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Get There: December 20, 2009 - December 26, 2009

Metro prepping for a black-ice Christmas

With forecasters expecting freezing rain on Friday morning (shifting to normal rain and possibly localized flooding later in the day), Metro is staging de-icing equipment and personnel ahead of time. From the WMATA press release: Starting at 10 p.m. tonight, Thursday, December 24, Metro will have de-icer trains operating on the above ground portions of track and will continue to run those trains throughout the night to help keep the electrified third rail free of ice. The third rail must be ice-free to allow the flow of electricity from the electrified rail to transfer to the train to keep the train powered. Ice-fighting equipment and supplies are on hand and being staged throughout the rail system to treat station entrances, parking lots, walkways and station platforms. "We will continue to monitor the weather conditions closely and deploy our resources to allow us to continue to provide safe service. Our employees...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  December 24, 2009; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro , Weather , holiday travel  
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Metro adding midday getaway service

Beginning at 11:30 a.m., Metrorail will put five extra trains in service and Metrobus will supplement regular bus service at noon. The transit authority anticipates heavier-than-usual ridership at lunchtime today. Most of the extra service will be in downtown Washington, where many federal employees will be leaving work at midday because of the half-day vacation allowed for Christmas Eve. Metro says it will monitor ridership on all lines and add service as necessary in the early afternoon....

By Robert Thomson  |  December 24, 2009; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Getaway , Metro , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, travel tips  
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Left lane of I-66 West closing for repairs this morning

9:30 A.M. UPDATE: Scratch that. The lane closure has been canceled for today and will be rescheduled to take place on a later date. The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project will have no lane closures from today through noon Monday, Dec. 28. The snow/ice/slush and holiday traffic not making your morning commute interesting enough? Here's something for you: I-66 West will have its left lane closed between Great Falls Street and Route 267/Dulles Connector Road later this morning. The work is due to an emergency pothole repair and will begin at 9:30 a.m. If you're heading to Dulles, heading west or just trying to get to the office, this could stymie you, so plan accordingly and add extra time to your trip....

By Mark Berman  |  December 24, 2009; 6:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , holiday travel  | Tags: Construction, I-66  
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The weekend and beyond (holiday edition)

Happy holidays, travelers. I hope some of these tips will ease your journeys over the next few days and the rest of the holiday season.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 24, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Events , Getaway , Metro , holiday travel , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Headaches on the horizon

Many have already begun their holiday getaway on the highways around Washington. But watch out for some emergency road work. The snow melt is opening up patches of potholes that must be repaired quickly.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 23, 2009; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Wilson Bridge  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Gas Is Available on I-95 in Maryland

Gas is available at the Maryland House and Chesapeake House service areas on I-95 in Maryland, said Teri A. Moss of the Maryland Transportation Authority. Those service areas have both Sunoco and Exxon fuel pumps. Moss said that the Exxon pumps are out of premium gas but have regular octane. She said Sunoco had all octane levels. Michael Fox, spokesman for the Gasoline & Automotive Service Dealers of America, said that dealers keep inventories low when wholesale fuel prices are falling and got caught short after the storm....

By Ashley Halsey  |  December 23, 2009; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Driving , Getaway , highways , holiday travel  
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Still looking at a snowy street? Here's help.

Snow removal crews around the region are focusing on any snow-filled residential streets now that major routes have been cleared. If you're still facing a snowy street, here are some places to turn: In Arlington County: Take a look at the county's snow plow map or report a problem on this Web site. Officials said the hilly terrain in sections A, C, and D on the snow map means it takes longer to clear those areas. Track snow plows in the District on this snow map. You can also send the District Department of Transportation a tweet via Twitter, or call 311 to report a problem. DDOT says, in most cases, it does not plow alleys. The Viriginia Department of Transportation is responsible for snow removal in Fairfax County. You can call VDOT at 703-383-8368 for more information. The agency's snow removal information is listed here. Montgomery County residents can...

