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Get There: January 24, 2010 - January 30, 2010

Transportation agencies warn of black ice on roads

Area transportation departments don't want us to let our guard down as day turns to night and the snowfall begins to taper off. Officials with the Maryland State Highway Administration and the Virginia Department of Transportation said air and pavement temperatures remain below freezing and black ice is a possibility on the roads.

By Michael Bolden  |  January 30, 2010; 6:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , highways  
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No Circulator service on Wisconsin Avenue

DDOTDC recently tweeted this: Circulator Update: no service on Wisconsin Avenue due to emergency utility repairs north of M Street...

By Michael Bolden  |  January 30, 2010; 5:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  transit  | Tags: Circulator  
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D.C. area road conditions vary from snow to slush to ice

The Grid Spouse took the Polar Bear plunge into Chesapeake Bay at 1 p.m. Then I had the tough part: I had to drive us home along Route 50 and the outer loop of the Capital Beltway.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 30, 2010; 4:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Driving , Safety , Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snowstorm  
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D.C. area airports reporting more delays

Washington-area airports are reporting some delays and cancellations due to the weather here and in other regions. Check the status of your flight with your airline before heading to the airport.

By Michael Bolden  |  January 30, 2010; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Airports , Weather  | Tags: BWI, Dulles, Reagan National  
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Va. urges drivers to stay off roads

The Virginia Department of Transportation is urging motorists to stay off roads as snow continues to fall throughout the state. Officials say crews have been working nonstop to clear roads cross the state. Road conditions are listed as moderate to severe, with significant accumulation on most interstate, primary and secondary roads. VDOT says crews will continue to work through the duration of the storm, focusing first on heavily traveled interstate and primary roads. Virginia State Police say as of 11 a.m., most of its more than 140 open incidents are in the southeast part of the state. There are no reports of fatalities and most incidents of crashes are without injuries. --Associated Press...

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 30, 2010; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Check snow removal information in the D.C. region

3:10 p.m. UPDATE: The Arlington County link was broken earlier but we have made repairs here at Get There Central. Original post: The Capital Weather Gang predicts snow will continue throughout most of the day. Most of the area is under a winter storm warning until 4 a.m. Sunday. Snow-filled residential streets usually are secondary to major routes. Here is some information on snow removal and where you can turn for help if you need an area cleared once the snow trails off. Keep in mind that in most jurisdictions, property owners are responsible for clearing adjacent sidewalks after a snowstorm. Arlington County's snow removal information is here. In the past, officials have 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...

By Michael Bolden  |  January 30, 2010; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  | Tags: snow, snowstorm, weather  
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Accidents continue to rise as snow falls across D.C.

As snow began to fall across the D.C. region Saturday morning, motorists were contending with icy roads that made traveling treacherous. Despite roads having been treated, reports of accidents were on the rise.

By Michael Bolden  |  January 30, 2010; 10:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather , highways  
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Headaches on the horizon

Some road and rail work may slow your overnight travels.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 29, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weekend Work  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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NTSB updates this week's Metro accident investigation

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a statement updating its investigation into the Tuesday accident that killed two Metro employees working on the Red Line.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 29, 2010; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro , Safety  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail safety  
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D.C. to use federal funds for bridge, escalator projects

The District has received a $4.3 million federal grant to replace escalators in the Union Station parking garage and an additional $2.9 million toward replacing a rail bridge over the Potomac. The funding was part of the $8 billion in federal stimulus money designated for rail projects across the country. The D.C. Department of Transportation will use its share to replace 10 garage escalators and toward replacement of the Long Bridge. The bridge carries freight, Amtrak and VRE commuter trains across the Potomac. -- Ashley Halsey III...

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 29, 2010; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction , transit  
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Tips for getting around Washington in the snow

When we get accumulation -- and as crews take to the roads to try to keep them clear -- here are some reminders for traveling safely: Don't crowd the plow. What's the point of trying to get ahead of trucks that are making the road behind them safer to use? Also, a plow operator has blind spots, especially behind and to the left. They may need to stop or move quickly to avoid a stranded vehicle. Plows moving in high winds can create a snow cloud, severely limiting visibility. Before driving. Get the snow or ice off the vehicle, including the roof. Be sure of the battery charge, wiper blades, tires, tire jack, antifreeze and lights. Keep the gas tank at least half-full. Carry an emergency kit that includes a small shovel; a bag of rock salt, sand or cat litter; a scraper and brush; a flashlight with extra batteries;...

