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Get There: September 7, 2008 - September 13, 2008

The Weekend and Beyond

Here's some advice in planning your travels for this weekend and the rest of the month. Nation's Triathlon on Sunday The National Park Service and the District will be closing off some streets in Washington and Montgomery County on Sunday morning and early afternoon for the biking and running parts of The Nation's Triathlon. Use this link to see a list of the closures and the times. On this page, you'll find The Post's map and description of the course. Metrorail Track Work This is the weekend for the annual inspection and maintenance project on the bridge that takes the Yellow Line across the Potomac. (One of the best views in the Metrorail system.) Best bet is to use the Blue Line instead. More details are available here on Metro's Web site. That's the only maintenance project this weekend that will disrupt your train travels. Metrobus Detours Use this link...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 13, 2008; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Yellow Line Bridge Closing For Weekend

Metro is going to shut down the Yellow Line Bridge over the Potomac for inspection and routine maintenance. People who want to be among the first to visit the newly opened Pentagon Memorial should be among those taking note of this. You'll want to be on the Blue Line to reach Pentagon Station. Passengers traveling south of Pentagon Station on the Yellow Line should add 20 minutes to the normal time for their trips -- or take the Blue Line. The Yellow Line will operate only between Huntington and Arlington Cemetery starting at 10 p.m. Friday through the end of service at midnight Sunday. When a Yellow Line train arrives at Arlington Cemetery, passengers must transfer to a Blue Line train, since the Yellow Line will not operate between the Pentagon and Fort Totten. Yellow Line passengers south of the Pentagon, and who need to get to the Green Line...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 12, 2008; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  
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Roads, Transit Center Reopened

All the roads that had been closed for this morning's ceremony at the Pentagon have reopened, the Virginia Department of Transportation reports. Also back in business is the Pentagon Transit Center. The Metrobuses that had been detoured to Pentagon City Station are back on their regular routes....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2008; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Arlington Streets Reopening

Arlington police report they have reopened South Eads and South Fern Streets, which were among the roadways closed this morning during the dedication ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial. Route 1 and Glebe Road also have reopened. All the Metrobuses diverted during the morning closing of the Pentagon Transit Center are back on their regular routes now. Police have said they will reopen the roadways as soon as safety allows following the ceremony....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2008; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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I-395 Southbound Lanes Reopen

Arlington police report that the main lanes of I-395 southbound have reopened to traffic. They were closed temporarily during President Bush's visit to the Pentagon Memorial dedication ceremony....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2008; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Reopening of 395 Lanes Delayed Slightly

Arlington police report that the reopening of the I-395 lanes has been delayed till about 11:15 a.m. because of the ceremony dedicating the Pentagon Memorial. The HOV lanes are open southbound now. The regular lanes on 395 will reopen after President Bush leaves the dedication....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2008; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Update From Pentagon City Station

Post staff writer Mark Berman reports that the late rush hour is still going pretty smoothly at Pentagon City Station despite the detour of so many buses from the Pentagon Transit Center, which is closed this morning because of the memorial ceremony. Metro employees on the scene attribute that to the savvy of Pentagon commuters and the fact that traffic and transit alerts have been going out for days. Berman said at 8:40 a.m. that bus and rail operations remain very active but orderly. There seems to be some thining out in the number of people waiting to ask questions of the Metro employees near the bus stops on Hayes Street. There was a steady stream of people getting off the diverted buses and heading into the Metrorail station for the trip to Pentagon Station, which has remained open for rail service. But it wasn't overly crowded on the street...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2008; 8:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Smooth Operations at Pentagon City Station

Post reporter Mark Berman is at Pentagon City Station, where the buses detoured from the closed Pentagon Transit Center are stopping this morning. Many people have changed their commuting pattern for the day in response to the warnings about the road closings, detours and traffic congestion. Metro employees are on Hayes Street giving advice to lines of commuters who need information about the schedules, routes and stops, Berman said at 8 a.m. Buses are lining the east side of Hayes street from 12th to 15th streets, but the operations are orderly, he said. One commuter from Alexandria who works in the Navy Annex and normally takes Metro to Pentagon City and then a shuttle to the annex told Berman that she was amazed the commute so far was no worse than usual. She had expected gridlock. Another commuter, Gordon Rogers, 58, of Arlington, said "The Metro part of this seems...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2008; 7:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Metrorail Operating Normal Schedule

