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Get There: May 3, 2009 - May 9, 2009

Traffic Alert: Beltway Lanes to Close at I-66 Tonight

The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close all lanes of the Capital Beltway's outer loop at the I-66 Interchange starting at 10 o'clock tonight, if the weather cooperates.es will begin closing. The lanes are scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. Saturday This is the second of two shifts to remove steel bridge beams on I-66 and prepare the area for a new I-66 bridge where it converges with the Capital Beltway. It's part of the HOT Lanes construction project, and you can read more about the closing at this VDOT link....

By Robert Thomson  |  May 8, 2009; 5:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Construction , Driving  
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Beltway Alert: Two Westbound Lanes Closed Past Wilson Bridge

The Virginia Department of Transportation reports that 2 lanes of the Inner Loop near the Telegraph Road exit in Alexandria -- heading West into Virginia, just past the Wilson Bridge -- will be closed through about 6 p.m. for emergency pothole repair....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  May 8, 2009; 3:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting , Driving , highways  
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The Weekend and Beyond

The storms that have rolled through the Washington region have made a mess of road construction plans, but we'll start to dry out on Sunday, and there's still got lots going on. Metrorail Delays This weekend, the delays stemming from track maintenance projects are on the Orange and Red lines. Orange Line: Add at least a half an hour to the regular time for a trip between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly while Metro workers replace rails and cross ties, outside and do bridge maintenance outside the Minnesota Avenue Station. Trains will share a single track around the work zones from 10 o'clock tonight (Friday) to the midnight closing time on Sunday. Red Line: Add at least 20 minutes to a weekend trip between Glenmont and Forest Glen while workers replace communication cables. Trains will share a single track around the work zone from 11 o'clock tonight (Friday) to midnight 11:59 p.m....

By Robert Thomson  |  May 8, 2009; 11:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Commuter Alert: Major Delays on I-295 N Before Suitland Pkwy.

All lanes are now open on I-295 North. An earlier accident had blocked a lane before Suitland Pkwy and another had caused back ups. Traffic remains heavy in the area. Delays begin near the Beltway and traffic is slow off each loop of the Beltway onto I-295....

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 8, 2009; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Commuter Alert: Traffic Heavy on South Capitol Street SE

Traffic is backed up on South Capitol St. SE after it was closed earlier by a fire on nearby Elmira St. South Capitol St. was closed between Forrester and Danbury streets SE....

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 8, 2009; 8:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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DC to Begin Lengthy Repair of Chain Bridge

One of the two inbound lanes will be closed from June through January, the length of the repair and repainting project on this Potomac River span, so important to thousands of commuters. While there will be one lane open in each direction on weekdays, there may be some weekends when the bridge is completely shut down between 10 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday. When work requires such a shutdown, notices will be posted three days ahead of time, the District Department of Transportation said. Commuters, anticipating the effect of a lane closure during rush hour, will want to consider alternative routes, but the options are limited. They are likely to go up river to the American Legion Bridge, or down river to the Key or Roosevelt Bridges. The latter are likely to be under some extra pressure because the District also is about to begin a two-year rehab project...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 8, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Construction , Driving  
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Commuter Alert: Eastbound Aspen Hill Rd. Closed in MoCo

UPDATED: 10:47 p.m. ET The Aspen Hill water main went back into service at 9:20 p.m. after workers repaired a break, a spokesman for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission said. The eastbound lane of Aspen Hill Road between Connecticut and Georgia avenues in Montgomery County is closed while temporary paving takes place. The leak was reported about 3 p.m. and WSSC workers shut off the water, affecting the neary Aspen Hill shopping Center. Eastbound traffic was being diverted to Connecticut. --Katherine Shaver EARLIER: Eastbound lanes of Aspen Hill Road are closed between Connecticut and Georgia avenues in Montgomery County as workers repair a broken 8-inch water main on Aspen Hill Road, said John White, a spokesman for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. It will take an estimated 3 to 4 hours to complete repairs. The leak was reported about 3 p.m., he said. WSSC workers have shut off the water,...

