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Dr. Gridlock: March 6, 2011 - March 12, 2011

DDOT proposes new tour bus regs

With intercity buses like DC2NY and BoltBus increasingly popular--and often pulling their hulking frames to the side of the road in pedestrian meccas like Chinatown--the District Department of Transportation is proposing modifying regulations governing them, as well as sightseeing buses.

By Luke Rosiak  | March 11, 2011; 5:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuter Bus, Transportation Politics  
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Switch failure causes delay

Maryland Area Regional Commuter trains on the Brunswick Line are operating under flash flood restrictions Friday afternoon, according to the Maryland Transit Administration.

By Washington Post Editors  | March 11, 2011; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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Metro to study congested bus routes

Metro will survey bus riders who use the congested A Line service along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and the Georgia Avenue-Maryland Line, and will also hold public meetings in an effort to identify ways to improve the service.

By Ann Scott Tyson  | March 11, 2011; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Ann Scott Tyson, Metro, Metrobus  
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Did TSA really screen all air cargo?

The Transportation Security Administration says it screened all air cargo--but a government auditor said there's no way the TSA can know that. It's the second time this month the GAO has dinged the TSA for over-hyping itself and keeping shoddy records.

By Luke Rosiak  | March 11, 2011; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports, Transportation Politics  
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Rail work, street closings & blasting

Travelers will find Friday and the weekend's weather semi-arid compared to the Thursday deluge, and mild temperatures will encourage spring-like activity. The start of the Cherry Blossom Festival is still two weeks away, but you could shake off the winter blues at the District's St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday. Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday morning, but it's still winter at the Verizon Center, where the Capitals play hockey with the Hurricanes on Friday night and the Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon. Here are some of the obstacles that could come between you and your destinations this weekend and next week.

By Robert Thomson  | March 11, 2011; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Highways, Metro, Northern Virginia, Orange Line, Silver Line, Tysons Corner  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Dulles Metrorail, Dulles Rail, Intercounty Connector, Tysons Corner, wmata  
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I-395 N returns to normal

A roundup of the morning's traffic headaches and woes.

By Mark Berman  | March 11, 2011; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Red Line delays cleared

We've got a Red Line delay: Trains are sharing the same track between Fort Totten and Takoma due to a train malfunction outside of Fort Totten. Delays are in both directions.

By Mark Berman  | March 11, 2011; 7:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Road closed near VRE station

VRE riders who use Broad Run, be advised: Piper Lane is closed due to flooding.

By Mark Berman  | March 11, 2011; 6:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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MARC delays and parking changes

MARC riders are still going to feel the impact of yesterday's storms as they head out today. CSX has issued a severe weather alert for the Camden and Brunswick lines through midday Friday, and potentially through Friday night, due to flash flood conditions. Also, the American Legion lot in Laurel is closed.

By Mark Berman  | March 11, 2011; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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Changes offered for Md. transp. bill

With gas prices on the rise, Sen. Robert J. Garagiola (D-Montgomery County) is proposing alternatives to raise revenue for transportation projects.

By Associated Press  | March 10, 2011; 6:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Maryland  
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Weather causing flight delays

Heavy rain and low cloud cover are causing flight delays at some airports. Delays in the Washington region appear to minimal, but connections through the Northeast have been adversely affected. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, departure delays for some flights heading to New York area airports are more than two hours. At John F. Kennedy International Airport, delays for arriving flights are almost three. Some flights to Boston's Logan Airport may be delayed up to 2 hours.

By Washington Post Editors  | March 10, 2011; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports, Aviation  
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Flooding around the region

Here is a list of some of the flooded areas and road closings around the region. Share other areas by posting a comment below.

By Washington Post Editors  | March 10, 2011; 4:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Weather  
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Flooding, travel delays

Heavy rain through Thursday may cause travel problems and flooding around the region.

