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Get There: January 21, 2007 - January 27, 2007

Traffic and Transit Developments Everywhere

This has been an unusually active week for traffic and transit planners and the travelers who have a stake in their decisions. Here are some highlights: -- John B. Catoe Jr. was sworn in Thursdays as Metro's new general manager. "It's good to be home," said Catoe, 59, a Washington native who most recently worked for the Los Angeles transit system. He said he would soon make announcements on making Metro safer, although he did declare his belief that the system is safe now, despite this month's derailment and the deaths of several track workers. -- Montgomery County residents presented their transportation requests to the County Council on Thursday night. The two hour session was dominated by what many speakers said they didn't want: the intercounty connector. Things the speakers said they do want included the Purple Line and Corridor Cities Transitway, the long-awaited Brookeville Bypass and a way into...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 26, 2007; 8:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Lanes Reopen on Inner Loop Before I-295

Traffic is now getting by in the three left southbound lanes on the Inner Loop before the Anacostia Freeway following an accident involving a tractor trailer and five cars, according to MapTuit traffic reports. The Inner Loop's southbound lanes were closed this morning at about 11:30 a.m. when the accident occurred, according to Sgt. Robert Lipsky. All southbound lanes are expected to reopen before rush-hour traffic begins....

By editors  |  January 25, 2007; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Watch For Wilson Bridge Work

The new span on the Wilson Bridge is going through final testing and commissioning, which will require a few brief shutdowns in coming weeks. Project managers promise to give plenty of notice. Some of the shutdowns will occur at off-peak times during the week, but most of the work is likely to occur on weekend days. The testing must be done with the benefit of daylight. Even with a closing of no more than 20 minutes, the backups are likely to extend for about three miles. The closures will occur in only one direction each day and electronic signs will provide warning, project officials say. This wrapup work on the first of the new Wilson spans is coming as the District prepares for a big new reconstruction project at the Frederick Douglass Bridge, which takes South Capitol Street over the Anacostia River. You can read about that in a story...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 25, 2007; 8:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Wilson Bridge  
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Summer Detour for D.C. Commuters

The Frederick Douglass Bridge, an important commuter route that carries South Capitol Street traffic over the Anacostia River will be shut down for July and August for a big reconstruction job. Drivers will be detoured north to the 11th Street Bridge. Just setting up the big traffic diversion is an interesting and ambitious goal, but that's nothing compared to the work itself: When the bridge reopens, drivers will be in for a very different experience. The northern part of the crossing will be cranked down to put nearly three blocks of the elevated roadway at street level. There will be a new intersection at Potomac Avenue. The District government wants to improve the appearance of one of the city's gateways, one that leads travelers north toward the U.S. Capitol, and to stitch together a neighborhood now divided by the elevated roadway. The big closing is scheduled for the summer when...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 23, 2007; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Construction  
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Trouble Ahead For Tysons Travelers

If you travel through Tysons regularly, you are in for interesting times. While the citizens who make up the Tysons Land Use Task Force were talking last night about how to involve the public in creating a small city of distinctive, liveable, walkable neighborhoods, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors was approving a developer's plan to surround the Tysons Corner Center mall with eight residential and commercial towers up to 30 stories high. The citizens, who are taking their job seriously no matter what the board is doing, passed a resolution in support of putting the new Metrorail line underground through Tysons. One of their concerns about an elevated track is that it will look like a wall to pedestrians thinking about crossing Route 123. Once the towers go up, the tracks may look no more intimidating than a Lionel train set running around a Christmas tree. Those who drive...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 23, 2007; 7:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Congestion  
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Maryland vs. Virginia

A poster on this blog made an interesting observation over the weekend that I'd like to discuss with you. Here's what "Baltimore" said to us: "I find it very interesting that the posts regarding transportation in Virginia tend to get a much bigger response than the posts regarding transportation in Maryland (other than the ICC, of course). I'm curious: is that because Virginia has worse traffic, or because this issue is something that is being so actively debated politically? Has Maryland done a better job in managing traffic than Virginia? Or are Maryland's other main traffic issues (the 270 corridor, Southern Maryland) just not receiving the political attention?" Or maybe Virginians have more interest in blogs about transportation issues. But as I read letters to Dr. Gridlock, engage in online discussions and speak to community groups, I do sense more passion at the moment among Virginians than among Marylanders over...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 22, 2007; 6:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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