By Mike McPhate  |  May 7, 2009; 10:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Driving  
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VDOT Hopes to Close Route 123 Lane Tonight

The Capital Weather Gang says we'll have scattered storms this evening, but the Virginia Department of Transportation still hopes to get the left lane closed on the northbound side of Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) so the HOT lanes construction can proceed in Tysons. VDOT plans to start the closure at 9:30 p.m., so that the barriers are in place by 5 a.m. Friday. The southbound left lane already is closed off. Getting the other one closed will allow construction to proceed in the median, where crews will build a bridge pier to support two new lanes of the Capital Beltway. Drivers on Route 123 will have two through lanes and a merge lane in each direction into November, when the work will be suspended for the holiday shopping season....

By Robert Thomson  |  May 7, 2009; 6:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction  
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Commuter Alert: Burke Lake Road Closed in Fairfax

Burke Lake Road is closed between Route 123 and Fairfax County Parkway because of flooding. Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content. var so = new SWFObject('http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/interactives/mashupTool/mashupTool.swf', 'mashupTool', '454', '474', '9', '#ffffff'); so.addParam('wmode','transparent'); so.addVariable('mapReference', 'l'); so.addVariable('mapColWidth', '454'); so.addVariable('mapSpacerGap', '5'); so.addVariable('mapHasNeatline', 'true'); so.addVariable('linkLocatorDetail', 'true'); so.addVariable('orientation', 'column'); so.addVariable('map1depth', '222'); so.addVariable('map1width', '454'); so.addVariable('map1centerLat', '38.8192186'); so.addVariable('map1centerLong', '-77.0637935'); so.addVariable('map1zoom', '9'); so.addVariable('map1mapType', 'map'); so.addVariable('map1canPanZoom', 'true'); so.addVariable('map1hasPointer', 'false'); so.addVariable('map2enabled', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2depth', '222'); so.addVariable('map2width', '454'); so.addVariable('map2centerLat', '38.776407'); so.addVariable('map2centerLong', '-77.2990383'); so.addVariable('map2zoom', '11'); so.addVariable('map2mapType', 'map'); so.addVariable('map2canPanZoom', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2hasPointer', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2pointerLat', '38.776407'); so.addVariable('map2pointerLong', '-77.297253'); so.addVariable('map2pointerIconSymbol', 'none'); so.addVariable('map2pointerText', 'Road closure'); so.addVariable('map2pointerOffsetX', '18'); so.addVariable('map2pointerOffsetY', '-56'); so.addVariable('jump', getQueryParamValue('jump')); so.write('map_2009471657706');...

By Mike McPhate  |  May 7, 2009; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Driving  
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What's Ahead in Washington Region Transit

Two stories in today's Post deal with prospects for expanding transit links. Staff writer Amy Gardner writes about various new frontiers: "new bus lines everywhere, trolleys in Alexandria and Arlington County, and rail lines to Centreville, Mount Vernon and Prince William County." A daily development: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will receive $77.3 million in federal stimulus money for the Metrorail extension through Tysons out to Wiehle Avenue. This doesn't mean we get more than the $900 million the feds already pledged for this project. But it does get some of the money here sooner. Staff writer Katherine Shaver discusses developments on the Purple Line project in Maryland. Maryland Transit Administration planners say, responding to community concerns have updated their study, but not in ways that will please those with the concerns. The planners say that light rail trains would be too slow...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 7, 2009; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Springtime Paving on Ocean City Route

If you're taking an early trip out to the Eastern Shore, this paving project is something to be aware of. From this Sunday evening till the end of June, Maryland will be resurfacing 10 miles of Route 90, the Ocean City Expressway. Most drivers approach Ocean City via Route 50 to the south or Route 90 to the north. All the lanes of Route 50 will be open during the Route 90 paving project, and none of this work will be done over Memorial Day weekend. The work will be done from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays. During that time, Route 90 will be shut in both directions from Route 50 to east of Route 589 (Race Track Road). The Maryland State Highway Administration if financing this with $2.3 million in federal stimulus money....