By Washington Post Editors  | March 10, 2011; 4:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Driving, Weather  
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GAO: Airport screening math lacking

Some cost assumptions made by the Transportation Security Administration comparing private-sector and federal screeners at airports weren't sound in January 2009--and the problem still hasn't been entirely resolved, the General Accountability Office told Congress.

By Luke Rosiak  | March 10, 2011; 3:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports, Transportation Politics  
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American Legion MARC lot closed

The American Legion lot at the Laurel MARC train station will be closed through Friday due to expected flooding of the Patuxent River, according to the Maryland Transit Administration.

By Washington Post Editors  | March 10, 2011; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC, Maryland  
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Metro considers new train destinations

Orange Line train to Largo? Blue Line train to Greenbelt? Riders may be hearing those announcements starting in mid-2012, depending on decisions Metro will make as it plans to split the Blue Line and add some trains to the Orange...

By Robert Thomson  | March 10, 2011; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Metro  
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Canal Road reopens after rock slide

Canal Road between Reservoir Road and Foxhall Road may remain closed into the evening rush due to this morning's rock slide.

By Washington Post Editors  | March 10, 2011; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  District  
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Forest Glen Station reopens

11:10 a.m. Update: Metro reports that the Forest Glen Station has reopened. According to the station's Web site, the outage was triggered by a fire alarm. Original post: Metro reports that Forest Glen Station is closed because all of the...

By Washington Post Editors  | March 10, 2011; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro, Metrobus  
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I-395 traffic flowing OK

Traffic on 395 has gradually returned to normal. However, the rain is slowing travel on some segments. Original post: Two accidents on Interstate 395 near the 14th Street Bridge are causing traffic delays in both directions, according to D.C. authorities....

By Michael Bolden  | March 10, 2011; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion  
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Metro workers protest at agency HQ

About 50 Metro employees who belong to the transit union are protesting over their contract at the authority's headquarters this morning.

By Washington Post Editors  | March 10, 2011; 9:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  
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I-95 North jammed up in VA

Rain is going to pour down on the Washington area throughout the morning. Here are the traffic headaches awaiting you out there.

By Mark Berman  | March 10, 2011; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Weather  
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Delays and issues for MARC riders

MARC riders might find commuting headaches and parking issues when they head out on Thursday morning.

By Mark Berman  | March 10, 2011; 6:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  MARC  
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VRE trains delayed

VRE trains are currently running on their regular service without delays, according to the rail agency. No flood-related speed restrictions had been put in place

By Mark Berman  | March 10, 2011; 6:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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D.C. giving away sandbags

The District Department of Public Works is distributing free sandbags -- up to five per household -- to city residents as heavy rains push into the region.

By Washington Post Editors  | March 9, 2011; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  District, Weather  
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Md. Sen.: Repeal ethanol tax credit

A bill introduced Wednesday by senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) would kill a 45-cent per gallon tax credit to blenders of ethanol--generally, oil companies--in a move that could recover $6 billion for federal coffers. A Government Accountability Office report describing the tax credit as "largely unneeded today to ensure demand for domestic ethanol production."

By Luke Rosiak  | March 9, 2011; 3:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Maryland, Transportation Politics  
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Winter biking winners announced

Capital Bikeshare's Winter Warrior contest were revealed today, with timing that coincides with the National Bike Summit, which is in town this week. (Transportation writer Ashley Halsey III, an avid cyclist, is covering the event.)

By Luke Rosiak  | March 9, 2011; 3:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  District  | Tags:  Capital Bikeshare  
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VRE braces for possible flood delays

Virginia Railway Express officials are bracing for potential flood-related speed restrictions as a heavy rainstorm is predicted to roll into the area over the next 36 hours.

By Jennifer Buske  | March 9, 2011; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuter Rail, Passenger Rail, Virginia Railway Express  
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Gas prices changing your habits?

If you've hit the pump lately, you're probably wondering when will rising gas prices stabilize -- or even better -- start to fall.

