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The Weekend and Beyond

Metro Track Work
The four-weekend switch repair project at Mount Vernon Square on the Green and Yellow lines will take the Memorial Day weekend off, so riders won't have to worry about delays of more than half an hour next weekend.

The work, which got started last weekend, resumes tonight and continues through Sunday night. Then it will begin again on May 30-June 1 and conclude on June 6-8.

Andrews Air Show
The annual air show at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George's County is this weekend. Visitors can park at FedEx Field and take shuttle buses into Andrews. Shuttles also will run from the Branch Avenue Metro station at the end of the Green Line.

Here's a description of Metro's services to get you there and back.

11th Street SW Bridge
The District on Mondayplans to start an 18-month rehabilitation project on part of the 11th Street SW Bridge near L'Enfant Plaza.

The work on the bridge, where it crosses over D Street SW , the railroad tracks and approach roadways, includes replacement of the bridge deck, parts of the piers, abutments, the roadway and retaining walls. There will be lighting improvements, new traffic signals, a new water main and a resurfacing of the approaches.

The exit ramp to 12th and D streets SW will be closed. Traffic will detour to 15th Street SW, then Independence Avenue and back to 12th Street SW. Drivers coming north from Virginia will have bridge access via a temporary crossover lane created by expanding the 11th Street SW roadway.

MARC Office Closing
MARC's Silver Spring ticket office is scheduled to close June 6, about a year later than originally planned because of delays in starting construction of the Silver Spring transit center, a new hub for buses and trains.

MARC riders still will be able to board their trains at the platforms, but the ticket agent won't be there. Riders can pay cash for one way fares on board the trains without a penalty. Look also for an Amtrak Quik-TrakÖ machine near the elevator tower. Riders can use debit or credit cards there to buy MARC tickets.

Bypass all that: Order MARC tickets by mail through the Commuter Direct service. Call 703-228-7433 or look online at CommuterDirect.com.

Purple Line Information
The Maryland Transit Administration is holding one more open house to discuss its latest findings on the proposed Purple Line transit route across Montgomery and Prince George's counties. This session, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., will be held Wednesday at the Langley Park Community Center, 1500 Merrimac Drive.

Route 32 Paving
The Maryland State Highway Administration has started a nighttime paving project along Route 32 in the Clarksville area of Howard County.

The work, scheduled to be completed by the end of June, will be done along two and a half miles of Route 32 between West Linden Church Road and Clarksville Pike. Watch for single-lane closures between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., Sunday through Thursday nights. Watch for the construction workers, too.

By Robert Thomson  |  May 16, 2008; 12:21 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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Next: Mixed Results at Crosswalk

Comments

Any word on when Chain Bridge Road is going to re-open after the water main break?

Posted by: VA123 | May 16, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Dr. G, when you refer to the 11th Street SW bridge, is this the one you encounter coming from Virginia when you take the exit marked "12th Street" (i.e., the small overpass that has had a jersey wall and a rusted-out piece of metal on the left side of the road seemingly forever)? Just wondering if I have the right location in mind simply because I always thought of that as the 12th Street Exit.

Posted by: Rich | May 16, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I interpret that to mean the elevated roadway marked as "L'Enfant Promenade" or "L'Enfant Plaza SW" on Google Maps. It is between 12th and 9th Streets.

I think saying "11th Street Bridge" is misleading because most people think of that as the bridge over in SE across the Anacostia...

Posted by: Woodley Park | May 16, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

VA123: Channel 4 posted at noon that it was expected to be open by 1:00.

http://www.nbc4.com/traffic/16294991/detail.html

(I just found out today that Mapquest has a "traffic" thingie on its maps; said traffic thingie no longer shows an incident at Chain Bridge. So it may indeed be all cleared up now.)

Posted by: Scooter | May 16, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"Metro will be operating Green Line trains every 24 minutes due to track work at Mt. Vernon Square"..."Metro will have 190 buses shuttling people to Fedex Field and Branch Avenue."

