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Dr. Gridlock: February 13, 2011 - February 19, 2011

Wind fans fires, causes travel chaos

The Capital Weather Gang reports that dangerous winds may blow through the area on Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for much of the region.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 19, 2011; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  District, Driving, Maryland, Metro, Virginia  
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Megabus increases Philly service

Megabus is adding more trips between Washington and Philadelphia, a move that the company said is in line with growing demand.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 18, 2011; 7:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Intercity Buses  
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Judge indicates Metro can't afford raises

A federal judge today took a step towards resolving a dispute between Metro and its largest workers' union, indicating he believes that an arbitration board's opinion violated a federal statute, Metro said. The arbitrator recommended retroactive wages for workers, but Metro contended that the opinion put it outside of guidelines that say awards can't be outside the agency's ability to pay.

By Luke Rosiak  | February 18, 2011; 4:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, Transportation Politics  
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VRE's WiFi plan hits funding snag

Virginia Railway Express riders will have to wait a little longer for wireless Internet access on trains as the cost for the service turns out to be much higher than rail officials once expected.

By Jennifer Buske  | February 18, 2011; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Bus, Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  | Tags:  vre  
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Maryland wants high-speed rail funds

If other states don't want federal funding to build the Obama administration's proposed national network of high-speed rail lines, Maryland would be happy to have the money they spurn.

By Ashley Halsey III  | February 18, 2011; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Amtrak, Maryland, Passenger Rail  | Tags:  High-speed rail  
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Today's transportation roundup

The big news in Washington transportation this weekend is the Orange and Blue line shutdown in the heart of downtown. Metro is closing the Smithsonian and Federal Triangle stations at 10 a.m. Friday night to replace switches that allow trains to cross from one track to another. There will be shuttle buses, but expect huge delays as buses can't handle the capacity of the trains. Dr. Gridlock has the details on the work.

By Michael D. Bolden  | February 18, 2011; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro  
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Metro escalator steps collapse

Several steps of an escalator at Foggy Bottom fell into the machinery this morning, causing a dangerous situation and massive backups.

By Luke Rosiak  | February 18, 2011; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro, Orange Line  | Tags:  Escalators  
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Bus drivers injured more than cops

Local transit and inter-city bus drivers had a higher rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring time off from work than did police and firefighters, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Labor.

By Luke Rosiak  | February 18, 2011; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Commuter Bus, Metro, Traffic Safety, Transit  
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False alarm for flight at DCA

An airplane landing at Reagan National Airport had some kind of problem earlier this morning. The plane landed without any issue,

By Mark Berman  | February 18, 2011; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports  
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Metro fight video surfaces

Another video depicting a fight in the are'a regional subway system surfaced Wednesday depicting a group of youths recording the incident as two people on a rail car pummel each other.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 18, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Metro  
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VRE surpasses 20,000 daily riders

The Virginia Railway Express reached a new ridership milestone Wednesday, serving more than 20,000 daily riders, rail officials said.

By Jennifer Buske  | February 18, 2011; 8:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Northern Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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Blue and Orange line delays

There are delays on the Blue and Orange lines due to a sick customer at Stadium Armory. Trains are sharing the same track between Stadium Armory and Eastern Market, so there ar delays in both directions.

By Mark Berman  | February 18, 2011; 8:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Inner loop lane blocked in MD

We'll be updating you on traffic conditions throughout the morning rush, so check back with Dr. Gridlock throughout the morning for updates and the latest information.

By Mark Berman  | February 18, 2011; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Metrorail delays cleared

5:10 p.m. Update: Metro says the delays have cleared. The agency isn't currently reporting any delays on the rail lines. 4:33 p.m. Update: Metro says the Red Line track problem has been fixed, but delays continue in both directions. The...

By Washington Post Editors  | February 17, 2011; 3:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro  
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Metro to honor MARC tickets

Metro will honor MARC Brunswick Line topics Thursday afternoon, following massive morning delays that stretched some riders' commutes by an hour.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 17, 2011; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Maryland, Metro  
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Transit workers seek new contract

Reports Thursday of a possible strike among disgruntled Loudoun County Transit drivers were premature, according to the Teamsters Local 570 union in Baltimore, which represents 78 bus drivers and mechanics of Loudoun County Transit. Officials with the union and the company that operates Loudoun County Transit said negotiations are ongoing.

By Caitlin Gibson  | February 17, 2011; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Northern Virginia, Transit  
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Wilson Bridge openings Thurs. night

Drivers on the Beltway Thursday night should expect delays crossing the Potomac on the Woodrow Wilson drawbridge due to scheduled openings.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 17, 2011; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving, Northern Virginia, Waterways  
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U Md. wants Campus Drive open to cars

The University of Maryland intends to keep Campus Drive open to vehicle traffic, officials said this week, the school's Diamondback newspaper reported.

By Luke Rosiak  | February 17, 2011; 10:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Prince George's County, Purple Line  
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Benjamin to leave Metro board

Metro board member Peter Benjamin is stepping down from the panel, the latest move in a long line of turnover on the leadership panel for the region's transit authority.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 17, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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Today's transportation roundup

Here's a roundup of some of the headlines from the world of transportation on Thursday.

