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Get There: June 7, 2009 - June 13, 2009

Emergency Pothole Repairs Begin Tonight, Expect Delays

Due to excessive rain over recent weeks, crews will be conducting pavement work and emergency pothole repairs on sections of the Capital Beltway between 9 p.m. tonight and 5 a.m. Monday. The work will involve a number of major lane shifts and closures in both directions of the Capital Beltway Interstate 95/495 between the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the Eisenhower Avenue Connector. Motorists should expect significant delays. To avoid delays, motorists are advised to avoid traveling in the corridor this weekend and consider alternate routes. Specific lane shifts and closures are as follows: 9 p.m. tonight to 5 p.m. Saturday Location: I-95/495N (Outer Loop Thru) between Telegraph Road & Route 1 Closing: Outer Loop Thru lanes, diverting all traffic to the Outer Loop Local Lanes for a milling, paving and roadway striping operation 9 p.m. tonight to 5 a.m. Saturday Location: I-95/495S (Inner Loop Local) between the Woodrow Wilson...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 12, 2009; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Fed Money Stimulates DC Sidewalk Construction

One of the biggest improvements in U.S. transportation during the past decade has been the growing recognition among engineers that lots of people want to walk and they need to do it safely. Washington just completed its master plan for pedestrians. It contains guidelines that include fancy designs for intersections, medians and crosswalks, but one of its most basic recommendations is this: Build sidewalks where there aren't any. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced today that the District is going to use $4 million in federal stimulus money to do that, closing some of the 200 miles of missing links in the city's sidewalk system. The target streets for the construction program getting underway this summer are in every ward. You can see a list here. There are too many streets to name. Just some examples: a couple blocks of Irving Street, 42nd Street, Brandywine Street; lots of West Virginia Avenue,...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 12, 2009; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Safety  | Tags: DDOT, Fenty, Obama Administration, sidewalks  
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'Move Over' Laws Come As Surprise to Drivers

Several letters came after I published a letter from a driver who visited Ontario and reported back on the province's tough driving laws, including the law that requires motorists to move over or slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped by the roadside. Dear Dr. Gridlock: Readers should be aware similar rules apply closer to here. A law now in effect in New Jersey requires that when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped with its red and/or blue lights flashing, or tow truck or highway maintenance vehicle displaying flashing amber lights, drivers must change lanes to a lane not adjacent to the stopped vehicle, or when that is not possible, slow to a "reasonable and proper speed .... less than the posted speed limit." Violations carry fines of $100 to $500. Similar laws also are in effect in midwestern states, and presumably will eventually be continent-wide. David Austein Gaithersburg We're...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 12, 2009; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Driving , Safety  | Tags: Move Over Law  
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Normal Service Resumes on Blue Line

Metro resumed normal service just before noon on the Blue Line after fire officials put out a fire on the track at the Addison Road Metro Station. Trains are no longer single-tracking but riders can expect residual delays in both directions. Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato said the fire was from a burning insulator on the track headed toward downtown. --Lena H. Sun...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 12, 2009; 12:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Authorities Responding to Report of a Fire on Metro Tracks at Addison Road

Metro and Prince George's County fire and emergency personnel are responding to a fire reported on a track at the Addison Road Metro station on the Blue Line. Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato said a train operator reported seeing fire just before 11 a.m. on the track heading towards downtown and Franconia-Springfield and notified Prince George's fire personnel. Trains are single-tracking between the Morgan Boulevard and Stadium-Armory stations....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 12, 2009; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Traffic Alert: All Lanes Opened on WB I-295 in Southeast

All lanes are open on westbound I-295 near the U.S. Capitol after an accident that closed four lanes. Traffic is still slow off the 11th St. Bridge....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 12, 2009; 9:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories  
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The Weekend and Beyond

Some traffic and transit notes I hope will help smooth your travels on Saturday and Sunday, and during the rest of June. Lawyers Have a Heart Race Restrictions begin at 6 a.m. Saturday and end at noon. Street closures for Lawyers Have a Heart: Canal Road from Reservoir Road NW to M Street NW, Whitehurst Freeway, and K Street NW under the freeway. Capital Pride Parade Restrictions start at 4 p.m. Saturday and end at 9 p.m. Street closures: 23rd through 25th streets NW from M to O streets. The Capital Pride Parade is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at 23rd and P streets NW and proceed through DuPont Circle, then north on New Hampshire Avenue, east on R Street, south on 17th Street, east on P Street, and south on 14th Street to the end at N Street. Starting at 6 p.m., there will be rolling closures along...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 12, 2009; 9:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: 12th Street Tunnel, Benning Road, Capital Pride, DDOT, Metrorail, Route 29, Washington DC parade  
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Traffic Alert: Nationals Game This Afternoon

