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Get There: September 13, 2009 - September 19, 2009

VDOT Working to Ease I-66 Sore Point

The Virginia Department of Transportation says it's trying to ease the congestion stemming from this week's redesign of the merge at eastbound Interstate 66 onto the inner loop of the Beltway. The traffic shift at the interchange is part of the construction plan for the HOT lanes and is scheduled to remain in effect till 2011. But the results weren't pretty, as VDOT acknowledged today. Since the start of the new pattern on Monday, average travel times on I-66 between Route 50 and the Beltway between 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. have increased from 20 minutes to 43 minutes, VDOT said. "That's unacceptable and we are working to make it less painful for motorists," VDOT project engineer Larry Cloyed said in a statement today. The New Pattern Since Monday, the HOV lane and regular lane have merged into one lane on the ramp to the Beltway's inner loop. Before that,...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 18, 2009; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Construction , Driving  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, HOT lanes, Interstate 66, VDOT  
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Beltway Interchange Opening Full Time Today

Maryland and Prince George's County officials are holding a ceremony at 1 p.m. to mark the opening -- the full-time opening -- of the Capital Beltway interchange at Arena Drive in Landover. Until now, this interchange was of use mostly to football fans on their way to FedEx Field. It could be used for special events but not for everyday use by the neighborhoods around there because of a safety problem. It's very close to the Landover Road and Central Avenue interchanges so there would be a lot of fast merging going on as people entered and exited at the three interchanges. Prince George's officials say the benefit of full-time use, and the Maryland State Highway Administration began a project to open it up. The interchange already was there, so most of the work in the $24 million project involved building lengthy collector-distributor lanes on the right-hand side of both...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 18, 2009; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Construction , Driving  | Tags: Arena Drive, Capital Beltway, Dr. Gridlock, FedEx Field, Maryland State Highway Administration, Prince George's  
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The Weekend and Beyond

Nice weekend forecast from the Capital Weather Gang, so many people should be out and about. Sun should shine on the Navy 5 Miler in Arlington and on travelers to the Redskins home opener on Sunday. Here's a look at weekend activities that may affect your travels and some other upcoming issues. FedEx on Sunday See my earlier posting for details, but here are a few highlights about getting to and from Sunday's 1 p.m. Redskins game. The Basics: There are three Beltway interchanges near the stadium in Landover: Central Avenue, Arena Drive and Landover Road. The Maryland State Highway Administration suggests Central Avenue as a less congested route to FedEx. New This Season: Nearly 3,000 spaces have been added on stadium property. Parking attendants now will direct fans who want to tailgate in more than one space to the backs of lots. Fans who want only to park or...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 18, 2009; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving , Events , Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Dulles Rail, FedEx Field, Redskins, Tysons, weekend delays  
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Red Line Trips Back to Normal, Sort Of

Metro's e-mail alerts about the Red Line slowdown between Fort Totten and Takoma have stopped arriving. Over the summer, they came in like clockwork at 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. Train operators no longer make announcements about track circuit replacement work in that area, where the crash occurred on June 22. And the trains aren't routinely holding at the Takoma or Fort Totten stations. So are we back to normal? Have the track circuits been replaced and are the routine slowdowns that so vexed riders on Metro's most heavily traveled line finally over? Almost, but not quite, Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel told me. "We are making progress in the repairs between these locations, and on some days, rail service will be normal and smooth," he wrote in an e-mail. "However, there are still times when we will have to make adjustments in the area, and the service might be a...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 18, 2009; 8:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail accident, Red Line crash, delays, slowdown  
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Commuter Alert: Red Line Delays at Rhode Island Ave. and Dupont Circle

Updated, 7:03 a.m.: Both Red Line disruptions have been cleared. Original Post: Metro's Red Line is delayed toward Glenmont at Rhode Island Ave. because of a track circuit malfunction. There are also delays in both directions at Dupont Circle because of an earlier problem that has been resolved....

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 18, 2009; 7:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Traffic Alert: Delays on I-495 in Montgomery Co.

Update, 4:52 p.m.: The vehicle has been removed. Some congestion remains in the area. Original post, 4:14 p.m.: A vehicle fire on eastbound I-495 at Old Georgetown Road is creating delays. Traffic is squeezing by to the right. Backups begin at Georgetown Pike. One left lane is blocked on the Outer Loop creating brief delays. Road Essentials: Incident Map | Traffic Cams | Key Routes...

