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Get There: September 6, 2009 - September 12, 2009

The Weekend and Beyond

A bunch of events in the District will provide challenges for drivers this weekend. Meanwhile, Metrorail riders will face delays on the Red, Orange and Green lines because of routine maintenance work. Nation's Triathlon Drivers will want to avoid roads near the Potomac River from East Potomac Park north to the Capital Beltway in Maryland during The Nation's Triathlon on Sunday. The annual event is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. The course includes a swim in the Potomac near Memorial Bridge, a bike ride on portions of Rock Creek Parkway, M Street, Canal Road and the Clara Barton Parkway and a run around East Potomac Park and the Tidal Basin. Use this link to view a course map in pdf format. The Key Bridge and Chain Bridge are scheduled to be open, but using them will be a challenge because of the many road...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories , Driving , Metro , Weekend Work  | Tags: Adams Morgan Day, Beltway, Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail delays, Nation's Triathlon  
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Traffic Alert: Main Break Closes 16th Street NW

Update, 2:53 p.m.: One lane of traffic for both directions of traffic has reopened. During the rush hour two lanes of northbound traffic will be open and one lane of southbound traffic will be open. Original post, 11:53 a.m.: A water main break in the 2400 block of 16th Street NW has shut the road between V Street and Euclid Street in both directions. Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes along 14th Street NW, 15th Street NW or 18th Street NW. Road Essentials: Incident Map | Traffic Cams | Key Routes...

By Mike McPhate  |  September 11, 2009; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Driving  
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Two Buses Collide in Southeast

UPDATE (8:15 a.m.): A charter bus "rear-ended" a stationary Metrobus, according to Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. He said that there are 19 reported injuries on the Metrobus, including the driver. All of those injuries appear non-life threatening, he said. He said he didn't have any information about the type of charter or tour bus that hit the Metrobus. ORIGINAL (8:05 a.m.): Two buses collided in the 2300 block of Good Hope Road in Southeast just before 7:45 a.m., according to Pete Piringer, spokesman for D.C. Fire and EMS. Numerous EMS units are responding to the scene, and at least 21 patients are being assessed for injuries, he said, adding that none of the injuries appear serious or life threatening. The roads are slippery this morning, and drivers should expect major delays in the area of the accident....

By James Hohmann  |  September 11, 2009; 8:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Traffic Alert: Eastbound Washington Blvd. Closed in Arlington

Updated, 8:10 a.m.: Washington Blvd. has reopened, but one lane remains blocked. Traffic is slow in the area. Original Post: An accident on eastbound Washington Blvd. is blocking all lanes before Columbia Park in Arlington. Traffic is being diverted at Walter Reed Dr....

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 11, 2009; 6:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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DC Warns of Sunday Road Closings for Triathlon

The Nation's Triathlon is likely to disrupt traffic near the Potomac River this Sunday. The annual event is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. in the District. It includes a swim in the Potomac, a bike ride through downtown Washington and a run near the National Mall ending by the Tidal Basin. See a route map here. The District Department of Transportation has provided a list of the street closings that D.C. and U.S. Park Police will put into effect, as well as some alternative routes to consider. -- The ramp for I-395 westbound toward Maine Avenue will be closed to traffic. Alternative routes will be the 14th Street Bridge and the 9th and 12th Street Tunnels. -- The Potomac River Freeway will be closed. Alternates will be 23rd Street, Constitution Avenue and Virginia Avenue. -- Westbound M Street from Wisconsin Avenue to the Whitehurst...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 10, 2009; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Advisories , Events  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Nation's Triathlon, traffic delays  
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Metro Talks About Possible Fare Increases

The transit authority staff today is presenting the Metro board with a preliminary outline of an operating budget for next year that would include a fare increase and no service cuts. There's a long way to go: The staff won't present a formal budget for fiscal 2011 until December, and then the board will get a crack at making significant changes, as it did last year. But today's meeting provided a look at some of the issues ahead. A fare increase, which would be the first in four years, would not close the budget shortfall if it were pegged to the rate of inflation, the staff said. The staff and board are not discussing a specific proposal at this point. For next year, the staff is assuming conservative growth rate on bus and rail ridership of 1 percent, as well as a drop in advertising revenue. After 10 years, the...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 10, 2009; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro fare increases, Metrobus, Metrorail  
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Metro Alert: Metro Worker Struck at Braddock Rd.

