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Get There: January 13, 2008 - January 19, 2008

The Weekend and Beyond

Metrorail Delays Many riders will encounter slow going this holiday weekend because of single-tracking around the repair work underway at Metro Center. Passengers, especially those bound for events at Verizon Center, should build in at least a half an hour extra travel time from 10 o'clock tonight through Monday night. The second half of the project, which will fix the bridge that takes the Red Line tracks over the Blue and Orange Line tracks, is scheduled for President's Day weekend. (Here's a link to Lena H. Sun's story about the project.) Work area on Blue/Orange platform. (Gerald Martineau) Metro Center Station will remain open. The Shady Grove side of the Red Line platform will be closed. Trains will use the other track. Blue and Orange Line riders will find their platform open. They will see the areas above both tracks where the Metro crews are replacing sections of hard...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 18, 2008; 5:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Couple of Weather Postponements

Our Web site is running a list of closings and cancellations, because of today's storm, but I heard about a couple of others related to transportation events. -- The Prince William Committee of 100 has postponed this evening's forum on transportation scheduled for the Four Points Sheraton in Manassas and will pick a new date for the event. (I heard about that one because I was scheduled to moderate the panel and am looking forward to getting there on the new date.) -- The Maryland State Highway Administration has postponed an open house scheduled for tonight in Montgomery County to discuss plans to widen Route 124. SHA spokeswoman Kellie Boulware says the new date is Feb. 7. The meeting at Judith A. Resnick Elementary School cafeteria, 7301 Hadley Farms Drive, Gaithersburg, will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. (The SHA is planning to widen Route 124 to...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 17, 2008; 1:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Weather  
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Dulles Rail Plan Vital to Suburbs

State and local officials in Virginia are ready to do whatever it takes to meet federal conditions and get a new Metrorail line built through Tysons and on to Dulles. But the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking a long time to review the rail plan, and as Amy Gardner says in today's Post, it may not go along. The rail line has noteworthy problems: Huge cost, dissatisfaction with the above-ground route through Tysons and uncertainties about how it will mesh with the rest of the Metro system. But abandoning the project would be a disaster for Northern Virginia and the Washington region. There's no second choice. Planning for the future of Tysons, the economic linchpin of Northern Virginia, is organized around the four new Metro stations the rail line would provide. Along the Toll Road on the way to Dulles Airport is Reston, another boomtown without a significant transit...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 17, 2008; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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National Transport Report Draws Praise, Criticism

There has been plenty of reaction to the national transportation plan presented Tuesday by a congressional commission. Commissioners called on Americans to set new goals and employ new methods in creating a 21st Century transportation system. These are excerpts from some of the governmental, transportation industry and environmental group responses to the commission's report. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials President Pete Rahn "The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission has put forth some bold and groundbreaking concepts to deliver on the promise of mobility for this and future generations." "Some of the recommendations in this report will be considered controversial, but clearly the ideas presented will help to stimulate the national debate we must have if we are to chart a course for a transportation network equal to the demands of the 21st Century." U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, chairman of the commission and one...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 16, 2008; 5:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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Toward a New Era in Transportation

A congressional commission today started what it hopes will be a national conversation about what we want out of our transportation system and how we'll pay for it. You can find the commission's full report here. These are some -- but definitely not all -- of the conclusions. -- As thousands of drivers and transit riders in the Washington region rediscover on a daily basis, whatever we're doing now isn't working. It's taking more and more time and it's more and more stressful to reach our destinations. -- We need to figure out what we're trying to do. The last time we had a national goal for getting around was when we planned, financed and built the interstate highway system that today accounts for about a quarter of four traffic. Today we have something that's more like a national revenue-sharing program between the federal government and the states and localities....

By Robert Thomson  |  January 15, 2008; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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Major Rehab at Metro Center

Repairs to the Red Line bridge over the Blue and Orange lines at Metro Center will limit service this holiday weekend at one of the transit system's most important hubs. The Red Line bridge at Metro Center is sagging, so the transit authority is going to replace the bearing pads that support the bridge. Also, crews will replace the granite platform and ceiling tiles, and repair expansion joints and structural concrete. While the tracks and platforms are safe, Metro says, the work needs to be done. But the $1.3 million job at a crucial downtown junction of three rail lines is bound to be disruptive, so Metro is planning to do the work on two three-day holiday weekends: Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President's Day weekends. The station will remain open during the work. However, Metro recommends building an extra 30 minutes into your travel times on the Red,...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 15, 2008; 7:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Metro  
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Gripes About Traffic Reports

Are commuters in any portion of our region deprived of traffic reports? Here's one commuter who thinks so. Dear Dr. Gridlock: I'm writing to vent on my pet peeve, which is the complete lack of traffic coverage for commuters coming in and out through the southeast area of DC. As everyone knows, there are only three ways to get into the city from Southern Maryland: I-295, Suitland Parkway, and Pennsylvania Avenue. Day after day, we are stuck in horrific delays, with no mention at all on the traffic reports, or, if there is a mention, it is usually too little too late. Don't we deserve equal coverage and consideration? Is it a case of snobbery or racism? How can WTOP brag about their coverage when they consistently ignore 1/4 of the pie that the D.C. metro area is comprised of? In addition, even those commuters who try to do their...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 14, 2008; 8:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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