By Mike McPhate  |  September 17, 2009; 4:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion , Driving  
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'Young Man' Struck By Train Dies; Service Returns to Normal

UPDATE (4:49 p.m.): The person fatally struck by a Metro train this afternoon was a male minor, Metro said in a news release. Officials are not releasing his name or age at this time, but the agency describes him as a "young man." "The preliminary indication leads investigators to believe that the young man intentionally placed himself in the path of the train," according to Metro's announcement. UPDATE (4:35 p.m.): Metro trains on the Yellow and Green lines stopped single tracking at about 4:15 pm, according to Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. Service is "getting back to normal" in the area, he said. That's just in the nick of time with the peak of afternoon rush hour coming up soon. Metro Transit Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the fatal accident. Taubenkibel said that he couldn't say whether the victim who died is a male or female. UPDATE (3:40 p.m.): The...

By James Hohmann  |  September 17, 2009; 2:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Getting to Redskins Opener on Sunday

Fans have had some preseason practice getting to FedEx Field, but 1 p.m. Sunday marks the first regular season football game for the Redskins, and it always takes some getting used to. Plus, some drivers who use that portion of the Beltway only to reach games may be unfamiliar with the new lane configurations near the stadium exits. So here are some of the basics. Driving to Games Leave home early to reduce the time you sit in traffic. The stadium will be open to all ticket holders two hours before game time, but the parking lots open four hours before kickoff. This map on the Redskins site shows the approaches to the stadium. There are three Beltway interchanges near the stadium in Landover: Central Avenue, Arena Drive and Landover Road. The Maryland State Highway Administration suggests Central Avenue as a less congested route to FedEx Field. These are the...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 17, 2009; 1:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Congestion , Driving , Events , Metro  | Tags: Arena Drive, Beltway, Dr. Gridlock, FedEx Field, Metrorail, Redskins, football  
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Some Arlington Roads to Close for Sunday Run

It's for the Navy 5 Miler, which starts at 8 a.m. Sunday. County police say they will close these roads from 6 to 10 a.m.: -- All access to Northbound Washington Boulevard from I-395 at Exit 8B will be closed. -- Access to Washington Boulevard from the I-395 HOV ramp will be closed. -- Southgate Road will be closed between South Joyce Street and South Oak Street. -- Columbia Pike between South Joyce Street and the Pentagon will be closed. -- There will be no access to Boundary Drive from southbound I-395. This link yields a printable map of the race course. The start and finish line is on Boundary Channel Drive near the North Parking Lot of the Pentagon....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 17, 2009; 12:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Events  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Navy 5 Miler  
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Traffic Alert: Farmer's Market Closes Vermont Ave NW Between H and I Sts

The District Department of Transportation warns motorists that Vermont Ave NW will be closed between H and I streets today until 8 p.m. for the new farmer's market. These closures will continue every Thursday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. through Oct. 29. Metro will reroute L2 buses during these closures. Update from Metro: The southbound L2 will operate its regular route to H Street and Vermont Ave. NW, and then continue on H Street, then make a left on 15th Street NW, a left on I (Eye) Street NW, and a right on 15th Street NW, and then continue its regular route to the McPherson Square Metrorail station. While operating on the detour, the L2 will not miss any bus stops, the transit authority said. Additionally, the Vermont Avenue entrance at McPherson Square station will close until approximately 4 p.m. today. Metro advises riders to use the 14th st...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  September 17, 2009; 10:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Driving  
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Traffic Alert: Accident Causes Delays on Outer Loop at University Blvd.

Updated, 8:13 a.m.: The accident has been moved to the shoulder, but delays remain heavy in the University Blvd. area. Original Post: Traffic is only getting by on the shoulder after a multiple car accident on the Outer Loop at University Blvd. in Silver Spring. There are significant delays in the area. The Inner Loop also backs up as drivers slow to look at the wreck....

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 17, 2009; 8:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Metro Alert: Orange Line Delays at Cheverly, Landover Stations

Metro is reporting trains are traveling at reduced speeds between Cheverly and Landover stations along the Orange line due to emergency track maintenance. Metro warns that travelers can expect delays to Vienna....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  September 16, 2009; 1:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting , Metro  
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MARC Riders Citizens Group Meets Thursday

The MARC Riders Advisory Council, a citizens group that discusses rider issues and advises the Maryland Transit Authority, is scheduled to hold its monthly meeting on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in the Acela First Class Lounge Conference Room on the first floor of Union Station. It's a convenient chance for anyone concerned about the rail service to observe the discussions and comment. The Acela Lounge is between Gates D and E, directly behind the information desk....

By Robert Thomson  |  September 16, 2009; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, MARC trains  
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Traffic Alert: I-270 South Delays After Accident

Updated, 8:46 a.m.: Delays have eased on the Inner Loop, but I-270 Southbound is still delayed from Route 121 to the Beltway. Original Post: The Inner Loop of the Beltway is delayed by an earlier accident near the American Legion Bridge that is now gone. Inner Loop back-ups extend from near the Robinson Terminal into Tyson's Corner, but then ease to the American Legion Bridge. Southbound I-270 also has significant delays from Route 121 to the lane divide....

