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Get There: December 17, 2006 - December 23, 2006

Last-Minute Advice on Getaway

Got a last-minute update for people driving north for the holidays: Dear Dr. Gridlock: Had a quick tweak to one of the recommendations you published a couple of times recently concerning route to NJ. Recently the PA Route 33 link was completed down to I-78. So now it's advisable to stay on I-78 until the exit for Route 33 (I think it's Exit 68 or so). You can only go northbound from there. The rest of the route is fine. US 22 though Limited Access can be quite heavy traffic-wise during much of the day and evening. Happy Holidays! Jim South Arlington...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 22, 2006; 6:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Getaway  
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Advisories For the Holidays

Thanksgiving is easy. Christmas-New Year's is hard. At least in terms of predicting when the worst of the getaway traffic will occur. I'll predict waves of badness from Friday evening through Saturday, without anything being as bad as a typical Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Same deal on the return from the long weekend. There will be some Monday night traffic and some Tuesday traffic. Nothing that's the equivalent of the big Sunday return after Thanksgiving. People have so much more flexibility at the end of December. Lon Anderson of AAA-Mid-Atlantic gave some good advice for holiday travelers during a Live Online discussion today. We have some travel advisories from the various transportation agencies. -- In Virginia, short-term lane closures for construction and maintenance projects will be lifted from 6 a.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Wednesday and again from 6 a.m. Dec. 30 until 6 a.m. Jan. 3. Construction zones with...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 21, 2006; 6:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  holiday travel  
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Movement on ICC, in Both Directions

While a new challenge is being raised to construction of the intercounty connector, Maryland is continuing to clear a path for it. One of the many issues involved in building the intercounty connector across the Washington suburbs has been where to put the National Capital Trolley Museum, which will be in the highway's path in Montgomery County. The Maryland State Highway Administration announced on Tuesday that it has given the museum $100,000 to start planning for its relocation. New buildings and tracks for the museum will eventually be built within Northwest Branch Park, north of Silver Spring. The museum is now at 1313 Bonifant Road in Wheaton, also within Northwest Branch Park boundaries. If you go there, you can see 13 old streetcars, scale models and photographs that recapture a bygone era of Washington's transit history. The museum is open from noon to 5 p.m. on weekends and also has...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 20, 2006; 6:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  intercounty connector  
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Metro Moves to Control Costs

Metro, facing new public scrutiny because of its proposals to raise fares and cut services, announced on Monday that it is imposing a hiring freeze on staffers who don't deal directly with operations and public safety. Much of Metro's $116 million budget gap for the fiscal year that begins in July stems from planned raises and pension fund contributions. Many riders who have had bad experiences with station managers or customer service representatives are likely to be thinking of that as they consider how much they'd like to part with as much as $2.10 per ride. During my Live Online discussion Monday, many reader comments focused on the fare increase and service cutback proposals. Judging by the comments on the chat and the "Dear Dr. Gridlock" letters I'm receiving, these are among the hot topics in the early stages of the Metro debate: -- Should Metro move us more toward...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 19, 2006; 8:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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More Metrobus Changes Ahead

Metro is going to make a bunch more changes in service all across the Washington region effective New Year's Eve. They're not the changes brought on by the shortfall in the budget for next year. Rather, they're another of the set of adjustments in which some riders will gain while others lose. These are the 16 lines that will be affected: In the District 60, 64 -- Fort Totten-Petworth Line 62 -- Takoma-Petworth Line 66, 68 -- Petworth-11th Street Line U8 -- Capitol Heights-Benning Heights Line X2 -- Benning Road- H Street Line In Maryland C2, C4 -- Greenbelt-Twinbrook Line K6 -- New Hampshire Avenue-Maryland Line R12 -- Kenilworth Avenue-New Carrollton Line Z13 -- Greencastle-Briggs Chaney Express Line In Virginia 2A -- Washington Boulevard Line 10B -- Hunting Towers-Ballston Line 20W, 20X -- Chantilly-Greenbriar Line 24T -- McLean Hamlet-East Falls Church Line 29C, 29E, 29X -- Annandale Line 29K, 29N...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 18, 2006; 6:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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