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Get There: November 16, 2008 - November 22, 2008

Metro's Inauguration Web Site Goes Live

From Inauguration Watch: Metro announced today that it has a new section on its Web site devoted to schedules, fares, hours and other news related to inauguration week. Here's the site. You can also sign up for special alerts here. -- David A Nakamura...

By Mike McPhate  |  November 21, 2008; 5:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion , Metro  
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The Weekend and Beyond

Weekend Metrorail Delays Blue Line riders between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road should add at least 20 minutes to their usual travel times because Metro workers will be replacing a floating slab that supports the tracks. Trains will be sharing a single track to get around the work zone from 10 p.m. Friday through the system's closing at midnight Sunday. Metrorail Opening Early Saturday It's for the Help the Homeless Walkathon, which begins at 9 a.m. So the trains will start running at 6 a.m. to accommodate the crowds. The annual walk takes place between 7th and 14th streets NW on the mall and around the Tidal Basin. Best station exits: L'Enfant Plaza on the Blue, Orange, Yellow and Green lines; Archives-Navy Memorial Station on the Green and Yellow lines; Smithsonian Station on the Blue and Orange lines; Gallery Place-Chinatown Station on the Red, Yellow and Green lines. Station parking: Because...

By Robert Thomson  |  November 21, 2008; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Metro Expands Hours for Inauguration Ceremony

The Washington Area Metro Transit Authority announced today that it will run rush hour service for 15 consecutive hours from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Inauguration Day Jan. 20, but the authority will charge riders off-peak holiday fares, the Post's Lena Sun reports. Metro will be open from 4 a.m. Jan. 20 until 2 a.m. Jan. 21, to handle commuters after the inaugural balls, General Manager John Catoe announced at a board meeting. (Here is the full announcement from Metro.) Metro is expecting to move 1.6 million people on Inauguration Day, which would double the previous high of 850,000 on July 11. That number includes rail and bus service. The authority will issue 35,000 SmarTrip commemorative cards with a picture of Barack Obama, which can be purchased for $10 apiece on a special Web site that will be set up Friday and can be found by going to

By Mike McPhate  |  November 20, 2008; 2:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Congestion , Events , Metro  
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Metrorail Adding Overhead Handles

All of the newest Metrorail cars, the 184 cars known as the 6000 Series, now have stainless steel spring-loaded overhead handles for riders to grab if they can't get to the poles or railings. On 300 of the older cars, Metro is adding black nylon grab handles. You may have seen them already. They're not the greatest looking things, resembling leftover Halloween decorations, but they should be a help to shorter riders. We did a reader survey on our Commuter page (Get a Grip) in which we sought opinions on the different styles of handles that Metro was considering for the cars. In a column, I reported that most people who responded said they liked the stainless steel handles going into the 6000 Series and wished they could be used in all the cars. The other choices were the black nylon, and gray or yellow vinyl. People worried that the...

By Robert Thomson  |  November 19, 2008; 7:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Metro  
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Planning for Inauguration Travel

Readers already are asking what streets will be closed on Jan. 20 and what plans Metro has made. All that is still in the works, but here's the type of thing people are wondering about. Dear Dr. Gridlock: I plan to come to Washington on Inauguration Day whether or not we get tickets, to be part of history. We have a place to stay with friends in Silver Spring. But I'm worried about how Metro will handle the crowds for this event, which will probably be bigger than anything seen in recent years. We live in the Philadelphia area and our transit system, SEPTA, suffered a total meltdown during the Phillies' World Series parade when three times the normal peak-hour crowd attempted to use it. Some people were stuck on subway platforms for three hours, unable to go back upstairs because of the crush of humanity and unable to get...

By Robert Thomson  |  November 18, 2008; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Congestion , Events  
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Community Meeting to Assess Baseball Parking Plan

The District Department of Transportation will hold a meeting Wednesday to discuss how the Ward 6 parking program did during its first year.The parking program evolved out of the community's concerns that it would be overwhelmed by traffic heading for Nationals Park. While I know there was a lot of legitimate anxiety before the season opened, I heard few complaints during the summer. The meeting agenda will include: -- Presentation of the Ward 6 Committee that will assist DDOT in determining how curbside revenue will be allocated. -- Update on revenue from the green multi-space meters. -- Update on the Ward 6 Visitor Parking Pass program. -- Discussion of potential sign improvements or modifications for 2009. -- Recommendations from the community for 2009. The Wednesday meeting , from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., will be held at Friendship Baptist Church, 900 Delaware Ave. SW. The church, at the intersection of Delaware...

By Robert Thomson  |  November 18, 2008; 9:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Stadium  
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Alternative Holiday Routes

As the holidays approach, will the weakening economy circumvent lower gas prices and keep people from making long-distance road trips? Don't count on it. The Travel Industry Association says Americans think differently about holiday travel and will endure costs in time and money for the sake of joining friends and family. Although seasoned travelers say no undiscovered shortcuts around traffic backups exist, Dr. Gridlock and his helpers have a couple of options that might be worth trying. Northeast: Issues | Avoiding I-95 | Avoiding Delaware Toll Plaza South and West: Issues | Avoiding Much of I-81 | Avoiding I-66 Northeast Corridor Issues Congestion Inevitable: The I-95 Corridor Coalition notes that this main north-south highway is 1,917 miles long, from Florida to Maine, with about 1,040 of those miles crossign through urbanized areas. Anyone who takes a long drive during the daytime will probably encounter someplace's rush hour. Many drivers say...

By editors  |  November 17, 2008; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Congestion , holiday travel  
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Construction in DC and Montgomery County

Even as we head toward winter, there are developments on a couple of road construction projects. Here's what many commuters will see for the first time today: Rockville Pike Northbound traffic has been shifted to the newly constructed temporary road at Montrose Parkway/Randolph Road. On Thursday, the southbound traffic also will be shifted to the detour road. Until the traffic switch is complete this week, drivers on East Jefferson Street will be detoured to Executive Boulevard and onto northbound Rockville Pike. The temporary road, which has the same number of lanes as the pike, was created to allow construction of a new interchange. DC Bridge Project The District Department of Transportation is scheduled to start an extensive rehabilitation project on the 9th Street and 10th Street SW Bridges over I-395. The project, scheduled to last a year, requires closing the 9th Street Bridge. The 10th Street Bridge and the two...

By Robert Thomson  |  November 17, 2008; 6:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Commuting , Construction  
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Two Road Changes Coming for ICC Project

Drivers are going to notice changes in road patterns starting tonight and tomorrow night on opposite sides of Maryland's intercounty connector highway project. Starting tonight, the Maryland State Highway Administration plans to close two lanes in both directions on Shady Grove Road between I-370 and Route 115. This is part of the contruction for a highway bridge over Shady Grove Road. The lane closures, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., will last for four nights. Shady Grove Road traffic will merge into single lanes in both directions. This segment of the six-lane connector highway project stretches from I-370 to east of Georgia Avenue and is known as "Contract A." It is scheduled to open late 2010 or early 2011, and as of early November, was about 30 percent done. Starting Monday night, another connector realignment will occur on Interstate 95. From 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., southbound traffic between Sandy...

By Robert Thomson  |  November 16, 2008; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Construction  
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