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Get There: March 8, 2009 - March 14, 2009

Man Struck, Killed by Train at McPherson Station

Update, 5:59 p.m.: Patrick Cooper, an employee of USA Today, provides this firsthand account of the incident. Update, 4:55 p.m.: The man struck and killed by a Metro train at the McPherson Square station this afternoon intentionally placed himself on the tracks, Metro officials say. Update, 4:17 p.m.: Regular service has resumed on the Blue and Orange lines after a fatality on the tracks caused afternoon delays. Update, 2:40 p.m.: There is no Blue or Orange Line service between Foggy Bottom and Federal Triangle, Metro officials say. Original post, 1:51 p.m.: Blue and Orange line riders are facing delays this afternoon after a man was struck and killed by a train at the McPherson Square station around 1:15 p.m. The Blue Line train was headed to the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail station at the time of the incident. There is no train service to the McPherson Square station while emergency crews respond....

By Mike McPhate  |  March 13, 2009; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  
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The Weekend and Beyond

Here are some suggestions about your travels this weekend, and some other transportation issues coming up. Metrorail Delays Yellow, Green and Orange Line riders will encounter delays this weekend, but the big hit is the switch replacement project at Mount Vernon Square. From 10 p.m. today, Friday, through midnight Sunday, Yellow Line trains won't operate between Mount Vernon and Fort Totten. Switch to the Green Line. The Yellow Line will operate only between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square. See the full details, and the information about the Orange Line delays,on this page at Metro's Web site. Garage Closing at Huntington Huntington Metrorail station garage No. 3 will be closed for maintenance this weekend. But drivers.still can park in the south and north garages. Look for the signs. No Rest in Virginia The commonwealth, forced to tighten its transportation budget, is considering a plan to close 25 of the 41 rest...

By Robert Thomson  |  March 13, 2009; 9:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Send Us Reports on District's 'Potholepalooza'

It's pothole season, and the District is going on the hunt. City officials want to fix potholes in two-thirds the usual time as part of a campaign they're calling Potholepalooza. According to a city news release: Starting March 11th and running through April 11th, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the agency responsible for the repair of potholes for the District, will work to repair identified potholes within 48 hours (normal response time is within 72 hours). Are they living up to their word? Let us know. Here's how....

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 12, 2009; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Driving  
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Alert: Bus Accident Snarls Traffic in Silver Spring

Update, 7:12 p.m.: All lanes are now open. Traffic remains slow off the beltway. Original post, 6:14 p.m.: Motorists are facing delays on New Hampshire Ave. southbound in Silver Spring after an accident involving a bus at Northampton Drive. Delays begin at Powder Mill Road. The left lane of New Hampshire Ave. northbound is blocked with delays beginning before Piney Branch. WUSA is reporting that the accident involved a school bus from Montgomery County. Emergency crews are working the scene. Road Essentials:  Incident Map  |  Traffic Cams   |   Key Routes...

By Mike McPhate  |  March 11, 2009; 6:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Driving  
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Metro to Eliminate Union Station-Navy Yard Bus

The Metro board plans to vote Thursday to end service on the N22 route, which many people used either to connect with their jobs in the Navy Yard area of Southeast Washington or to reach Nationals Park. The District intends to start a new route along that corridor using its Circulator buses. This is similar to a move made in February when the board agreed to end service in March on Route 98, another District service that links Adams Morgan and the U Street corridor. In this case as well, the District is planning to launch a Circulator bus service to link those two entertainment hubs, though the new Circulator will not duplicate the route of the 98 bus. Metro and the District Department of Transportation say that there already is enough Metrobus service to handle passenger needs in the area. Specifically, they say, people can use the 90,92 and...

