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Get There: January 3, 2010 - January 9, 2010

D.C. parking meter rates are going up

The changes in the meter charges, the hours of operation and the days of operation are occurring right now. The District Department of Transportation expects all the street signs and meters to reflect the new regulations by Jan. 19, but the new rules are in effect wherever the signs have been changed. So look to see if the meter requires $2 per hour, if the payment rules are in effect till 10 p.m. and if you must pay on Saturdays....

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 9, 2010; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Headaches on the horizon

Metrorail maintenance Metro's track work, and the resulting delays, start Friday night and continue through the rail system's close at midnight Sunday. Red Line: Riders between Medical Center and Grosvenor should add at least 20 minutes to their travel time because Metro will replace rail fasteners that stabilize tracks, and make tunnel repairs. Trains will share one track between these locations from 8 p.m. Friday to the midnight closing on Sunday, Jan. 10. During those hours, every other Shady Grove-bound train will terminate at Friendship Heights and head back toward Glenmont. That should ease travel times along the rest of the Red Line. Blue Line: Riders between Morgan Boulevard and Largo Town Center should add at least 20 minutes to their travel time because Metro will be doing switch maintenance at the Largo station. Trains will share one track between these locations from 9:30 p.m. Friday to the midnight close...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 8, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Traffic alert: Beltway pothole repairs cause delays

Two lanes on the Capital Beltway's inner loop at the Cameron Run bridge, west of the Wilson Bridge, were closed this afternoon to complete emergency pothole repairs.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 8, 2010; 3:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, traffic delays  
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The weekend and beyond

On a quiet and cold January weekend, there are a few road and transit projects that could slow your travels. Also, we'll look ahead to some travel problems that will arise next week.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 8, 2010; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Construction , Driving , Metro , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Metro to hold hearing on possible fare hike

Metro will hold public hearings on Jan. 27 to solicit input on a possible fare hike of up to 10 cents per trip for rail and bus as well as several cost-cutting measures aimed at closing a $40 million budget gap for the remainder of this fiscal year. Other measures outlined for comment include: -- Cutting the span of rail service by opening the system one hour later on weekends and 30 minutes later on weekdays. -- Restructuring several bus lines in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. A statement issued by Metro yesterday indicated that any possible service reductions or fare increases would take effect on March 1, about a month earlier than originally planned, and last though June 30, as part of an urgent bid to resolve this year's operating budget shortfall. Metro has invited the public to attend and speak at a hearing at 5:30 p.m....

By Washington Post editors  |  January 8, 2010; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Maryland road issues

Some Maryland roads are seeing problems this morning: -- MD 212 in Prince George's County has a utility problem that has closed one southbound lane and one southbound shoulder. UPDATE: The problem is on MD 212 South at Sheridan Street to Eastern Avenue. -- An accident on MD 185 South at MD 193 has one southbound lane. RESOLVED....

By Mark Berman  |  January 8, 2010; 8:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Virginia traffic issues this morning [Updated]

It's early, but already some issues on the big Virginia roads this morning: -- Icy conditions on I-66 East around the Fairfax County Parkway. -- Another disabled car on I-95 South/the Beltway at Clermont Avenue (between Van Dorn Street and Telegraph Road). This one has closed the south right lane, and backups are expected to be pretty bad. RESOLVED. -- On I-495 North, a disabled vehicle has closed the north exit ramp to Arlington Boulevard. RESOLVED. -- A disabled car on I-495 North has closed the north exit ramp to Gallows Road. RESOLVED. -- Also on I-495 North, a disabled vehicle has closed the north left shoulder near the Leesburg Pike. RESOLVED. -- An accident on I-395 North just after it emerges from the Beltway has closed the north right shoulder. RESOLVED....

By Mark Berman  |  January 8, 2010; 6:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Snowfall dusts area before morning commute

While packed and dirty mounds of ice from the last snowstorm still line streets and curbs, another snowfall hit the area last night. The overnight snow was much lighter -- dusting of up to 1 or 2 inches. If you're commuting this morning, it's not expected to have a huge impact (nothing like last time, obviously). But there will be some impact, particularly on smaller side roads that haven't been salted. Area schools already saw it -- many Virginia school districts are opening two hours late, while Maryland districts are either opening late or closing for the day. In Virginia, icy conditions are reported this morning on I-66 East around the Fairfax County Parkway. That's a major artery that will obviously require caution. The Maryland Department of Transportation issued a winter weather advisory for much of the state. More than 1,200 pieces of equipment are in action salting the state-maintained...

