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Get There: June 24, 2007 - June 30, 2007

Douglass Bridge and Other Advisories

By this time next week, the Frederick Douglass Bridge will be closed for the summer, and drivers who normally use South Capitol Street as their commuting route will be looking for alternatives. MTA and Metro buses that use the bridge also will be diverted to other routes. Some buses will make special stops at Metrorail stations on the east side of the Anacostia River for passengers who want to take the train the rest of the way downtown. The bridge shutdown is scheduled to begin before the Friday morning rush on July 6 and could continue through August, although the District has offered financial incentives to the contractor to finish early. Drivers on I-295 will be diverted north to the 11th Street Bridge. The District has paved an extra lane on the northbound highway before the bridge to handle some extra traffic, but you still should expect extra congestion. The...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 29, 2007; 8:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Metro Board Adopts Budget

The Metro board today adopted a new budget today after General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. assured the board members that the spending plan was balanced. Catoe has spoken recently about the possibility of a fare increase as early as January, and that had left some people -- including me -- confused about whether the staff reductions and other money-saving measures imposed by the new GM had indeed balanced the budget. "This budget does not require nor does it seek a fare increase in order to be balanced," Catoe told the board. In response to a follow up question from board member Jim Graham, who represents the District, Catoe added: "My view is that as we look forward into the future, the earlier you have any fare increase -- should one be approved by the board -- would bring in revenues to offset possible deficits in the future." "There's no...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 28, 2007; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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More Forums Set on Virginia Transportation

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, which on Sunday will be empowered to use regional taxes for congestion relief, has released an updated list of public forums leading up to its big meeting on July 12. Northern Virginians can use these forums to learn more about the powers of the authority, the projects on its initial to-do list and the ways it plans to raise the money. They can also tell members of the authority's board what they think of those plans. This is the schedule. Thursday: Town hall meeting at 7 p.m. in Verizon Auditorium, George Mason University, Prince William Campus, 10900 University Blvd., Manassas. Speaker sign-up to begin at 6:30 p.m. July 9: Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerry Connolly will brief the board at 10 a.m. in the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax. July 12: The transportation authority holds a public hearing to consider enacting...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 27, 2007; 7:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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Constitution Goes Two-Way

The District has changed the traffic pattern on Constitution Avenue NE so that the flow is now two ways even during the morning rush, but not everyone seems to have gotten the word. Here's a letter I got on Monday. Dr. Gridlock: There was a shouting match outside my house on Constitution Avenue NE this morning because the city has not provided adequate direction about when the change from one-way to two-way traffic will occur. A solo driver in the eastbound lane came up against a block of traffic that was traveling west in that same eastbound lane, and neither side was prepared to give way. Finally, the lone eastbound driver was allowed to proceed, but westbound cars immediately re-filled the lane behind him. There's going to be more than a shouting match if the city doesn't do a better job of handling the change in traffic pattern. Elaine Goheen...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 26, 2007; 7:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Commuting  
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In Search of Vacation Routes

Are we there yet? Is it wishful thinking, or are some of our commuter routes starting to show the effects of summer vacation? With the long-distance travel season in mind, I'm looking for suggestions escape routes from Washington to the region's favorite destinations -- north, south, east and west. We'll display some of them on the Post Metro section's Commuter page this Sunday, July 1. The idea will be to give summer travelers an alternative to the typical routes. They don't have to be shortcuts, as in time or mileage savers. They might just be more pleasant routes than the interstates and major highways that most vacationers are used to taking. I just got back from a weekend trip to northern New Jersey. Delaware continues to be the bane of East Coast travelers. The jams on I-95 are not as bad as they were last year, when the western side...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 25, 2007; 7:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Getaway  
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