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Get There: December 23, 2007 - December 29, 2007

The Weekend and Beyond

Bus Route Changes Metro is making changes in three dozen bus routes starting Sunday. The transit authority does this periodically to improve service, or at least get the schedules to match reality. The lengthy list of changes is posted on Metro's Web site for Virginia, Maryland and the District. Weekend Track Work Travel on Metro's Red, Orange and Green lines will be slowed this weekend as trains share a single track to get around maintenance and rail-car testing projects. This link will take you to a page on Metro's Web site that has the full details for each line. New Year, New Taxes As 2008 starts, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority will begin collecting the seven new taxes and fees authorized by the Virginia government this year to support transportation improvements. The tax plan affects Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties as well as the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax,...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 28, 2007; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Tysons Road Work to Begin

Shortly after the New Year begins, motorists on Route 7 in Tysons Corner will start to feel the impact of the long-awaited Metrorail construction project. The region's most expensive transportation project will start off humbly: Washington Gas crews will begin to relocate the utility lines on the service road by Gosnell Road. But there's much more to come on Route 7. Eventually, the service roads on each side will disappear, Route 7's travel lanes will widen out and a median will be created to provide space for the elevated train line, which will bend onto Route 7 from Route 123. But this is what thousands of drivers will see first: The gas company crews will begin work on the service road between Gosnell and the first Route 7 entrance into the Pike 7 Plaza. A lane of the service road on this side of Route 7 will be closed until...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 28, 2007; 6:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  Construction  
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Metro Expanding SmarTrip Sales

Metro learned a lesson when began requiring drivers to use SmarTrip cards for parking at the stations, but didn't have enough of the cards to meet the sudden demand. Starting Jan. 6, Metro will try to steer more bus riders toward using the electronic fare cards. The Metrobus fare will go up a dime unless riders pay with SmarTrip cards, and the transit authority says there will be plenty of cards available for people who want to buy them. SmarTrip cards have long been available online at Metro's Web site. But Metro is taking a couple of steps to get the cards out to the public. In early January, SmarTrip cards will be available to purchase for the regular $5 fee (in cash) at eight of the busiest bus stations from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Here are the dates and the places: -- Jan. 3 at Anacostia Metrorail station...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 27, 2007; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Two Highway Projects Advance

Two highway deals announced this month will affect thousands of drivers in Virginia over the next few years: Construction of the High Occupancy or Toll lanes along the Capital Beltway is scheduled to begin in the spring, and construction of the final, crucial segment of the Fairfax County Parkway is scheduled to begin in 2009. Both projects are important for commuters who are likely to face increased congestion in the next few years because of the military base relocation program and the increasing development at Tysons Corner. Each project faced obstacles of the type that were bound to be overcome, because local leaders believed that the consequences of inaction would be dire. (The same will someday be said of the Tysons rail project.) The big project in dollars and distance is the $1.4 billion, 14-mile HOT lane program along the region's busiest highway. The deal between the state and the...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 26, 2007; 9:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Construction  
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