By Robert Thomson  |  May 7, 2009; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion , Construction , Driving  
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Metro Considering Food and Retail Sales

When Metro was considering service cuts to balance its budget, many riders demanded that the transit authority do more to raise money, and without raising fares. One effort to do that is under way: The Metro staff is working on a plan that would allow shops to set up in stations and offer take-home prepackaged food, dry-cleaning services or newsstands. Metro officials say it could be done as early as this fall, if the board of directors approved. [See Post story by Lena H. Sun. Or see another take on the topic at Greater Greater Washington.] The problem is always with the food and drinks. Metro famously does not allow consumption of such things in stations or on trains. But as you often point out to me, this rule is often violated. Three years ago, the transit authority put out a request for proposals on setting up shops in stations,...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 7, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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Dangerous Crossing in Downtown DC

Pedestrians watch for oncoming traffic by 17th Street construction zone. (Thomson) Travelers told me they were concerned about a crossing on 17th Street NW between the Old Executive Office Building and the Office of Thrift Supervision, where a sidewalk is torn up for utility work. The fenced in construction area, they told me during Monday's online discussion, hides a traffic signal at a mid-block crosswalk between F and G streets, where vehicles are supposed to stop on red. But one commenter pointed out that the crossing is officially closed, since it ends at the construction fence, which juts out into the southbound side of 17th Street. Warning sign on fence. (Thomson) I saw these things during a noontime tour: -- While it's not a good idea to block off a traffic signal, vehicles stopped consistently at the crosswalk on the red signal visible across the street in front of...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 7, 2009; 9:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Safety  
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Commuter Alert: Storms Cause Road Closures, Minor Flooding, Signal Outages

Severe overnight storms in D.C. have caused road closures, signal outages and minor flooding. Motorists are advised to be aware of possible flooding and detours during the day. Flooding There are two intersections with minor flooding, Broad Branch Rd & Brandywine St NW and Main Ave & Independence Ave. SW. Traffic Signal Outages Franklin St & Lincoln Rd. NE, 4th & Lincoln Rd 4th & Douglas St NE, 4th & Bryant St, & 4th & Rhode Island Ave NE. Power Outages Pepco reports some power outages through out the city. Repairs are ongoing. Trees and Road Updates There was a downed electrical line in the 4800 block of Colorado Avenue due to a fallen tree. Some road damage occurred. DDOT crews have plated the area of the road until after morning rush when repairs can be made....

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 7, 2009; 8:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Commuter Alert: Florida Ave. Remains Closed in Adams Morgan

Update, 12:10 p.m.: Florida Avenue NW will remain closed for the next two days, D.C. officials say. Original post, 6:31 a.m.: Florida Ave. NW remains closed between 16th and 18th streets in Adams Morgan this morning as crews continue to repair a street buckled by a water main that broke Wednesday. Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content. var so = new SWFObject('http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/interactives/mashupTool/mashupTool.swf', 'mashupTool', '454', '474', '9', '#ffffff'); so.addParam('wmode','transparent'); so.addVariable('mapReference', 'l'); so.addVariable('mapColWidth', '454'); so.addVariable('mapSpacerGap', '5'); so.addVariable('mapHasNeatline', 'true'); so.addVariable('linkLocatorDetail', 'true'); so.addVariable('orientation', 'column'); so.addVariable('map1depth', '222'); so.addVariable('map1width', '454'); so.addVariable('map1centerLat', '38.918523'); so.addVariable('map1centerLong', '-77.038434'); so.addVariable('map1zoom', '13'); so.addVariable('map1mapType', 'map'); so.addVariable('map1canPanZoom', 'true'); so.addVariable('map1hasPointer', 'false'); so.addVariable('map2enabled', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2depth', '222'); so.addVariable('map2width', '454'); so.addVariable('map2centerLat', '38.918523'); so.addVariable('map2centerLong', '-77.038434'); so.addVariable('map2zoom', '15'); so.addVariable('map2mapType', 'map'); so.addVariable('map2canPanZoom', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2hasPointer', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2pointerLat', '38.918523'); so.addVariable('map2pointerLong', '-77.038434'); so.addVariable('map2pointerIconSymbol', 'none'); so.addVariable('map2pointerText', 'Florida Ave. Closure'); so.addVariable('map2pointerOffsetX', '24'); so.addVariable('map2pointerOffsetY', '-24'); so.addVariable('jump', getQueryParamValue('jump')); so.write('map_200946163538');...