The schedule change for transit today had to do with Metrobuses, not Metrorail. So far this morning, there are no significant delays on the trains. Metrorail is operating on its normal peak period schedule. (Check here for Metro's service advisories.) Why no more trains or extra cars, given that we're all advising commuters to take transit rather than drive through the Pentagon area congestion this morning? Metro can't add any capacity to the six-car trains it already operates during peak service on the Blue and Yellow lines, says transit authority spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. Extra cars and trains draw more juice from the third rail. As Metro adds to its 830-car fleet, it is working on upgrading the power system along the lines so they can handle the added draw of additional cars. The big change today was the switch of all Metrobuses that normally use the Pentagon Transit Center over...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2008; 7:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Many Bus Routes Shifted

Metrobus, which has switched stops from the Pentagon Transit Center to Pentagon City Metro station this morning, isn't the only agency making detours because of the Sept. 11 memorial dedication ceremony. DASH Buses AT3, AT4: Riders who usually use the Pentagon Transit Center will be redirected to the Braddock Road Metro station. Normal service will resume at the Pentagon Transit Center in the afternoon. Buses heading toward Braddock Road Station will stop at designated stops on the opposite side of the street from buses that normally operate to the Pentagon. OmniRide: All morning buses will operate service only to Metro stations. On the eastern side of Prince William County, service will operate to the Franconia-Springfield Station. From the Manassas area, service will operate to West Falls Church Station. Riders will pay the Metro Direct fare of $2.50 cash or $2.10 with a SmarTrip card. Mid-day buses will depart from the...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2008; 6:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Traffic Update: HOV Lanes Reverse Early Today

To ease traffic congestion in the area around the Pentagon Memorial dedication today, the Virginia Department of Transportation says it will reverse the I-95/395 HOV lanes from northbound to southbound earlier than usual. The I-95/395 HOV lanes will close to northbound traffic between 9:30 and 10 a.m. The lanes will re-open to southbound traffic by 11 a.m. The HOV lanes typically close to northbound traffic on weekdays at 11 a.m., and re-open to southbound traffic at 1 p.m. VDOT suggests that drivers use alternative routes such as Route 301 or Route 17 to avoid congestion, and of course, take Metrorail....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2008; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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So Far, So Good Along I-395

At 5:30 a.m., traffic is light along the I-395 corridor near the Pentagon, where the dedication of the Sept. 11 memorial is scheduled to take place this morning. But with so many roads closed off, that's likely to change. Click for larger map. (Arlington Police) Police and traffic managers are advising commuters to avoid driving through the area and to take transit or telecommute instead. The Pentagon Transit Center is closed this morning. The Metrobuses that normally stop there are going instead to the Pentagon City Metro station. There's no parking at the Pentagon South Parking Lot. The North Parking Lot is open. Drivers in Northern Virginia and Maryland, pay attention to the electronic message boards. State officials say they plan to use them to advise on traffic conditions around the Pentagon. Metrorail is operating on a normal schedule this morning. (The transit authority says it isn't able to add...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2008; 5:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Commuter Graphic: Get a Grip!

This week's Commuter Graphic looks at the overhead handles that Metro is testing to help riders keep their balance. The agency has been operating eight cars with handles made of nylon or vinyl for several weeks. The straps are black, yellow or gray. The black straps are made of nylon mesh; the others, in yellow and two shades of gray, are vinyl. The agency expects to have its newest rail cars outfitted with the stainless steel handles by December. Pick your favorite design below. POLL...

