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Get There: December 16, 2007 - December 22, 2007

Transportation Tips

Getting Away Stay cool out there. This is likely to be the toughest day for traffic congestion during the holiday period. It's a big getaway day for families. During the afternoon and evening, those long distance travelers will be sharing the roads with homeward bound commuters. Saturday is likely to be the second busiest travel day of the holidays, according to a traveler survey conducted by AAA. Wilson Bridge If you're planning to sneak back late from an out-of-town Christmas, watch for some potential delays at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Wednesday and Thursday nights between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. The drawbridges will be opened and closed several times for testing each night. Holiday Lane Closures The state transportation departments in Maryland and Virginia will suspended their temporary lane closures for the holidays. In Virginia, the closures will end at noon Monday and resume at noon on Wednesday. They will...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 21, 2007; 5:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Advisories  
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How to Figure New Fares

Use this link to reach a page on Metro's Web site that will let you see what you're Metrorail fare will be as of Jan. 6, when the fares and fees approved by the Metro board last week take effect. On that page, you'll find a list of all the stations. Click on the name of your station and you'll be taken to a chart similar to the one that would appear on a station manager's kiosk. It shows the peak and off-peak fares to all the other stations. It also shows the reduced fare for senior citizens and disabled people. On another online chart, Metro provides an overview of all the fare and fee changes, including the charges for buses, various types of passes and parking. Here's a link to that page. Also, it appears to me that Metro has now made the fare adjustment in its Trip Planner...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 20, 2007; 7:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Connecticut Avenue Bridge Reopening

Drivers on Connecticut Avenue should find all the lanes on the Klingle Bridge open. The District Department of Transportation announced on Wednesday that the work in the lanes would end in time for the evening rush. This $9 million rehab job on the historic bridge began in September 2006, and the project is scheduled to continue until April. But it has progressed far enough to allow DDOT to reopen the lanes, which had been closed one by one for reconstruction. You won't see those red and green markers overhead anymore. Last fall, they were a source of some letters from commuters and Cleveland Park neighbors who worried that motorists would confuse them with stop and go signals at the nearby Macomb Street and Devonshire Place intersections. About 45,000 motorists travel across the bridge each day. DDOT says Cleveland Park residents also can expect less noise in the bridge area now...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 19, 2007; 4:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction  
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Planning Holiday Travels

What is your getaway day? This year, the Christmas holiday will create a four-day weekend for many -- sort of a Thanksgiving weekend in reverse, with the holiday at the end of the four days. Our region is likely to see its worst traffic congestion on Friday afternoon and evening. But John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic says an AAA survey suggests there will be several difficult travel days, starting with today: "Wednesday, December 19, is the third biggest travel day in the period," he said in an e-mail. In the AAA survey 16.4 percent of travelers indicate they will be leaving today, and plan to spend the longest time away from home, averaging nine nights. Who's able to get this early jump? People without children, of course. "In fact," Townsend said, "our research shows that nearly half of the overall traveling population this holiday will not be traveling with kids."...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 19, 2007; 6:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Getaway  
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More Transportation Chat

During our biweekly online discussion on Monday, I ran out of time before I ran out of questions and comments from readers. That's the usual scenario. But this time I thought I'd post some of the ones that I didn't get to. Your thoughts on these would be most welcome. Transit The chat was very heavy on Metro issues, naturally enough, since the Metro board just approved its biggest every fare and fee increases. People argued all sides of that. Metro-area Resident: "For me, Metro is what it is. Really, Metro is not that bad. I think what folks don't realize are its problems are the result of "niceties" they like the most when comparing Metro to older subway systems. "Metro generally has nice facilities, and is thankfully clean. However, Metro is an over-capitalized system, which requires high ops and maintenance costs. I know this seems like a crazy question,...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 18, 2007; 5:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Commuting Challenges Ahead

Three items in Sunday's Post showed why my mailbag is likely to remained jammed with letters from angry and frustrated commuters, no matter how they travel to and from work. See how these traffic and transit issues fit together to create a challenge that will be impossible for the region to dodge. Commuters head toward District. (Robert Thomson) -- Tens of thousands of military jobs will shift from one part of the region to others in the next few years. The employees will either move closer to the new job sites, or not. Whatever their decisions, they'll wind up having an impact on a transportation system unprepared to accommodate them. Key choke points will be Fort Belvoir, Fort Meade and Bethesda. Only one, Bethesda, has good transit access. But even there, the main roads will be overwhelmed with traffic long before major new roadwork can ease the congestion. Steve Vogel...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 17, 2007; 7:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Commuting  
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