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Get There: December 28, 2008 - January 3, 2009

The Weekend and Beyond

Some suggestions about your travels and transportation issues as the New Year begins. Legion Bridge Lane Closed The left lane on the Capital Beltway's inner loop at the American Legion Bridge is closed for the weekend. The Maryland State Highway Administration says a routine inspection this week revealed a crack in one of the interior steel beams, so it closed the lane as a precaution. Over the weekend, workers will reinforce the bridge with a temporary support, the SHA says. That work may require an additional lane closure. All the lanes should be open by early next week and permanent repairs will be made soon, according to SHA. Metrobus in Fairfax A special subsidy of some Metrobus routes in Fairfax County is expiring, so the regular Metrobus fare of $1.25 with SmarTrip or $1.35 cash is in effect as of Sunday on these routes: 2T Tysons Corner-Dunn Loring Line; 2W...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 2, 2009; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Porter St. NW Closed After Water Main Break

A water main break at the 2500 block of Porter Street NW has closed the street between Connecticut Avenue NW and Beach Drive. Klingle Road is also blocked between Adams Mill Road and Beach Drive. Five apartment buildings and 200 homes are affected as a result of the water main break. Officials expect repairs to take between six to eight hours. See live traffic updates....

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 2, 2009; 7:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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More People Buying SmarTrip Cards

The transit authority says that it has noticed a spike in sales of the electronic fare cards during the past week as riders anticipate the end of the paper bus transfers on Sunday. The only way to get free bus to bus transfers or discounts on bus to rail or rail to bus transfers will be to use the SmarTrip cards. So Metro says that to meet this increased demand for cards, it will make adjustments at two of its busiest sales offices in the District. They are the ones at Metro headquarters, 600 Fifth Street NW and at Metro Center, near the entrance at 12th and F streets NW. The Metro headquarters sales office will stay open two extra hours until 5 p.m. today. (It opens at 10 a.m.) And more staffers will be on duty to speed up sales. Next Monday through Friday, tables exclusively for card sales...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 2, 2009; 6:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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Legion Bridge Lane Closed

The Maryland State Highway Administration says it is closing the left lane on the Capital Beltway's inner loop at the American Legion Bridge as a precaution, because a routine inspection today revealed a crack in one of the interior steel beams. Over the weekend, workers will reinforce the bridge with a temporary support, the SHA said. That work may require an additional lane closure. All the lanes should be open by early next week and permanent repairs will be made soon, SHA Administrator Neil J. Pedersen said in a statement....

By Robert Thomson  |  December 31, 2008; 5:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Driving  
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River Road Reopens

River Road, an important link between Montgomery County and the western side of the District, is scheduled to reopen at 3 a.m. tonight. It had been closed since Dec. 23, when a 66-inch water main broke and inundated the roadway between Potomac village and the Capital Beltway. WSSC's contractor repaired the water main and the damaged sections of River Road. An average of 19,800 drivers travel along River Road near Bradley Boulevard each day, the State Highway Administration said. Gov. Martin O'Malley issued a statement saying: "Thanks to a lot of hard work through the holidays and a great partnership between all levels of local and state government, I am proud to say we were able to get the repairs done in a week and open in time for the New Year." Here's a map of the area. View Larger Map...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 31, 2008; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Traffic Alert: Backups on Route 28 in Fairfax County

Update, 3:53 p.m.: Route 28 is now open in both directions, officials say. Update, 3:32 p.m.: Route 28 southbound is now open to traffic, officials say. Original post: Route 28 is closed in both directions at Green Trails Boulevard in Fairfax County due to an accident. See live traffic alert map. View Larger Map...

By Mike McPhate  |  December 31, 2008; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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The Year in Transportation

Here's a look at some of the transportation-related news, events, and projects that affected where you worked and commuted this year. Below, vote in our poll for the biggest story. The Roundup Happy New Year: The largest fare and fee increases in Metro's history went into effect on Sunday, Jan. 6. Subway riders paid as much as 75 cents more a trip. The rush-hour boarding charge increased 30 cents, and the fare for seniors and people with disabilities increased to half of the rush-hour fare, no matter the time of day. Bus fares went up a dime for those paying with cash but remained $1.25 for those using SmarTrip cards. Gas prices reached a record national average of more than $4 a gallon in June. (Scott Olson/Getty) Gas Prices Skyrocket, Plummet: Gas prices peaked over the summer as the national average topped $4 a gallon; the highest recorded average for...