By Michael Bolden  |  January 29, 2010; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  
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Metro responds on transit safety issues

A Metro staff presentation about accidents avoided and money saved on work compensation turned into an anguished discussion of how the transit authority can prevent deaths on its tracks.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 29, 2010; 3:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro , Safety  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro board, Metro safety  
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D.C. area snow teams on alert for winter storm

Predictions on how much snow the Washington region will see this weekend. Forecasters says it will depend on the approaching storm's track. Meanwhile, Washington transportation agencies say they are preparing for whatever falls.

By Michael Bolden  |  January 29, 2010; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  
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The weekend and beyond

Travelers may encounter some snow on Saturday, and it will be cold all weekend. Stay in touch with the Capital Weather Gang for the latest on that. The forecast led to postponement of the Chain Bridge closing, but you will find some other road and transit work may affect your plans for the weekend and the coming week.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 29, 2010; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Construction , Driving , Metro , Weekend Work , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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New traffic signals coming in Silver Spring

Next week, Maryland's State Highway Administration plans to start a $1 million reconstruction of the traffic signals along Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 29, 2010; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction , Driving , Safety  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Maryland State Highway Administration, traffic signals  
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Metro again facing fare increases, service cuts

No, you haven't read this posting already, even though some of the details will sound familiar.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 29, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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MARC train cancellation from Perryville

The MARC train departing Perryville, Md. at 5:40 a.m. was canceled and the next available one will depart at 6:30 a.m.

By Mark Berman  |  January 29, 2010; 5:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Headaches on the horizon

These are some lane and ramp closings that could slow your travels between 9:30 p.m. Thursday and 5 a.m. Friday.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 28, 2010; 7:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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New Dulles Aerotrain shuts down for a while on 2nd day of service

On its second day operating, a new underground train that whisks travelers to their gates at Dulles International Airport went out of service for 41 minutes. The unmanned AeroTrain shut down at 9:25 p.m. Wednesday after control room operators detected an open door in a tunnel between two of the four stations. The door, leading to a maintenance corridor, had mistakenly been left open by a firefighter responding to an unrelated alarm, said Robert Yingling, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates Dulles. He said the train's safety procedures required the system to shut down in the event that passengers in the tunnel were in danger. The airport ran mobile lounges from the main terminal to the gates during the delay; about half of the diesel-powered shuttle buses remain in service. The mishap prompted United Airlines, the dominant carrier at Dulles, to hold three flights, with the...

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 28, 2010; 6:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Airports , Dulles  
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Work to close Dolley Madison Boulevard exit ramp from Dulles Connector

Construction will close the exit ramp from the eastbound Dulles Connector Road onto Dolley Madison Boulevard overnight next week. The ramp will be closed from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. for five days beginning Monday. The closing is required to allow construction of one the many piers that will support the aerial guideway for the rail system. Drivers will be directed to use the exit ramp to southbound Route 123, and to use the traffic signal to access the northbound lanes. Police will be on site. -- Ashley Halsey IIII...

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 28, 2010; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Construction , Dulles  
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Metro board approves 10-cent fare increase

Metro board has approved a 10 cent surcharge on fares and no service cuts.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 28, 2010; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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D.C. postpones Chain Bridge closures

So far, there haven't been any of the full closings of Chain Bridge that were part of the original plan for the rehabilitation project, but that's going to change as it nears completion. The District Department of Transportation will completely shut Chain Bridge on two weekends for work on the bridge deck and approaches.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 28, 2010; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Construction , Driving  | Tags: Chain Bridge, DDOT, Dr. Gridlock  
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Va. Senate passes bill strengthening seat-belt law; measure heads to the House of Delegates

The Virginia Senate has passed a bill to allow police to pull over and ticket drivers for not wearing a seat belt. The bill passed 24-16 Wednesday and heads to the House, where similar efforts have died in past years.

By Michael Bolden  |  January 28, 2010; 10:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Advisories , Transportation Politics , highways  
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Headaches on the horizon

Some reminders about overnight issues on the roads and rails that may slow your travels.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Transit riders talk to Metro board on budget crisis

Metro board members listened to riders' pleas against cutting service.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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Big Beltway detour in Tysons overnight Friday

If you're out late Friday night, watch for Beltway traffic congestion in Tysons Corner. The exit ramp from the Beltway's outer loop to southbound Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) will close from midnight to 5 a.m. Saturday for work on the Dulles Metrorail project.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Construction , Driving , Weekend Work  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Dulles Metrorail  
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Street closings for State of the Union speech begin at 7 p.m.

