The Weekend and Beyond
Here are some notes about local travel this weekend and some planning information for next week.
Friday Road Conditions
The forecast warns of a light wintery mix today and the temperature is hovering around the freezing point, so while the roads may appear clear, watch out for the possibility that some patches may be slick, particularly on bridges and overpasses, which were such a problem during Wednesday's storm. Because of the bad weather, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge will not have the usual two-way traffic on one span during the Friday afternoon peak, but this safety precaution probably will increase travel times for people heading home that way.
Weekend Metrorail Delays
The track maintenance and rail car testing program will slow service on all the lines. This page on Metro's Web site describes the impact on each line. But Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel sent along this update about work on the Red Line: Trains will share one track between Friendship Heights and Medical Center and between Medical Center and Grosvenor-Strathmore from 9 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 9 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. (The Trip Planner on Metro's home page is a great aid in calculating travel routes and times, but it doesn't incorporate the weekend delays described in the statements Metro puts out each Thursday.)
Bridge Closed Saturday Evening
The 25th Annual Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade will take place on Saturday, December 8 from 6 until 8 PM. The decorated vessels will parade through the inner Annapolis Harbor and in Spa Creek up to Shearwater off Truxton Park. The Spa Creek Bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic from 5:45 - 8PM
Metrobus Route Changes
Metro has adjusted some routes, as part of its periodic review of bus services. This page on the transit authority Web site lists the changes.
HOV Restriction Proposed
The Virginia Department of Transportation wants to restore the carpool restrictions on a three-mile stretch of I-395's southbound HOV lanes that have been open to everyone during the afternoon since 1982.
If the Commonwealth Transportation Board approves the move at its Thursday meeting, the restriction will be back in effect in mid-January. That southbound stretch has been open to all traffic between 3:30 and 6 p.m. to ease congestion through the Springfield interchange. But now that the interchange has been rebuilt, VDOT thinks traffic flow would be better served by restoring HOV-3.
New Driver's Manual
The District Department of Motor Vehicles, which used to offer a question-and-answer study guide for those who wanted to learn about D.C. traffic rules, now has made available a Driving Manual. It's a more comprehensive and better organized document than the old study guide. You can get a copy from any DMV service center, download it from the DMV Web site as a 2 MB pdf file (use this link), or call DMV Customer Service at 202-727-5000 and ask that one be mailed to you.
The Central Avenue (Route 214) bridge over the Patuxent River has been reopened after a three and a half month reconstruction project. While there's still some work left to do, commuters from Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties no longer have to detour.
Route 5 Planning
The Maryland State Highway Administration plans to host an informational meeting in Leonardtown on Tuesday about its Route 5 study. The study will look at safety and traffic operation improvements along a two-mile stretch of the corridor. The session, the first public meeting of the planning phase, is from 5 to 8 p.m. at Leonardtown Middle School, 24015 Point Lookout Rd.
Transit Police Open Substation
Metro Transit Police have a new substation near the Fort Totten Metrorail station named in honor of Officer Marlon F. Morales, who was killed in the line of duty in 2001. The three-story building at 5315 1st Place NE is the home base for District 1 of the transit police, most of whom patrol the northern portion of the Metro system.
Planning for 30s Bus Routes
The next session on planning for improvements in this very long and often slow Metrobus line is Monday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church's Bailey Room, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. (The church is adjacent to the school, where the last such session was held earlier this fall.)
Music at Metro Stations
There will be a little holiday cheer at several Metrorail stations: Musicians will perform beginning Sunday at Silver Spring and Bethesda and beginning Wednesday at the Navy Yard Station.
This is the schedule at the Montgomery County stations, where all performances run from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.:
Sunday: J.P. McDermott, Rockabilly, at Silver Spring Station; Mystic Warriors, Andean music, at Bethesda Station.
Dec. 15: Pete Moss and the Bog Boys, Celtic Fiddlers, at Silver Spring; Speakeasy Quartet, a cappella, at Bethesda.
Dec. 16: Elijah Balbed, jazz saxophonist, at Silver Spring; Darcy Nair, dulcimer, at Bethesda.
Dec. 22: Jennifer Hughson, classical clarinet, at Silver Spring; Gina DeSimone, folk singer, at Bethesda.
This is the schedule for Navy Yard:
Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Reverb, a cappella quintet.
Thursday: 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Patty Reese, folk rock singer.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Reverb.
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