By Michael Bolden  |  December 23, 2009; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather , highways  | Tags: snow, snowstorm, winter weather  
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MARC updates holiday schedule

Here's the latest from the Maryland Transit Administration.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 23, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  holiday travel , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, travel tips  
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DC Circulator bus announces holiday plan

The Circulator will run extended service to accommodate passengers returning home from New Year's Eve festivities.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 23, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  holiday travel , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, schedules, travel tips  
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Here's the MTA commuter bus schedule

This is the holiday schedule for the Washington service. Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 -- "S" or "L/S" Service with the following modifications: 901 - Trips 53 and 59 will not operate as scheduled. Instead, two buses each will run trips 31 and 33, making all regularly scheduled stops. 902 - Trip 33 will not operate as scheduled. Instead, two buses will run Trip 18 (midday), making all regularly scheduled stops. 904 - Trip 28 will not operate as scheduled. Instead, two buses will run trip 15 (midday) making all regularly scheduled stops. 905 - Trips 39 and 43 will not operate as scheduled. Instead, two buses will run trips 24 (midday) and 25 making all regularly scheduled stops. 915 - Trip 19 will not operate as scheduled. Instead, a bus will depart M St. & 8th St., S.E. at 1:40 pm, serving the same stops as trip 13. 929...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 23, 2009; 9:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  holiday travel , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, MTA, commuter bus  
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Today's read: Connaughton chosen as transportation secretary

Important cabinet selection: Governor-elect Robert F. McDonnell's choice for Virginia transportation secretary is Sean Connaughton, 48, former chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. As chairman, Connaughton established a county transportation department, which built $300 million worth of roads. He urged voters to support a 2002 referendum that would have added half a cent to the sales tax to raise an estimated $5 billion over 20 years for transportation. (Anita Kumar) A centrist's legacy: "Over 6 1/2 years he compiled a record as one of the region's most capable and politically adept local leaders," a Post editorial said of Connaughton in 2006....

By Robert Thomson  |  December 23, 2009; 9:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Today's read  
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Metro sets its Christmas schedule

Metro's buses and trains will operate on a Sunday schedule on Friday, Christmas Day. Rail stations will open at 7 and close at midnight. Buses and trains will operate on a weekday schedule on Christmas Eve, with stations opening at 5 a.m. Metrorail will run six-car trains both days.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 23, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro , holiday travel  | Tags: Metro, Metrobus, Metrorail, holiday schedules  
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American Airlines 331 passengers, share your story

Were you, a relative or a friend aboard American Airlines flight 331 that ran off the runway in Jamaica Tuesday night? E-mail Sholnn Freeman with your story....

By Michael Bolden  |  December 23, 2009; 8:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports  
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Returning workers and departing holiday traffic set to mingle on roads

8:40 A.M. UPDATE: A tractor trailer accident on the Fairfax County Parkway near West Ox Road/608 has closed the south left and right lanes of the parkway. 8:05 A.M. UPDATE: An accident on the Beltway (I-95 South, just before the Springfield Interchange) closed the left lane and left shoulder. Delays are not particularly terrible, traffic cameras show. Still, be aware in case it builds up. 7:40 A.M. UPDATE: I-66 East looks surprisingly non-horrific in Virginia (did I just jinx that? If so, sorry). But I-495 North is pretty sluggish at Braddock Road and Little River Turnpike. I-270 South in Maryland is packed at Tuckerman Lane, but it's moving (things don't get heavy until well after Gaithersburg, for anyone coming from further north). Generally, the Beltway is moving pretty well in Maryland (it's a Festivus miracle!). 6:45 A.M. UPDATE: A pair of disabled vehicles are causing lane closures on Virginia roads...

By Mark Berman  |  December 23, 2009; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: snowstorm  
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Take Metrobus to BWI and Dulles

Reagan National may be the only airport served by the subway system, but travelers can take Metro buses to both Dulles and BWI. The B30 bus from Greenbelt Station will take you to BWI for about $3. The 5A from Rosslyn or L'Enfant Plaza will take you to Dulles for the same price.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 23, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Dulles , Getaway , holiday travel  | Tags: Metrobus, Reagan National, airport  
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Snow clean up piles onto Maryland budget mess

Maryland's budget for highway snow removal is in the red following an around-the-clock effort to cleanup from last weekend's blizzard, state officials said Tuesday.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 22, 2009; 7:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports , Transportation Politics , highways  | Tags: Maryland State Highway Administration, snow, snowstorm  
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Headaches on the horizon

Interstate 95 A single right lane of I-95 south from Lorton Road (Route 642) to Gordon Boulevard (Route 123) will close Tuesday night for snow removal. Road work suspension The Virginia Department of Transportation will open travel lanes temporarily closed because of construction or maintenance work from noon Wednesday through Sunday. Construction zones with concrete barriers and orange barrels will remain in place. Alexandria sidewalks The city announced that enforcement of Alexandria's sidewalk snow clearance ordinance will be delayed until noon on Wednesday, because of the heavy amount of snow that fell....