The U.S. Capitol Police have provided this information about Capitol Hill street closings on Wednesday evening, while President Obama delivers the State of the Union address.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Advisories , Driving , Events  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, street closings  
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Alexandria DASH bus considers fare hike

Alexandria Transit, which operates the DASH bus, has scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 1101 of Alexandria City Hall to consider fare and service changes for the budget year starting in July.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  transit  | Tags: DASH, Dr. Gridlock  
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What's at stake for Metro riders in budget

We've heard from many riders and transit advocates. Now let's consider what's ahead.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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Metro riders group backs fare surcharge

Another of the region's transit advocacy groups, MetroRiders.Org, has sent out a copy of the testimony it is offering to the Metro board for the 5:30 p.m. hearing on closing the current budget gap.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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Metro riders consider train lengths, service cuts

Dear Dr. Gridlock: I have been an Orange Line commuter since 1984. Proposals to lengthen time between trains and stop providing eight-car service is counter-productive as a budget "savings" approach. Cutbacks in service will punish the riders.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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Metro rider outlines travel concerns

A rider from the District shared testimony that he sent to the Metro board in advance of Wednesday's 5:30 p.m. board hearing on closing the current budget gap. Here's a portion of what he wrote, highlighting problems with late-night rail service.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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Smart Growthers back fare hike, borrowing

The Coalition For Smarter Growth, an environmental group in the D.C. area, takes this position on the proposals to be discussed at the Metro board's public hearing starting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 9:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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Metro rider proposes targeted fare increase

A Metro rider says that Instead of the suggested fare increases, a more targeted fare increase would be smarter. The targeted increase described below would improve revenue, ridership, and service by reducing overcrowding.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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Transit coalition asks Metro to avoid service cuts

In advance of Wednesday evening's Metro board hearing, several groups concerned about the Washington region's transit system have issued statements. This will be the position of the Transit First! Coalition, a group of transit advocates and environmentalists.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 27, 2010; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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Headaches on the horizon

Here are some challenges ahead for travelers in the overnight hours.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 26, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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D.C. to close Eastern Avenue bridge on Monday

Here's more information for drivers who have been seeing those electronic message boards along Kenilworth Avenue announcing the Eastern Avenue Bridge construction project.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 26, 2010; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving  | Tags: DDOT, District Department of Transportation, Dr. Gridlock, Eastern Avenue Bridge  
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Red Line stations reopen

Shady Grove and Rockville stations have reopened. Delays continue in both directions, Metro reports.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 26, 2010; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro delays, Metrorail  
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Graham: Tapping Metro capital budget would avoid service cuts, fares increases

Jim Graham, D.C. Council member and current chairman of the Metro board of directors, thinks I haven't given proper consideration to a financial alternative that would spare us either a fare surcharge or service cuts: Borrow from the capital budget, the one that pays for most long-term maintenance and equipment, to close the gap in the operating budget, which pays most day-to-day expenses of running the transit system.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 26, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget  
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Join me for 10 a.m. chat on Red Line incident

Join me for online discussion of this morning's Red Line incident.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 26, 2010; 9:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Long lines for buses at Shady Grove and Rockville stations

Long lines at Shady Grove and Rockville stations as commuters wait for shuttle buses from the closed stations

By Mark Berman  |  January 26, 2010; 8:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Two Metro workers struck and killed early Tuesday; agency expects normal afternoon commute

Two Metro workers were struck and killed overnight while doing track work on the red line.

By Mark Berman  |  January 26, 2010; 5:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  
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Headaches on the horizon

A look at some of your overnight obstacles on the roads and rails.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 25, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Georgia Avenue reoopens after investigation into mysterious odor

Emergency crews are on the scene investigating a possible gas leak in Montgomery County on Georgia Avenue. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, the highway is closed in both directions.

By Michael Bolden  |  January 25, 2010; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Red Line delays on Washington Metro's Red Line

Delays that have affected much of the eastern half of Metro's Red Line Monday afternoon should begin clearing. Taryn McNeil, a Metro spokeswoman, said a switch problem at Silver Spring caused the delays, and trains were using one track through the area while crews worked to resolve the issue, which has been repaired. However, residual delays continue.

