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Get There: August 31, 2008 - September 6, 2008

Getting Around in the Storm

Bay Bridge Wind restrictions are in effect this afternoon. House trailers, empty box trailers and other vehicles subject to strong winds are prohibited from crossing. Call 877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for bridge traffic conditions, or call up baybridge.com and see the traffic camera views. DC Towing From the District Department of Transportation: Vehicles that impede city crews from removing downed trees or debris that block streets will be moved. Their owners will not be fined, but parking regulations will be enforced for illegally parked vehicles. Drivers who think their vehicle has been towed or to confirm the location of a vehicle, should call 311 or go to www.dpw.dc.gov, click on "Parking Enforcement Services" then "Towing and Impoundment" to use DPW's online Towed Vehicle Locator. They also can contact the District's Towing Control Dispatch Center at 202-576-6071. On the Roads See our traffic page for incident reports and camera views across the Washington...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 6, 2008; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  
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The Weekend and Beyond

Tropical Storm The National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm warning for Saturday, saying we should expect gusty winds as well as heavy rain and flooding. The region's highway and transit departments have been making preparations to keep the roads and rails operating. If any of the weekend events I've listed below are cancelled, I'll post that here. Track the storm with our Capital Weather Gang reports. Metrorail Weekend Delays Track maintenance on the Red, Blue and Orange lines this weekend will cause delays while trains share single tracks to get around the work zones. When traveling on the Red Line between Friendship Heights and Medical Center, add 20 minutes to your schedule for the track maintenance, which scheduled to start at 10 p.m. Friday and continue until midnight Sunday. Every other Red Line train in the direction of Shady Grove will terminate at Friendship Heights and return to...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 5, 2008; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Metro Prepares for Saturday Storm

The transit authority, like many of our other transportation systems, is announcing preparations for dealing with Tropical Storm Hannah when it reaches the Washington area on Saturday. Flooding is the issue for public transit as well as for the highway departments. The third rail can't supply power to the trains if water reaches the rail's level. And of course, Metrobuses and MetroAccess vehicles depend on passable streets. Metro workers have placed more than 2,500 sand bags at stations with a history of flooding: Cleveland Park, King Street, Southern Avenue, Navy Yard, Federal Triangle, Stadium-Armory, Foggy Bottom-GWU and Largo. The transit authority says Smithsonian also has sometimes had water run off from the National Mall into the station through vent shafts. Crews also are checking the drains in the stations and the yards. Metrobus street supervisors will be watching for drainage problems so they can alert the operations center. The buses...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 5, 2008; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  
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Metro GM Doing Online Chat Today

John B. Catoe Jr., Metro's general manager, is scheduled to do an online discussion today at noon on Metro's Web site. Here's a link to his discussion page, where you can post a question or comment in advance....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 5, 2008; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , transit  
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Traffic Alert: Avoid 14th Street Downtown

A hotel fire closed a key intersection in downtown Washington this morning. The fire shut 14th Street NW at the Pennsylvania Avenue intersection. The District Department of Transportation advised drivers to avoid 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue between 13th and 15th streets NW. And watch for delays on both 14th Street and the 14th Street Bridge. At 9 a.m., the DDOT traffic camera at 14th Street and Maine Avenue shows very heavy traffic heading northbound off the 14th Street Bridge. (See our Traffic Page for map and camera views.)...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 5, 2008; 8:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Maryland's Bus Managers in DC Today

Maryland commuters can talk with MTA bus managers and staff this afternoon at six bus stops in Washington. Here's where you'll see them: -- 7th Street (southbound) and Maryland Avenue SW. -- Maryland Avenue (eastbound) and 7th Street SW. -- The Library of Congress, at Independence Avenue (eastbound) and 1st Street SE. -- The State Department, at C Street (eastbound) and 21st Street NW. -- North Capitol Street (southbound) and H Street. -- H Street (eastbound) and North Capitol Street....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 4, 2008; 6:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  transit  
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Morning Delays on MARC

Tracks for MARC's Camden and Brunswick lines have reopened. This morning's disruptions on the two lines stemmed from a police investigation near Union Station after a body was discovered on the tracks. With investigators were on the scene, MARC trains had to be backed into the stations at Silver Spring and Greenbelt to allow passengers to board Metrorail. Post reporter Debbi Wilgoren wrote this story about the incident....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 3, 2008; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Bay Bridge Update

Testing of the parapet on the left side of the eastbound span is done. The inspectors found some corrosion of reinforcing steel bolts in the concrete barrier and repairs are underway, says the Maryland Transportation Authority. The left lane on the eastbound span remains closed. This is the schedule for two-way traffic on what is normally the westbound span: -- Monday through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- Thursday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. -- Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- As needed, Monday through Saturday, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., during full closures of the eastbound span. The idea is to give commuters three westbound lanes during the morning rush and accommodate people returning from the Eastern Shore on the weekend while round-the-clock repairs continue on the eastbound span. But this situation is far from ideal. Many of the accidents on...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 3, 2008; 11:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Construction , Safety  
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VDOT Working on Beltway Ramp

To ease congestion, the Virginia Department of Transportation is adding another lane to the ramp from Route 7 in Falls Church onto the inner loop of the Capital Beltway. This involves reconfiguring the westbound lanes of Route 7 at the intersection with Magarity Road in Falls Church. The work is scheduled to be done on Nov. 20. In the meantime, watch for occasional lane closings through the area during off-peak hours.The $429,992 project also involves construction of a sidewalk, curb, gutter and pedestrian fence for safety. The Metrobus stop for routes 28A, B and T at the intersection is temporarily unavailable. The nearest stop is to the east, across from Marshall High School....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 3, 2008; 9:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion , Construction  
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Montgomery Planning Pedestrian Improvements

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced this morning that intensive efforts will begin this fall to improve safety at one of the county's most dangerous stretches of road. County Executive Leggett announces safety program. (Thomson) This was the first of what will become an string of announcements over the next eight days about Montgomery's efforts to improve pedestrian safety. Leggett made this first announcement at a parking lot in Silver Spring that's alongside the first target for attention: the section of Piney Branch Road between Flower avenue and the Montgomery/Prince George's line. With 22 pedestrian collisions from 2005 through 2007, this area had the highest concentration of pedestrian collisions in Montgomery County. A long way to cross University Boulevard at Piney Branch. (Thomson) It includes the intersection of University Boulevard and Piney Branch, two wide commuter routes with plenty of driveways, businesses, apartment buildings, bus stops -- many of the...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 2, 2008; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Safety  
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Waiting for 'September Shock'

For many commuters, the move from summer to fall isn't as swift or surprising as it used to be. School starts, which were a big factor in traffic and transit congestion, come more gradually than they used to for the Washington region. Northern Virginia schools are starting up this week, but many students in Maryland and the District have been back at their desks since late August. Meanwhile, Capitol Hill remains quiet. We're still in road construction season. Since few people have the luxury of taking summer-long vacations, the current set of road projects isn't a surprise to commuters who drive. In transit, Metrorail continued to set ridership records through the summer. I see nothing much has changed on MARC: Train 506 was delayed because of problems problems, and there's a slowdown on the Brunswick Line this week, because CSX is working on the tracks. Train 894 left Frederick 40...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 2, 2008; 7:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion  
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