By Robert Thomson  |  December 22, 2009; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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VDOT to suspend lane restrictions for the holidays

The Virginia Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it will suspend lane restrictions on most major roads and highways for Christmas and New Year's.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 22, 2009; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Getaway , highways  | Tags: VDOT, Virginia Department of Transportation  
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Metro extends hours for New Year's Eve and Day

Metrorail will operate on a regular weekday schedule with a 2 a.m. closing on New Year's Eve and a modified Sunday schedule on New Year's Day with a 2 a.m. closing.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 22, 2009; 5:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Events , Metro , holiday travel  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, travel tips  
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A social snow storm for transportation agencies

The Washington region's transportation agencies began developing their social media skills for the presidential inauguration in January, then brought them out again for the year's second biggest transportation event, the December blizzard. I've said this trend is encouraging. We don't build that much new stuff anymore, so the success of the transportation network will more and more depend on getting useful information to travelers so they can take advantage of the network we have. The District Department of Transportation today provided an update on its social networking efforts during the storm. DDOT used its Twitter account and Facebook page to update the city about the snow clearing operations and -- this is important -- to get feedback from across the city. (The more active these sites are, the more feedback they are going to get. It's important for the agencies to see the feedback so they can act on it,...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 22, 2009; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snow, travel tips  
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Service update from VRE

Virginia Railway Express announced it plans to provide full, regular service on Wednesday. VRE also addressed two FAQs about problems that riders have encountered following the storm. 1) What is the status of the Brooke and Leeland Road Parking lots and why weren't they cleared sooner? VRE says that the Virginia Department of Transportation is working to clear the lanes and the unoccupied spaces on those two lots. The crews will come back this evening to go over any areas they couldn't get to during the day. (VRE doesn't have the authority to issue its own contracts to clear the lots.) 2) Why weren't there enough seats on my train this morning? VRE says the holidays and the snow storm have made it hard to predict ridership patterns. Some trains this morning were very crowded while others had plenty of space. There certainly was plenty of crowding on the first...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 22, 2009; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags: Dr. Gridlock, VRE  
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Hazards of a drive around Washington

Returning from a trip on some of the major roads of Virginia and Maryland, I offer this priority to replace turning on headlights and clearing off roofs: windshield washer fluid.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 22, 2009; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Driving , Safety , Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snow, travel tips  
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MoCo: All streets have received at least one pass

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation says the agency has cleared emergency routes, bus routes, primary and secondary roads after this weekend's record snowfall. Officials said in a statement that all residential streets have received some attention, but the sheer volume from the weekend means that there may be more work to do.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 22, 2009; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  | Tags: snowstorm  
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Chicago source of severe air travel delays

If you still need to rebook a flight that was canceled because of the weekend snowstorm, the three major Washington airports advise you to check with your airline before you head to the airport. That way you can avoid long lines at airport ticket counters and the wait because a flight might not be available.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 22, 2009; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories , Airports , holiday travel  | Tags: airport  
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Metrorail outdoor plan stemmed from 2003 storm

If you had a problem with Metrorail's response to the Saturday storm, blame the President's Day weekend blizzard of 2003. After that snowfall crippled Metro for days, managers developed the plan to shut the outdoor stations when about eight inches of snow fell. During my online chat on Monday, commenters were generally supportive of Metro's performance. Here are two examples. Petworth, Washington, D.C.: "I used the Metro several times Saturday and thought they handled it as well as can be expected. The longest wait for a train was probably 15 minutes -- not so bad, considering the storm was still moving through the city." Alexandria (Ft. Hunt), Va.: "I'm a native Chicagoan who lived through the Big Snow of '67 and Blizzard of '79, both of which stopped Chicago in its tracks; I'm not critical of how the area has reacted. Snows like this require some patience and it seems...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 22, 2009; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro , Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, snow  
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MARC trains on 'S' schedule

