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

Headaches on the horizon

Va. Beltway Friday night Tonight, a traffic shift is scheduled at Exit 50 on I-495 north, and at the on-ramps from Route 50 west to I-495 north. The shift will remain in place for six to eight months to allow for new bridge construction as part of the Beltway HOT lanes project. When this process gets underway at 9:30 p.m., crews will begin to re-stripe the pavement. This won't require lane closings. The new traffic pattern will be in effect by 7 a.m. Saturday, if the schedule holds. The exit ramp traffic shift for I-495 north will begin near the Gallows Road interchange heading toward Exit 50, Arlington Boulevard (Route 50). The on-ramp merge from Route 50 west and Fairview Park to I-495 north will also be reconfigured. Road work in Tysons Corner The southbound exit ramp from the Beltway's outer loop (I-495 south) to southbound Chain Bridge Road (Route...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 11, 2009; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Work to disrupt bus bay at Prince George's Plaza

The bus stops on the north side of the Prince George's Plaza Metrorail station are scheduled to move temporarily on the Monday after Christmas. The month-long relocation is forced by the construction of a new roundabout designed to improve traffic flow from the East-West Highway entrance, the transit authority said.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 11, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Prince George's Plaza  
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Delays continue on Blue and Yellow lines; stations are open

Pentagon City and Crystal City stations on the Blue and Yellow lines are temporarily closed while Metro Transit Police investigate a suspicious package reported on the tracks at Pentagon City station around 9:50 a.m.Friday.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 11, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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The weekend and beyond

Holiday shopping is likely to be the main generator of traffic congestion this weekend, but watch out for work along the Interstates and on Metrorail. The coming week also promises to be quite busy, even though the construction season is winding down with the colder weather.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 11, 2009; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Today's read: Metro shakeup coming

Maybe this week: "It's clearly past time for there to be some very substantial management changes at Metro," said Metro board Chairman Jim Graham, who is also a member of the D.C. Council. "We're going to change Metro, and it's going to happen very rapidly." ( Lena H. Sun and Joe Stephens) This was Thursday, when Metro officials got a tongue lashing from Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), who can dish it out with the best of 'em: "They need a more vigorous and aggressive form of management at Metro," she said during a Senate hearing on transit oversight. Mikulski didn't build up that head of steam overnight. On Nov. 9, she called on U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to investigate Metro's treatment of the Tri-State Oversight Committee, the regional panel that is supposed to oversee safety at Metro, but was denied access to the tracks for months. See story....

By Robert Thomson  |  December 11, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Metro , transit  | Tags: Barbara Mikulski, Dr. Gridlock, Jim Graham, Metro management, Today's read  
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Northbound BW Parkway reopens after accident

Update, 8:35 a.m.: All lanes on northbound BW Parkway have reopened after an earlier accident, but traffic remains snarled in the area. A serious accident has closed northbound BW Parkway at Rt. 198 in Md. Traffic is diverted at Rt. 197. Channel 4 is reporting that the accident was fatal. The ramp from eastbound 198 to northbound BW Parkway is also closed. The westbound Rt. 198 ramp onto BW Parkway is open. Delays are mounting in the area as the rush hour gets underway. Road Essentials: Incident Map | Traffic Cams | Key Routes...

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 11, 2009; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion  
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A morning of misery on the roads and rails

Good morning, Washington. You would think anything would be better than yesterday, from the traffic signal adjustment that backed up traffic on inbound New York Avenue to the loss load of lumber that shut down traffic on the outer loop of the Beltway during the Thursday evening commute. However, things this morning are bad all over. The problems began when the northbound Baltimore-Washington Parkway was closed due to a reported fatal accident at Route 198 in Maryland. Traffic was being diverted to Route 197, but delays abound throughout the area, and southbound traffic, already slow at this time of morning, has been furthered hampered by rubbernecking delays. Other accidents have been reported on Interstate 66 eastbound at Route 123 in Virginia and Route 197 NB at U.S. 50 in Maryland. Trafficland reports there is a disabled bus on Shady Grove Road WB at I-370 and yet another disabled bus on...

