The Weekend and Beyond
Well, not so far beyond this time. There's so much going on over this four-day weekend. So watch for many more postings here over the next few days.
There's no track work scheduled for this weekend, but because of all the special events in Washington, Metro has made many adjustments to both train and bus service. Look here for the service plan for Sunday and Monday.
Metro redesigned its Web site recently. The site has been doing a very good job keeping up with all the transit plans and all the adjustments to the plans, like which downtown stations will be open and at what hours. So keep looking at that.
Going Seriously Car-Free
The innovative group at Arlington County's CommuterPage.com is always looking for ways to advance the cause of car-free commuting. For the inauguration, they have developed a communal way of monitoring people's progress, and they seek more volunteers to make the system work.
They've developed a numbered rating system, so that if your method of travel is Metrorail, bus, train, biking or walking, you can quickly inform the community of travelers how bad or good a particular spot is and whether they should use it.
A short message by Twitter or e-mail might, for example, might steer people to or away from Clarendon Metro station. You can find more details about how it works at this link.
Chris Hamilton, chief of commuter services in Arlington County, said this clever concept was developed by the commuter services marketing director Bobbi Greenberg and two interns, Shane McCarty and Brandon Carroll of Virginia Tech.
The transportation plan for inauguration weekend keeps evolving, so stick with us through Tuesday. For the very latest updates, I'll be posting frequently to my Get There blog.
And as I travel around on Inauguration Day, I will post entries on current conditions. Text Getthere to WPOST (97678) for a link to the blog on your mobile phone. Twitter users can follow Dr. Gridlock at twitter.com/drgridlock.
And tell me about your progress -- or lack of it -- on Tuesday by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maryland Transit on Monday
MARC will operate regular train service for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the Penn Line and limited "S" services on the Brunswick and Camden lines. No reservations are required. Regular fares will apply, and passes will be accepted.
The Maryland Transit Administration will operate shuttle buses from nine Park & Ride locations to Metrorail stations. Reservations are not required and tickets can be purchased onboard. All shuttles will charge $10 roundtrip. Have exact change.
The shuttles will operate between 5:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. into the Metrorail stations and then from 4 to 9 p.m. from the stations. The Park & Ride locations are listed on the MTA's Web site, at www.mtamaryland.com.
Tuesday Train Tickets Sold
Both MARC and VRE sold out their tickets for the reserved seat trains operating on Inauguration Day. No other type of ticket will be accepted on the trains.
D.C. Circulator Buses
The District's red and grey Circulator buses are easy to spot and follow easy to understand routes across downtown Washington. Unfortunately, they won't be able to do that on Tuesday, so don't look for them on their regular routes.
For Inauguration Day, Metrobus will operate replacement east-west service downtown from H Street NW at North Capitol Street, near Union Station, to Washington Circle, at 24th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, via L and M streets NW.
Georgetown service will be provided by Metrobuses on Wisconsin Avenue and M Street between Friendship Heights and Washington Circle.
Road Construction Suspended
Maryland, the District and Virginia are not deploying their usual road construction crews in the Washington area during this long holiday weekend. Drivers will certainly see plenty of traffic, but they won't see the usual orange and white barrels marking off lane closures for construction.
If motorists do see lanes or ramps blocked off during the inauguration period, it's most likely related to the inauguration traffic. Police and transportation planners have said they will take the steps they think necessary to limit traffic and provide security.
Scores of readers submitted their opinions about the fabric designs Metro is testing for its next generation of rail cars. You can read about that in my Dr. Gridlock column in the Extras on Jan. 22.
But one reader made a very interesting off-topic suggestion: Why not have a special color for the seats set aside for priority use by elderly and disabled people? Those seats are now marked only by signs on the car walls.
What do you think? Would that make it easier for the right people to get access to those seats, or would it attach an unnecessary stigma to them?
Wilson Bridge Ramp Closing Thursday
The Wilson Bridge Project will be closing the exit to the Eisenhower Avenue Connector from the Capital Beltway's inner loop (I-95/495 Southbound) starting Thursday, after the morning rush.
This ramp may be closed for up to six months. The detours will be:
* Exit 176B (northbound Telegraph Road), Pershing Avenue, Stovall Street and Eisenhower Avenue.
* Exit 173 (Van Dorn Street) and Eisenhower Avenue.
The exit ramp from the outer loop (I-95/495 Northbound) to the Eisenhower Avenue Connector and the on-ramps from the Eisenhower Avenue Connector to the Beltway will remain open.
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