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Get There: August 5, 2007 - August 11, 2007

A Week's Worth of Travel Advisories

Here are some developments that may affect your travels this weekend and next week. Bypass, Park and Ride Done Maryland officials this week celebrated the opening of the Hughesville Bypass and completion of a park and ride center in La Plata. The four-lane bypass, begun in 2004 and completed at a cost of $56 million, breaks a traffic bottleneck on Route 5. The $5.7 million park-and-ride center is the first of six for commuters who want to take the Maryland Transit Administration buses to Washington. Bus routes 901 and 907 will stop at the La Plata park-and-ride starting Monday, Aug. 13. Metro Weekend Work Metro says it will shut down the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac this weekend to do track maintenance and an annual bridge inspection. Track maintenance on the Red and Orange lines and new rail car testing on the Green Line also will cause delays. Because...

By Robert Thomson  |  August 10, 2007; 5:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Metro Preparing for D.C. United Crowd

The 7 p.m. soccer game at RFK Stadium between D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy is a sellout, in anticipation of the only Washington appearance this season by the Galaxy's David Beckham. So even though it's August, the evening commute may be crowded for many. Metro, which has gotten used to handling the crowds for Nationals baseball at RFK, has made plans to transport many of tonight's 45,000 soccer fans: There will be extra trains, more Metro staffers and police to direct people and answer questions and a free shuttle bus service from outside the stadium to Union Station after the game. Metro's afternoon rush service will begin at 3 p.m. In case you just go for the big games and aren't a regular fan, the closest stop is Stadium-Armory Station on the Blue and Orange lines. (Here's a link to the rail system map.) The exit closest to...

By Robert Thomson  |  August 9, 2007; 5:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Events  
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GW Northbound Lanes Re-Opened

All northbound lanes on the George Washington Memorial Parkway are now opened. An earlier accident involving an overturned vehicle occurred in the right lane at about 8:45 a.m., according to Maptuit reports....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  August 8, 2007; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion  
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Advice on Today's Travels

These are some advisories from transportation officials, travel experts and just plain commuters about getting around in today's hot weather. -- It's another Code Orange day, so the bus rides in Northern Virginia are again free. -- Cars are stressed. By 4 p.m. Tuesday, the call volume was again soaring at AAA Mid-Atlantic's emergency switchboard, said John Townsend, spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic. More than 40 percent requested towing, indicating mechanical breakdowns. Almost a quarter involved starting problems and about 15 percent were related to tires that popped in the extreme heat. -- Suburban rail riders probably already know to expect slower trips because of heat restrictions and the summertime plague of equipment breakdowns. But Metrorail riders also will fnd their trips slowed on the above ground lines. As it did Tuesday, Metro has switched from automatic train control to operator control and told the operators to slow the trains to...

By Robert Thomson  |  August 8, 2007; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Weather  
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Travel Tips for Hot Days

Here's some advice for a day when the forecast calls for high temperatures approaching 100 degrees and air quality bad enough to rate a Code Orange. -- The buses in Northern Virginia are free, because of the Code Orange alert. (That includes the Metrobuses that run in Northern Virginia, but none of our other jurisdictions participates in this free ride program on Code Orange days. You know a bus line is participating when you see the farebox covered, but they usually display signs saying, "Code Orange Day, Ride Free.") -- MARC train passengers are likely to be slowed by CSX heat restrictions, which reduce train speeds for safety during times when high heat may bend the rails. But VRE seems to have worked out a way with CSX this year to reduce the delays caused by these afternoon restrictions. Both lines have problems with equipment that breaks down in the...

By Robert Thomson  |  August 7, 2007; 8:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Weather  
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Summer Eases Commuter Strain

We printed very brief excerpts on our Sunday commuter page from your letters about the August commute. But I thought you'd like to see the full comments. Notice that our commuters see the summer commute as a chance to break the pattern. Notice also the sense of liberation when they don't have to take transit. They're simply doing what works best for them in these circumstances. Dear Dr. Gridlock: I noticed that my commute to work from Germantown was much quicker than usual back in June, as soon as Montgomery County schools ended their year. The drive to the Shady Grove Metro takes only 15 minutes as opposed to 25 or 30, and I feel like I have options to use as well; I dare not try I-270 during the school year at even 7:15 a.m. I even tailor when I leave home during the school year to avoid school...

By Robert Thomson  |  August 6, 2007; 7:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Commuting  
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