By Michael Bolden  |  December 11, 2009; 7:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  | Tags: Metro delays  
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Smoke at Rockville Station causes Red Line delays

Metro is reporting that trains on the Red line between Shady Grove and Rockville are single tracking due to reports of smoke on a train at Rockville Station. Riders should expect delays in both directions

By Michael Bolden  |  December 11, 2009; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: Metro delays  
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Headaches on the horizon

Beltway at Route 50 On Friday night, VDOT will begin a traffic shift will begin at Exit 50 on I-495 north and at the on-ramps from Route 50 west to I-495 north. The traffic shift will be in place for the next six to eight months to allow for new bridge construction as part of the HOT lanes project. At 9:30 p.m. Friday, crews will begin to re-stripe pavement. This traffic shift will not require lane closings. The new traffic pattern will be in effect by 7 a.m. Saturday. The exit ramp traffic shift for I-495 north will begin near the Gallows Road interchange heading toward Exit 50, Arlington Boulevard (Route 50). The on-ramp merge from Route 50 west and Fairview Park to I-495 north will also be reconfigured....

By Robert Thomson  |  December 10, 2009; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Beltway's outer loop back in business near Rte. 4

Update (9.45 p.m.) The outer loop of the Beltway is back in business. Update (8:20 p.m.)One more lane has reopened but the left lane and left shoulder on the outer loop remain closed as the cleanup continues. Update (8 p.m.)The two left lanes and left shoulder remain closed on the outer loop of the beltway. Three right lanes are open but the massive backup caused by the accident almost three hours ago has yet to abate. Update (7:22 p.m.) Three lanes on the outer loop of the beltway now are open. The two left lanes and left shoulder remain closed as the cleanup continues. Update (6:48 p.m):. The right lane of the outer loop has been opened but four traffic lanes and the left shoulder remain closed as work crews clear the spilled lumber from the outer loop of the beltway. Update (6 p.m.): An accident at just about the...

By Michael Bolden  |  December 10, 2009; 5:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  | Tags: Beltway, Prince George's  
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HOV violators nabbed on I-66

Drivers who waltzed into the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-66 in Fairfax and Arlington on Thursday, confident they could speed along with impunity even though they didn't have the required number of passengers got a surprise and a ticket as Virginia State Police staged a crackdown during morning rush hour. They issues 44 tickets to first-time offenders, 3 to second-time offenders and one to a driver who was caught for the fourth time. In addition, the troopers handed out tickets for one seat belt violation, five for driving without a license, eight for equipment violations and nine for other violations. The HOV violation fines are $125 for the first offense, $250 for the second, $500 for the third and $1,000 for the fourth....

By Ashley Halsey  |  December 10, 2009; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting , Driving , Safety , highways  
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Gate, ticket counter changes set for DCA

Several airline ticket counter and gate locations are about to change at Reagan National Airport. --Tuesday, Dec. 15 - Air Canada begins operating its gates and ticket counters from Terminal A (Air Canada had been located in Terminal B). --Thursday, Dec. 17 - Northwest, which is merging with Delta, begins operating from Delta's Terminal B location. Follow signs to Delta. (Northwest had used Terminal A, the older section of the airport). --Thursday, Dec. 17 - Frontier begins operating from Terminal A. Click here for a press release, which includes a map....

By Sholnn Freeman  |  December 10, 2009; 2:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Airports  | Tags: National Airport  
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Traffic Alert: 15th & I sts NW Closed due to Bus Accident

UPDATE: A Metro bus number 36 traveling to Friendship Heights was in a collision with a truck at 15th and I Northwest at about 1:27 pm today. Four of the 15 passengers on the bus reportedly suffered non-life threatening injuries and were transported to local hospitals, according to Steven Taubenkibel, Metro spokesperson. An investigation is underway, with no known charges at this time, he said. Original Post: District officials have shut down 15th & I sts NW due to a WMATA bus crash. Drivers are advised to avoid the area as the Metro police investigation is still ongoing. Both a truck and a WMATA bus were involved in the accident. It appears that the two vehicles collided as they were making a left hand turn from 15th st onto I st. The WMATA bus was traveling on the 36 route to Friendship Heights. We are checking on official WMATA statements...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  December 10, 2009; 1:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Congestion , Metro , Safety  
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Delays ahead for Orange, Red line travelers

