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The Weekend and Beyond

Some advice on your upcoming travels and other transportation issues:

Fare Increase Hearings
Six public hearings will be held in September on a potential fare increase for commuters and local passengers on PRTC buses, which serve Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park.

Ridership, like the price of diesel fuel, has been surging. Eight new commuter bus trips have been added since May.

Now, PRTC is trying to close a projected $1.6 million budget gap. Proposals call for higher fares by the end of the year and creation of a fare indexing policy to guide future increases.

Two of the hearings are scheduled for next week: 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, at Manassas City Hall, 9027 Center St.; 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, at the PRTC Transit Center, 14700 Potomac Mills Rd., Woodbridge.

VRE Trainspotting
The Web site for the Virginia Railway Express can help riders decide which trains they want to ride. The page lists which trains have which cars and what the ridership looks like during the peak travel times in mid-week.

Cars and Crosswalks
One problem with marked crosswalks on multi-lane streets without traffic signals: A pedestrian may begin to cross once the vehicle in the right lane stops. But what about the vehicle approaching from the same direction in the next lane over? Can that driver see the pedestrian or is the view blocked by the stopped car? Can the pedestrian see around the stopped car to view the second driver?

One engineering solution is to set the stop line farther back from the crosswalk. After the car in the right lane stops, the driver in the second lane still would have a clear view of the pedestrian stepping out. And the pedestrian would have a clear view of the second driver.

Nothing guarantees the second driver is going to do the right thing and stop, but at least if the driver doesn't stop, the pedestrian still would have a good enough view of the approaching danger to react.

Piggyback Repairs
When the Montgomery County Department of Transportation repairs or replaces neighborhood sidewalks and curbs, residents have the option to also replace their driveway apron and front door walkway at the same time for a fee
.
Residents can take advantage of the county's contract prices. The cost to the homeowner is based on the square yards of new concrete needed. For more information, call the department's Customer Service Line at 240-777-6000.

Metro Platform Lights
It takes more than 290,000 bulbs, lamps and tubes and costs up to $11 million a year to light the Metrorail system, including stations, parking garages, bus garages and rail yards. The transit authority says it is focused on upgrading the lighting in stations, where there are more than 73,836 lights.

By Robert Thomson  |  August 29, 2008; 11:16 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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Next: Waiting for 'September Shock'

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