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Was Tuesday So Terrible?

The day after Labor Day is to commuters what the day after Thanksgiving is to shoppers: chaos, confusion and congestion. Or at least that's the legend. Is it true?

Share your experiences with us. This beautiful weather, likely to continue for the rest of the week, certainly softens the blow of the commute. But was that enough to soften the blow of increased congestion as thousands of workers and students returned to the streets, sidewalks and trains?

When I asked you to measure the beneficial effects of summer on commuting, you were divided. Many did say they experienced significant time savings getting to and from work during August. But others thought their trips on roads or rails were just as annoying as ever.

Some of those folks talked about congestion generally. But for many, it was a specific issue: a longstanding bottleneck, a highway construction project or recurring problems on the trains. By the letters I received, the most vexing matters were the closing of the Douglass Bridge for reconstruction, the merge lane shutdown on the Legion Bridge, the lane closings on Rock Creek Parkway around P Street and the reconstruction of the Beltway ramps at University Boulevard and Georgia Avenue. On the transit side, we had several serious days of delays on Metro and the frequent slowdowns on MARC because of safety concerns about the rails in hot weather.

Many readers blamed their fellow commuters as much as they blamed government for problems that occurred. Reckless driving and rude behavior on the trains doesn't vary with the seasons, so there was no summertime relief on those fronts.

All that makes me wonder whether you found Terrible Tuesday to be significantly different.

By Robert Thomson  |  September 5, 2007; 7:23 AM ET
Categories:  Commuting  
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