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 16, 2009; 8:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Traffic Alert: Columbia Pike Closed at S. Wayne St. in Arlington

Arlington County is alerting travelers that westbound Columbia Pike is closed at S. Wayne st. A press release states the road will remain closed until Washington Gas completes repairs on an outdoor gas leak. To view this incident an other live traffic alerts, visit our traffic map....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  September 15, 2009; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting , Driving  
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14th Street Bridge Configuration Continues

When we first told you about the project to rehab the 14th Street Bridges back in May, I said the right lane on the northbound bridge would be blocked off for three months and then the construction closings would move out into the other lanes. 14th St. Bridge Project      • Work Overview    • Live Bridge Cam    • Project Twitter Feed    • Full Coverage Turns out the construction schedule changed, so the pattern that drivers encountered all summer long is likely to remain in place for the rest of this year. This probably is good news for drivers, as long as it doesn't lengthen the overall time it will take to complete the repair project. Shutting the right lane and shifting traffic to the left, while maintaining four through lanes, looked to me like the best of all the configurations for traffic flow. Blocking the middle lanes and moving drivers...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 15, 2009; 8:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  14th street bridge , Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving  | Tags: 14th street bridge, District Department of Transportation, Dr. Gridlock  
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Normal Service Resumes on the Orange and Blue lines

Metro reports that trains are sharing the same track between Smithsonian and Foggy Bottom-GWU stations due to emergency track maintenance. Commuters should expect delays in both directions, the transit agency said, estimating that the duration will be about an hour. UPDATE (6:11 a.m.): Metro reports that the work has been completed, and service has returned to normal....

By Michael Bolden  |  September 15, 2009; 5:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Metro , transit  | Tags: Blue Line, Metro, Orange Line  
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Beltway Shutdown in Tysons Overnight Sept. 25

The results of closing all Beltway lanes at any hour can be pretty spectacular, so be sure to avoid the Beltway as midnight approaches on Friday, Sept. 25. All lanes of the Beltway at Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) are scheduled to be shut several times between midnight and 5 a.m. for up half an hour at a time, says the Virginia Department of Transportation. This includes the ramps to and from Chain Bridge Road. This page has a map that shows the closed roadways. Tysons is ground zero for two huge transportation projects, the Beltway HOT lanes and the Rail to Dulles project. Oftentimes here on the blog, I'm telling you about the latest lane shifts that are part of the HOT lanes project. But this Friday night event is part of the rail project. The Beltway closing will give Dominion Virginia Power a chance to relocate overhead power...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 14, 2009; 3:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Construction , Driving  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, HOT lanes, Metrorail, Rail to Dulles, Tysons development  
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Orange Line Delays Cleared

Metro reports that trains are sharing the same track between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly stations due to a sick customer aboard a train at Deanwood Station. The transit agency warns passengers to expect delays in both directions. UPDATED 11: 54 a.m.: Metro reports that service has returned to normal on the Orange Line....

By Michael Bolden  |  September 14, 2009; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: Orange Line  
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Delays on the Orange and Blue Lines Cleared

Metro reports that trains are sharing the same track between Federal Center SW and Eastern Market stations due to a sick customer aboard a train at Capitol South Station. The transit agency warns that customers should expect delays in both directions. UPDATED 9:26 a.m.: Metro reports that trains are operating normally on the Orange and Blue lines....

By Michael Bolden  |  September 14, 2009; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Commuting , Metro  | Tags: Blue Line, Orange Line  
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The Week Ahead For Traffic, Transit

Does it feel like fall yet on your commute? At this point, commuting has rebuilt to normal levels while we're still in the midst of many road and rail construction projects. Here's a look at what to expect this week. Let me know if you're encountering commuting challenges I haven't listed here. Dulles Rail Project These are the daytime lane closings scheduled for Monday through Friday this week. -- The left lanes in both directions of Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) will close between I-66 and Margarity Road Monday-Friday. -- The right lane of westbound Leesburg Pike (Route 7) will close at Westpark Drive Wednesday-Friday. -- A single lane of Leesburg Pike will close from Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) to Marshall's Drive on Monday. -- The right turn lane of northbound Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123) north will close at Anderson Road Monday-Friday. -- The service road along eastbound...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 14, 2009; 8:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Construction , Driving , Metro , transit  | Tags: Beltway, Dr. Gridlock, HOT lanes, Metrorail  
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Commuter Alert: Metro Green Line Delays Cleared

Updated, 7:13 a.m.: Metro reports the maintenance work has been completed and service has returned to normal. Original Post: Metro's Green Line is delayed in both directions at College Park because of an emergency maintenance situation. Trains are sharing a single track in the area. WTOP reports that a rail line is cracked....

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 14, 2009; 7:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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