By Mark Berman  |  January 8, 2010; 5:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  
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Headaches on the horizon

The Capital Weather Gang tells us to expect a dusting to around 2 inches. The snow should end before or during the morning commute. Across the Washington region, crews have been out pre-treating the roads in preparation for that.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 7, 2010; 8:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Metro board wants more options, public comment

The Metro board is meeting now to review the service cuts proposed by the Metro staff to balance its current budget.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 7, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus, Metrorail  
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Transit advocates urge Metro board to delay cuts

The Metro board is holding a special session Thursday morning at its headquarters in downtown Washington to review the budget-balancing cutbacks proposed for Metrorail and Metrobus. Two groups are calling on the board to delay a decision.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 7, 2010; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus, Metrorail  
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Accidents close lanes on 66 East, 395 North, 267 East [Updated]

9 A.M. UPDATE: The vehicle fire in Centreville is now only closing the east left shoulder of I-66 shortly before Lee Highway/29. So delays shouldn't be as bad. 8:50 A.M. UPDATE: While the accidents listed below all seem to have cleared up, residual traffic remains on I-395 North and I-66 East circa Chain Bridge Road. And a new accident on I-66 East, this one out in Centreville -- a vehicle fire shortly before Lee Highway/29 has closed the left shoulder, left lane, left center lane and right center lane. In other words, major delays. ORIGINAL POST: TwoThree major Virginia roadways are seeing lane closures and big delays due to accidents that just occurred this morning: -- I-66 East at Fairfax County Parkway/7100 is seeing the right center lane, right lane and right shoulder all closed because of an accident. But once you get beyond that, there are still a few...

By Mark Berman  |  January 7, 2010; 7:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Rock Creek Parkway reopens

10:04 A.M. UPDATE: Rock Creek Parkway has reopened after the earlier electrical fire. The Key Bridge, which was also closed, has reopened as well. 9:10 A.M. UPDATE: The closures of Rock Creek Parkway and a block of Pennsylvania Avenue appear to be reverberating throughout Northwest D.C. and impacting traffic heading downtown this morning. A look at traffic cameras show us parking lots where streets used to be: - At the intersection of M Street and the Key Bridge, police are guiding a neverending stream of traffic onto the bridge and into Georgetown. - M Street in Georgetown heading west is pretty backed up, but no more than usual for this time of the morning. - K Street at 27th Street is gridlocked for people trying to head east into the city on K Street. - Cars at Pennsylvania Avenue and 28th Street, heading eastbound on Penn, are being forced by...

By Mark Berman  |  January 7, 2010; 6:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Bethesda Metro station escalators out of service

All entrance escalators are out of service at the Bethesda station due to a mechanical problem. The station remains open....

By Mark Berman  |  January 7, 2010; 6:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro  
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Disabled car blocks right lane of I-495 South

UPDATE: The car has been moved and the lane has reopened. A disabled vehicle is currently blocking the right lane of I-495 South at I-66. This is less than ideal for the always-packed interchange, so if this is your commute, prepare for some extra time this morning....

By Mark Berman  |  January 7, 2010; 6:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Headaches on the horizon

Here are some travel advisories for the next 24 hours.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 6, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Metro train nearly hit team of safety inspectors, says report

A team of independent safety inspectors was nearly hit last month by a Metro train that appeared to be traveling at full speed and made no attempt to slow, as required by agency rules.

By Meghan Louttit  |  January 6, 2010; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags: Metrorail, metro safety  
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Updates on Wednesday's Metrorail problems

Here are updates on two problems Metrorail riders encountered on Wednesday.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 6, 2010; 3:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Repairs to disrupt Red Line over MLK Day weekend

Many of the maintenance projects that so annoy Metro riders when they are strung out across many nights and weekends will be concentrated into a repair program on the western side of the Red Line during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 6, 2010; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, Red Line delays  
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Red Line realities shred schedule

On Thursday, the Metro board is scheduled to hear the staff's plan to adjust Red Line schedules. Some of the adjustments will save money. Others will simply take account of the reality of how long it takes to go station to station in 2010.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 6, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget, Red Line delays  
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Roadwork continues in Prince George's

A pair of lane closures in Prince George's County, stemming from emergency roadwork, continue this morning. The first such closure is the one we've previously told you about, with one of two Branch Avenue/MD 5 southbound lanes closed at Earnshaw Drive (and one of the southbound shoulders) closed due to roadwork since the weekend. The other is newer: beginning this morning, Road Island Avenue has one of two southbound lanes and one of the two southbound shoulders closed at 37th Street. This emergency roadwork is in Brentwood, just minutes away from the Maryland/District border, so if you take this road plan on alternate routes (such as Michigan Avenue)....

