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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 45 mph, rather than the normal top speed of 59 mph. Same safety reason as on the suburban lines: They're concerned about kinks developing in the rails because of the high temps, which are likely again this afternoon.

-- The District's motor vehicle inspection station closed five hours early today, at 1 p.m.

-- On these hot days, plan travel for early morning or later in the evening, said Chuck Gischlar, spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration. The hottest part of the day is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

-- Eric Gilliland, executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, reminded bikers to "drink before you are thirsty," wear light-colored clothing and leave the office outfit at the office. He also noted that some gyms offer "shower only" memberships if their place of employment doesn't offer locker/changing rooms.

-- Joan Morris, spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation, advised an attitude adjustment: "It's too darn hot to be angry about sitting in traffic. How about a smile and a wave to road crews as you drive through a work zone? While most of us do our jobs in the comfort of an air-conditioned office, road crews and toll booth operators put up with incredibly uncomfortable temperatures to help make our commutes better."

By Robert Thomson  |  August 8, 2007; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Weather  
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Next: GW Northbound Lanes Re-Opened


Any reports on the Red Line closure btw. Farragut North and Van Ness?

Posted by: ah | August 8, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

WMATA says they've just reopened.

Posted by: h3 | August 8, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

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