By Robert Thomson  |  March 11, 2009; 7:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  
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New Metrorail Line Really Coming

This time, it's for real. The Washington region can now plan on construction of a new Metrorail line through Tysons Corner and out to Reston. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood signed an agreement this morning that means all hurdles have been cleared for the crucial $900 million federal portion of the financing. A quote that I could attribute to any number of Northern Virginia leaders who are at the U.S. Department of Transportation today: "This is a great day." The grand signing ceremony in the DOT atrium is more than just a crowded photo op for state and federal officials. It's a breakthrough for travelers in the Washington region. This will help organize Tysons Corner for the 21st Century. Four stations will be built there. And it will provide a transit line for at least a few more generations of Washington area commuters. Virginia Gov. Timothy M Kaine said he...

By Robert Thomson  |  March 10, 2009; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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Dulles Greenway Crash

Update, 1:35 a.m.: The man injured in a one-car accident on the Dulles Greenway in Loudoun County this morning has been identified by Virginia State Police officials as Daniel F. Wiener, 63. His home address was not given. He was the sole occupant of the car and was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where his injuries are not considered life-threatening, according to a statement from state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller. Original post, 9:32 a.m.: At least one person had to be taken by helicopter to a hospital this morning after a single-car accident on the Dulles Greenway in Loudoun County, just west of the exit for Ryan Road, according to the Virginia State Police. The accident was reported about 5:35 a.m., state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. All lanes were reopened to traffic by 7:30 a.m. The accident snarled traffic in the area and on the roadway heading east in...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  March 10, 2009; 9:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Driving  
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Are Bake Sales for Transit Next?

Transit ridership is at its highest level in half a century, Lena Sun wrote in today's Post. Meanwhile, transit systems across the country are having money trouble, and they're either raising fares or cutting back service, or both. You know about Metro's troubles. Are we going to take a hit on train and bus service? Are we going to start paying for weekend parking at the Metro lots and garages? Well, the Grid Spouse, who thinks she's a New Englander, just pointed out to me this article on Boston.com, as an illustration that we're not alone. The article is titled, "Bake sale scheduled for the MBTA," and describes a symbolic fundraising effort for Boston's "T", which is $8 billion in debt. (Our Metro's operating budget gap is down to $28.8 million, which sounds like chump change by comparison.) Note the reader comments below the article. They resemble some of the...

By Robert Thomson  |  March 9, 2009; 3:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  transit  
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Let's Talk Transportation This Afternoon

Join me for an online discussion at 1 p.m. about all our local traffic and transit issues. Use this link to reach the discussion. And here's a link if you'd like to submit a question or comment in advance. Transit users, I'd like to hear what you think about Metro's efforts to balance its budget. It matters to you as taxpayers, because the local jurisdictions heavily subsidize the transit authority. And it matters to you as riders, because the Metro board could decide on Thursday on a set of service cutbacks to discuss with riders at upcoming public hearings. I wrote about that on The Post's Commuter page in Sunday's Metro section. Drivers, see what you think of this letter writer's complaint, which appeared in my Dr. Gridlock column on Sunday. Dear Dr. Gridlock: I drive Interstate 270 twice daily, and I am appalled at the fundamental lack of decent...

By Robert Thomson  |  March 9, 2009; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Rockville Pike Resurfacing Project Starting

The Maryland State Highway Administration is scheduled to begin a resurfacing project along the heavily used half-mile stretch of Rockville Pike (Route 355) between Hubbard Drive and Halpine Road in Montgomery County. The work, scheduled to be done in late summer, involves overnight lane closures and lane shifts. That section of Rockville Pike, to the north of the Montrose Parkway interchange project, carries about 53,000 vehicles a day, the SHA says. Three of the pike's shopping centers are in that area. The lane closures and shifts will occur from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays. While traffic is lightest at those hours, there still may be delays. Watch for the orange and while drums and the electronic message boards marking the work zone. This is a $204,000 project. In addition to paving, it includes cleaning and repair and replacement of pipes, curbs, gutters and the concrete median and...

By Robert Thomson  |  March 8, 2009; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction , Driving  
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