Metro warns that some customers on the Red and Orange lines should allow at least 20 to 30 extra minutes for their nighttime travel this weekend as crews perform bridge maintenance, make tunnel repairs and replace rail fasteners that stabilize tracks, concrete slabs beneath rails and crossties. - Red Line: Trains will share one track between the Medical Center and Grosvenor-Strathmore stations from 8 p.m. Friday through closing Sunday. Customers should add at least 20 minutes to their travel times, Metro said. Every other Red Line train traveling in the direction of the Shady Grove Metrorail station will terminate at Friendship Heights and return to Glenmont. - Orange Line: Trains will share one track between Cheverly and Stadium-Armory stations from 9:30 p.m. Friday through closing Sunday. Add at least 30 minutes to your travel time. Be aware that if crews are in place ahead of time on Friday, it's possible...

By Michael Bolden  |  December 10, 2009; 10:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Weekend Work  | Tags: Metro, Metrobus  
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Two escalators working at Dupont Circle

An escalator between Q Street and the Dupont Circle Station mezzanine that had been out of service since Oct. 26 is operating again, Metro says.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 10, 2009; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, escalators  
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Today's read: Untangling the Tysons commute

Money to ease road-work barrier: "People are going to start feeling some real pain," said Chris Arabia, manager of mobility programs for the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, which is offering businesses with at least 250 workers $50,000 to start or expand tele-work programs and smaller ones up to $30,000. The money comes from a $94 million pot set aside to ease traffic congestion while the Dulles rail extension, high-occupancy toll lanes and three other road mega-projects are built in Northern Virginia. (Lisa Rein) Some useful links for Tysons Corner commuters Access Tysons OmniRide's Tysons Express Fairfax Connector bus service VDOT's guide to lane closings for the HOT lanes project. Construction guide for the Dulles Metrorail project TYTRAN, the Tysons Transportation Association...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 10, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Commuting  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Today's read  
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MTA seeks feedback on service changes

The Maryland Transit Administraton will hold two meetings to get feedback on recent changes in service providers for Commuter Bus routes 901, 905, and 909. The hearings will be held: Tuesday, Dec. 15 White Marsh Elementary School 29090 Thompson Corner Road Mechanicsville, MD 20659 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Dec. 16 Regency Furniture Stadium, Legends Club 11765 St. Linus Drive Waldorf, MD 20602 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.mtamaryland.com, contact Glenn Saffran at (410) 454-7255 or send an e-mail....

By Michael Bolden  |  December 10, 2009; 8:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: commute  
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New pedestrian signal causing delays on N.Y. Ave.

Trafficland reports that a new pedestrian signal was activated Wednesday on New York Avenue at Bladensburg Road. The new timing may slow inbound traffic. Be alert for delays in the area.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 10, 2009; 6:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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Morning update

Good morning, fellow travelers. What a difference a day makes! This time yesterday we had accidents around the region, rain giving everything a good soaking and water ponding everywhere, including on the Beltway. It's dry and clear this morning and volume on the roadways appears normal. A disabled tractor-trailer on I-66 WB at I-495 is among the few incidents being reported. If you're headed to a bus stop or a Metrorail station, Metro is not reporting any service delays. You can check here for the latest....

