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Get There: February 3, 2008 - February 9, 2008

The Weekend and Beyond

Looks like a relatively quiet winter weekend around our region, with the exception of the Chinese New Year celebration in Washington's Chinatown. Here are some things that could effect your travels this weekend and later. Chinese New Year Celebration The New Year's festival will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday in the 600 block of H Street, which will be closed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parade starts at 2 p.m. in the 500 block of I (Eye) Street NW, which will be closed from noon to 3 p.m. Other streets along the parade route will be closed starting at 2 p.m. and reopened as the parade goes through. This is the route: West on I (Eye) Street, south on 7th, west on H, south on 8th, east on G, north on 7th, east on H and back to the festival area. Bus Detours Four Metrobus...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 8, 2008; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Traffic As Economic Indicator?

Hi Dr. Gridlock: I have noticed a welcome but eerie phenomenon on my daily commute from Clifton to the Vienna Metro station. This started around the MLK holiday. First, the drive at 7:30 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. between my house and Vienna takes half the time (about 20 minutes vs. about 40 minutes) and there are so many empty parking spaces! Seen worse on 66, nearing Beltway. (Robert Thomson) Now the availability of parking spaces could be explained by the recent increase in cost, but the flowing traffic stumps me. At first, I figured a lot of people were on vacation the week of the MLK holiday but it did not stop there. I hope this is not due to the slowdown of the economy, because that would be a very scary indicator. Patricia P. Morris Indeed it would. And in years past, I have heard traffic reporters say that...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 7, 2008; 5:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Congestion  
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Dulles Rail Not So Dead

Remember when the shaky finances behind the Wilson Bridge reconstruction seemed to have doomed that project? Similarly, the future of the Springfield Interchange reconstruction appeared to be in jeopardy several years ago because of surging costs. Now, it's the Metrorail-to-Dulles project called into question by opposition within the U.S. Department of Transportation. Since the feds practically demolished the project two weeks ago, I've received several letters like this from commuters. Hello, Dr. G: As a resident of Herndon, I don't have many choices for getting to Tysons or DC except to use the Dulles Toll Road. As you know, the folks running the Toll Road (Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority) increased my tolls a year or so ago to supposedly pay for the Metro line to Dulles Airport. So if the Dulles extension is dead, when do I get a refund for the extra tolls I've been paying? I'm asking somewhat...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 6, 2008; 8:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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New Pattern on GW Parkway Bridge

Reconstruction of the George Washington Parkway's Humpback Bridge is entering a new phase that probably will have more of an impact on drivers. Humpback Bridge area on GW Parkway. (Federal Highway Administration) On the southbound side of the parkway, both lanes are shifting to the left just before the bridge. This is likely to cause traffic congestion, even during the peak periods, when all the lanes are open. At this early stage of the project, which began last month, the construction work includes installation of two cranes on each side of the Boundary Channel along the southbound parkway and removal of a power line from under the bridge. A temporary power line will be installed across the channel, and boats still can pass under the bridge. The Mount Vernon Trail stays open for walkers and bikers throughout the project. The Humpback Bridge, just northwest of the 14th Street Bridge and...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 5, 2008; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction  
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DC Moves for Safer Sidewalks

This is good news for people who walk in Washington: D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and Transportation Director Emeka Moneme announced this morning that the city has a new pedestrian safety standard that requires either covered walkways or protected open walkways at most construction sites. In general, the District policy says, traffic control plans at construction sites should replicate the existing pedestrian walkways as nearly as possible. You can see all the rules at this link on the District Department of Transportation Web site. Fenty and Moneme, joined by D.C. Council Member Jim Graham and Terry Lynch, a longtime advocate for people who live and work downtown, announced the new standard from underneath a covered walkway near 20th and L Streets NW. We need more such walkways and fewer streets where pedestrians confront signs that say, "Sidewalk Closed." Fenty began his remarks by noting that people often ask him why it's...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 4, 2008; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Safety  
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