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Get There: August 10, 2008 - August 16, 2008

The Weekend and Beyond

Some advice for your travels this weekend and during the rest of the month: Metrorail Delays Track maintenance on the Blue, Orange and Red lines this weekend will delay trains as they take turns on single tracks around the work zones. See the full details here on Metro's Web site. Remember if you use Metro's Trip Planner feature on the transit authority's home page that Trip Planner doesn't factor in the weekend delays. Huntington Garage Open Metro has opened a six-level, 1,424-space parking garage at Huntington Station on the Yellow Line. The $31.1 million garage, which took two years to build, is part of a development at the station that includes residential, commercial and office space. E Street Expressway The District Department of Transportation is repairing the ramp leading from the E Street Expressway to westbound Interstate 66. The single-lane ramp is scheduled to reopen by Aug. 25. Detour: Go...

By Robert Thomson  |  August 15, 2008; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Red Line Delays in Both Directions

Red Line commuters should expect "major delays" this morning due to a small fire that was reported at Metro Center station. Service on the Red Line was halted for about 20 minutes until the fire was extinguished, according to a Metro press release. Free bus services will be available at the Farragut North, Gallery Place-Chinatown and Metro Center Stations. Traffic alerts are also reporting delays around the Metro Center Station because of fire equipment vehicles. Drivers on F Street, 13th Street, 12th Street and G Street should expect delays....

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 14, 2008; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
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Advocating Eye Contact in Traffic

Here's a very sensible letter about road safety, but I want to ask you a question after you read it. Dear Dr. Gridlock: As part of the ongoing discussion about driver/cyclist relations I thought I would share the following experience: Yesterday I was on my bike at the intersection of R and Connecticut/20th where the cyclist was killed several weeks ago by a garbage truck. The light was red and I was stopped in the bicycle lane. I have a habit of always looking back to make eye contact with drivers when I am stopped at a light, and I did so this time. The driver in the car next to me nodded and rolled down his window to tell me that he would be making a right turn onto Connecticut. I thanked him for letting me know. He replied that if I wanted I could go first. I graciously...

By Robert Thomson  |  August 14, 2008; 6:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Biking , Commuting , Driving , Safety  
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SmartBike Open for Business in DC

Wear a helmet. That's the one essential you're not going to get when using the new SmartBike DC system to take a three-hour tour around the city. SmartBike logo on rear wheel. (Thomson) Such a deal: For $40 a year, people 18 or older can register online and receive an electronic card, like a SmarTrip card, that allows them to take bikes from one of the docking stations across downtown Washington and use them for up to three hours. There are 10 docking stations now and more are on the way. Mayor Adrian Fenty formally launched the program today, next to the SmartBike rack at the Reeves Center at U and 14th streets NW. Chantal Buchser, who works at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association in Dupont Circle and has been beta testing SmartBikes, rode up in a dress suitable for office wear. The bike's design, with its low bar and...

By Robert Thomson  |  August 13, 2008; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Biking , Commuting  
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Easier Drive at Beltway Ramp

The Upper Marlboro commuter who wrote to me for Sunday's column about congestion on the ramp from the Capital Beltway to southbound Branch Avenue in Prince George's had this to say about the Maryland State Highway Administration's fixes. Hello Dr. Gridlock: On Monday, I traveled through the Beltway/Branch Avenue interchange at around 5:30 p.m. and the weekend's modifications to the off ramp seem to have did the trick. Everything was much improved. There were no delays on either loop of the Beltway and Branch Avenue flowed well even with the new lane drop. Sidney V. Elam Jr. The state extended the ramp lanes carrying inner and outer loop traffic so drivers would not have to do a difficult merge on the ramp. For you others who use the ramp, are you also finding the traffic flow better this week?...

By Robert Thomson  |  August 12, 2008; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving  
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The Future of Pedestrian Safety

The ward meetings on the District's pedestrian safety plan can be hard to find. They often are in church basements, which some of us find after rattling every other doorway to the institution. New crosswalk system on Brentwood Road NE. (Thomson) That may fit the profile of the plan itself: We've tried many approaches to road safety, but some people are willing to keep at it until we find the right way in. George Branyan, the District's pedestrian safety coordinator, has been presenting the draft safety plan at these sessions. On Monday night, he made his final presentation at the Church of the Nazarene on 16th Street NW in Ward 4, with Council member Muriel Bowser. Branyan focused listeners' attention on a set of counterintuitive statistics about walking and driving: Studies show that as wide roadways become more congested, pedestrians are more likely to get hit in marked crosswalks than...

By Robert Thomson  |  August 12, 2008; 8:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Safety , Transportation Politics  
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Eastbound Bridge Lane Reopens

5 P.M. Update: The Maryland Transportation Authority announced the right lane of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge's eastbound span has reopened, and the lengthy delays have cleared. The lane had been closed since a tractor trailer crashed through the side barrier and fell into the bay on Sunday morning, killing the driver. During the closure, transportation authority police performed an accident reconstruction while workers repaired the bridge. The left lane of the eastbound span reopened to eastbound traffic at 8:20 p.m. Sunday. Get the latest on the traffic by calling 877-BAYSPAN or go to the Bay Bridge Web site....

By Robert Thomson  |  August 11, 2008; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Intercounty Connector Advancing

A road in northern Silver Spring will permanently close today as the eastern side of the $2.4 billion intercounty connector highway program develops. Map of Dogwood Drive closure. (SHA) The Maryland State Highway Administration is shutting off a section of Dogwood Drive at Briggs Chaney Road in northern Silver Spring. People who have been using Dogwood Drive will be detoured to Gateshead Manor Way and then Aston Manor Drive to reach Briggs Chaney Road. Drivers on both sides of Route 29 can now see staging areas for construction of the connector. As work begins on "Contract C" between Old Columbia Pike and I-95, the Dogwood Drive section is closing to make way for construction of a bridge over the connector at Briggs Chaney Road. The connector, scheduled to open in 2011, will link I-370/I-270 in Montgomery County with I-95 and U.S. Route 1 in Prince George's County....

By Robert Thomson  |  August 11, 2008; 6:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Advisories , Construction , intercounty connector  
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