By Michael Bolden  |  December 10, 2009; 6:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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Headaches on the horizon

Once again, the weather is an overnight problem, but various lane closures also are planned.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 9, 2009; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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High winds could slow evening commute

The wind is really kicking up this afternoon, and we're going to get very high gusts. Two-way traffic operations have been suspended on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, as they routinely are under these conditions. The Maryland Transportation Authority, which operates the span, says sustained wind speeds are greater than 30 mph this afternoon. Travel delays are likely, because suspension of two-way operations on one of the two spans limits traffic in the rush-hour direction. The Capital Weather Gang says a wind advisory will be in effect till 1 a.m. With the rain soaking the soil, the high winds could bring down some trees. so be extra careful on your homeward trips this evening. Dulles Toll Road A small stretch of the right lane on the eastbound Dulles Toll Road (Route 267) at Wiehle Avenue is temporarily closed while construction crews working on the Metrorail extension deal with water flow problems...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 9, 2009; 3:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Weather  | Tags: Bay Bridge, Dr. Gridlock, Dulles Toll Road  
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SoberRide offers free travel during the holidays

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program's annual effort to keep inebriated people from driving will begin on Friday, offering free taxis rides home in communities throughout the area.

By Ashley Halsey  |  December 9, 2009; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving , Events , Safety , holiday travel  
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Metro pledges to adhere closer to track work schedule

Update (11 a.m.): Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said the work can start ahead of time if crews are in place early. Metro's announcement about the work warns that start times are subject to change, although the transit agency does send out alerts when that happens. Farbstein said in such cases, "it truly is a last-minute decision." That isn't much consolation if youv'e planned your commute around the publicized start time. However, Farbstein said the people in charge of the maintenance work "have assured us that they will take greater care to start at 8 p.m. as per the schedule and as 'advertised' in our news release." Let us know how it goes, by sending us an e-mail. Original post: Red Line travelers planning their commutes around scheduled maintenance work may have been surprised the last couple of nights when single tracking between Medical Center and Grosvenor began early. The maintenance...

By Michael Bolden  |  December 9, 2009; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: Metro, Red Line  
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Today's read: Oversight plan for transit unveiled

Transportation secretary gives details: Federal personnel and approved state workers would have the power to conduct inspections, investigations and audits of local transit systems, like Metro. Existing state oversight bodies could remain in place to enforce new federal regulations but would need to meet federal standards and gain federal approval. (Joe Stephens and Lena H. Sun) ICC signs shrinking: Some markers for the Intercounty Connector will be smaller than planned after neighbors object. (Katherine Shaver)...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 9, 2009; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Today's Read  
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VDOT hoping to wrap up I-95 north widening

The Virginia Department of Transportation hopes to open the new fourth lane on Interstate 95 North next week, but first, it needs to take maximum advantage of the warmer daylight hours for paving. So VDOT has extended its daytime work hours in the construction zone. On Wednesday and Thursday this week, one lane will be closed on northbound I-95 between the Route 1 on-ramp and the Fairfax County Parkway from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. (It had been till 3:30 p.m.) Then on Saturday, if weather permits, one lane will be closed in the same area from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We're getting toward the end of the paving season, when the temperature drops below the point where asphalt can be laid, but VDOT thinks this revised schedule will allow drivers to use the new fourth lane between the Fairfax County Parkway and Route 123 in Woodbridge in time...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 9, 2009; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congestion , Construction , holiday travel  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, I-95 widening, Virginia Department of Transportation  
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Standing water reported on I-495

Update (7:05 a.m.): Trafficland reports that there is also water on I-95 SB after Telegraph Road. Motorists should stay to the right. Delays begin at the Wilson Bridge. Original post: There are reports of standing water on I-495 NB in Northern Virginia between U.S. 50 and I-66. Traffic is flowing, but motorists are slowing as they pass through the water. Exercise caution in the area....

By Michael Bolden  |  December 9, 2009; 6:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Driving , Weather  
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No Metro delays reported this morning

If you're headed to a bus stop or a Metrorail station, allow plenty of time to get there in the rain. Visibility may be a problem at times and there is standing water in some areas. However, as of 6:30 this morning, Metro is not reporting any service delays. You can check here for the latest....