Because of the weekend snowstorm, the MARC commuter trains are running on an "S" schedule on Tuesday. That means only trains with an "S" under the train number in the timetable will operate.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 22, 2009; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: MARC, MARC trains  
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Bus fire reported on I-395 at 7th Street SW

UPDATE: The charter bus is currently sitting just off of southbound 7th Street SW just before the I-395 overpass. The District police reported no injuries and no traffic being slowed down due to the incident. As of 8:35 a.m., the bus is still sitting there, and the D.C. Fire Department truck just left the scene (with their exit visible in real time via Trafficland's traffic cameras. Technology!). The police couldn't confirm whether the bus caught fire, or smoke came from the engine, or what precisely happened. ORIGINAL POST: A bus caught fire on 7th Street SW at 395 on the southbound side, the District police confirmed. The fire was called in at 7:30 a.m. Metro reported that it was not one of their buses and said it was a commuter bus. More information as we get it....

By Mark Berman  |  December 22, 2009; 8:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Early morning traffic slows drivers in Va. and Md.

7:50 A.M. UPDATE: The right lane of I-66 East near Nutley Street in Virginia is closed, providing further headaches for folks heading east on 66. Congestion remains a problem on I-395. And an accident on I-495 North at Arlington Boulevard has closed the right northbound shoulder, but since that area was already heavy that could cause more gridlock. 7:25 A.M. UPDATE: In Maryland, two lanes of I-270 North remain closed. In Virginia, I-495 North has a lane closure at I-66 -- the right lane is closed due to a disabled vehicle. And I-395 North has big traffic from King Street back to Edsall Road, because it's 395 North and today's a day ending in the letter "y." ORIGINAL POST: Many schools and government offices remain closed today. But with some employees heading back to work -- plus the traffic-inducing holiday shopping many people couldn't do over the weekend -- the...

By Mark Berman  |  December 22, 2009; 6:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: snowstorm  
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Metrobus resumes service on most routes, some in DC and MD still impacted

Service has resumed on most Metrobus routes in the District, Maryland and Virginia, Metro reported earlier this morning. But delays could persist on some roads, and some routes in the District and Maryland are operating on snow emergency or alternate routes due to the snow and ice. According to Metro, those routes are: C2, G2, J9, K6, U5, U6, V8, W2, W3, W5, W6, W8, Y5, Y7, Y8 and Y9. Metro also encourages bus travelers to be careful when boarding or disembarking from buses, as most bus stops remain blocked by piles of snow....

By Mark Berman  |  December 22, 2009; 5:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  | Tags: metro  
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Cooped up shoppers come out in traffic

Dear Dr. Gridlock: I missed your live online chat, but read through it. I have to stick up for Arlington County. On the whole, I thought they did an excellent job. I live in South Arlington, near Shirlington, and the snowplows were running all through the weekend. Our residential streets was plowed by early Sunday afternoon, and even though we didn't go out (by car), it was reassuring to know that we could get out for work this morning if we needed to. (We live in an admittedly high-occupancy area; not sure how quickly the plows made it to the residential streets of single-family homes.) The observation from the field that I wanted to send has to do with how packed the roads were all day, particularly Route 7. It turns out that my office was closed today, and since the roads here seemed clear, I thought it would be...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 21, 2009; 7:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snow  
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Headaches on the horizon (snow edition)

Metro Riders may encounter delays tonight and early Tuesday on both rail and bus as the temperatures drop. Freezing roadways could slow or detour buses. Freezing could also affect rail switches and the power supply from the third rails to the trains. Overnight, the transit authority may bring in flatbed rail cars to clear the snow from outdoor platforms. They can't just push all that snow onto the tracks. That would cause other problems. So many riders today found that the platforms had been cleared for a few feet near the edge and the snow piled up in the middle. Metro also hopes to bring in trucks to clear snow from some of the parking lots and garages, that would mean more parking space available on Tuesday at the stations. The MetroAccess paratransit service is scheduled to resume normal operations at 5 a.m. Tuesday, but Metro says some locations may...