By Washington Post Editors  | March 9, 2011; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Driving, Metro  
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Forest Glen Station reopens

10:10 a.m. Update: Metro says the station has reopened. \ Original post: Metro reports that Forest Glen Station is closed because all of the elevators used to access the station, the deepest in the Metro system, are out of service....

By Washington Post Editors  | March 9, 2011; 10:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Metro report shows rail problems

Metrorail riders have grumbled this winter about slow and uncertain trips. The transit authority has some numbers to support their complaints. The latest performance report, covering January's service, puts Metrorail's on time rate at 88 percent, about where it was in December. The goal is 95 percent.

By Robert Thomson  | March 9, 2011; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro  
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Today's transportation roundup

We're all waiting on the rain. The Capital Weather Gang reports that we could get up to three inches in the Washington region over the next two days. There's a flood watch for the area, and driving in some places may get dangerous. We'll bring you some tips later, so check back.

By Michael D. Bolden  | March 9, 2011; 8:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving, Metro  
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Green Line delays cleared

There are delays on the Green Line due to an earlier train malfunction outside of Columbia Heights, which has since been resolved. There are delays heading to Branch Avenue.

By Mark Berman  | March 9, 2011; 8:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Delays for VRE trains

There are delays for multiple VRE trains.

By Mark Berman  | March 9, 2011; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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I-395 North backed up

We'll be regularly updating this blog about conditions awaiting you on the morning commute, so keep checking back with us to learn what's going on before you hit the roads, rails and sidewalks

By Mark Berman  | March 9, 2011; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Shirlington Road closed

5:11 p.m. Update: Shirlington Road between Arlington Mill Drive and Four Mile Road in Arlington is closed due to a pedestrian accident. 5:10 p.m. Update: The crash has been cleared but expect normal congestion as you head home. 4:05 p.m....

By Washington Post Editors  | March 8, 2011; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Driving  
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Va. launches pothole blitz

The Virginia Department of Transportation is launching a blitz of patching to plug thousands of potholes across the commonwealth.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | March 8, 2011; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Driving, Virginia  
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Feds OK BWI to Cuba flights

Charter flights to Cuba are coming to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | March 8, 2011; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Airports, Aviation  
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Street closures for Mardi Gras

Anyone who's ever been to Mobile or New Orleans for Mardi Gras knows it means more than trinkets, Moon Pies and fancy parties: It means street closures. Northern Virginia will get its share Tuesday night when streets in Arlington County...

By Washington Post Editors  | March 8, 2011; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Events, Metro, Northern Virginia, Orange Line  
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Metro plans Blue Line split for 2012

The transit authority staff is returning to the Metro board this week to discuss its plan to divert some Blue Line trains at rush hour, a plan the staff says it can implement in June 2012. The discussion is on the agenda for 9 a.m. Thursday meeting of the board's Customer Service and Operations Committee at Metro headquarters.

By Robert Thomson  | March 8, 2011; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Today's transportation roundup

Congestion is the news of the day. Ashley Halsey III reports on the release of annual traffic data from INRIX, a commercial company that provides what many say is the best information on what conditions we're experiencing on the roads.

By Michael D. Bolden  | March 8, 2011; 8:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Congestion, Driving, Metro  
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Orange Line crowding

8:37 A.M. UPDATE: Metro says the Blue and Yellow Line delays. However, there is severe congestion in the Orange Line Station at Rosslyn due to the earlier offloading of a train. Expect the Orange Line to be crowded. 8:30 A.M....

By Washington Post Editors  | March 8, 2011; 7:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro  
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Metro IT chief retires

Metro's head of information technology, Suzanne Peck, who has overseen key initiatives such as expanding cell phone coverage inside Metro's underground stations and tunnels, retired last month.

By Ann Scott Tyson  | March 8, 2011; 7:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Delays on VRE line

8:16 A.M. UPDATE: Train 312 is the next up to experience delays, which seem to be running consistently at 15 minutes. 7:50 A.M. UPDATE: The delays are continuing, with Train 310 currently running 15 minutes late. The problems are occurring...