By Michael Bolden  |  December 9, 2009; 6:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags: Metrobus, metro  
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Slick roads greet morning commuters

Accidents continue to plague the region as travelers negotiate wet roads in the midst of a downpour. Some areas to look out for include: Route 29 at Fairland Road in White Oak; I-495 NB in Virginia just before the American Legion Bridge; I-495 NB between U.S. 50 and I-66; the Fairfax County Parkway at Wiehle Avenue; and New York Avenue eastbound between Bladensburg and North Capitol Street.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 9, 2009; 6:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Weather  | Tags: commute  
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Headaches on the horizon

Messy weather: Drivers out late Tuesday may encounter some icy patches in the northern suburbs, while commuters should anticipate a soggy trip on Wednesday morning. See what the Capital Weather Gang says. Remember that one of the prime characteristics of winter weather in Washington is that conditions can change very fast. Slow down and be prepared to deal with it. You're likely to see anti-icing trucks spreading salt brine. Stay back at least five seconds behind the trucks, and don't try to pass. If we get freezing rain or sleet, even pre-treated roads may be slippery in places. Trucks will then be out in de-icing missions, spreading chemicals, salt and sand. I-95 widening: The work schedule in the construction area between Route 123 and the Fairfax County Parkway is a bit different this week, as VDOT tries to get the new northbound lane open in time for the December holidays....

By Robert Thomson  |  December 8, 2009; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Transit part of community revival plan

Today's exhibit A for transit as community developer: H Street. The District plans to restore the free shuttle bus service along H Street NE, serving the re-emerging neighborhood known as the Atlas District, writes Post reporter Yamiche Alcindor. [See story.] The Fenty administration announced that it would restart the service by Dec. 21. The shuttle, which connected the Gallery Place and Minnesota Avenue Metro stations via H Street and Benning Road, was a convenient link, and the price was right for the riders. But it was also small, and very expensive to operate, so it stopped running Sunday when the government subsidy ran out. D.C. Council member Tommy Wells and other community leaders worked to get the service restored, and the District now says it will find the money to help through its Department of Transportation. The shuttle is a nice idea, but I hope its operation will be rendered...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 8, 2009; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  transit  | Tags: District Department of Transportation, Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus, streetcars  
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Delaware seat belt crackdown leads to 800 citations

If you got a ticket over the last four months traveling to the beach in Delaware, you may have been caught in a statewide effort to boost seatbelt use.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 8, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving , Getaway , holiday travel  | Tags: Delaware  
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NORAD to conduct flight exercise over Washington

The North American Aerospace Defense Command plans a training flight exercise over the Washington area late Tuesday evening and early Wednesday.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 8, 2009; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Douglass Bridge opening to cause delays

The District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) plans to open the swing span of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge (aka the South Capitol Street Bridge) at about 11a.m. Tuesday, to make way for a barge.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 8, 2009; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Metro crews investigate escalator incident at Minn Ave

A child's right boot was caught in an escalator at the Minnesota Ave Metro station earlier this morning, Metro reports. The child's boot was caught in the descending escalator while exiting the station at 7:49 a.m.

By Mark Berman  |  December 8, 2009; 8:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  | Tags: escalators  
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Metro Delays Could Impact Airport Travelers

Metro is reporting delays from Crystal City in both directions due to a sick customer on a train there. Trains are sharing the same track between Pentagon City and Braddock Road. The single-tracking and delays in both directions on the yellow and blue lines is especially notable for anybody flying out of Reagan today -- factor this in if you're leaving for a flight anytime in the very near future. 8:05 A.M. UPDATE: While the earlier situation at Crystal City has been dealt with, delays remain in both directions on the yellow and blue lines from that station....

By Mark Berman  |  December 8, 2009; 7:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Car Fire Shuts Down Outer Loop In Maryland

7:12 A.M. UPDATE: All lanes are now being reopened to traffic, the Maryland State Police report. The car fire has been extinguished and the car has been moved to the shoulder. While the state police aren't sure what caused it, they believe it was a mechanical issue. Regardless of the lanes reopening, the backups will remain. Traffic cameras show I-495 lanes moving very slowly, though some improvements are visible. ORIGINAL POST: A car fire has shut down the outer loop of the Beltway, according to the Maryland State Police. The car is stopped in the middle of the road on I-495 and the entire outer loop is shut down at New Hampshire Avenue. It reopens at the next exit, which is University Avenue/193. The state police are not sure what happened, and report there is no indication there was a collision, but the fire department is on the scene. The...

