6:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports, Aviation  
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Guilty pleas in NYC taxi scam

Prosecutors say 26 New York City taxi drivers have pleaded guilty to felony charges after a broad probe last year into a fare-boosting scam.

By Associated Press  | January 31, 2011; 6:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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GAO: Rail safety data flawed

Information contained in the Federal Transit Administration's Rail Accident Database is inaccurate and flawed, the Government Accountability Office said today, leading to an understanding of the state of rail safety by top officials that doesn't match the facts on the...

By Luke Rosiak  | January 31, 2011; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Amtrak, Metro, Traffic Safety, Transportation News  
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Metro announces Feb. track work

The single-tracking for maintenance may be more aggressive this year, but at least Metro has made it easier to read about. The transit authority today released its weeknight and weekend track work plans in a new, easier to grasp format, displayed on Metro's Web site.

By Robert Thomson  | January 31, 2011; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro, Orange Line  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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O'Malley cautions motorists

Maryland State Highway Administration crews are preparing for a storm forecasted to begin later tonight and continue Tuesday with sleet, freezing rain and light snow possible through Wednesday morning, officials said.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 31, 2011; 3:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Maryland, Weather  
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NY & Florida Aves re-opened

Police are at New York Avenue & Florida Avenue investigating a suspicious package near the train tracks. Area roads are being shut down.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 31, 2011; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  District, Driving  
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Where to live for good commute?

Q. I'm moving to the D.C. area. Your chats put the fear of God, gods, and other supreme beings into me about either being stuck at the mercy of a Metro transit system that seems more off than on or roadways that would leave me in the car more than enjoying my life. I want to rely on public transportation, so outlying communities are out. So, where in the D.C. metro area can a person get a home in a nice/safe area, good schools, and a commute that won't kill the commuter?

By Robert Thomson  | January 31, 2011; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Commuting, Driving, Metro, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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Public meetings for Potomac Yards

Metro, the Federal Transit Administration, the National Park Service and Alexandria will hold two meetings to inform residents about the proposed Blue/Yellow Line infill project.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 31, 2011; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro, Yellow Line  
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Icy commutes Tues. & Wed. a.m.

For most Washington commuters, the workweek is just barely underway but already everyone is looking ahead to what Tuesday and Wednesday may bring. According to the Capital Weather Gang, Tuesday morning may bring light precipitation. However, we've seen several instances...

By Washington Post Editors  | January 31, 2011; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Weather  
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Cmte. of 100 issues streetcar report

A group focused on historic preservation inside the central city that was a vocal opponent of a streetcar system that, like the original system, would involve the construction of overhead wires along some major roads, has taken a broader look at the under-construction transit mode in a 91-page report.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 31, 2011; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  District, Streetcar  
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When should employees go home in storm?

In his weekly Monday 12pm chat, Dr. Gridlock and readers graded the performance of transit agencies and local drivers and reflected on lessons from Wednesday's crippling snowstorm, and when OPM and private employers should grant leave or encourage telecommuting.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 31, 2011; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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The week ahead for traffic, transit

The middle of the week is likely to be messy for travelers, according to the Capital Weather Gang, and the Tuesday morning rush may be tricky. But it's not the dire outlook we faced last Wednesday. The highway departments have a robust schedule for the week, though that too depends on the weather. Here's a look.

By Robert Thomson  | January 31, 2011; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Construction, Driving, Metro, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Big VRE delays, Metro Option open

VRE train 308 (scheduled to depart Fredericksburg at 6:30 a.m.) is having mechanical issues in Fredericksburg. Amtrak train 86 will pick up VRE passengers at Fredericksburg, Quantico, Woodbridge, Alexandria, L'Enfant and Union Station without Step-Up tickets. The Metro Option is open for riders; show your VRE ticket to access the Metro.

By Mark Berman  | January 31, 2011; 7:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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Congestion on VA roads

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

By Mark Berman  | January 31, 2011; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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