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Get There: May 18, 2008 - May 24, 2008

The Weekend and Beyond

Here's some travel advice for the holiday weekend and on into the summer. Road Work You won't see much of it this weekend. Maryland and Virginia pull up the orange barrels at their short term work sites for high-traffic holiday weekends. Don't take it as a sign of the summer to come. There will be plenty of construction, so stay alert in the work zones, which can be as dangerous for motorists as they are for construction crews. Rolling Thunder Some streets in Washington will be closed Sunday for the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle parade, part of the Memorial Day weekend commemorations. The event is from noon to 3 p.m. Most of the street closings end as the procession rolls on. Here's a map of the route. It starts at the Pentagon parking lot, goes over Memorial Bridge and around the national mall. Memorial Day Parade On Monday, watch for...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 23, 2008; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Buses Are The Thing This Year

A transit authority committee this morning is looking at a staff proposal to greatly expand the region's express bus services. But it's just one of a bunch of bus developments likely to expand commuters' options. -- Maryland is going to expand service on nine of its commuter bus routes to and from Washington. -- Separately from its express bus proposal, Metro is working with local jurisdictions on a proposal to speed bus trips by opening up road shoulders for their use. -- Virginia maintains that a key element of the HOT (high occupancy or toll) lane projects on the Beltway and I-95/395 is to support improvements in commuter bus services. The buses would use those express lanes for free. -- On June 30, Metrobus is going to overhaul service on one of its longest and most popular routes across Washington in an innovative program that could serve as a model...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 22, 2008; 7:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  transit  
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Man Hit by Metrorail Train at Wheaton Station

UPDATE: Coverage from The Post's Lena Sun. UPDATE 2: Normal service has been resumed on the Red Line, according to Metro. The man has been taken to a hospital for treatment. A Red Line train hit an unidentified male traveler at the Wheaton Metrorail station at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, according to a Metro press release. The man's condition was not mentioned. Trains at the station were sharing a single track between the Glenmont and Forest Glen stations to accomodate the work of police and emergency personnel, according to Metro; shuttle bus service was also established. Metro estimated that rail service would return to normal by 3:30 p.m....

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 21, 2008; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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DC Publishes Pedestrian Plan

The District government has published the final draft of its Pedestrian Master Plan and made it available online. (That's an 11 MB pdf file.) Two pedestrians were killed last year in wide crossing at 7th and Pennsylvania. (Thomson) This is the plan, based on a year and a half of study, that the District hopes to put into effect over the next decade. There will be public meetings on it in June. The sessions will be held in Wards 3, 6 and 7, but will be open to everyone. These are some of the important goals I see in the program's summary: -- Improve safety at signalized crossings and intersections -- Improve safety at uncontrolled crossings and intersections (those without stop signs or traffic signals). -- Focus on improving eight high priority corridors, with sidewalk repairs and construction, better location of bus stops, changes in signals, enhancements to crosswalks and...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 20, 2008; 1:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Safety  
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Gas Necessities

This letter picks up on the conversation about gas prices, tipping points and travel we began during Monday's online discussion. Please join in to talk about whether the cost of fuel has led you to rethink how you're getting around: "Yes, most people consider gas and car travel to be a "necessity" but not all car travel is equal. "Commuting for work or family issues (child care, elder care, appointments, scheduled commitments, etc.) is all considered essential travel to most families and that does not change. "However, non-essential travel (including social engagements, leisure travel, leisure activities, extraneous shopping, etc) will be limited. So, while people consider a trip to the doctor/dentist to be essential, they don't consider the Saturday trip to Skyline Drive or the mall to be essential and those get curtailed. "So, I've already seen people doing leisure-time and pleasure travel closer to home (going to Ocean City...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 20, 2008; 7:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Driving  
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Mixed Results at Crosswalk

A blog reader suggested I check out the new crosswalk set up by the District Department of Transportation to enhance pedestrian safety on Brentwood Road. New Brentwood Road crosswalk. (Thomson) Here's how the reader described it: "It USED to be nearly impossible to cross Brentwood road near the DMV during rush hour. This is a very frequently used crosswalk from a neighborhood to go through the Home Depot parking lot and to the Metro. For a while, we actually had a police officer every morning to help us cross." "Now - a compliment to DDOT! The new crosswalk button with flashing lights is AMAZING. I've never seen anything like it in the District. It works incredibly well." I walked over and tried it on Thursday morning. What I like best is that the District is trying new ways to make walking safer. What I learned was that this particular method...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 19, 2008; 6:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Safety  
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