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Get There: February 4, 2007 - February 10, 2007

Rally for Tysons Tunnel Tomorrow

The backers of the upstart proposal to put a Metrorail tunnel through Tysons will hold a rally on Saturday, ending what they see as an encouraging week for their cause. The rally is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow at The Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna. You can find more information about it at TysonsTunnel.org, where it's never over till it's under. The optimism stems from statements made this week by Federal Transit Administration officials indicating that Virginia is not up against an imminent deadline for submitting it's final plan for the rail extension through Tysons. In fact, the feds said, the state has until spring of 2008. This is the goal for the Saturday event, according to the tunnel advocates: "During the rally, attendees will be updated on the benefits of competitive bidding for construction of a tunnel under Tysons Corner as...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 9, 2007; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction  
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Traffic Alert for Douglass Bridge

It may seem odd to be thinking of mid-summer traffic when you're trying to crank up a cold engine in February, but for some readers, it's not too early to be planning for the big summertime shutdown of the Douglass Bridge on South Capitol Street. The District Department of Transportation plans to divert traffic up to the 11th Street Bridge during July and August. That's by no means the only part of its strategy for easing congestion. There will be a campaign to get drivers to park at the Anacostia Metro station and take the Green Line downtown, park up at RFK and take a shuttle bus and take commuter buses. Plus, the work on the Douglass Bridge will occur during the lightest possible travel months. Still, drivers are concerned. How would you advise this traveler from Prince George's County? Dear Dr. Gridlock: The July and August closing of the...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 8, 2007; 6:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Construction  
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Metro Testing New Rail Car

When Metro introduced its newest type of rail car last year, riders were worried -- especially riders within a few inches of 5 feet in height. They didn't like the new design that eliminated the poles at the front and rear of other cars so that riders would move toward the center rather than congregating around the doors. Eliminating the jam of passengers around the doors was a fine idea in principle, they said, but in practice, everybody knows that trains often stutter to a stop at platforms, and people need something to grab onto. Preferably, something besides each other. Few liked the idea of trying to reach up for overhead railings. New cars introduced last year, minus the poles. (Robert Thomson) Today, Metro is going to begin testing one rail car along the Green Line that just might please riders put off by the new design, but there's only...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 7, 2007; 6:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
Categories:  Metro  
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Metro GM Wants Delay on Fare Plan

Metro's new general manager, John B. Catoe Jr., plans to ask the transit authority board of directors for more time to review Metro operations before he offers his own set of proposals on fares and service. He is scheduled to present that request at board committee meetings on Thursday. The original plan offered by Metro management in December called for the board to agree this month on the schedule of public hearings necessary before fare and service changes could take place at the start of Metro's budget year in July. This new recommendation does not mean we're spared from fare increases and service cutbacks. Catoe just got started last week and wants a chance to look things over and present his own ideas. Here's how he puts it in his written recommendation to the board: "Fare adjustments and service reductions should be viewed as actions of last resort in the...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 6, 2007; 8:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Metro  
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Alert for Conn. Ave. Commuters

The District Department of Transportation says it is shifting the work zone on Connecticut Avenue's Klingle Bridge. Watch for the electronic signs to guide you through the new lane pattern, which could be in place Tuesday, the department says. As work wraps up on the right-hand southbound lane, it will begin on the next lane over. During the morning rush period, which is 6:30 to 9:30 a.m., there still will be three southbound lanes and one northbound, but the pattern will be different from that of the past few months. During off peak periods, it's two lanes in each direction. Then for the evening rush, which is 4 to 7:30 p.m., there are three northbound lanes and one southbound. Looking north on Klingle Bridge during first phase of work last fall.(Robert Thomson) This is a big project on a heavily traveled commuter route. DDOT says the work on the historic...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 5, 2007; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Commuting  
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