By Mark Berman  |  December 8, 2009; 7:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Traffic Alert: Car fire on Beltway at New Hampshire

* Latest details on this incident * Fire Department officials are on the scene of a car fire on the Outer Loop between New Hampshire and University....

By Mike McPhate  |  December 8, 2009; 6:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Driving  
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Headaches on the horizon

Wilson Bridge project: The Beltway's inner loop will be narrowed to one lane from east of Telegraph Road to the Eisenhower Connector between 10 p.m. Monday and 5 a.m. Tuesday for emergency pothole repairs. Project managers advise drivers to take alternative routes if possible, because there may be extensive traffic delays. Douglass Bridge opening: The swing span of the South Capitol Street Bridge is scheduled to open for a few minutes at about 11 a.m. Tuesday to allow a barge to pass along the Anacostia River below. While the delay should not last long, drivers might consider other crossings at the 11th Street, Sousa (Pennsylvania Avenue) or Whitney Young (East Capitol Street) bridges....

By Robert Thomson  |  December 7, 2009; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the Horizon  
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ICC project will check work zone lights

During our online discussion at noon Monday, a traveler and I had this exchange about driving through the Intercounty Connector work zone on I-95. Laurel, Md.: I was driving on I-95 South this morning around 6:15 and came upon a potentially dangerous situation. Construction on the ICC is ongoing, however, this morning, the construction crew had a large bright work light aimed in a manner that was blinding to drivers on the southbound lane. Is their any way to inform them of this potential hazard? Robert Thomson: If you see something like that and you have a cell phone with you, hit #77 to let the state police know right away. Once you reach home or office, you could use this link to contact the ICC project management office: http://www.iccproject.com/contact-us.php Followup David Buck, spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration, noted the issue on the chat and said later that...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 7, 2009; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  intercounty connector  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Interstate 95, work zone  
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Roads may ice on Tuesday night

On Tuesday night patchy icing is possible over the western and northern suburbs, but the main threat should be at elevations well north and west of Washington.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 7, 2009; 3:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, travel tips  
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Update: All lanes reopened on I-495 in Fairfax

During my online discussion, I advised everyone about the emergency closing of two lanes on the Beltway's outer loop at the Route 29 overpass in Fairfax. It was possible this could have extended into rush hour. So I want to share this 2 p.m. update: The Virginia Department of Transportation has just advised that the water main break that was the source of the problem is repaired. All travel lanes are now open....

By Robert Thomson  |  December 7, 2009; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Beltway, Dr. Gridlock, VDOT  
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Join in noon discussion

Travelers, I was away last week, but we'll resume our regular Monday discussion at noon. I'm curious what your take is on the idea of balancing Metro's budget through a fare increase and service cuts. I missed the Metro board meeting, covered in The Post by Lena H. Sun. The transit authority staff gave the board and public no specifics about fare increases proposals, but Sun said that transit officials are recommending that more than half of the anticipated budget gap, or $92 million, be made up through higher fares. On the other side of the equation, this was Metro's list of some service cut options: -- Reduce bus and rail service on some holidays and holiday-related days (i.e. the day after Thanksgiving) to be more in line with ridership. -- Eliminate bus service that overlaps local jurisdictional service (like Ride On and Fairfax Connector). -- Eliminate low-ridership bus service....

By Robert Thomson  |  December 7, 2009; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Tags: Dr. Gridlock  
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295 North Lane Closures

7:40 A.M. UPDATE: The two left lanes are now open, according to the District Department of Transportation. One lane remains closed. An accident on 295 North at Malcolm X Avenue S.E. in the District has closed two lanes this morning. With one lane remaining open, expect traffic to slow to a crawl. The accident occurred shortly after 7 a.m. and is believed to have involved three cars, the District Department of Transportation reported....

By Mark Berman  |  December 7, 2009; 7:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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The week ahead in traffic and transit

Here's a heads up about some of the traffic and transit changes commuters should be prepared for this week.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 7, 2009; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Construction  | Tags: Fairfax Connector, HOT lanes, Metrorail  
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