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Traffic Delays on I-66 in Arlington

Virginia Department of Transportation crews are drilling holes for retaining walls near Westmoreland Street (Exit 68 on Interstate 66), requiring some late-morning lane closures on the westbound side that are likely to result in heavy traffic congestion this week.

Each morning this week, from 10 a.m. to about 11:30 a.m., expect to find the two right lanes and the right shoulder closed in the westbound direction.

That schedule should hold as long as the weather is okay. VDOT says it will put out an updated schedule for more work that must be done as part of this effort, which is part of the study for the proposed spot improvements along westbound I-66 inside the Beltway.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 8, 2008; 5:11 AM ET
Categories:  Construction  
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I got stuck in this last Friday and it took me over an hour to get from Spout Run to Sycamore Street. Absolutely brutal.

Posted by: Arlington, VA | January 8, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Short term pain for long term gain. If the NIMBYs of Arlington hadn't held this up so long it wouldn't be as painful. Unfortunately their "urban oasis" adds people commuting in all directions, which clogs up their streets they refuse to widen to accommodate the increase in density. Not every single person can (or will) take metro.

Posted by: Steven | January 8, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

It took me over an hour and a half to get from the Glebe entrance to the 267 split last Thursday and I believe they started work a 9am.

Posted by: Ballston | January 8, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Short term pain? The only thing VDOT does "short" is exit and entrance ramp lengths and overall project management. These "spot improvements" and "studies for spot improvements" will be under construction and "studying" until 2020, about the time Metro makes it to Dulles and the region is faced with 24/7 gridlock.

Posted by: nocando | January 8, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

arlington should be paved over

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I have a question for people who back into parking spaces: why? It seems to take you twice as long to back in as it would to back out later. Not to mention, you seem to have a hard time landing between the lines. I do get a kick out of watching you try to load your groceries or Home Depot purchases when you've back in and made getting to your trunk almost impossible.

Posted by: atb | January 8, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't back into parking spaces, I usually look for no parking signs and edges of roads and park there that way nobody parks by me but my fellow maryland drivers!

Posted by: Maryland Driver | January 8, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

As a former postal carrier, I was taught to pull forward whenever possible. That means backing into a space so I can later pull out forward facing. The reason? So you can see where you are going at all times. Saftey. It is easier to know what is behind you when pulling into a space backwards (people don't tend to walk across parking spaces...they follow the road behind the cars) than it is backing out of a space, where people, other drivers or children can and do dart into your path and you won't see them. I choose to back in with my personal car even now because these safety rules make common sense. I'm sorry if that inconveniences you for a millisecond while I do that but someday it may be your kid I refrain from running over cuz I am able to see where I am going when I pull out. And it isn't me that you see taking an hour to back in. I've done it so much I can do it in my sleep. One shot, straight between the lines.

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | January 8, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

A millisecond? Ha! Must not be you then, since these people take 4-5 tries to almost make it between the lines, as long lines of cars trying to get in the deck and get to work queue up behind them. There aren't many children going to work in my government building, so that's generally not a concern. I also hadn't realized that there was an epidemic of people backing into children. I live on a street with a middle school. I have yet to hit a kid walking to school as I back out of my driveway, but I guess it's just a matter of time, what with the epidemic and all.

Posted by: atb | January 9, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

People in Washington love to gripe about anything. Really...people backing into spaces gets you fired up and angry? I think you may have some larger issues.

Posted by: Arlington, VA | January 9, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

It is generally better to back out than to back in. You have a larger space to work with and don't have to get it "just right"

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Dc cops are useless. This morning I saw one make a U-turn at a red light from the rightmost lane. Two or three cops jumped out... and walked into Dunkin Donuts.

Posted by: commuter | January 9, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I think backing in is safer than backing out, with the caveat that you have to know how to do it to get it right. When you back into a space, you're backing near cars that aren't moving as opposed when backing out of a space.

Here's a trick that I learned when I drove a bus in college: Point your side mirrors lower so that you can see the ground on the sides of your car near your back tires. Just line up the sides of your car with the lines on the asphalt or the cars next to you as you back in and you're golden. This means that you'll be facing forward while backing, so that you can see the mirrors, which is different that what most people are taught. That's the way I learned in a bus since they didn't have rear windows, so that's what I've become comfortable with. Give it a try to see if it helps.

Posted by: John | January 9, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Well, practice makes perfect. Those same people making several attempts will get better and faster. You gotta start somewhere, I guess.

No there's no epidemic of kids getting hit. I sleep better at night knowing that I've lessened the chance for hitting anything that can suddenly dart into the path of a car backing up by taking the time to back in at the start. How many people (adults) look for back up lights on cars as they walk to the store/their car in a parking lot? Not many and even those who do do not always see the cars. Same goes for drivers who want to back out. You may look all you want and the second you are looking one way is the all it takes for someone to appear out of nowhere on the opposite side as you begin backing out. Its just one less thing to worry about when driving if you back in/pull out. And like the other poster said, use your mirrors and the lines on the ground. That's what they're there for.

I know it can be a pain to have to wait while someone makes a maneuver, but can't we all just be a little more patient with each other? It makes the world a much nicer place.

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | January 9, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

CyanSquirrel, it is people like you that make traffic in this area so awful.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

To Anonymous Troll:

Yes indeed. It must be horrible for you to witness kindness and humanity showing through to other drivers. Especially when you're as asinine and obsessed with snarkiness as you are. Don't you have something better to do than post obnoxious crap online? Or is your life that pathetic? Grow up!

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | January 10, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

CyanSquirrel, I bet you're the guy that was trying to back down an arterial this morning. You're lucky you're not dead.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 11, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Ah. Thanks for noticing! I was afraid my show was all for nothing :-)

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | January 11, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

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