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 7, 2009; 6:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Commuter Alert: Florida Ave. NW to Remain Shut

Florida Avenue NW will remain closed between 17th Street NW and California Street during the evening rush hour after a water main break this morning in Adams Morgan. The 1700 block of V Street NW will also remain closed. D.C. officials expect road repairs in the area to require "at least several hours." Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes including U Street. See live traffic incident map. Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content. var so = new SWFObject('http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/interactives/mashupTool/mashupTool.swf', 'mashupTool', '454', '474', '9', '#ffffff'); so.addParam('wmode','transparent'); so.addVariable('mapReference', 'l'); so.addVariable('mapColWidth', '454'); so.addVariable('mapSpacerGap', '5'); so.addVariable('mapHasNeatline', 'true'); so.addVariable('linkLocatorDetail', 'true'); so.addVariable('orientation', 'column'); so.addVariable('map1depth', '222'); so.addVariable('map1width', '454'); so.addVariable('map1centerLat', '38.918523'); so.addVariable('map1centerLong', '-77.038434'); so.addVariable('map1zoom', '13'); so.addVariable('map1mapType', 'map'); so.addVariable('map1canPanZoom', 'true'); so.addVariable('map1hasPointer', 'false'); so.addVariable('map2enabled', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2depth', '222'); so.addVariable('map2width', '454'); so.addVariable('map2centerLat', '38.918523'); so.addVariable('map2centerLong', '-77.038434'); so.addVariable('map2zoom', '15'); so.addVariable('map2mapType', 'map'); so.addVariable('map2canPanZoom', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2hasPointer', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2pointerLat', '38.918523'); so.addVariable('map2pointerLong', '-77.038434'); so.addVariable('map2pointerIconSymbol', 'none'); so.addVariable('map2pointerText', 'Florida Ave. Closure'); so.addVariable('map2pointerOffsetX', '24'); so.addVariable('map2pointerOffsetY', '-24');...

By Mike McPhate  |  May 6, 2009; 3:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Driving  
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Update on Route 123 Construction in Tysons

Just about any advisory from a transportation department includes these two words: "weather permitting." In this rainy spell, the weather has not been permitting. It has slowed the schedules on some road construction projects likely to have a big impact on drivers. One is the overnight work on the Capital Beltway around the Telegraph Road interchange, which is canceled yet again tonight. Another is the portion of the HOT lanes project that will build new lanes of the Beltway over Route 123 in Tysons Corner. The Virginia Department of Transportation announced plans to close the left lanes in both directions on that stretch of Route 123 so that construction of a bridge pier could proceed in the median. The left lane on the southbound side, leading into Tysons, has been closed for a couple of weeks. The left lane on the northbound side, leading out of Tysons, remains open. That...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 6, 2009; 1:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Construction , Driving  
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We're Doing Better, VRE Chief Tells Riders

Dale Zehner, the CEO of Virginia Railway Express, sent this memo about service to train riders: In March, the on-time performance of our trains was, I'm sad to say, abysmal. I went on record as saying that the number of mechanical failures that occurred was unacceptable, and that we at VRE were determined to return our service to the level that our riders expect and deserve. I'm happy to report that for the month of April, the on-time performance of our service has returned to over 90 percent. While mechanical issues will always be a problem (as I've said before, anything with moving parts, is bound to eventually break), there were several areas that we were able to address that I believe contributed to the improvement of this month's service. First off, I sat down with both the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Mechanical Officer at Amtrak and we...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 6, 2009; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  transit  
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Commuter Alert: Water Main Break Floods Florida Avenue in Adams Morgan

Florida Avenue is closed at the 1700 block in NW because of a water main break. U Street is also affected, according to The Washington Post traffic service.The break has flooded several homes and opened up a sink hole in the area, WTOP is reporting. The break has also caused gas leaks in the area, according to WTOP....

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 6, 2009; 9:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Glitch: Metro Machine Didn't Give Full Benefit

SmarTrip riders out there might want to check the balance on their Smart cards when downloading their transit benefits. I hope that what happened to me doesn't happen to you. As a result of changes in federal law, I had upped my monthly benefit to $230, to be taken as a pre-tax payroll deduction. At our company, the new amounts were ready to be downloaded beginning May 1. But Friday, when I was already in the negative on my Smart card, I was able to load only $200 on to my card instead of the full $230. I checked with the SmarTrip call center to see what happened. They said the remaining $30 was still available, but they too were scratching their heads to figure out why the full amount did not get loaded on to my card. Apparently, it's a glitch that happens sometimes, "but we don't know why,"...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 6, 2009; 7:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Metro  
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Commuter Alert: Glen Mill Rd. Closed in Potomac

Glen Mill Rd. is closed at S. Glen Rd. in Potomac because a large tree has fallen across the road. A one lane bridge is also closed on Glen Mill Rd. Authorities are recommending not using Glen Mill Rd. between Glen Rd. and Glen Watts Branch....