By Robert Thomson  |  December 21, 2009; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon, snow, travel tips  
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MetroAccess service to resume at 5 a.m. Tuesday

MetroAccess, which provides rides for the elderly and disabled, is set to return to more widespread service at 5 a.m. Tuesday, Metro officials said in a release.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 21, 2009; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Metro delays  
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Snow removal around the region

Snow removal crews around the region are focusing on any snow-filled residential streets now that major routes have been cleared. If you're still facing mountains of snow in your neighborhood, send us an e-mail or post comments here. Arlington County's snow map is here. Officials said the hilly terrain in sections A, C, and D means it takes longer to clear those areas. The Viriginia Department of Transportation is responsible for snow removal in Fairfax County. Track snow plows in the District here. Check Montgomery County snow removal here. Prince George's County snow information is here....

By Michael Bolden  |  December 21, 2009; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Bad traffic at Fair Oaks in Virginia

Pent up holiday shopping? Traffic at the Fair Oaks Shopping Center; on Ring Road, which surrounds the mall, on Fair Lakes Parkway; on Lee Jackson Memorial Highway and on all roads in that general area are backed up, and at a standstill at some places, police report. This is likely to continue through the evening and anyone in these areas should expect significant delays....

By Robert Thomson  |  December 21, 2009; 5:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock  
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Metrorail still concerned about weather conditions

Metrorail will keep the Morgan Boulevard Station open late for football fans leaving Monday night's Redskins game, but train travelers should prepare themselves for potential delays.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 21, 2009; 3:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro , Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snow, travel tips  
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Montgomery County lifts snow emergency

Montgomery and District officials have lifted snow emergency declarations.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 21, 2009; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  
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Plan your trip using NextBus

If you're heading out into the cold to a bus stop, use Metro's NextBus service to find out when the next bus will arrive. Bus service is operating slower because of the region's record snowfall, and some routes are still closed. Wait times could be a guessing game, but NextBus uses GPS technology, so it will give you some sense of what your wait will be. Log on to the NextBus Web site, or call 202-637-7000, and say "next bus" when prompted. Enter your bus stop number and bus route number, and you should receive an estimate of the arrival time of the next bus at your stop....

By Michael Bolden  |  December 21, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting , Metro  | Tags: Metrobus  
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Interstates Crowded in Northern Virginia

VDOT is reporting heavy traffic on the Interstates in Northern Virginia. I-495 near the Van Doran exit is particularly slow going, as is I-66 west from the Beltway to Route 50 as highway crews try to clear mountains of snow piled up on the shoulder. That work will stop at 3 p.m. to accommodate what's expected to be a very light rush hour. It will resume overnight. The HOV lane on I-395 is closed, but VDOT said HOV lanews will be open and operating southbound on I-95....

By Ashley Halsey  |  December 21, 2009; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Congestion , Driving , Weather  
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D.C. issues 1,179 tickets for snow emergency violations

The D.C. Department of Public Works says it has issued 1,179 tickets for snow emergency violations, each carrying a $250 fine, and towed more than 200 vehicles.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 21, 2009; 2:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , highways  
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Limited schedule Monday for Fairfax Connector

Fairfax Connector is operating a limited schedule on Monday through 7 p.m.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 21, 2009; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Safety , transit  | Tags: Fairfax Connector  
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Delays on the Blue and Yellow lines

Metro is reporting a problem at Franconia-Springfield station causing delays in both directions on the Yellow and Blue lines. A shuttle train is operating between King Street & Franconia-Springfield stations due to inclement weather,

By Michael Bolden  |  December 21, 2009; 12:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: Metro delays, Metrorail  
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VDOT focusing on secondary roads

Officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation says major highways have mostly been cleared across the state, but some lesser roads are still covered in snow and ice. Transportation crewws are turning their attention to those, but in many places the snow has been packed into ice, making the job more difficult.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 21, 2009; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather , highways  
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Join me at noon for online chat

Problems with travel during the storm and its aftermath? Planning your holiday getaway? Worried about Metro's service problems? Join me at noon for our weekly online discussion about all our local traffic and transit issues.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 21, 2009; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags: Dr. Gridlock  
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Report from Reagan Airport

Flying out of Washington today? If so, Post reporter Yamiche Alcindor -- at Reagan National Airport -- has some suggestions. Travelers should avoid checking bags if at all possible because of the overwhelming lines, she said. She also suggested not relying on cabs -- she called one cab company at 5:20 a.m., was on hold for 45 minutes and a cab wasn't dispatched until 7 a.m. She gave up and took the bus, which resulted in her actually arriving at the airport. As for the airport itself, the scene is what you'd expect: Hundreds of people lining the walls, she said. Lines at Delta, American, US Airways and others stretched down walls with more than a hundred people in each line, including frustrated travelers yelling at airport staff and one another. The lines for the self service counters didn't appear to be moving. By comparison, the line at security was...

