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Get There: October 12, 2008 - October 18, 2008

Maryland Releases Purple Line Study

The Maryland Transit Administration today released its draft environmental impact study and alternatives analysis of the Purple Line transitway proposed for Montgomery and Prince George's counties. Here's a link to the story in Saturday's Post. You can read the executive summary here. The MTA considered alternatives that include doing nothing, building various forms of light rail and creating various forms of rapid bus service. Publication of the study is a crucial step in the lengthy process of planning a transit line, winning federal funding to cover a big portion of the cost and then building it. Release of the report will be followed by public hearings in November. You can see the schedule here....

By Robert Thomson  |  October 17, 2008; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Transportation Politics , transit  
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The Weekend and Beyond

Here's some information about issues and options you'll face in travels this weekend and during the rest of the fall. Metro Delays Track maintenance on the Red and Orange lines from Friday night through Sunday will cause delays as trains take turns on a single track to get around the work zones. See the full details here on Metro's Web site. Howard Homecoming Events. Traffic restrictions will be in effect around Howard University in Washington on Saturday between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Avoid the route of the 5K Run/Walk and the parade and the streets that intersect it. The 5K Run/Walk will be underway from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., followed by a parade from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. along the same route: The participants will start in the 2400 block of 6th Street NW, go north on 6th Street NW, west on Fairmont Street NW, south on...

By Robert Thomson  |  October 17, 2008; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Maryland to Cut Transit Services

The Maryland Transit Administration plans to cut back commuter bus and MARC train service, the latest example of reductions in our region's transportation network as our economic fortunes decline. Many of the planned cuts are on the margins of the rail and bus service, but any such reduction is a setback in a region that desperately needs to improve mobility between city and suburbs. Here's a list of the planned cuts, which would occur on Jan. 12, or sooner if they involve service at holiday times: Commuter Bus -- All service from Baltimore to Columbia on the Nos. 310 and 311 lines. -- All service on the No. 320 Line from Laurel to Baltimore. -- All service on the No. 412 Line from Bel Air to Baltimore. -- One round trip from Harford County to Baltimore on the Nos. 410, 411 and 420 lines -- All service on the No....

By Robert Thomson  |  October 17, 2008; 8:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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Metro Failed to Spot Defects Before Derailment

A transit authority investigation into the derailment of a six-car train carrying 412 passengers has determined that an inspector failed to notice and report poor track conditions on the day of the derailment. The inspector did not spot defects in the track's alignment in the area of the derailment and "violated several inspection procedures," according to Ronald Keele, Metro's chief safety officer. "The track conditions compounded with the forces of the moving train caused one wheel to climb atop one track and the other wheel to drop to the ground. We are very fortunate that there were no injuries," Keele said in a statement. Metro says the track inspector is being retrained so that he can return to his duties. The Orange Line train derailed on June 9 as it approached Court House Station. The front wheels of the third car slid off the tracks and dragged for 2,300 feet...

By Robert Thomson  |  October 16, 2008; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  
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Red Line Disruptions Cleared After Male Falls on Tracks

Update, 1:41 p.m.: The service disruptions at both Friendship Heights and Rhode Island have been cleared, officials said. Update, 1:05 p.m.: A disruption at Rhode Island station is also causing Red Line delays in both directions, officials said. Original Post: An unidentified male fell on the tracks at the Friendship Heights Metro station at 11:49 a.m. today, causing major Red Line delays in both directions, officials said. He has been removed from the tracks and is conscious, and D.C. emergency personnel are on the scene, officials said. Trains are sharing a single track between the Van Ness and Friendship Heights stations. A switch malfunction at 11:08 a.m. had caused earlier delays. -- Lena Sun...

By Mike McPhate  |  October 16, 2008; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Weekend Work on Route 50 in Prince George's

The Maryland State Highway Administration plans to close the two right lanes along a section of eastbound Route 50 in Prince George's County this weekend. The two left lanes will be open and the HOV restriction will be lifted, but there's still likely to be traffic congestion. The section that will be closed from 9 p.m. Friday through about 2 a.m. Sunday is between Lottsford Vista Road and Enterprise Route (Route 197). The work in those two right lanes involves patching and replacing some concrete. Watch for arrow boards, warning signs and barrels that will guide traffic into the open left lanes....

By Robert Thomson  |  October 16, 2008; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Construction , Driving  
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M Street Closures

Update, 10:00 a.m.: M Street is now clear. Original post: One eastbound lane on M Street in Georgetown has been closed due to emergency response activity, according to an alert from DDOT. Drivers can expect delays and Key Bridge traffic is being advised to use the Whitehurst Freeway. Check the traffic page for live updates....

By Washington Post Editors  |  October 16, 2008; 8:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Metro Paving at Glenmont

The bus loop at the Glenmont Metro station will be closed for three weeks starting Saturday, and so will the Georgia Avenue entrance to the station's parking garage. Metro is repaving the area. So until Nov. 10, the C7, C8, C9, Y5, Y7, Y8 and Y9 Metrobuses will pick up and discharge their passengers on the northbound side of Georgia Avenue next to the station. While the Georgia Avenue entrance to the garage is closed, the Layhill Road and Glen Allen Road entrances still will be open....

By Robert Thomson  |  October 16, 2008; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  
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Metro Alert: Red Line Delays at Van Ness-UDC

Update, 11:05 a.m.: Metro has lifted this advisory. Original Post: Metro warns passengers to expect Red Line delays in both directions this morning at Van Ness-UDC after an earlier train malfunction....

By Mike McPhate  |  October 15, 2008; 9:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Commuting , Metro  
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The Adventures That Could Have Been

Have you ever pondered the wonderful ways you could be spending your time were you not trapped in traffic for so much of your life? Ever muttered abuse at fellow commuters as they inched forward, blocking you from the joy of the open road? Of course you have. This week's Commuter Graphic helps you to quantify just how much fun you could have had touring the American countryside during the time you spent instead in the daily crawl. And, as you must already know, Washington area drivers are among the worst victims of untapped potential....

By Mike McPhate  |  October 13, 2008; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion  
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