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 6, 2009; 6:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Skipping Stations: Solution or Just a New Problem?

I'm not sure how I feel about this, so I'm turning to the source of all travel wisdom: actual commuters. (Specifically, people who ride Metrorail.) Here's the scenario: On Monday evening, those of us on the Red Line platform at Fort Totten saw a Glenmont-bound train approaching. The horn sounded repeatedly, and the train slid through the station on its way north. It had skipped the stop and was off to Takoma. That wasn't a problem for us on the platform. We had another train in about a minute. But I felt for the people aboard the train, many of whom were missing a connection at Fort Totten to a Metrobus or to a Green or Yellow Line train. They would have to get off at the Takoma platform and take a train back in to Fort Totten to make their next connection. Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel explained to me...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 6, 2009; 6:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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Maryland Plans Four Miles of I-270 Paving

This $10 million project could start as early as this week, and will take until late fall to complete. All lanes of the Interstate between Muddy Branch Road and Middlebrook Road will be resurfaced, starting with the northbound side and switching to the southbound side at mid-summer. The work is mostly overnight, but what I noticed last time there was a big paving project on I-270 is that the milling of the lanes, creating an uneven surface before the final paving, slowed down traffic somewhat. Use caution shifting lanes. Work Schedule: Generally, there will be single lane closures along I-270 between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays. Reopening of the northbound lanes can slide till 6 a.m., because the morning traffic southbound is dominant. Similarly, the start of a lane closure on the southbound side can be as early as 7 p.m., because the afternoon traffic is heaviest...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 5, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Construction , Driving  
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Crash Briefly Closes Northbound B-W Parkway

A single-vehicle crash that injured six people briefly closed all northbound lanes of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway from Good Luck Road to the Beltway this afternoon, snarling traffic for nearly five miles and complicating the afternoon commute. The crash occurred just before 2 p.m. when a minivan with nine occupants left the road, rolled over and struck a tree, officials said. One passenger suffered serious head trauma and was transported to Prince George's Hospital Center. Five others were transported to area hospitals with serious injuries; three passengers refused treatment, Schlosser said. All of the passengers were in their 20s and 30s, officials said. One northbound lane reopened by 3 p.m., but parkway traffic remained congested into the the afternoon commute. See traffic incident map. -- By Aaron C. Davis Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content. var so = new SWFObject('http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/interactives/mashupTool/mashupTool.swf', 'mashupTool', '454', '474', '9', '#ffffff'); so.addParam('wmode','transparent');...

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 5, 2009; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Commuter Alert: Orange, Blue Line Delays

Riders on the Orange and Blue lines should expect delays in both directions after a switch malfunction outside of Rosslyn Station....

By Mike McPhate  |  May 5, 2009; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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Where the Yellow Line Turns

Has the extension of the Yellow Line to Fort Totten during off-peak hours hurt riders on the Green Line? We got into that debate Monday during our weekly online discussion. Here's a sample: Washington, D.C.: ... the Post has ignored the daily rush hour and non-rush delays on the Green Line as a result of the Yellow Line extension to Fort Totten. Why daily delays to Green Line riders to duplicate service for the least-traveled line deserves no coverage, I do not understand. But the Post and Metro seem to think that Red Line delays are more serious than Green Line delays. I'm not getting a discount on my fare for less service. Yellow Line-Green Line Confusion: Why, oh why does Metro not extend Yellow Line service during rush? I take the Green Line to U Street; at Gallery Place, the Yellow Lines run virtually empty during rush since everyone...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 5, 2009; 8:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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What's Up This Week on Metrorail Construction

There are so many big projects underway along major commuter routes in Northern Virginia, that it's hard to give you a proper accounting of all the work that might affect your travels. But let's spotlight the Metrorail extension project in Tysons. Here's what drivers will see this week: * The right lane of Scotts Crossing Road is closed at Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) weekdays. * The right lane of northbound Spring Hill Road is closed overnight just before Leesburg Pike (Route 7) through Friday night. * The ramp from westbound Route 7 to the eastbound Dulles Toll Road will be closed tonight through Thursday night. Use this link to see a detour route. * The right lane of eastbound Route 7 is closed at Spring Hill Road today through Friday. * The right lane of eastbound Route 7 is closed overnight at Tyco Road and Westwood Center Drive through...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 5, 2009; 7:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction , Driving  
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Commuter Alert: Red Line Delays Cleared

Metro Red Line delays have been cleared at Friendship Heights. Service is back to normal....