By Mark Berman  |  December 21, 2009; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Airports  
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The week ahead in traffic and transit

Commutes will likely be slower than normal Monday, but less congested, because the federal government and many schools are closed. Local travel should continue to be less congested as the holiday week develops, except around shopping areas, where people will be making up for lost time.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 21, 2009; 6:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Commuting , Driving , Metro , Weather , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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More Metrobus routes will not be running

After announcing eight bus routes that would not be running (two in the District, six in Virginia), Metro announced a total of 15 routes later in the morning.

By Mark Berman  |  December 21, 2009; 6:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Metro  
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Morning delays and problems

It's the first Monday morning after the weekend snowstorm. With the federal government and many other offices and schools closed today, what can those of you who will be commuting expect early this morning? Here are some early things to keep your eyes on. (This page will be updated.) Beltway Accident In Maryland An accident has closed multiple lanes on the outer loop of the Beltway in College Park at about 5:45 a.m. The two-vehicle accident occurred where I-495 splits off to I-95, the Maryland State Police report. The two left lanes on the outer loop are getting by, while the ramp lanes onto I-95 are closed until the tow trucks remove the cars involved. [6:45 A.M. UPDATE: All lanes are now open.] Accidents and Incidents in Virginia An accident on I-95/the Beltway at Van Dorn Street in Alexandria has closed the north right lane and right shoulder shortly before...

By Mark Berman  |  December 21, 2009; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Check our traffic page for the latest incidents

It's the first morning commute after this weekend's historic snowstorm. Crews were busily clearing roads on Sunday, but congestion and construction are part of the transportation scene in Washington. You can check our traffic page for the latest trouble spots....

By Michael Bolden  |  December 21, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Metro to open with normal rail service

All 86 Metrorail stations will provide service Monday morning. Buses will also run along most routes, although in Maryland it will be limited to snow emergency routes. Officials planned to run six-car trains throughout most of the system, due to reduced demand because of government closures.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 21, 2009; 4:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: Metrobus, Metrorail  
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What to expect on roads and rails

The federal government and many local jurisdictions will be closed on Monday as the region struggles with digging out from the weekend's record snowfall. That's a good thing because commuters will face uncertainty, from whether some services will even be available to huge amounts of snow and ice that will persist in some areas, making conditions dangerous for motorists, public transportation and even pedestrians.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 20, 2009; 10:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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MetroAccess service limited on Monday

MetroAccess transit, a service for the elderly and disabled, will operate on a limited schedule on Monday due to uncertainty about the state of secondary roads in the wake of the snowstorm. Metro officials said the service will operate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but only for customers whose trips are associated with medical needs such as chemotherapy and dialysis. Other trips will be canceled, and customers should receive automated calls with the news.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 20, 2009; 9:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: MetroAccess  
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VRE modifies Monday schedule

The Virginia Railway Express will run a modified "S Schedule" Monday morning that is designed for bad weather and work days before a holiday, like Christmas Eve.

By Ashley Halsey  |  December 20, 2009; 9:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting , transit  
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Western end of Red Line reopens

Metro's Red Line from Shady Grove Metrorail station to Union Station will reopen at 8 tonight, the transit agency said in a press release.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 20, 2009; 7:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , highways  
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Plan your trip using NextBus, when bus service resumes

Metro canceled bus service Sunday night due to ice on the roads. They were unsure what service would be provided Monday morning.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 20, 2009; 5:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Commuting , Metro , Weather  | Tags: Metrobus, NextBus  
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District residents urged to call 311 if roads aren't plowed by the end of the day

District residents should call 311 at the end of the day if their street hasn't been plowed.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 20, 2009; 2:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , highways  
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Some Maryland roads still a challenge

Crews from the Maryland State Highway Administration and Maryland Transportation Authoriity are still out clearing roads and park-and-ride lots in preparation for the morning commute.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 20, 2009; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather , highways  
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VDOT encouraging people to stay off roads

Officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation say the agency is working with Virginia State Police, National Guard and local governments to get traffic moving. That's a problem in some areas, such as I-81 North in Rockbridge County and Route 29 in Charlottesville, where disabled vehicles are blocking traffic.Be aware of conditions in those areas if your holiday plans include traveling thiose roads.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 20, 2009; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , highways  
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Road conditions improving throughout region

Most main roads in Northern Virginia, Maryland and the District are passable this afternoon, but plows have yet to reach many residential neighborhoods. District residents should expect a plow sometime today, in Virginia some residential streets may not be cleared until Wednesday, and in Maryland the speed with which those streets are plowed with vary from one county to the next. John Lisle, spokesman for the District Department of Transportation: "The main roads are in great shape. The weather is cooperating today and our crews are making great progress. For sure, all of the main roads will be clear by Monday morning." "The thing we need to do is to make sure the outside lanes [on main streets], where the snow has been piling up, are cleared before rush hour. That's what we're focusing on, getting the shoulders clear." "We have a lot of wet roads and we're looking at...

By Ashley Halsey  |  December 20, 2009; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion , Driving , Safety , Weather , holiday travel  
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Some suburban buses still out

While some suburban bus lines are offering limited service during Sunday's dig out, others remain shut.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 20, 2009; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snow, travel tips  
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D.C. Circulator service resumes

The District Department of Transportation has announced the DC Circulator will resume service at 10am today, Sunday, December 20. All of the routes will operate, however there is a limited number of buses available and passengers may experience longer wait times. In addition, there will be no service on Wisconsin Avenue north of M Street in Georgetown. Circulator buses on the Georgetown - Union Station route will operate westbound on K Street and eastbound on M Street in Georgetown....

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 20, 2009; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Flight delays continue

Crews continue to remove snow at the area's airports, and there are massive delays as flight operations struggle to recover from Saturday's storm. Officials with all three major Washington airports advise you to check with your airline before you head to the airport.

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 20, 2009; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Advisories , Airports  | Tags: Reagan National, airport, snowstorm  
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Check out our traffic page and submit your videos

Wow! Unless you're from a city where this type of snow is routine, Saturday's snow was impressive. Now begins the task of digging out -- and with freezing temperatures still around (check out what the Capital Weather Gang has to say) -- finding some place to put all of this snow. As you begin to make your way into the streets -- and remember that most jurisdictions would prefer that you sit tight until they can do more plowing -- check out our traffic page for the latest trouble spots. You can also send us a flurry of your favorite pics showing just how deep the snow is where you live or folks out and about having fun in the white stuff. Submit your photos here. Here's some advice from Dr Gridlock for pedestrians and drivers. You can also read about the general winter snow-clearing plans of our states and...

By Michael Bolden  |  December 20, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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What are roads like in your area? Tell us.

As the region digs out from a historic snowstorm, we want to keep abreast of road conditions throughout the D.C. area. Tell us how roads are in your area in the comments below. Have any harrowing snow travel stories? We'd love to hear those as well....

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 20, 2009; 7:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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BWI opens a second runway

Baltimore Washington International Airport opened a second runway this morning. An airport spokesman advised travelers to call ahead or check online to make sure their flights are scheduled to depart as planned. BWI has four runways, but the two now open account for 98 percent of airline traffic, said Jonathan Dean, a BWI spokesman. Still, Dean said, problems at other airports and scheduling kinks from Saturday's cancellations might cause additional delays and cancellations. Dean said at least two flights have arrived safely since the runways re-opened. A charter flight for the Chicago Bears arrived just before 11 p.m. Saturday night, and a United Airlines redeye flight from Los Angeles arrived Sunday morning. Web sites for the local airports may be difficult to load due to the heavy volume of people trying to find out the same information. You can try checking the Dulles and Reagan National airport sites. The BWI...

By Robert Pierre  |  December 20, 2009; 7:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports , Getaway  
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Metrobus service suspended at 7 p.m. due to ice

Metro is suspending the limited bus service that had been operating Sunday due to ice on the roads. Metro officials said in a statement that they would reevaluate conditions in the morning.

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 20, 2009; 2:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Tags: Metrobus  
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Ramp closures at 11th St. Bridge

(Updated, 2:36 p.m.): All ramps have been reopened. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will shut down two ramps to the 11th Street bridge for approximately three hours this morning starting at 9am in support of snow removal efforts....

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 20, 2009; 2:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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