The Washington Nationals are scheduled to play a rare afternoon game, starting at 4:35 p.m. at Nationals Park. While thunderstorms may pop up to dampen the fans' enthusiasm, there's likely to be some extra congestion on Metro's transfer stations, on the Green Line and on the streets around South Capitol and M, near the stadium....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 11, 2009; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Events  
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Traffic Restrictions on Benning Road Start Friday

Drivers sitting in traffic at the 14th Street Bridge or up river at Chain Bridge might console themselves by thinking of their longer-suffering bretheren commuting along the constructionway known as Benning Road NE. But the pace has picked up a lot at Benning Road since Mayor Adrian M. Fenty recommitted to getting the road reconstruction done on time. The District Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin paving at several intersections on Friday. Impact on drivers: Temporary "no left turn" restrictions between 23rd Place and Oklahoma Avenue; temporary lane closings westbound. Turning Restrictions The left turn restrictions are likely to continue until Aug. 1. That means: -- If you are heading east on Benning, you won't be able to turn left onto 26th Street. -- If you are westbound on Benning, you won't be able to turn left onto 23rd Place, 25th Place or Oklahoma Avenue. -- If you are...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 11, 2009; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting , Construction , Driving  | Tags: Benning Road, DDOT, Fenty, lane closings, traffic restrictions  
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One Problem Down, New One Looming For Metro

Metro board members are wrapping up an agonizing season of decisions about service and staff cuts. And they're already starting to look forward to the next round of budget decisions. In this case, "already" isn't too soon. We didn't wind up with any of the drastic cuts in service or widespread fare increases that seemed like possibilities early this year. But how was that done? In part, the solution was to use financial fixes available only once, and to make pretty optimistic assumptions about some incoming money from such sources as ridership increases and the rail-bus transfer policy started in January. "We can't skate through this again," Board Member Chris Zimmerman said during a board committee meeting this morning. "I do think we are going to have a significant problem with our next budget," Board Member Peter Benjamin said. Board Member Jim Graham doesn't want you to panic. He doesn't...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 11, 2009; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Metro  
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Traffic Flow Normal Into Washington

The traffic disruptions that accompanied the police investigation into the Wednesday afternoon shootings at the Holocaust Museum have ended. Traffic into the District on the 14th Street Bridge and nearby roadways is moving normally this morning. The main problem so far is the fog. Road Essentials:  Incident Map  |  Traffic Cams   |   Key Routes...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 11, 2009; 7:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting , Driving  
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Traffic Alert: George Washington Pkwy. Blocked

U.S. Park Police report that George Washington Parkway is closed between route 123 and Spout Run. Road Essentials:  Incident Map  |  Traffic Cams   |   Key Routes...

By Mike McPhate  |  June 10, 2009; 5:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Driving  
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Orange Crush Riders Were Blue Tuesday

The storms that rolled through the Washington region at rush hour on Tuesday disrupted service on the Blue and Orange lines and put many Metro riders in a stormy mood. Here's the way one person expressed it in an e-mail: "In what conceivable universe does it make sense to provide DOUBLE the number of blue line trains west toward Virginia as orange line trains in the midst of evening rush hour during a MAJOR DELAY??? "Seriously, two half-empty blue line trains for every one stuffed-to-the-gills, so-crowded-don't-even-think-about-boarding orange line trains!! "I had to watch two orange lines and FOUR blue line trains go by before I could squeeze on board at Farragut West -- the orange line trains spaced about 15 minutes apart!!! "Doesn't anyone at Metro keep ridership statistics? Isn't there anyone there who understands there are probably twice as many orange line riders as blue line riders going...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 10, 2009; 5:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Blue Line, Orange Line  
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Traffic Alert: Disruptions in 14th Street Area

Update, 7:57 p.m.: 14th Street has reopened at Constitution Avenue but remains blocked at Independence Avenue. Traffic has eased on Constitution but still is heavy on Independence. Outbound traffic is reaching 14th St Bridge southbound via Wallenberg Place. Original post, 2:12 p.m.: This is a major disruption in traffic, as a consequence of police action following the shootings at the Holocaust Museum. Avoid the 14th Street area around the Mall, whether you're leaving the District or heading toward it. There's a lot of police activity, and streets are likely to be closed through the afternoon rush. Use either the 9th Street or -- better -- the Third Street tunnel under the Mall to reach the Southeast-Southwest Freeway (I-395) and then either I-295 or the 14th Street Bridge, or take the Roosevelt Bridge to I-66 and the northbound George Washington Parkway. [5:45 p.m. update: U.S. Park Police say GW Parkway is...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 10, 2009; 2:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion  | Tags: Holocaust Museum shootings, traffic congestion  
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Metro Alert: No Improper Cleavage

