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Posted at 9:55 AM ET, 02/16/2011

Today's transportation roundup

By Michael D. Bolden

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 what will be known as Maryland Route 200 is ready. Dr. Gridlock shares his thoughts on why we shouldn't judge the road too quickly.

Metro's big weekend closure of on the Orange and Blue lines is just a couple of days away. Starting Friday night the Smithsonian and Federal Triangle stations will close so that Metro can replace switches that allow trains to cross to another set of tracks. Dr. Gridlock has the details.

David Alpert over on Greater Greater Washington questions where is Va. Gov. Robert F. McDonnell as Republican members of Congress propose cutting $150 million in capital funding for Metro.

Unsuck DC Metro discusses Metro's bag check program. A recent poll on the blog had 76 percent of respondents describing the measure as "annoying safety theater."

Delta announced this week that SkyMiles will no longer expire.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood discusses on his Fast Lane blog why he is such a fervent advocate of high-speed rail.

He writes: "There is no amount of money that could build enough capacity on our highways and at airports to keep up with our expected population growth in coming decades."

Ashley Halsey III wrote last week about how more funding for high-speed and intercity rail is a component of the Obama administration's budget plan.

Finally. Amtrak debuts its own channel on YouTube. It's the latest outreach via social media for the rail agency, which already has a presence on Twitter and several pages on Facebook.

By Michael D. Bolden  | February 16, 2011; 9:55 AM ET
Categories:  Amtrak, Metro, Transportation News  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Don't judge connector too quickly
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As usual, Dr. Gridlock's article fails to offer Capital Bikeshare as a solution to travelers who don't want to be waylaid for 40+ minutes to get between Metro Center and L'Enfant. Bikeshare stations at 13th and NY, and 7th & C, will bridge the gap in 10 minutes tops.

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | February 16, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I would wager that the people who are members of the bike-sharing thing already know where those stations are and that people who are not members are unlikely to join solely to get around a Metro closing on a single holiday weekend. It's too expensive for that.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 16, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

$5 for a day pass to avoid a 40 minute wait each way... Whether or not non-members will pay that, WaPo represents Dr. Gridlock as their source on transportation issues, and he chronically does his readers a disservice by not presenting a broader menu of transportation options when he does these rundowns.

Bottom line, there's a possibility of 40 minute delays. There's an easy method to avoid them. Dr. Gridlock's readers deserve to know that the option is available, and decide for themselves what their time is worth.

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | February 16, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I was not aware of the day pass option. That changes things a little bit, anyway. I'd guess that most people wanting to go from the "western" Orange Line to the "eastern" Orange Line would probably just change at Metro Center, change again at Gallery Place, then change a third time at L'Enfant Plaza (or, alternatively, go around on the Blue and Yellow Lines via the Pentagon). Theoretically it saves the additional Metro fare plus the $5 bike fare.

I imagine I'd probably just walk, provided the weather is nice (supposed to rain on Monday according to the last forecast I saw).

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 16, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

TheBoreaucrat, Dr. G relies heavily on readers input on his blog. He's previously stated that more often than not, his readers are better at providing specific advice. I certainly wouldn't expect him to cover every possible alternative, but I appreciate when readers add their own advice. Rather than chastise Dr. G, why not just say "Another option is to use capital bikeshare" and give details of where, how much it costs, maybe even how to use it. Your little whiney rant actually makes me want to use it less.

Personally, if I am going to leave the system anyway (rather than routing around on other lines), I would just grab a cab for $5.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | February 16, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Capital Bikeshare is not differently-abled-accessible.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 16, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

UMDTerpsGirl, i've not only done exactly as you've stated on this blog previously, but emailed and submitted suggestions on his chats. In this case, he omitted the option not in a dashed-off blog entry, but in an actual bylined article, that he presumably had a day or two to think about and compose. He continues to not put bicycling and bikesharing in his consideration set for readers, and that frankly has to be a conscious decision. Perhaps it is because of my tone.

.... but if a whiny tone from an anonymous crank in the honeypot of the Washington Post comment section influences how you travel, or how the Dr. chooses to inform his audience, well, kudos to both of you.

getjiggly1, I never claimed that the bikeshare system was appropriate for the 'differently-abled,' or anyone else for that matter. Simply that it's a rational option in this particular situation for a few.

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | February 16, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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