By Mark Berman  |  January 6, 2010; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Headaches on the horizon

Two lanes of the Beltway's inner loop between Route 1 and the Eisenhower Connector will be closed nightly this week for pothole patching. From Wednesday through Jan. 22, these lanes will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily as the 11th Street Bridges project gets underway.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 5, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Construction  | Tags: 11th Street Bridge, Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Orange Line delays leave platforms crowded

Last night it was the Red Line. Tonight, the Orange Line is taking it on the chin. Trains malfunctioned at Landover and later at Rosslyn. Both of those problems have been resolved, but riders have been venting about the crowding along the line. There have been delays in both directions.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 5, 2010; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, Orange Line, Red Line  
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District celebrates end of Kenilworth Ave. project

The District government held a celebration today marking the end of the $34 million reconstruction of Kenilworth Avenue (295) in the vicinity of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue. I'm sure many of the thousands of drivers who use that major commuter route already have held their own, private celebrations, though there's another project just getting started at the Eastern Avenue Bridge.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 5, 2010; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Construction , Driving  | Tags: District Department of Transportation, Dr. Gridlock  
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D.C. details upcoming changes in street parking

The District Department of Transportation has released more details on the major changes scheduled for this month in the parking payment and enforcement system.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 5, 2010; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Driving  | Tags: District Department of Transportation, Dr. Gridlock, parking enforcement  
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Important traffic shift in Montgomery County

A major change in the traffic pattern at the junction of Rockville Pike, Montrose Parkway and Randolph Road in North Bethesda is occurring today. Traffic heading west on Randolph Road in the direction of I-270 can now move directly to Montrose Parkway.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 5, 2010; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Construction , Driving  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Maryland State Highway Administration, Montrose Parkway  
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Woman struck by Metro train dies

A 50-year-old Kensington woman has died from her injuries after being struck by a Metro train late last night, according to Metro officials. The woman apparently placed herself on the tracks at the Woodley Park Zoo station, where she was struck by a six-car train traveling toward Shady Grove at about 11:36 pm, the officials said. Metro police are continuing to investigate the incident, but "preliminary information shows that the woman intentionally placed herself in the path of the train," according to a Metro press release. The woman was the first person to be hit by an oncoming train this year. -- Ann Scott Tyson...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 5, 2010; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Metro planning budget-balancing bus cuts

Here's a look at the route cuts and other Metrobus service changes the transit authority is planning to help balance its budget.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 5, 2010; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus  
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Accident closes part of Dulles Toll Road

An accident on the Dulles Toll Road/267 has closed the eastbound right lane near the exit ramp to Hunter Mill Road. Delays are expected. Drivers who are heading towards Dulles might want to think about taking an alternate road right after the Beltway (Leesburg Pike to the north, 123 to the south, for example), before rejoining 267 a little later....

By Mark Berman  |  January 5, 2010; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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This week's Metrorail crowding merely a preview?

Metrorail commutes have been crowded and slow during the first weekdays of 2010. During our online chat at noon Monday, several people wrote in to ask me if Metro already had begun the service cutbacks it says it needs to help balance its budget. No, but this may be a preview.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 5, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail delays  
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Branch Ave lane closures still going

Just a reminder, but the Branch Avenue/MD 5 southbound lane closures we told you about yesterday are still there. One of two southbound lanes, and one southbound shoulder, closed at Earnshaw Drive for some emergency roadwork....

By Mark Berman  |  January 5, 2010; 7:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Morning delays in Virginia

Virginia is a bevy of fun delays this morning: -- Congestion is backing up traffic on I-395 (from the Potomac back to Route 7, and again from Edsall Road back to the Beltway), I-66 East (at the Chain Bridge Road) and I-95 North (in Occoquan). -- Disabled vehicles have closed the right shoulder of I-66 East at the Beltway, the right shoulder of I-95 North in Lorton, the north left shoulder of I-95 North after Rolling Road/638 and the right shoulder of I-495 South just after the American Legion Bridge. If you are commuting on any of those roads, plan for extra time this morning....