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 5, 2009; 6:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Red Line Back to Normal After Train Fire

Update: Normal service resumed on Red Line shortly before 5 p.m. No injuries were reported in the train fire that caused Metro to take a Glenmont-bound train out of service at the Rockville station at about 4:30 p.m. Original Post: Riders on the Red Line should expect delays in both directions because of a fire reported under the last car of a Glenmont-bound train. The fire was reported about 4 p.m. and the train was pulled into the Rockville station about 4:30 p.m. About 20 to 30 people who were on the train got off the train, where it was taken out of service. Trains are single-tracking between Shady Grove and Twinbrook. Montgomery County fire personnel are at the scene. -- Lena H. Sun Metro Resources:  Riding the System  |  Trip Planner   |   Map  |  Post Coverage...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 4, 2009; 4:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Progress Report on Intercounty Connector Work

Here's more information about construction of the Intercounty Connector at I-95, following up on this question and my response from today's Dr. Gridlock online discussion. Roads: So, apparently there will be a new exit on I-95 for the ICC. There is also supposed to be a new exit on I-95 at Contee Road (part of the Konterra construction). Any idea if/when the work on those exits is scheduled to start? I expect it will have a lot of effect on the high volume of traffic on I-95 when it starts. Me: I can't get to an exact schedule for you at the moment, but can give a general answer: Construction is underway for the interchange between I-95 and the ICC. There's only a slight lane shift now, but I find that the lane shift -- plus the gawk factor -- is slowing down traffic considerably as it passes through that...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 4, 2009; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Construction , Driving  
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Must Be the Season of the Bridge

We spent some time in today's online discussion talking about the impact of the 14th Street Bridges rehab and the 11th Street Bridges reconstruction in the District. Now comes word that Maryland will begin cleaning and repainting 10 bridges in Prince George's County. Here are the specifics about this $1.5 million project, using federal stimulus money. The locations: * Indian Head Highway over Henson Creek * Both directions along Route 50 over Route 193 (Enterprise Road) * Route 50 over Route 704 (Martin Luther King Jr. Highway) * Both directions along Route 4 (Pennsylvania Avenue) over Route 301 * Westbound Route 4 (Pennsylvania Avenue) over Route 980D (Ritchie Marlboro Road) * Glenarden Parkway over the Capital Beltway * The Capital Beltway over Route 414 (St. Barnabas Road) Traffic Impact: The cleaning and repainting includes stripping and repainting the steel beams and bridge structures. All the work won't be complete till...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 4, 2009; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Construction , Driving  
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Realm of Green Machines Expanding in DC

Your first instinct as you pull into a parking space on a busy city street will be to think, This is too good to be true. No meter? And you'll be right. It is too good to be true and there is a meter, only now it's a green kiosk that spits out little white parking permits. The permits can be used along the stretch of street subject to the green machine's parking rules, so there's no need for meters controlling individual spaces. They're supposed to be user friendly, but you couldn't tell that by this user. To my eyes, the instructions are really tiny. (I don't use them often enough to have internalized the pattern of button pushing. In fact, I forget from time to time that the machines don't take bills -- only coins and credit cards.) After paying, you put the little white permit on your passenger-side...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 4, 2009; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Driving  
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Join Us For Noon Discussion

Lena H. Sun, who covers Metro and other transit issues for The Post, will join me today at noon for our regular Monday chat about all issues concerning local traffic and transit. Share your questions and comments with us, whether you're seeking advice on getting here to there, or sensing you've spotted a solution to one of our local transportation problems. This is the link to the discussion. If you'd like to submit a question or comment in advance, use this link....

