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Traffic Light But Very Slow

blowing snow.jpg
Even on a well-cleared street, snow starts to blow across a lane. (Thomson)

Those are the good things. If you're used to being at a dead stop at this time of the morning on the northeastern arc of the Beltway's outer loop, you're still pretty much there. But this morning, it isn't about the volume. The poor visibility and the slush are the culprits.

And the Beltway is the best road around. On secondary commuter routes, you will encounter surprises and you'll have to adjust. Plows have been over those roads, but the snow is still coming down heavily. Often, you'll be driving in ruts created by other drivers. Changing lanes can be very tricky. There may be big piles of slush between the lanes.

If you're stuck behind a bus, just be patient. The buses often don't pull as close to the stops as they normally would because the plows have pushed a bank of snow near the curb.

Pulling out from behind a bus may be difficult because of the slush between the lanes -- and also because of the poor visibility. Not everyone is using headlights this morning. And you may find that a window or an outside mirror has fogged over, limiting your own visibility. (Go ahead and roll down the window if you can't see.)

If you take a coffee break during your commute, check over the car again when you come out. The snow and ice will build up quickly and require another brushing.

Road Essentials: Incident Map | Traffic Cams | Key Routes

By Robert Thomson  |  March 2, 2009; 8:35 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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Next: Be Patient Behind Plows

Comments

I was surprised how treacherous Bel Pre Road and Georgia Avenue were at 7am. We can usually count on those being better plowed and treated than the surrounding neighborhood streets.

Posted by: mcljphillips | March 2, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

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