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Posted at 1:58 PM ET, 01/28/2011

Feet per hour for many buses in snow

By Luke Rosiak

In what's been described as the worst gridlock in the area since September 11, 2001, hundreds were stranded in their cars for hours upon hours, inching only blocks or less.

Initially, some of those tie-ups were caused by buses, whose massive frames and heavy weight meant they couldn't make it up hills or navigate tight turns--and when they spun out or got stuck, they had the potential to block quite a few lanes of traffic. (Later, people abandoning their cars compounded the delays.)

But largely, buses were in the same place as the rest of us: They were simply stuck in lines of unmoving traffic. Unlike cars, though, Metrobuses have GPS readers on them, and the Post checks their whereabouts every hour. So they were interesting indicators of traffic in general on that unholy night this Wednesday.

For example, we know between 6:15 and 7:30, the 80 bus made it from 9th & G to 18th & K streets Northwest.

Minimum meters traveled in one hour:

The Post checked on buses every hour and calculated the distance (as the crow flies) that the buses had moved. The map at the top of the post shows those buses that moved under 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) in red, and those that had moved more than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) in green.

Speeding along earlier in the evening were the P12 to Eastover, which made it from District Heights to Forest Heights between 4:20 and 5:20. The D16 made it from District Heights to Oxon Hill between 5:30 and 6:30.

As the storm picked up, the GMU 29K bus made it partly through Alexandria in an hour. The C8 made it 700 meters in Rockville.

The 70, Q4, Z6, 79 and 52 buses near Silver Spring moved literally a few feet in an hour.

Did you experience similarly excruciating rates of progress in your travels?

To identify an individual bus on the map, find it on this table, then enter it in the filter box above and click Apply, and then, from the Visualize menu, click Map.

(This post has been updated)

By Luke Rosiak  | January 28, 2011; 1:58 PM ET
Categories:  Metro, Metrobus  | Tags:  Online tools  
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Next: Facing an icy p.m. commute


Meter? What's a meter??

Posted by: me21 | January 28, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be clearer to say 1 km and 10 km (1000 m and 10,000 m, respectively) than 1000 m and 10,000 m? Just a thought.

For "me21," GPS devices use real measurements and convert them to silly American measurements after-the-fact. For what it's worth, incidentally, a federal statute defines all American measurements, and they're defined in terms of metric units. (An "inch" is legally defined as 2.54 cm, for example. An "inch" has no meaning on its own.)

Posted by: 1995hoo | January 28, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that a federal mandate to use the metric system hasn't made us all talk in terms of decilitres and kilograms.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 28, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't this written in decimal time?

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 28, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"Why isn't this written in decimal time?"

Probably because the French Republican Calendar was poorly thought-out; among other things, it's utterly unclear how leap years were to be determined, and each year was to begin on the autumnal equinox, but the date of the equinox (under other calendars) varies every year, so fitting in the sans-culottides (also known as les jours complementaires) was a problem.

Today's date most likely would have been 8 Pluvoise CCXIX, but that's unclear.

Posted by: 1995hoo | January 28, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

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