By Michael Bolden  |  January 25, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , transit  
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Pepco opens two electric vehicle charging stations in Washington

Pepco officials have opened two electric vehicle charging stations in Washington, the first of 10 the utility says it plans across its coverage area.

By Michael Bolden  |  January 25, 2010; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Bus companies expand D.C. to New York service to Union Station

Three companies began service Monday from Union Station to New York. The companies are Boltbus, Washington Deluxe and DC2NY. They leave from the station's parking garage.

By Michael Bolden  |  January 25, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  highways , holiday travel  
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Stray dogs on Moscow subways; a commuting cat in Great Britian; and a fox on the Tube in London

Update (1:33 p.m.): And know we've run across a report from the BBC of a commuting fox spotted last year in the London Underground. The BBC also had more on Casper the commuting cat we mentioned previously. Update (Noon): And from Great Britain comes this report about the death of a "commuting cat" named Casper. Original post: Every once in a while, we run across a fascinating story at Get There central that we have to share with our community of travelers. The latest such report comes in from Moscow and its subway system, by way of a story written by Susanne Sternthal for the Financial Times. Sternthal's article dicusses the place of stray dogs in Russian culture and on the streets of Moscow. Apparently, they aren't confined there, though. From her article comes this gem: "Every so often, you would see [a stray dog] waiting on a metro platform....

By Michael Bolden  |  January 25, 2010; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  transit  
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Riders comment on Metro service plans

Dear Dr. Gridlock: With regard to reduction or elimination of eight-car trains, what I don't understand is how this is a cost savings measure.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 25, 2010; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget, Metrorail  
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Dulles to open new airport subway on Tuesday

Officials at Dulles International Airport are previewing their new, $1.5 billion AeroTrain system that will shuttle travelers from the terminal to the gate and replace the airport's mobile lounges. A media tour is being held Monday, and officials plan to open the service to the traveling public on Tuesday morning.

By Michael Bolden  |  January 25, 2010; 10:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Advisories , Airports  
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The week ahead in traffic and transit

After a soggy beginning to the commute on Monday morning, here are some road and rail delays to watch the rest of the week.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 25, 2010; 8:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Again: escalators out at Bethesda

[9:15 a.m. update: Riders should find a working escalator at the Bethesda entrance now.] Metro reports that all entrance escalators are out of service at the Red Line's Bethesda Station because of a mechanical problem. Shuttle bus service has been requested. The station remains open, Metro says. Maybe Metro should send out advisories when the Bethesda escalators work. That seems to be the more unusual situation. Two of the escalators between the mezzanine and the station entrance are undergoing major repairs. Metro says one is scheduled to be back in service by the end of January. The other is due back by about Feb. 13. Another is just busted and needs fixing immediately. Here's a copy of a note I got from a Metro rider during an online chat on Jan. 11: Bethesda, Md.: Metro relies on some extremely long escalators. One might think that they would place a priority...

By Robert Thomson  |  January 25, 2010; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Red Line delays  
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Power outages throughout region

Power outages swept through the region as high winds and downed trees brought down power lines.

By Mark Berman  |  January 25, 2010; 7:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Standing water closes I-495 North lane, plus other Virginia delays

Standing water has closed a lane of I-495 North at I-66.

By Mark Berman  |  January 25, 2010; 6:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Driving  
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Camden Line MARC train hits a tree, delays and a cancellation follow

A MARC train on the Camden Line struck a tree, will cause train delays and a cancellation.

By Mark Berman  |  January 25, 2010; 6:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Parking closures at the Laurel Station due to potential flooding

Parking at the Laurel MARC station will be limited, and partially closed, due to potential flooding.

By Mark Berman  |  January 25, 2010; 5:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  
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Find snow removal information for your area

Arlington County's snow removal information is here. In the past, officials have 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. The District Department of Information checks tweets sent to DDOTDC. You can also call the Mayor's Call Center at 311 or complete a form on the Web site. Check Montgomery County snow removal here. Check to make sure the county is responsible for you street, and not one of the local jurisdictions or the state of Maryland, which plows numbered state routes. Here is a link with more information on who clears snow. You can report the problem to Montgomery County using this link or by calling 240-777-6000. Prince George's County snow information is here. State of Maryland snow...

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 24, 2010; 3:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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