By Washington Post Editors  | March 8, 2011; 7:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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Power restored in Arlington

Keep your eyes with the Dr. Gridlock blog this morning, as we'll be keeping tabs on headaches and problems awaiting you on the road

By Mark Berman  | March 8, 2011; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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New Metro board members named

The executives of Maryland and Prince George's County on Monday announced the nominations of two new members for Metro's Board of Directors, as one of the biggest turnovers in the history of the board continues to play out.

By Ann Scott Tyson  | March 7, 2011; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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Airlines hiking fares as fuel prices rise

DALLAS -- Southwest Airlines Co. has joined a sweeping increase of $10 in the price of many domestic round-trip airfares, citing the need to offset high fuel prices. Southwest's action over the weekend may have ensured success for a price hike by major airlines that seemed to be faltering. Southwest carries more U.S. passengers than any airline and wields great influence over prices.

By Associated Press  | March 7, 2011; 1:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Airlines, Aviation  
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Your questions: ICC, poles and potholes

In his weekly Monday-at-noon live online chat, Dr. Gridlock answered a smattering of questions from readers on the newly-opened Intercounty Connector; on Orange Line delays; rail-car design, including support for standees and germ protection for sitters; the cherry blossom festival; and transit-accessible housing.

By Mark Berman  | March 7, 2011; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Orange Line  | Tags:  Intercounty Connector  
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NTSB: Tug pilot in crash was on cell

PHILADELPHIA -- The mate piloting a tug boat in last summer's deadly collision of a tourist boat and a barge was consumed by a family emergency and on his cellphone at the time, a new government report on the crash revealed Monday.

By Associated Press  | March 7, 2011; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  NTSB, Transportation News  
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Bike summit begins Tuesday

Bicycling advocates will arrive en masse in Washington on Tuesday for the annual National Bike Summit, four days of planning and lobbying that made news last year when U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood climbed onto a table to address the group.

By Ashley Halsey III  | March 7, 2011; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Biking  
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Light morning on new toll road

What rush hour? There were fleeting moments during drives on the Intercounty Connector this morning when I couldn't see another vehicle. And I saw no bottlenecks at the entrances and exits that appeared to be related to the new highway as tolling began today.

By Robert Thomson  | March 7, 2011; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Commuting, Driving, Highways, Maryland  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Intercounty Connector  
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Another Metrorail shutdown ahead

Metro reopened stations on the Orange and Blue lines Monday in time for normal commuter service to begin, but cautioned that two more shutdowns, this time in Northern Virginia, are coming on the next two weekends.

By Washington Post Editors  | March 7, 2011; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  
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Today's transportation roundup

It's another week, and another five days of navigating the roads, rails and skies to get business done. Monday began inauspiciously for me, with a Metro farecard machine eating my $20 bill and then becoming unresponsive. I have yet to recover the funds.

By Luke Rosiak  | March 7, 2011; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Airlines, MARC, Transportation News  
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Orange Line delays cleared

There are Orange Line delays heading to New Carrollton due to a track circuit malfunction outside of Cheverly.

By Mark Berman  | March 7, 2011; 7:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, Orange Line  
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The week ahead for traffic, transit

The free ride is over on Maryland's Intercounty Connector. Metro service on the Blue and Orange lines was scheduled to return to normal today following the weekend shutdowns for maintenance. The D.C. area's weather should be back to normal, too, after Sunday's intense rain. Travelers will find daytime temperatures in the 50s all week, with the chance of rain best on Thursday.

By Robert Thomson  | March 7, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Construction, Metro, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Intercounty Connector, The week ahead  
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16th St blocked at Scott Circle

We'll be updating this blog all morning with the headaches and issues awaiting you on the roads and rails.

By Mark Berman  | March 7, 2011; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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