By Michael D. Bolden  | February 17, 2011; 8:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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MARC Citizens Advisory Council meeting

Here's a note for MARC riders: The MARC Citizens Advisory Council will meet today at 4:30 p.m. in the District. The public is welcome to attend, and Simon Taylor, the chief of staff of the Maryland Transit Administration, will be in attendance.

By Mark Berman  | February 17, 2011; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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Major MARC Brunswick Line delays

MARC Brunswick Line trains will hold west of the Barnesville station due to a disabled freight train near Germantown. As a result of these delays, Metro is honoring MARC tickets.

By Mark Berman  | February 17, 2011; 6:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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Beltway lanes reopen at Univ Blvd

Keep your eyes on the Dr. Gridlock blog throughout the morning, because we're going to be updating you on all of the headaches, hassles and problems awaiting you during the morning rush.

By Mark Berman  | February 17, 2011; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Amtrak to expand free wireless

Amtrak plans to expand the free wireless service it offers on its Northeast Corridor passenger trains this year. The decision follows a move last year to offer free WiFi aboard Acela Express trains between Washington and Boston. Last month the...

By Washington Post Editors  | February 16, 2011; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Amtrak, Passenger Rail  | Tags:  Amtrak  
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29th Street Bridge closing Thurs.

The District Department of Transportation plans to close the 29th Street Bridge over the C&O Canal on Thursday to begin reconstructing the span.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 16, 2011; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  District  
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Truck driver killed in Beltway crash

The inner loop of the Beltway was closed overnight due to an accident at Darcy Road.

By Washington Post Staff Writers  | February 16, 2011; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Capital Beltway, Commuting, Congestion  
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Night delays on Virginia Beltway

Late-night drivers need to pay special attention this week to traffic restrictions on the Capital Beltway in Virginia. Here are some details about the overnight work on the new Metrorail line scheduled for Tysons Corner.

By Robert Thomson  | February 16, 2011; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Capital Beltway, Congestion, Construction, Driving, Tysons Corner, Virginia  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Dulles Metrorail  
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Florida rejects high-speed rail funds

Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined three other Republican governors in rejecting Obama administration funds for rail projects, saying a planned high- speed line in his state could saddle taxpayers with $3 billion in added expenses.

By Jerry Hart, Bloomberg News  | February 16, 2011; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Passenger Rail  
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New buses for Intercounty Connector

On March 1, a week after the first segment of the Intercounty Connector opens, Maryland will launch two new bus services to take advantage of the new route. A year from now, when the rest of the highway opens, more bus lines will be added.

By Robert Thomson  | February 16, 2011; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Airports, Commuter Bus, Commuting, Maryland, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Intercounty Connector  
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Plane makes emergency landing

Authorities say a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Baltimore made an unscheduled landing in Grand Junction, Colo., because a warning light wrongly indicated smoke in the cargo area.

By Associated Press  | February 16, 2011; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports, Aviation  
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Today's transportation roundup

The opening of the first segment of the Intercounty Connector, Maryland's new toll road, is less than a week away. Katherine Shaver and Dr. Gridlock toured the highway yesterday. Katherine reports on the nonstop work going on to make sure...

By Michael D. Bolden  | February 16, 2011; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Amtrak, Metro, Transportation News  
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Don't judge connector too quickly

We've gotten used to a transportation system in which most of the resources go to fixing things, rather than creating something new. So please forgive those of us who are transportation geeks for our current obsession with the Intercounty Connector, which is about to become the first brand new highway the D.C. area has seen in many a year.

By Robert Thomson  | February 16, 2011; 9:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Commuting, Construction, Maryland  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Intercounty Connector  
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Inner Loop very slow in VA

We'll be updating you on traffic conditions and headaches out there on the roads and rails throughout the morning rush, so check back regularly for information that could impact your commute.

By Mark Berman  | February 16, 2011; 6:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Gray team: WMATA subsidy use illegal

District Mayor Vincent Gray has released a transition report on the city's transportation department, and he says the department under departed director Gabe Klein "skirted responsibility," suffered from a "lack of transparency," and put together a budget based on "deliberately overstated federal earmarks."

By Luke Rosiak  | February 15, 2011; 6:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  District, Metro, Transportation News, Transportation Politics  
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Lawmakers request Dulles rail audits

U.S. Rep Frank Wolf (R-Va), along with U.S. Rep Tom Latham (R-Iowa) on Tuesday requested an annual audit of the Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport and Ashburn in Loudoun County as a way to prevent cost overruns and ensure the project is completed on schedule.

By Kafia A. Hosh  | February 15, 2011; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Airports, Commuter Rail, Northern Virginia, Silver Line, Transportation Politics, Virginia  
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Intercounty Connector getting real

In a week, the D.C. region's first major new highway in decades will be more than just a big construction project. The first segment of the Intercounty Connector is scheduled to open between Shady Grove in the west and Georgia Avenue in the east. Till now, most of your questions had to do with how the highway was to be built, so let's go over some details about the upcoming experience for drivers.

