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Get There: July 16, 2006 - July 22, 2006

Lunch by Metro

I would love to share some super exciting transportation news with you guys, but it's a hot Friday in the middle of July and there just isn't any at the moment. Soooo. That gives us time to do something fun. And critical. Like finding a good place for me (and you) to have lunch. I'm hereby challenging you guys to come up with the best lunch joints within one block of a Metro station -- any Metro station. The idea is that you could run out of your office, get on Metro and grab a good lunch so quickly that your boss wouldn't even know you had gone. I sit about four inches from my boss, so these will have to be really good. So let's hear 'em ... In other news, I will be spending next week focusing exclusively on traffic issues in the three blocks between our rental...

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 21, 2006; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Dulles Greenway Tolls

The private group that owns the Dulles Greenway announced yesterday evening that it wants to raise tolls almost yearly between now and 2012, when the rush hour rate would be $4.80. That's a little more than $2 more than drivers pay now and would mean about $10 a day for commuters, which works out to about $2,500 a year. The Post did a poll about a year and a half ago that asked people whether they preferred tolls or taxes to pay for new transportation projects. By 2 to 1, respondents said they prefer tolls. But I wonder how long support for tolls will last as Maryland and Virginia move to build toll lanes on almost every major road in the region. People tend to be for tolls right up to the second that their route is tolled. That's when they realize that the math isn't on their side. Let's...

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 20, 2006; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  highways  
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Commuters Wanted

I'm on a personal quest today. I want to take as many Washington area commutes as possible, so I need your help. I need to talk to any and everyone who is willing to let me (or possibly another Post reporter) ride along with them and write about it. If you're willing to be one of these superselect, ultracool commuters, please send me an e-mail at ginsbergs@washpost.com. In other news, I'm interested in how your 100-degree commutes are going. My wife and I managed to walk almost the whole way in the shade today, which means minimal sweat. That's a good thing....

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 19, 2006; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Color Wednesday Yellow

We're dropping back to a Code Yellow forecast for Wednesday. That means the air quality improves from unhealthy to moderate. No free buses. It will be a tad cooler on Wednesday, the forecasters tell us, but travelers shouldn't drop their guard. Metro says it expects to operate normally on Wednesday, but Tuesday afternoon and evening have been a bit problematic because of concerns about rail safety and power usage. All trains were operating at reduced speeds above ground. The Blue, Orange and Red lines were off schedule. All Red Line trains were operating every four minutes between Silver Spring and Grosvenor-Strathmore. All Orange Line trains were operating every eight minutes from the ends of the rail line, and all Blue Line trains were operating every nine minutes from the ends of the rail line, according to a statement from Metro. The Green Line had 12-minute delays heading toward Greenbelt. The...

By Robert Thomson  |  July 18, 2006; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Metro Funding and Beltway Closings

This Tom Davis bill is intriguing. As my colleague Lena Sun wrote in today's paper, the House of Representatives has agreed to give Metro $1.5 billion over 10 years if Virginia, D.C. and Maryland match that amount. Here's the story. This would be a pretty clear boon to our Metro system, but a lot of lawmakers and policy types are decrying it as a government giveaway. The Heritage Foundation asks if it's the biggest earmark in history. Obviously, this money would help our commutes. But is it hypocritical to take it and also decry Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere" and other expensive earmarks? Or does the federal government have a special role in funding Metro because it carries so many of its workers? In other news, watch out for repaving work on the Beltway in Maryland that is likely to cause delays. State Highway is going to resurface more than five...

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 18, 2006; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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The Upside of Heat

Most suburban buses are free today, because of the Code Red forecast for air quality. It's not a good thing to have a Code Red and it's not a good thing to have a temperature reading in the 100 degree range, but it might have been a chance for some people to learn about transit and avoid some of the hassles of driving themselves. Anybody take advantage of that? I know you couldn't prove it by southbound Route 29 this morning, which was its usual bad self. An accident blocked the left lane at Burnt Mills Avenue, but there were also the usual delays in the right lane at Four Corners approaching the ramp to the Beltway's outer loop. You can get your own view of traffic conditions by checking the reports and the cameras on the traffic page. By the way, another recommendation for motorists on a Code Red...

By Robert Thomson  |  July 18, 2006; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Hot Commute

We just got an advisory from VRE that the heat restrictions are in effect today, and probably will be for the rest of the week, too. Here's what VRE said: CSX has implemented heat restrictions on their tracks today. This means that all trains will operate 20 mph lower than the normal maximum allowed speed. We expect delays on the Fredericksburg line to be about 10-15 minutes late at Fredericksburg unless heat inspections or other train traffic causes it to be otherwise. As these delays are cumulative, lesser delays should be seen at the intermediate stations. Slight delays may be experienced on the Manassas line as those trains operate on CSX tracks from just north of L'Enfant to just south of Alexandria. Because the temperatures are forecasted to be well above 90 degrees all week, we expect that heat restrictions will be imposed all week. This morning was a bummer...

By Robert Thomson  |  July 17, 2006; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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