1:35 p.m. Update: Metro says regular service has been restored on the Blue and Yellow Lines. Service was restored at 12:43 p.m., two hours after the Metro employee was struck. See more details in this story. Metro spokeswoman Angela Gates said a person was struck by a train at 10:40 a.m. between the Braddock Road and Reagan National Airport stations, outside the tunnel from Potomac Yard. Preliminary reports indicate that the injured person was a Metro employee, Gates said. He's been transported to a local hospital. The extent of his injuries are unclear at this time, she said. Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein warns that customers should expect major delays for the rest of the morning and into the afternoon. Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. said just after 11:30 a.m. that the employee remains alive and is being transported to a local hospital. "It's always a setback anytime you...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  September 10, 2009; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Commuting , Metro  | Tags: WMATA  
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Metro Pledges Better Communication on Track Work

The Metro board and staff this morning reviewed the travel disruptions caused by the extensive track work over the Labor Day weekend and pledged to improve both internal and external communications before the next big round of work on the Columbus Day weekend. Board member Jeffrey C. McKay of Fairfax said he had a personal experience over the weekend that led to concerns about communications. He noted shuttle bus service and late-night train service was not coordinated for the convenience of passengers. A station manager said he wasn't able to communicate with the bus operation because station managers aren't allowed to use their cell phones, which isn't true. McKay also urged an improvement in external communications: Let riders know more about what their travel options are during a disruption. Board member Catherine Hudgins, also of Fairfax, urged the staff to maek use of customer complaints from the Labor Day weekend...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 10, 2009; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus, Metrorail, delays  
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Traffic Alert: I-95 South Reopened in Dumfries After Tractor Trailer Fire

Updated, 7:13 a.m.: One lane on I-95 South has reopened and traffic is no longer being diverted from the interstate. Delays are significant in the area. Slow traffic begins before Cardinal Rd. on I-95 South. Original Post: A tractor trailer fire has shut down I-95 southbound in Dumfries. The accident is not blocking lanes on I-95 North, but traffic appears to be slowing to look at the accident. WTOP is reporting that traffic is being forced to exit at Dale Blvd on I-95 South....

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 10, 2009; 6:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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New Bridge Opening on Rockville Pike

Commuters have been watching this construction since last summer on heavily-traveled Route 355 in Montgomery County. Over the next two weekends, the Maryland State Highway Administration is scheduled to shift traffic from the nearly year-old detour route onto the bridge, which will take vehicles over Randolph Road/Montrose Road. The switch over will affect southbound traffic first, starting this Friday night into Saturday. Northbound traffic will begin using the new bridge the following weekend, Sept. 18-19. During these times, consider using Interstate 270 as a route around traffic delays. During the week of the traffic shift, motorists who travel along East Jefferson Street will be detoured to Executive Boulevard and back to the northbound pike. This starts the final phase of the Rockville Pike/Montrose Parkway /Randolph Road project, the State Highway Administration says. The $47.2 million interchange project will move Randolph Road slightly south to align with the new Montrose Parkway...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 9, 2009; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Commuting , Construction , Driving  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Maryland State Highway Administration, Rockville Pike  
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Some Capitol Hill Streets Closing Tonight

Before President Obama delivers his health care address at the Capitol tonight, police will block of some of the nearby streets on Capitol Hill, starting at 6:30 p.m. The restrictions will remain in effect until after the president's speech, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. This is the list of street closings from the U.S. Capitol Police: North of Capitol -- D Street, NE between 2nd Street NE and Louisiana Avenue NW -- C Street, NE between 2nd Street NE and Louisiana Avenue NW -- Constitution Avenue between 2nd Street NE and Louisiana Avenue, NW -- Delaware Avenue between Columbus Circle and Constitution Avenue NE -- New Jersey Avenue NE between Louisiana Avenue and D Street NE -- Pennsylvania Avenue between 1st Street and 3rd Street NW -- East Capitol Street between 2nd Street and 1st Street NE/SE -- 1st Street between Columbus Circle NE and C Street...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 9, 2009; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Events  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Obama, street closings  
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Controversy Ripens Over Farmers Market Near White House

Back in August, President Obama expressed interest in launching a farmers market near the White House as a way of supporting locally grown food and raising awareness about nutrition. But from that seed of an idea, a controversy is ripening. FreshFarm Markets, which runs farmers markets around D.C., has applied for a permit for a new location at Vermont Ave. near H St., just a block from the First Family's residence, Post reporters Jane Black and Ashley Halsey report. The problem: Vermont Avenue would be shutdown between H and I streets every Thursday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. between mid-September and the end of October. Some D.C. residents worry the closure would create traffic headaches during the busy evening rush hour. The D.C. Department of Transportation, which must approve the permit, is expected to make a decision in the next couple of days, although a spokesman said the department...

