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Get There: October 29, 2006 - November 4, 2006

Fixing What We've Got

Robert Flanagan, Maryland's transportation secretary, and State Highway Administrator Neil Pedersen presented their transportation improvement plan in Montgomery County last night. The intercounty connector stands out as one of the few brand new roadways planned for the Washington region. In the Maryland suburbs, roads will be widened and straightened and made more efficient. That's expensive enough. Same pattern holds in Virginia. The widening of I-66 and the interchange construction on Route 28 are examples of Northern Virginia's big roadway projects. Most of the brand new things in Maryland will be transit lines -- either bus rapid transit or light rail, according to the state's plan. There's the Red Line in Baltimore. And in the Washington suburbs, there's the Bicounty Transitway, or Purple Line, and the Corridor Cities Transitway. Big problem for us will be that the three projects are scheduled to enter their construction phases about the same time in...

By Robert Thomson  |  November 3, 2006; 8:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion  
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Metro Chief Holds Final Chat

Dan Tangherlini, who is wrapping up his term as Metro's interim general manager before becoming D.C. city administrator, is holding his final chat on Metro's Web site from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday. You can ask him questions about any part of the transit system, or offer a comment on what you think of the service. In case you want to see transcrips of his previous chats, they're also posted on Metro's Web site. Next week, Jack Requa, the chief operating officer for Metrobus, will take over the general manager's job until a permanent successor is chosen by the Metro board....

By Robert Thomson  |  November 3, 2006; 6:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  
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Major Roadwork This Weekend

Big traffic delays are likely this weekend because the National Park Service plans to close Memorial Circle on the Virginia side of the Memorial Bridge, near Arlington National Cemetery. This is part of the rehabilitation work going on between Arlington National Cemetery and the Memorial Bridge, which leads across the Potomac to the Lincoln Memorial. The closing is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Friday and continue until noon Sunday, weather permitting. Barring traffic from Memorial Circle will have a ripple effect, so you probably won't want to be anywhere near there. To get across the river, take the 14th Street Bridge, the Roosevelt Bridge or the Key Bridge. If you plan to visit the national cemetery or the Memorial to Women in Military Service to America, take Route 110. Access to Memorial Bridge will be cut at several points in the District to accommodate the work: Rock Creek &...

By Robert Thomson  |  November 2, 2006; 6:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Weekend Work  
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Seeking Holiday Travel Tips

I've gotten so many good suggestions on detours and alternative routes for those who travel north on I-95, that I thought I'd package them into an advice column for holiday travelers this month. Most of my holiday trips take me to New Jersey, New York and New England, and readers had plenty of advice for dodging stretches of I-95 or ditching it completely for the sake of less traveled and less tolled highways. But I'm wondering if some of you might have suggestions for people traveling to the west and south, as well. What should Washingtonians know if they're headed out I-70 or 81? Or traveling south on I-95? My plan is to try packing a lot of information into an upcoming Dr. Gridlock column on Sunday, Nov. 12, in time for Thanksgiving planning....

By Robert Thomson  |  November 1, 2006; 6:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  holiday travel  
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Halloween Driving Tips

When I was an education reporter years ago, teachers told me that the kids' favorite holiday was Halloween. It beat Thanksgiving, Christmas Hannuka and everything else. And it wasn't the candy, the teachers said. It was the dressing up and being someone, or something, other than yourself. In the process, kids can forget who and where they really are. Then it's up to us to watch out for them. Tonight's rush hour will combine several dangerous factors: Parents will be rushing home, we're still not used to driving in the afternoon dark and some of the children will be out already. Leaves blowing across the streets create confusion. -- Be extra alert when you're pulling in and out of driveways, even in areas that don't normally get a lot of foot traffic. -- Pay attention what's happening on the sidewalks and watch for children darting across the streets. Watch especially...

By Robert Thomson  |  October 31, 2006; 8:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Events  
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Commuting Through a Neighborhood

Just got back from a morning rush drive along Military Road NW, a link for many commuters between Georgia Avenue, 13th Street and 16th Street to the east and Connecticut and Wisconsin avenues to the west. The District probably will undo some of the changes it tested along the road this year, going back to four travel lanes rather than the current two. That should benefit commuters. It would eliminate the jam-up that occurs at Oregon Avenue as travelers who have been sailing along the two freeway-like lanes through Rock Creek Park have to narrow down to a single lane to get through that lovely residential neighborhood on the western side of the park. Once the traffic narrowed down to the single lane, it flowed pretty smoothly through the neighborhood. The District Department of Transportation has an idea that about 15 percent of the drivers who used Military Road before...

By Robert Thomson  |  October 30, 2006; 9:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Commuting  
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