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Commuter Alert: Traffic Lights Out Along Mall

8:30 p.m.: Most of the dark traffic lights that shut down the evening commute in central Washington have been restored, but two are still out. They are at 15th Street and Jefferson Drive SW and 14th and Maine SW.

The District Department of Transportation says it set up portable generators to power the others at intersections on the north side of the Mall that were affected by the power outage this afternoon.

DDOT said that Pepco is working on the power problem. Meanwhile, DDOT traffic control officers were working with D.C. and park police at the congested intersections. Traffic is still heavy in the area and it's best to avoid the zone if at all possible.

Commuters bound from downtown Washington to Virginia were having a ghastly ride after the signal lights went out in the late afternoon. The power problem led to delays heading toward the 14th Street, Memorial and Roosevelt bridges. And drivers jammed up other streets as they tried to work around the problem. Plus, it's cherry blossom time and there were tourists all over the Mall and Tidal Basin area.

Here's a map of the area.

View Larger Map

Road Essentials:  Incident Map  |  Traffic Cams   |   Key Routes

By Robert Thomson  |  March 31, 2009; 4:04 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion  
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What about the lights out on 14th, 15th, and 17th streets? What about the gas main break somewhere in NW? DC is gridlocked and has been since at least 4pm.

Posted by: redhatnation | March 31, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh that explained the gridlock around Scott Circle. Luckily, I was able to park on the street and walk to my destination.

Posted by: stuckman | March 31, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Words cannot describe the hellish mess of yesterday's gridlock downtown. God help us if we ever need to get out in an emergency. My 30 minute commute took 1 hour, 45 minutes, but an hour of that was sitting in the 9th St tunnel. Where did the DC cops disappear to?!?

Posted by: g1956 | April 1, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm of the opinion that stuff happens and if we deal with it like adults, the world isn't going to come to an end. The lights went out at a bad time, yes, but the real gasoline thrown on this fire is that it appeared that the DC cops never got traffic flowing again. It seemed like there was no traffic direction to speak of, save for the one person at 14th & F. To me, not having a coordinated effort of traffic direction was definitely NOT an adult way to handle this mess.

Posted by: gilmoredaniel | April 1, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Good thing that so many commuters from this blog and the Get There chat vowed to never take Metro again because they were tired of the delays...

Posted by: stuckman | April 1, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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