By Robert Thomson  |  May 4, 2009; 11:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Traffic Alert: Delays at 15th Street NW and Constitution NW

A bus crash is creating delays around the intersection of 15th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW. See traffic incident map. Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content. var so = new SWFObject('http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/interactives/mashupTool/mashupTool.swf', 'mashupTool', '454', '363', '9', '#ffffff'); so.addParam('wmode','transparent'); so.addVariable('mapReference', 'l'); so.addVariable('mapColWidth', '454'); so.addVariable('mapSpacerGap', '5'); so.addVariable('mapHasNeatline', 'true'); so.addVariable('linkLocatorDetail', 'true'); so.addVariable('orientation', 'column'); so.addVariable('map1depth', '168'); so.addVariable('map1width', '454'); so.addVariable('map1centerLat', '38.89209'); so.addVariable('map1centerLong', '-77.03364'); so.addVariable('map1zoom', '12'); so.addVariable('map1mapType', 'map'); so.addVariable('map1canPanZoom', 'true'); so.addVariable('map1hasPointer', 'false'); so.addVariable('map2enabled', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2depth', '165'); so.addVariable('map2width', '454'); so.addVariable('map2centerLat', '38.89209'); so.addVariable('map2centerLong', '-77.03364'); so.addVariable('map2zoom', '15'); so.addVariable('map2mapType', 'map'); so.addVariable('map2canPanZoom', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2hasPointer', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2pointerLat', '38.89209'); so.addVariable('map2pointerLong', '-77.03364'); so.addVariable('map2pointerIconSymbol', 'none'); so.addVariable('map2pointerText', 'Crash Site'); so.addVariable('map2pointerOffsetX', '24'); so.addVariable('map2pointerOffsetY', '-24'); so.addVariable('jump', getQueryParamValue('jump')); so.write('map_2009441052380');...

By Mike McPhate  |  May 4, 2009; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Driving  
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The Week Ahead at Wilson Bridge Project

Ramp under construction at Capital Beltway's Telegraph Road interchange. (Thomson) Lots going on along the Capital Beltway near the Wilson Bridge this week and for weeks to come. Bridge at Telegraph Road Interchange The placement of the steel beams over the Beltway is a big job, and a high-impact one, as far as travelers are concerned. Because multiple lanes have to be shut down, this one can back up traffic for miles, and it's best to find another way when the work is underway. [5:30 p.m. Update: Monday night work cancelled because of rain.] Timing: Tuesday Through Thursday, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Highlight: Outer loop reduced to one lane; some ramps closed * Traffic from east of the Eisenhower Avenue Connector to east of Telegraph Road will be narrowed to one lane. * Exit ramps from the outer loop to Telegraph Road will remain open. * Traffic will...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 4, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Construction , Driving , Wilson Bridge  
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Commuter Alert: 18th Street Reopened at I Street After Suspicious Package Cleared

18th Street was reopened at I Street after a suspicious package was cleared from the entrance of the Farragut West Metro station. The Metro station entrance at that location has been reopened as well. Traffic remains heavy....

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 4, 2009; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Riders Beware: Fairfax Connector Cutting Service

Fairfax County staved off cuts in local Metrobus service, but riders still face cutbacks on the Fairfax Connector. The Connector is making cuts and raising some fares based on the budget approved by the Fairfax Board of Supervisors. Here are the changed scheduled to take effect June 28. Routes with reduced service: 301, 380, 425, 505, 553, 557, 585, 980 Routes with discontinued service: 303, 556, 922, VRE EZ-Bus Express routes fare increase: The fare for three express routes -- 380, 595 and 597 -- will increase to $7. Use this link to view the status of all Connector routes....

By Robert Thomson  |  May 4, 2009; 8:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  transit  
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Commuter Alert: Tree Cleared from Pennsylvania Ave. in SE

A tree blocking Pennsylvania Ave. in Southeast has been cleared. Traffic patterns are returning to normal....

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 4, 2009; 7:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Speed Controls In Effect Near Wilson Bridge

There are three experiments in speed control underway in the Washington region that combine engineering, education and enforcement in various ways. Which experiment do you think will work out best? Variable Speed Limits: The program is expanding this morning. I told you months ago to watch out for the new electronic signs indicating the speed limits on the eastern side of the Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia. Some of you said you don't see much action on those signs, and it's been true. When they've been in use, switching speed limits, it's been mostly at night. Signs will post speed limit. (Thomson) That's changing. The technology now will be in use from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays. It will continue to be used overnight as well. The idea of changing the speed limits is to slow down traffic approaching a construction chokepoint. If drivers don't speed, they won't have...

By Robert Thomson  |  May 4, 2009; 5:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Construction , Driving  
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