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Get There: January 20, 2008 - January 26, 2008

This Weekend and Beyond

Whether you drive or take transit, here are some things you might like to know about traveling this weekend and next week. I-395 Signs Starting Monday, the District will be in its final phase of installing new signs along the interstate, to give you more time to figure out your exit. Day work is scheduled from 9:30a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday. For the rest of the project, the work will be done during evening hours, 8 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. It should be done on Feb. 8. Watch for temporary lane closures in these areas: -- Northbound I-395's HOV ramp at the 14th Street Bridge. -- Northbound I-395's two left lanes, from the 14th Street Bridge to the 12th Street Expressway. -- Southbound I-395's left lane, from 12th Street to the 14th Street Bridge. Red Line Delays Metro tonight will resume work on replacing the switch at Medical Center Station....

By Robert Thomson  |  January 25, 2008; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Feds Slam Dulles Rail Project

Federal Transit Administrator James Simpson said this afternoon that his agency has serious questions about whether the Washington airports authority can build the rail line to Dulles and whether Metro can operate it. [See Amy Gardner's story in Friday's Post.] Rendering of proposed Tysons East station. (Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project photo) This morning, the FTA presented its concerns to Gov. Timothy Kaine, congressmen from Virginia, the airports authority and Metro. If they heard the same things Simpson just said in his press conference, they should be devastated about the future of this project, which has become a crucial part of the planning for the future of Northern Virginia. Simpson left no doubt during the press conference that the rail plan faces a string of uncertainties as far as the FTA is concerned, and that's important because the project needs $900 million in federal funds to construct the first phase, which...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 24, 2008; 3:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (103)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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Dulles Rail Decision Near

Virginia officials know the Washington suburbs need the Metrorail line that would run through the rapidly developing centers of Tysons, Reston and Dulles. They're prepared to deal with any objection the U.S. Department of Transportation raises so that they can win the $900 million federal contribution that is crucial to construction of this very expensive project. Rendering of a planned Route 7 station in Tysons Corner. (Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project photo) But DOT just doesn't want to let this one go. In The Post, Amy Gardner writes about a meeting scheduled for today between Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and Congress members from Virginia and U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters. Last week, Peters laid out a lot of her philosophy on transportation policy in her dissent from the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission, which she chaired. The commission's report, endorsed by the nine congressionally appointed members but not...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 24, 2008; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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Park Police Hope to Ease Delays

The U.S. Park Police have a new technique they hope will cut down on the traffic congestion that follows a serious accident on the parkways in the Washington region. It's a software program that uses a calibrated digital camera and numbered markers to create three-dimensional diagrams of accident scenes. The photogrammetry technique gives police the same scene evidence they get from older methods of accident reconstruction, but it lets them get out of there quicker and reopen closed lanes. The park police used the technique to reconstruct a Jan. 8 pedestrian accident on the Clara Barton Parkway, said Sgt. Robert Lachance, a police spokesman. The technique will work in many scenarios, but not all, he said. It's most useful when the accident scene is fairly compact. Lachance said it's difficult to give an average for home much time can be saved, since no two accidents or investigations are alike. He...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 23, 2008; 5:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion  
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Winter Advisory Canceled

Temperatures are rising this afternoon, and the worst weather you should encounter on your way home is a bit of rain. The National Weather Service has canceled its winter weather advisory because of the rising temperatures and lack of percipitation. Still, it was good to see all those Maryland DOT and contractor plows and trucks along I-95 this afternoon. They were all standing by along the medians and on the sides of the highway awaiting what developed. The only complaints about road conditions that I've received this season came in December when a small storm struck us earlier in the morning than forecast and the highway crews were out at the same time as the morning rush hour traffic. Roads were being treated for the first time as you were driving on them. We've had other weather problems since then, but the complaints I've gotten from readers have mostly been...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 22, 2008; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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New Signals on South Capitol

There are two new traffic signals on South Capitol Street SE, part of the gateway corridor project that includes the rehabilitation of the Frederick Douglass Bridge. Both are near the new Nationals baseball stadium, north of the Douglass Bridge. Look for one at the intersection of South Capitol and O Street and the other at the intersection with P Street. Early last year, when we started talking about the South Capitol Street project and the bridge rehab -- including the summertime shutdown -- many commuters were worried about the impact of new signals. Would they slow down traffic? The District's idea is to open up the neighborhood and make it easier to get across South Capitol for people traveling east-west. The District Department of Transportation hopes the new signals will improve pedestrian safety and allow traffic to move safely through the intersections. DDOT says the lights will be coordinated with...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 22, 2008; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving  
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Tuesday Traffic Downtown

Tuesday is the day for the annual March for Life on the national mall. Some streets will be closed temporarily and parking restrictions will be in effect. Participants in the main march (there are likely to be some other, smaller marches feeding into the main one) begin assembling at 9 a.m. on the mall between Fourth and Seventh streets NW. Then at about 1 p.m., they march to the Supreme Court. The route takes them up 4th Street to Pennsylvania Avenue NW, then east on Pennsylvania to Constitution Avenue, to First Street NE, then south on First Street past the court, then east on East Capitol Street. They disband at Second Street about three hours after starting out. Use this link to the D.C. police department Web page to see the full details about the street closings and parking restrictions....

By Robert Thomson  |  January 21, 2008; 6:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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