By Robert Thomson  | February 15, 2011; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Commuting, Construction, Driving, Maryland  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Intercounty Connector  
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Air defense exercise over D.C.

People in the Washington, D.C., region shouldn't be alarmed if they hear the sound of fighter jets and helicopters overnight.

By Associated Press  | February 15, 2011; 1:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Aviation  
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Outage on 14th St. Bridge postponed

It will be lights out on the 14th Street Bridge Tuesday night due to a planned Pepco outage so that electrical work can be conducted under the bridge.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 15, 2011; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  District, Driving  
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14th St. & Penn. Ave. reopen

Check back here throughout the morning rush for the latest on the roads, rails, sidewalks and everything else. If you see or hear of anything, let us know in the comments below or on Twitter

By Mark Berman  | February 15, 2011; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Md. short on transportation funds

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Maryland should raise $800 million more in annual transportation funding to shore up the state's depleted Transportation Trust Fund, a commission recommended Monday.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | February 15, 2011; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Maryland, Transportation News  
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Md. bills target reading text messages

ANNAPOLIS -- Maryland residents are prohibited from writing text messages while driving. Now, lawmakers say it's time for them to stop reading them.

By Associated Press  | February 15, 2011; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Driving, Maryland  
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FAA: Air passenger growth accelerating

U.S. airline-passenger numbers will reach 1 billion in fiscal 2021, two years sooner than projected, because of improved economic growth, the Federal Aviation Administration said in its annual forecast.

By Bloomberg News  | February 15, 2011; 8:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Aviation  
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Green Line delays cleared

Metro delays: First there were Blue and Yellow Line delays, now they're on the Green Line.

By Mark Berman  | February 15, 2011; 6:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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HOT lanes work cranks up

Late-night drivers on the western side of the Capital Beltway in Virginia beware: This is not a good week for smooth travels. You'll see that by checking an earlier posting called The week ahead in traffic and transit, where I listed extensive night work for the HOT lanes and Dulles Metrorail projects. Now, add this to the list of night work in that corridor.

By Robert Thomson  | February 15, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion, Construction, Driving, Virginia  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Dulles Metrorail, HOT lanes  
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The week ahead for traffic, transit

This should be a great week for local travelers, whether they're driving, walking, biking or waiting at bus stops. Temperatures will occasionally mimic springtime and the Capital Weather Gang sees little chance of precipitation. Meanwhile, the big road work projects in the D.C. area seem to have shaken off the effects of the winter's cold. The transportation agencies have a full scheduled for this week. Here are some highlights.

By Robert Thomson  | February 14, 2011; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Construction, Driving, Metro, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Fire delays on Suitland Parkway

Drivers should expect lane closures on Suitland Parkway due to a large brush fire near the intersection of Meadowview Drive, according to Prince George's fire officials. The area is between Suitland and Silver Hill roads....

By Washington Post Editors  | February 14, 2011; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Prince George's County  
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Rescue ops near 14th St. bridge

Traffic is being diverted from the John Philip Sousa Bridge due to a person threatening to commit suicide by jumping off of it.

By Luke Rosiak  | February 14, 2011; 5:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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How would Metro cut service?

During his dozen years on the Metro board, D.C. Council member Jim Graham knew how to deliver services for the District's riders, businesses and communities. Among other things, those services included the night owl trains on weekends and the extension of the Yellow Line north to Fort Totten. On Saturday, Graham participated in a League of Women Voters forum on changing the way the transit system is governed, and he helped extend the civics lesson into the realm of practical politics

By Robert Thomson  | February 14, 2011; 5:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Metro, Transportation Politics  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Take a two-wheeled tour of D.C.

Take an eight-minute tour of Washington's expanding dedicated bike lanes with this video. A camera affixed to the handlebars of a bike takes viewers through residential and downtown areas of the city and explores what cycling is like in the wide array of situations riders may encounter, including blocked pathways and unexpected obstacles.

By Luke Rosiak  | February 14, 2011; 4:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Biking, District  
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BWI set 2010 passenger record

Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport hit an all-time record for passenger traffic in 2010, according to Maryland officials.More than 21.9 million commercial passengers flew through the airport last year. That's an increase of 4.7 percent over 2009 and eclipses the...

By Associated Press  | February 14, 2011; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports, Aviation  
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Dr. Gridlock answered your questions

The Post's Dr. Gridlock answered questions from commuters Monday at noon.

By Mark Berman  | February 14, 2011; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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I-66 HOV ramps opening to all

The westbound I-66 High Occupancy Vehicle ramps at Monument Drive and Stringfellow Road in Fairfax County will open to all traffic on weekends and during off-peak hours beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 28.

By Robert Thomson  | February 14, 2011; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Driving, Virginia  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, HOV  
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Windy commute starts the week

Check in here throughout the morning for updates on traffic and transit conditions -- and let us know anything you hear in the comments below or via Twitter

By Mark Berman  | February 14, 2011; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion  
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