Metro workers no longer have the right to bare arms or, for that matter, any decolletage. A new edict about appropriate business attire recently sent out to all Metro employees lists at least three dozen items that are "not acceptable" for women. They include "tops with plunging necklines," spaghetti straps, skirts and dresses shorter than 3 inches above the knee when standing, and anything made of denim. The ban on jeans also applies to men, who make up most of Metro's work force. (Unclear what this means for the guys in emergency management who have those nifty denim shirts sporting the official Metro "M.") The memo doesn't say what prompted managers to tighten the dress code. But it's well known that General Manager John B. Catoe Jr., who is always in a suit and tie, gets upset when uniformed employees don sports caps (instead of Metro caps) and frowns on...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 10, 2009; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dress Code  
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Gunshots Reported: Traffic Cam Outside D.C. Holocaust Museum

TrafficLand.com Location of Holocaust museum: 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', '38.886649'); so.addVariable('map1centerLong', '-77.032147'); so.addVariable('map1zoom', '11'); 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', '38.886649'); so.addVariable('map2centerLong', '-77.032147'); so.addVariable('map2zoom', '15'); so.addVariable('map2mapType', 'map'); so.addVariable('map2canPanZoom', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2hasPointer', 'true'); so.addVariable('map2pointerLat', '38.886649'); so.addVariable('map2pointerLong', '-77.032147'); so.addVariable('map2pointerIconSymbol', 'none'); so.addVariable('map2pointerText', 'Holocaust Museum'); so.addVariable('map2pointerOffsetX', '24'); so.addVariable('map2pointerOffsetY', '-24'); so.addVariable('jump', getQueryParamValue('jump')); so.write('map_20095101328216');...

By Mike McPhate  |  June 10, 2009; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Major Delays on MARC Brunswick and Camden Lines

The Maryland Transit Administration reports that heavy storm activity in MARC operating areas is causing major delays to trains mainly on the Brunswick and Camden Lines. Trains are experiencing delays ranging from 30 to 75 minutes because of signals problems, switch problems and downed trees....

By Mike McPhate  |  June 9, 2009; 8:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , transit  
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Blue-Orange Line Incident Cleared

Update, 8:26 p.m: This incident has been cleared, Metro officials say. Original post, 6:24 p.m.: A track circuit malfunction at Stadium-Armory is creating delays on the Blue-Orange line. Blue line trains are operating between Benning Road and Largo and Eastern Market and Franconia. Shuttle bus service has been requested....

By Mike McPhate  |  June 9, 2009; 6:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  
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Route 236 in Fairfax Reopens After Downed Wires

Update, 8:58 p.m.: Route 236 has reopened. Original post, 5:50 p.m.: Route 236 at Wakefield Chapel Road in Fairfax is closed in both directions because of downed wires. In D.C., the intersections of Valley Avenue SE & Atlantic Street SE, and Valley Avenue SE & 4th Street SE have been closed because of high standing water. View our live traffic map for more weather-related closures....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  June 9, 2009; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Section of D.C. Hiker-Biker Trail Under Construction

This area by the Red Line will be the latest part of the trail. (John Lisle-DDOT) The ground near the elevated Metrorail looks desolate now, but someday, in the dreams of hikers and bikers, it will be the Metropolitan Branch Trail, connecting Silver Spring and Union Station, eight miles away. Today, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and other D.C. officials broke ground on the latest section of trail. This is a 1.5 mile stretch from New York Avenue to Franklin Street NE. It will go over Florida Avenue, under New York Avenue and over Rhode Island Avenue, thus avoiding 18 lanes of heavy traffic. The section should be done in late summer. The Metropolitan Branch Trail is to hikers and bikers what the Intercounty Connector is to drivers: Long-awaited. Planning started in the 1990s. Bike station on May 21. (John Lisle - DDOT) So far, three segments have been built....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 9, 2009; 3:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Biking  | Tags: Fenty, Metropolitan Trail, Union Station, cycling, groundbreaking, walking  
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Camera Back at 14th St. Bridge, Out at Chain Bridge