By Mike McPhate  |  December 31, 2008; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Events , Metro , Stadium , Transportation Politics , Wilson Bridge  
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Wind Disrupts Rail Service, Knocks Out Traffic Lights

Update, 4:45 p.m.: From the Associated Press: The Maryland Transit Administration says fallen trees near Towson are blocking light rail trains, while a tree tangled in overhead lines forced MARC passengers near the Baltimore area to change trains. The agency says there is no light rail service between the Lutherville and Falls Road stops because of fallen trees on Ruxton Road. Shuttle bus service is being provided. MARC train 423 ended service at BWI Airport after a tree fell on overhead lines and signals stopped working, causing a delay of more than an hour. Passengers were transferred to the 427 train. Update, 4:30 p.m.: Wind restrictions are in effect on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The wind speeds are in the 40 to 49 mph range, so house trailers, empty box trailers and other vehicles subject to strong winds are prohibited from crossing. Update, 3:20 p.m.: The windy weather has downed...

By Mike McPhate  |  December 31, 2008; 10:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Getting Around on New Year's Eve

Update, 4:45 p.m.: Baltimore officials have postponed a New Year's Eve fireworks celebration after high winds and rough harbor waters made it impossible to tow the fireworks barges into place, the Associated Press reports. Original post: A few advisories for your travels tonight and tomorrow: SoberRide Operating Tonight If you're celebrating in the Washington area tonight, remember that the annual SoberRide program is in operation from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. to help you get home safely. Put this into your cell phone before you leave home: The toll-free SoberRide phone number 800-200-TAXI, or #-TAXI for AT&T wireless customers. A taxi will be sent to pick you up and take you home. It's a free ride up to what would be a $50 fare. The program, sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, transported 787 people home last New Year's and made the roads safer. SoberRide operates in the District,...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 31, 2008; 6:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Events  
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Witnesses: Man Drives Into Construction Hole, Flees

A driver headed southbound today on 17th Street NE drove his Honda Accord into a construction hole while talking into a cellphone, witnesses said. The car apparently struck a backhoe and was spun into the crevice at the intersection of 17th Street NE and Gales Street NE. Witnesses said the driver then climbed out of the vehicle and left the scene. See video of the scene. The scene of the accident. (Gerald Martineau/Post) Witnesses said the driver left after the accident. (Gerald Martineau/Post) Construction workers laugh it up. (Gerald Martineau/Post)...

By Mike McPhate  |  December 30, 2008; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Traffic Alert: Accident Blocks EB Pennsylvania Ave. SE

A traffic accident at Minnesota and Pennsylvania Ave. SE is blocking the eastbound lanes of Pennsylvania Ave. SE, officials say....

By Mike McPhate  |  December 30, 2008; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion  
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New Advice on Inauguration Day Travel

As Jan. 20 approaches, we'll get more specific advice from planners about the conditions that will prevail downtown. Some previously announced details may change, as they did last week when the charter bus parking plan was revised. But this isn't changing: The planners consistently warn that travel for everyone, whether they're commuters or people planning to watch the swearing-in and parade, will be extremely difficult. Monday's announcement from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies highlighted that. The announcement dealt with the difficulties of attending the swearing-in at the Capitol. "In addition to the 240,000 ticketed guests, a million or more people are expected to view the inauguration from the National Mall between 4th Street and the Lincoln Memorial, along with hundreds of thousands of others who plan on watching the Inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue," the committee said in its statement. Okay, if you know that, what do you...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 30, 2008; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Inauguration  
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Maryland Announces Transit Cuts

The Maryland Transit Administration today announced its final decision on service cuts to take effect on Jan. 12. These reductions in MARC train and commuter bus service were the subject of recent public hearings after the MTA said it had to limit the damage from declining revenue. Holiday Cutbacks MARC trains and commuter buses will not operate on federal holidays and the Fridays after Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. This month, a reduced schedule has been in effect since Christmas and will continue through Friday. MARC Reductions -- The last round trip on the Penn Line, trains 447 and 448, will be eliminated. Mid-morning trains 410 and 412 from Washington to Baltimore will be combined and operate as train 410 at 8:30 a.m. (The MTA originally had proposed eliminating the last two evening round trip trains.) -- Train 871 to Brunswick will be eliminated Mondays through Thursdays, but remain in...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 29, 2008; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  transit  
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Cable Fire Cuts Power For Some in Northwest

Around 2,900 downtown office buildings and homes -- as well as traffic signals at some intersections -- were without power early this morning because of an underground cable fire in the area of 17th and M Streets NW. A District Department of Transportation spokeswoman said traffic signals were out along Connecticut Avenue at the intersections of DeSales Street and Rhode Island Avenue; along 17th Street at the intersections of Massachusetts Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue and M Street; and at the intersection of 15th and L streets NW. Check out the traffic page for live traffic alerts. Work crews were setting up mobile stop signs and working with police to control traffic at those intersections, the spokeswoman said. PEPCO officials said crews were working on repairs and also trying to reroute service around the affected area. A company spokesman said power should be restored beginning around 8 a.m., though it may...

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 29, 2008; 7:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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