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Get There: May 21, 2006 - May 27, 2006

Lots of Cars, Not Too Many Delays

At 5:30 p.m., there are lots of people out there but not too many killer backups. The worst of then are where they've been all day: on I-95 where the regular lanes and HOV lanes merge and on I-66 in the western part of the region. Many other spots look about like they do on a regular day and some actually look better. There's no backup whatsoever at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and there hasn't been one for a couple hours. Amazingly, there have been no accidents to cause major delays, even as a pretty heavy rain storm has moved through the region. Let's hope it stays that way. And here's hoping you get where you want to go and have a good time once you do ......

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 26, 2006; 5:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Getaway  
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Here Comes the Rain

Rain has hit in a hard way south of the city, causing some problems on I-95. Traffic still isn't much worse than many regular work days, but it's something to keep an eye on. I-66 is heavy in Manassas and beyond, but clears up after Gainesville. I-270 is heavy, but clears up after it goes down to two lanes, BUT drivers taking I-70 west should watch out for heavy traffic between Frederick and Hagerstown. And down in Hampton Roads, the bridge tunnel backup is several miles. Stop off and get some dinner and wait for that one to clear up if you're headed out that way. Check out Memorial Day parade closings here and Rolling Thunder closings here. Info on both parades can also be found here and here....

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 26, 2006; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Getaway  
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Not So Bad

It's 4 o'clock and there's hardly a wait at the Bay Bridge. The worst traffic in the region is on I-95 south, where the usual jam has formed where the HOV lanes hit the regular lanes in Dumfries. I-66 is getting heavy, but is still moving. They're always bad, but this looks a little worse. Everything else seems more or less normal. Things aren't too terribly bad at the airports either, says Dulles and Reagan National spokeswoman Tara Hamilton. Hamilton said yesterday was busier than today at National. Lines have been manageable and there are still parking spots to be had, which is rather remarkable. It's a lot busier over at Dulles, but, says Hamilton "at Dulles it's always busy. It looks like a typical Friday afternoon, which is very busy." Looks to me like everyone's already gone, or they're waiting until tomorrow morning like me. Let's hope it's not...

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 26, 2006; 3:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Getaway  
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Traffic Gets Worse

The cars are lining up at the Bay Bridge, on I-95 south and the Beltway in Maryland. Rather surprisingly, the roads continue to be pretty clear around the rest of the region, including on I-66. This surprises us here at Get There, so we want to know what's going on. Please send me all your thoughts and experiences about driving today. Even if it's just to say you plan to leave later, I'm interested to know what people are thinking. So send in the comments already, will ya? And if you're looking for the latest real time video reports of traffic check here....

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 26, 2006; 2:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Getaway  
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The Backups Begin

It's noontime and that's when the worst of the traffic is expected to start. Sure enough, the roads are starting to jam. A line is forming at the Bay Bridge that'll cause you a little delay right now, but judging by heavy traffic on Route 50 my guess is it's going to start getting bad really soon. The same goes for I-95 in Virginia, where the backups south of Springfield are starting to get severe. Just looking at it on a traffic camera makes me wince. The highway opens up after a few miles, but then clogs again around Woodbridge. The trip from D.C. to Fredericksburg is almost always terrible, so expect that to worsen over the next couple of hours. Avoid Capitol Hill at all costs. Roads have been blocked there because of the reports of gunfire at the Rayburn Building. The outer loop of the Beltway is bad...

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 26, 2006; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  holiday travel  
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Getaway Day

Here it is, boys and girls, the first big getaway weekend of the summer. And, wouldn't you know it, the Wilson Bridge is open this morning to let a ship pass through, which means backups on both shores. Traffic on parts of I-95 south in Virginia are also heavy. It's worth noting that I-95 north looks just fine, which means that everyone's heading out of town and nobody's coming into work. Overall, though, the roads seem eerily quiet so far, an indication either that this afternoon and evening is going to be awful or that everyone has already left town. Or maybe gas prices are too high for people to travel at all. Whatever it is, we'll monitor traffic and update y'all all day here at Get There. So send in your hopes and fears for the day and we'll see what we can do to get you out of...

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 26, 2006; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  holiday travel  
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The Rantings of a Lunatic Mom

We all have our peeves with getting around this region, but we're also all used to it. We generally know where to go and what to anticipate -- District traffic circles excepted, of course. What we don't know is what it's like for an outsider to get around. That's where my mom comes in. She was here all last week, staying in Falls Church with my brother so she could see her grandkids. Her main travels were between Falls Church, Old Town and Adams Morgan, where I live. These are her rants, with more than a couple suggestions for VDOT and DDOT: DC drivers are low-rage, courteous, and understanding of the need to allow others to enter lanes, whether for merging or the not-so-rare last minute error. However, the last-minute-error situation is to be expected, as it is impossible to safely drive in DC and read all the signage. Routes...

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 25, 2006; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  highways  
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Mr. Kaine Goes to Washington

I just got back from Capitol Hill, where Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine spent the morning telling the House Subcommittee on Highways, Transit and Pipelines (say that five times fast) all about the state's public-private highway and transit ventures. Virginia has the most in the nation and I believe has been doing this the longest, so the subcommittee wanted to talk to Kaine about a practice that is fast spreading across the country. Kaine shared the stage with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who recently signed a 75-year, $3.8 billion deal--the biggest in American history--to lease the Indiana turnpike to a private consortium. Kaine knew his stuff (as did Daniels) and you got the sense that he was excited to be on the Hill, but not so much that he was overwhelmed by it. In his opening remarks, Kaine noted that Virginia manages the third largest highway system in the United...

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 24, 2006; 12:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Summer Travel

The first big getaway weekend of the summer is but three days away and I'm curious when and where everyone is going. As loyal readers of this blog know, my sense is that getaway traffic patterns are changing. People are taking days off before and after weekends to avoid traffic or are leaving in the dead of night or at other "off" times. This sort of thing isn't new, but it seems to me that it's reached a point where this is what the majority of people do. What that means is that people who are leaving early to avoid traffic are running right into it and people who can't get out of work until 5 seem to do just fine. Also, are high gas prices changing anyone's plans? Is the bus or train now an option? I'm heading to the mountains for a hike on Saturday and then spending...

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 23, 2006; 10:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The Purple Line Lives

Remember the Purple Line? Or, as Maryland officials call it, the Bi-County Transitway? It's a proposed rail connection that would run 14 miles from Bethesda to New Carrolton. Proponents say it would provide a critical link between the Maryland burbs and take traffic off the overtaxed Beltway. It's been on the back of the back burner for the last few years, as Maryland has put all its efforts into building the ICC. A coalition in favor of building the Purple Line announced today that it will try to revive interest in the rail link by holding three rallies this week "to dramatize the urgent need for the Purple Line as gas prices hover around three dollars a gallon." The rallies will be Wednesday from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. at 9510 Georgia Avenue; Thursday from noon to 12:30 p.m. at the plaza at One Bethesda Metro Center; and Friday from...

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 22, 2006; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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