The VDOT camera that covers the 14th Street Bridge northbound span, the one under reconstruction, is back in action this afternoon. It was on the blink for about a day, as was the one at I-395 and Army Navy Drive, which is also back. 14th St. Bridge Project      • Work Overview    • Live Bridge Cam    • Project Twitter Feed    • Full Coverage DDOT reports that the potholes on the northbound span that drivers were complaining about on Monday have been repaired. Unfortunately, the camera covering the Virginia approach to Chain Bridge is now out. That's the one at Chain Bridge Road and North Glebe Road. The one on the D.C. side of the river works. These particular sets of cameras are very helpful in evaluating the traffic congestion stemming from two major construction projects, so it would be most helpful to maintain them all. Meanwhile, a commenter on a...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 9, 2009; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  14th street bridge  | Tags: 14th Street Bridge, Chain Bridge, traffic cameras  
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Traffic Alert: Severe Thunderstorms Cause Road Flooding, Trees Down

The severe thunderstorms moving through the region have caused some serious traffic problems: A tree is down on Brandywine St. NW at Broad Branch Ave. Water is flooding Rt. 110 southbound after Marshal Blvd. below the Memorial Bridge. Beach Drive is closed between Kensington Pkwy. and the Beltway overpass for a water rescue....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 9, 2009; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Traffic Alert: Delays on I-95 NB in N. Va.

I-95 northbound is facing on-and-off back ups from Prince William Parkway onto 395 to the 14th St. Bridge....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 9, 2009; 8:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Traffic Alert: Florida Ave. NE Blocked After Fire

Florida Avenue NE is closed between 8th Street NE and K Street NE because a house fire. Road Essentials:  Incident Map  |  Traffic Cams   |   Key Routes...

By Mike McPhate  |  June 8, 2009; 6:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Driving  
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DC To Repair Potholes on 14th Street Bridge

The contractor on the 14th Street Bridge rehab is going to work overnight on filling the annoying potholes that readers described today during our online discussion. 14th St. Bridge Project      • Work Overview    • Live Bridge Cam    • Project Twitter Feed    • Full Coverage John Lisle, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation, said he noticed the complaints coming in from drivers during the discussion, but he said a D.C. engineer already had experienced them first hand on the way in this morning. Because of the pothole filling, there could be double lane closures on the northbound span between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., then back to a single lane closure from 1 to 5 a.m., when all lanes will be open for rush hour. Please continue telling me about your experiences on the 14th Street Bridge and the Chain Bridge, also the subject of a rehab project,...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 8, 2009; 5:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  14th street bridge  | Tags: 14th Street Bridge  
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Join Me For Noon Discussion

Whether the topic involves planning a weekend escape or discussing the latest road construction news, let's meet at noon for the weekly forum. Use this link to read the discussion. Use this one if you'd like to submit a question or comment before we get started. We've certainly collected a lot of potential topics since last week. Among them: -- Metro continues to have a problem with doors opening in tunnels. This is one area where we cannot afford to have a pretty good safety record. It's got to be perfect. -- Three Virginia congressmen wrote to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to protest the District's approach to the rehab projects on the 14th Street and Chain bridges. What's your commuting experience? -- Tuesday is primary day in Virginia, but at this late date, I'm not hearing anything from any party that sounds like a real transportation plan. -- One sign...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 8, 2009; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Traffic Alert: 2 Lanes Blocked on I-270 South in Germantown

The two right lanes of I-270 southbound at Rt. 118 in Germantown are blocked by an accident. Delays begin before Father Hurley Blvd. Westbound Rt. 118 onto I-270 will have to merge early. Eastbound Rt. 118 onto I-270 is not affected....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 8, 2009; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Doors Opening: Metro Must Solve This Problem

We have our constant concerns: Riders don't like the seeing more people eating on the trains, they struggle to hear station announcements and they want the doors open longer at certain stations. We've survived those conditions for years. But there is a longtime problem that could result in a fatality, and Metro has failed to stop it. Riders should demand an immediate solution on this one. Staff writer Lena H. Sun reports today that during the first five months of 2009 there were 22 incidents in which train doors opened where they should not have, putting the transit authority on a course to exceed the number of such incidents last year, when the doors opened improperly 42 times. Opening improperly usually means the doors opened in the tunnel. That most often happens when an operator forgets that the train is eight cars long. You thought the Metrorail system was automated...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 8, 2009; 7:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Metro , Safety  | Tags: Washington transit authority, rail safety  
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