Can you say cluster#_*$*#$, anyone? Just when I was starting to have faith in metro management again, they pull something like this. There has *got* to be a way to run more trains between at least Branch Avenue and L'Enfant Plaza than every 24 minutes. Why doesn't Metro just drop all pretenses and close on the weekends?

Posted by: Joe in SS | May 16, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Metro runs on the weekends? I stopped trying to use it two years ago.

Posted by: Mark | May 16, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"I interpret that to mean the elevated roadway marked as 'L'Enfant Promenade' or 'L'Enfant Plaza SW' on Google Maps. It is between 12th and 9th Streets."

That's what I initially thought of too, but I note two things about Dr. G's description of the project: (a) a ramp to 12th & D (no such ramp exists from the L'Enfant Promenade) and (b) a mention of northbound traffic coming from Virginia (which can't access the L'Enfant Promenade unless you take the Maine Avenue exit and loop back around through Banneker Circle SW). I looked at Google Maps and the 12th Street exit appears to line up with 11th Street NW.

I have to say I always wondered how there were two 12th Streets in SW, one a surface street and one the highway that goes down through that tunnel. I guess this is the answer!

"I think saying '11th Street Bridge' is misleading because most people think of that as the bridge over in SE across the Anacostia..."

I'm assuming it was the DC DOT people who called it that and that Dr. Gridlock is reporting what they described. I initially thought of those two rotten bridges until I saw the reference to Independence Avenue and the phrase "L'Enfant Plaza"--or is that "LaFont Plaza" per the language of Metrorail operators?

Posted by: Rich | May 16, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Metro-ese - Why does every single train operator pronounce the stop between Gallery Place and Union Station as joo-di-SHOO-air-ee square, rather than joo-di-SHEE-air-ee square? There are more pressing problems on the planet, but I've always wondered. :)

Posted by: Joe in SS | May 16, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I've usually heard "Jew-dish-er-ery" Square. Another is the Braddock Road stop, which is nearly almost always "Brad-dock" with two separate "d" sounds. This statement may sound crass, but I think it's generally just a case that train operators aren't the most educated folks out there. Doesn't explain why "LaFont Plaza" is universal among the operators, though--you'd think there would just be a mish-mash of pronunciations. (On the whole the Atlanta MARTA has the right solution: All the station announcements are pre-recorded, and they add things like "Exit here for [fill in tourist attraction or sports venue].")

Posted by: Rich | May 16, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

How about the Orange Line stops in Arlington County? Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon, Virginia Square ... Boston.

Posted by: walk left, stand right | May 16, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

No mention of the Douglas bridge closings on South Cap tonight?

Posted by: Moose | May 16, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: Rich and WP, the parallel roadways to the "11th Street Bridge SW" are 12th Street to the west and L'Enfant Promenade to the east.

I found the name confusing, too, because I'm much more familiar with the 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia in Southeast Washington. But things haven't gotten bad enough that they're letting me name our bridges.

You can read the DDOT press release here:
http://newsroom.dc.gov/show.aspx/agency/ddot/section/24/release/13743

Posted by: Robert Thomson | May 16, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Rich - although I ask about it, I do very much enjoy the different voices announcing stops. I would HATE it if announcements were pre-recorded. The obnoxious, pathetic doors opening and closing announcements are horrid. I do really like hearing a real voice.

Posted by: Joe in SS | May 16, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

"The obnoxious, pathetic doors opening and closing announcements are horrid."

Funny you say that. The lady whose voice was on the prior announcements is a friend of mine. The new lady is very bossy-sounding (which I know was the idea, of course).

Posted by: Rich | May 16, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, pre-recorded announcements can be annoying. But at least you can sort of understand them. The ones on NYC's newest subway cars are obnoxiously loud it seems. And it gets very repetative...

"This is 86th Street. Bronx-bound 6 train. The next stop is, 96th Street. Staaannnd clear of the clooooossssssinnnnggggg doors please!"