By Mark Berman  |  January 5, 2010; 6:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Woman struck by train at Woodley Park station late last night

UPDATE: Metro is now reporting that the woman died this morning from her injuries. While they didn't identify her, they said she is a 50-year-old woman from Kensington, Md. ORIGINAL POST: A woman struck by a train at the Woodley Park station late last night is in critical condition at a nearby hospital, Metro reported early this morning. Red line service is now operating normally, but was obviously impacted by this last night. Trains initially single-tracked between Dupont Circle and Cleveland Park, but then train service between those two stations was entirely stopped during the police investigation. Shuttle buses were in service between Van Ness and Dupont. The woman is believed to have intentionally put herself on the tracks, where she was hit by a six-car train heading to Shady Grove....

By Mark Berman  |  January 5, 2010; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Tags: Metro, WMATA  
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Headaches on the horizon

Here's the work between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. on the Beltway HOT lanes project and the Dulles Metrorail project.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 4, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Construction , Driving  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Crowding on Red Line tonight

Post staff writer Lena H. Sun reports that the platform at Farragut North has been jammed for a while now, pretty late in the evening rush. Sun wonders why the station manager can't leave the booth to make some announcements about whatever is causing this and when relief will come in the form of more trains. There was a train malfunction at Medical Center, but that was resolved more than an hour ago, Metro says. Plenty of Twitter about the Red Line scene tonight. Two themes: The platforms and trains are jammed; there are no announcements explaining what's going on. Not a good start to a week when Metro is going to tell us about its plans for service cutbacks. (Punchline: How can we tell?) It's a good thing there's no game tonight at Verizon Center. Tuesday, though, the Caps will be playing. And another thing to watch out for...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 4, 2010; 6:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock  
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Today's read: Traffic, transit list for 2010

My list of high-impact projects for 2010, and a review of 2009 from two local transportation advocates.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 4, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuting , Driving , Metro , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Today's read  
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The week ahead for traffic and transit

It's not exactly September Shock, but travelers should see something of a surge this week as people begin to return from their December vacations and schools reopen. Here are some of the road and rail conditions to watch for.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 4, 2010; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Construction , Driving , Metro , transit  
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Disabled car blocks lane of I-495 North

8:30 A.M. UPDATE: Now just the north right shoulder is closed due to the disabled vehicle. A disabled car is blocking the right lane of I-495 North after Idylwood Road. Couple this with general morning rush hour delays -- congestion is already pretty heavy on I-495 North in this area -- and it could mean even more backups. Be wary....

By Mark Berman  |  January 4, 2010; 8:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Accident causes I-95 North lane closure in Woodbridge

6:30 A.M. UPDATE: The north right lane has reopened and now just the north right shoulder remains closed. ORIGINAL POST: An accident on I-95 North at the Prince William Parkway has closed the roadway's north right lane and right shoulder. VDOT is reporting a multi-vehicle accident. Delays and congestion are being reported in that area of I-95....

By Mark Berman  |  January 4, 2010; 6:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Roadwork keeps part of Branch Avenue closed

Emergency roadwork in Prince George's County, begun on Friday, continues into this morning's commute. One of two southbound Branch Avenue/MD 5 lanes is closed at Earnshaw Drive, along with a southbound shoulder....

By Mark Berman  |  January 4, 2010; 5:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Morning Metro delays

6:50 A.M. UPDATE: Now Metro is reporting no delays on any line. 6:30 A.M. UPDATE: The red line delays are now resolved, according to Metro. But the Dupont escalators remain out at Q Street. 6:25 A.M. UPDATE: Delays now on the green and yellow lines heading towards Branch Avenue and Huntington. Due to a train malfunction outside of College Park, trains are sharing the same track between Greenbelt and College Park. And the earlier train malfunction at Tenleytown is resolved, according to Metro, but delays continue to Shady Grove. ORIGINAL POST: A pair of red line issues on the Metro to start the morning commute: The red line heading to Shady Grove is delayed at Tenleytown-AU due to a train malfunction outside the station. Trains are sharing the same track between Van Ness and Friendship Heights. And a mechanical problem at Dupont Circle has put all entrance escalators out of...

By Mark Berman  |  January 4, 2010; 5:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  
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