By Mike McPhate  |  September 10, 2008; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Reminder on Thursday Traffic

If you work in the Pentagon-Crystal City area, Thursday would be a grand day to telecommute. The road closings from 3 a.m. to about 1 p.m. around the Pentagon Memorial dedication are likely to jam up commuter traffic. Here's a summary of what you will face. Click for larger map. (Arlington Police) Widespread Impact: The road closings for the dedication of the Pentagon Memorial tomorrow are likely to result in heavy congestion across a wide area. Many access points along crowded Interstate 395 are involved. Virginia commuters use these routes to reach the Pentagon, Crystal City and Washington. Maryland commuters flow in from New York Avenue and I-295 to reach the Southeast-Southwest Freeway and the 14th Street Bridge. Take Transit: But Metrorail will operate on its usual schedule. Metro cannot add any rush-period service. Parking at the stations is likely to be very tight. Metrobus: There may be some disruption...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 10, 2008; 1:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion , Events  
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Judiciary Square Station Reopened

The transit authority says the Red Line's Judiciary Square Station has reopened after a half-hour shutdown that started at 11:30 a.m. Metro Transit Police were investigating a suspicious item at the kiosk near the F Street entrance, which turned out to contain nothing harmful. During the shutdown, trains passed through the station without stopping. Meanwhile, transit police and other law enforcement agencies have stepped up security around and in the system this week, as we approach the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 10, 2008; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Montgomery Unveils 'Road Diet'

Montgomery County wrapped up a week of pedestrian safety events on Tuesday when it formally unveiled the redesign of Arcola Avenue, a neighborhood street that also has served as a speedy shortcut for commuters passing through Wheaton. County Executive Isiah Leggett explains new safety features. (Thomson) While the redesign is too new to evaluate, county officials say they are encouraged to see drivers slowing down and pedestrians getting a break. But they will continue to monitor the results and could tweak the system. Some neighborhood residents, for example, are asking for more help in making left turns along the avenue. The engineering features, collectively refered to as a "road diet," are innovative but not experimental. It wasn't a case of, "Let's pour some concrete here and see if that helps." New design eases pedestrian crossing by narrowing walk distance. (Thomson) The county narrowed this portion of the avenue from four...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 10, 2008; 8:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving , Safety  
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Plans Still Evolving for Thursday Closures

The road closings around the Pentagon on Thursday are now scheduled to begin at 3 a.m. They will be lifted at 1 p.m. if conditions permit, Arlington police say. Drivers today should be seeing alerts about Thursday's commute on the variable message signs along I-95/395 and the Capital Beltway, among other places. Click to see latest map. (Arlington Police Department) The street closures, which will be done to provide security and access for the the invitation-only dedication of the Pentagon Memorial on Thursday morning, are quite extensive and will occur in a sector of I-395 that is congested even under normlal circumstances during rush periods. Police and Virginia traffic managers are advising commuters to avoid the area, especially between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Metrorail is a better option than driving through the zone. All stations will be open. The trains will be running on their regular schedule Thursday morning. Buses...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 9, 2008; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Events  
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Afternoon Alerts for Commuters

From Metro: Metrorail riders who usually enter the McPherson Square Station were delayed briefly this afternoon following a telephone threat to the station at 3:50 p.m., the transit authority says. Transit Police responded and were not able to identify any danger to riders. An unattended package was discovered inside the station, but it contained nothing harmful. Trains continued to stop in the station to let passengers off the trains, but no riders were allowed to enter the station until the package was deemed safe at 4:27 p.m., Metro says. From VRE: In a 5:29 p.m. update, VRE says the disabled freight train causing the congestion is now on the move. VRE does not expect any further delays this evening. A CSX train had become disabled between L'Enfant and Crystal City, creating a one track railroad. MARC's New Schedule: Don't miss your advernoon train. Here's a link to the full list...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 8, 2008; 3:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Traffic Alert for Thursday

The national event of the week will also be our traffic event of the week: Thursday morning's dedication for the Pentagon Memorial is likely to disrupt travel over a wide area. Click for larger map of road closures. (Arlington Police Department) Arlington police will block many major roads near the Pentagon during the morning and early afternoon. See a map here. The schedule calls for these points to be closed from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Washington Boulevard eastbound at Interstate 395 and Columbia Pike and westbound at Memorial Bridge, I-395 and Hayes Street; southbound I-395 to the Pentagon south parking lot; and Columbia Pike from Joyce Street to the Pentagon south parking. I-395 northbound HOV will have no access to Washington Boulevard. Police say these roads will be closed at 3 a.m. and reopened when conditions permit: South Fern Street from Army Navy Drive to the Pentagon; South Eads...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 8, 2008; 8:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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