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 9, 2009; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Traffic Alert: Accident Blocks Lane on New York Ave. at 3rd St. Tunnel

Updated, 9:35 a.m.: The accident has been cleared and tunnel traffic is returning to normal. Original Post: An accident possibly involving a police vehicle is blocking the right lane on inbound New York Ave. at the 3rd St. Tunnel. Delays are on-and-off from Bladensburg Ave. NE....

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 9, 2009; 8:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Major Metro Disruption on Columbus Day Weekend

Heads up for people who might be using the Green and Yellow lines on the holiday weekend of Oct. 9-12: Metro plans a big track rehab project that will close Waterfront and Archives stations as well as the Green-Yellow platform at L'Enfant Plaza. This will split the Green Line into two sections for the Columbus Day weekend and temporarily eliminate Yellow Line service within the District. But there's a preparation period for the track project that will slow late night service on Sundays and weeknights starting this coming Sunday. Metro is advising riders to add 45 minutes to their normal travel times for those late-night trips....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 8, 2009; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Green Line, Metrorail delays, Yellow Line  
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Before the Summer Travel Memories Fade . . .

An overnight trip back to Washington from Cape Cod reminded me of the advice you travelers so often give when we discuss vacation routes: It's not so much the route you take. It's the time you take it. I did the basic I-95 route -- with some standard deviations -- but left from Cape Cod at 12:22 a.m., arriving back here at 8:46 a.m. That meant it was a breeze through Connecticut and across Westchester County, NY, to the Tappan Zee Bridge and down the Garden State Parkway to the New Jersey Turnpike and across Delaware on I-95. (There wasn't even a slowdown at the Delaware toll plaza. But, of course, traffic built up on I-95 north of the Baltimore Beltway, though the Fort McHenry Tunnel toll plaza was not a problem. Things looked bad on I-95 north of Washington, so we cut over onto Route 29. That wasn't bad...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 8, 2009; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Driving , Getaway , holiday travel  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, vacation routes  
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Coin Spill Shuts Down Route 301, Lanes Now Clear

An armored car dumped a load of coins on Route 301 in Bowie today, shutting down the southbound side of the highway for about an hour while authorities cleaned up the mess, police said. Just before 9 a.m., police were called to Route 301 and Route 50 for the report of an armored car that had lost its cargo. When they arrived, they found coins scattered about the roadway, police said. The back door of the car was apparently not secured properly, police said. Capt. Misty Mints, a spokesman for the Prince George's County Police, said she did not know how much money was dumped in total. But she said only coins, not bills, spilled out of the vehicle. "Luckily for them," Mints said. "Not that that can't be a lot of cash, too, but the bills are harder to catch if they're flying around." -- Matt Zapotosky...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  September 8, 2009; 11:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting , Driving , Safety  
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Roads Closed for President's Speech at Arlington High School

The Arlington County Police Department says it will close roads around Wakefield High School today for a school visit by President Obama....

By Washington Post editors  |  September 8, 2009; 9:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Traffic Alert: Serious Accident Blocks Lanes on I-295 N in SE

Updated, 9:31 a.m.: The accident on I-295 North has been cleared and traffic is returning to normal. Original Post: A serious accident involving an overturned auto has injured three people on the northbound I-295 near Pennsylvania Ave. in SE. Only the right lane is getting by at the scene of the accident. Significant delays have formed in the area....

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 8, 2009; 9:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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The Week Ahead

Today is "Terrible Traffic Tuesday," so named by the folks at AAA because it is the day when life -- and traffic -- returns to normal in the Washington area. The summer is over, and with its end people return to work, to school and to college. While you were away a great many highway projects continued and federal stimulus money funded other road projects. The orange cones will be out in force this week. Va. HOV Lanes Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8, the I-95/395 HOV lanes will return to their standard schedule, remaining open to all traffic southbound from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The lanes will re-open northbound to all traffic at 11 p.m. HOT Lane Construction Beginning Thursday night, Sept. 10 , steel beams will be lifted into place for a new bridge at I-66 west over I-495 south. Motorists can expect I-495 south total...

By Ashley Halsey  |  September 8, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion , Construction  
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