Oh, and my favorite Metro stop is, "Grove-ner". I've heard "Governor" said on a couple of occasions too. And, of course, "Foh-gey Bottom" is another favorite! "Gal-you-det University?" "Brooklyn - CUA"?

Posted by: Woodley Park | May 17, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Dick White once told me that Metro wanted the operators to speak the names of the stations because, in an automated system of train controls, it was one of the ways to keep the operators engaged. (I always think of that when the operator announces the wrong station.)

Some of your comments suggest that we benefit from having a variety of voices up there in the cab. Makes the routine trip a little more interesting. You can pick out particular train operators, as San Franciscans can pick out cable car operators by the distinctive ring of the car bell.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | May 17, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I'll lay $1.00 to a bag of doughnuts, that given the neighborhood & the lack of parking, not to mention the local population, that the meeting for the Purple Line, at the Langley Park Community Center will be the least attended.

Maybe thats why the meeting is scheduled from 4-6pm, so people can get outta town, before the sun sets.

Posted by: Redskins Robbie | May 17, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

OK, I just read the DDOT press release and I think that is the most confusing and least informative press release I've ever read! "...the exit ramp to the 12th and D Street Intersection (ramp to the 12th Street tunnel) will be closed."

It would be nice if they mentioned from which road.

Does this mean from Rte.1/395? So that when you're coming from Pentagon City/Crystal City and trying to exit at the L'Enfant Promenade exit, you can't? It would seem so, but then the release says "Motorists coming northbound from Virginia will continue to have access through the bridge via a temporary crossover lane to be created by expanding the 11th Street southwest roadway."

So I'm not sure who this affects, or where this alleged exit ramp is.

Posted by: PQ | May 18, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

It seem to me that the spring loaded overhead handles on the Metro trains and Metro connector buses are installed sideways and twist your wrist as you are trying to face forward or backwards. I have heard other customers complain of the same problem.

Posted by: Eric Duman | May 18, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Rich - it's not so much the bossy sound (though that is annoying), but also the minor key of the tones - they don't cut through the noise as the old, higher pitched, ding dong that we all know and love. The whole thing was handled terribly by Dick White. Everyone hated them when they came out, and he basically told the riders where to stuff it. Please tell your friend that I, for one, miss her! :)
And Woodley Park - I'd rather have the "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors" from the 6 train in New York - it's upbeat, and it cuts thru the crowd noise.

Posted by: Joe in SS | May 18, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like speaking the names of the stations is one of the ways to keep the operators awake.

Posted by: Dorf | May 19, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I was once on a Metro train...had to have been back in 2003 or 2004, so back in the days of "Doors opening", "Doors closing", and "Please stand clear of the doors, Thank you". Instead of the nice, pleasant, lady voice saying "please stand clear of the doors, thank you", they had some really tough, mean sounding male voice which practically screamed at the riders, "PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE DOORS!!!" Never forgot that odd-ball announcement, but you know what...it worked. I only heard it that one time, so it might have been something new they were testing or something.

Posted by: Woodley Park | May 19, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know what was happening this past Saturday afternoon at around 2pm on 395 South @ Maine Avenue? I was trying to get to Bailys Crossroads and ran into a horrendous, bumper to bumper parking lot traffic jam. I dont drive much so I was astounded. I quickly got off the highway. I heard on the radio that there was road work and traffic had been reduced to 1 lane. What genius planned that project for a Saturday afternoon in May? Why cant these people work at NIGHT when there is less traffic??!?!?!!??

Posted by: Junior | May 19, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

How about "get the f-ck away from the train"?

Posted by: Janice | May 19, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Junior, I noticed last night (Monday) on my way over the Case Bridge that DC's ongoing effort to update the Big Green Signs along that road is continuing, as the gantry over the gore point for the southbound express lanes had been stripped of signage and that part of one new sign was in place. Perhaps that was what you encountered. I've encountered work like that when leaving the city after Capitals games at the Phone Booth and after last year's sold-out DC United v. LA Galaxy game, so it's clear to me that local events do not factor into the timing of any of these road works.

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