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Get There: February 17, 2008 - February 23, 2008

The Weekend and Beyond

Road work has really slowed down across the Washington region, but Metro is making up for it, with several projects going this weekend. New Switch to Fix After completing work on the rail switch at Medical Center Station, Metro has begun a four-weekend project to fix a switch at Van Ness-UDC. If you're traveling between Dupont Circle and Friendship Heights from 9 o'clock Friday through the system's close at midnight Sunday, add at least 30 minutes to your normal travel time. To maximize service at the busiest stations, every other train heading toward Shady Grove will terminate at Farragut North and head back to Glenmont. Every other train heading toward Glenmont will terminate at Friendship Heights and go back to Shady Grove. Each of the next three weekends will follow the same pattern: Travel delays will begin at 9 p.m. on Fridays and continue through midnight Sundays. Also this weekend,...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 22, 2008; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Storm Easing Up

Your afternoon commute should be better than this morning's trip. The weather service has canceled the winter storm warning and travel conditions have improved, especially within the Capital Beltway, as the morning's icy mix changed to mostly rain and diminished. Maryland monitors winter highway conditions from its State Operations Center near BWI. (Thomson - file) But temperatures remain around freezing, and you still may encounter slick spots. VDOT, still smarting from the Feb. 12 ice storm delays at the Springfield Interchange, says it isn't taking any chances on the road conditions. Crews have treated commuter lots and will continue to treat highway ramps and bridges. They also are sanding hills, curves and trouble spots in subdivisions. Highway crews across the region had plenty of warning about the arrival of this storm, so all jurisdictions mobilized overnight and were out treating the roads, even neighborhood streets that usually are the last...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 22, 2008; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Weather  
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Snow Preparations Underway

There is an upside: The timing of this snow and ice storm will allow many commuters to see what they're in for before leaving home and make decisions accordingly. Current forecasts show the wintery mix arriving in time for the morning rush, when some people can still decide to take transit or telecommute. But drivers should beware that this storm likely will fit our recent pattern, with conditions varying from snow to ice to nothing and back again over a single commute. Don't be lulled if you start out in snow today. You'll probably come back in ice. (Worry about warming the windshield. During the Feb. 12 ice storm, many drivers found that the first pass of the wipers rendered the road ahead invisible. And take a scraper today.) Our Traffic Page has a map indicating accidents and delays, as well as camera views. We also have the forecast page...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 21, 2008; 4:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Weather  
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VDOT Gets Out Snow Equipment

Virginia's transportation department seems determined to avoid a repeat of last week's icy disaster at the Springfield Interchange. Let's wish 'em luck today and later this week, if the forecast holds. Today, VDOT said in an announcement, it's focusing on the bridges and overpasses, particularly at the Springfield Mixing Bowl. This includes pre-treating the ramps and bridges with 15 trucks with salt and sand and with four liquid magnesium tankers, the department said. The trucks were stationed ahead of time at the ramps and bridges throughout the interchange, so they could treat the roadways ahead of any snow or ice. This will be the standard procedure for all future snow and ice storms, VDOT said. Across its areas of responsibility in Northern Virginia, VDOT is sending out 722 salt and sand trucks. Besides the 114 trucks covering the interstates, there will be 317 trucks in Fairfax County, 101 trucks in...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 20, 2008; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Weather  
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Md. Considering More Speed Cameras

Police and state transportation officials packed a Maryland General Assembly committee hearing yesterday to endorse a bill that would allow jurisdictions across the state to use cameras to ticket speeders. The bill also would allow their use in road construction zones. Montgomery County introduced speed cameras last year. (Thomson) State senators on the Judicial Proceedings Committee asked the same questions that many readers asked when the speed camera program began last year in Montgomery County: Why is this necessary? Are the cameras effective? What if you're not the driver of the vehicle speeding? Is this a revenue-raiser? The measure (Senate Bill 269 and House Bill 364) has two parts: One would give local governments the right to create a speed camera system after holding a public hearing and enacting an ordinance. The other would allow their use in the roadway work zones. The bills are backed by the governor, and...

By Robert Thomson  |  February 20, 2008; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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Documenting Extreme Commutes

There are two types of commuters: Those of us who get to work, sigh, and think that, well, somebody else probably had it worse; and those of us who get to work, sigh, and suspect that no one else could possibly have had it any worse. Your commute here? (Thomson) If you're in the latter category, you're probably an extreme commuter, a person who travels a very long distance -- perhaps from central Virginia, West Virginia, southern Pennsylvania or the Eastern Shore -- for the privilege of working with the rest of us here in the Washington area. (With congestion worsening, an extreme commute isn't as far away as it used to be.) Andrea Bloom, a graduate student at American University, is making a documentary film about your commute. Right now, she's looking to recruit some of you extremists to be in the film, which is part of a thesis....

By Robert Thomson  |  February 19, 2008; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Advisories on D.C. Road Work

Drivers, a couple of projects in the District may affect your travels today. Potomac Freeway Ramp. The District Department of Transportation will be working on the ramp to the Whitehurst Freeway starting today at 6 a.m. and continuing to 6 a.m. Wednesday at the latest. Here's the detour: From I-66/Potomac Freeway, take a left onto Rock Creek Parkway, bear right at the yield sign on 27th Street NW, turn left onto K Street to the Whitehurst. 11th Street Bridge. As many as two outbound lanes on the 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia may be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today for some repairs....

By Robert Thomson  |  February 18, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories  
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