Metro expects to open Sunday with underground rail service, but Metrobus and MetroAccess paratransit service will not operate, officials said in a statement.
\Metro will close its rail stations at 11 Saturday instead of the normal 3 a.m. closing time.
Power outages across the D.C. region are creating problems with traffic signals.
Gov. Bob McDonnell urged Virginians today to stay off the roads as a dangerous snowstorm continues to make landfall leaving more than two feet of snow in parts of the state.
All signs point to a long dig-out phase for travelers in the D.C. area. The transportation agencies are looking past the weekend to see how quickly they can restore their services once commuters try to return to work.
Amtrak has widespread cancellations Saturday. There is no word yet on Sunday service.
Prince George's County has deployed more than 320 vehicles to work around the clock clearing roads, according to Department of Public Works spokeswoman Susan Hubbard. She said crews have been working since 1 p.m. Friday.
BWI joins Reagan National and Dulles in announcing suspension of flights.
It may be midweek before residential streets in Northern Virginia are plowed clear, and that timetable could be disrupted if there is another snowfall Tuesday.
The transit authority says the rail system will continue to operate underground rail service only until 3 a.m. Sunday, the normal closing time. The trains will operate at about 30-minute intervals. No determination has been made about Sunday service.
Metro reports that all entrance escalators are out of service at 20th & Q Street entrance. The station remains open.
The Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration wants mottorists to avoid Interstate 95 between the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) and the Capital Beltway (I-495).
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said he expected conditions to worsen throughout the day during what "we anticipate will be the biggest snow in Maryland history." "There's always the option of closing down the roads all together," the governor said. "As a practical matter, that's pretty hard to enforce because we have so many miles of border shared with other states, so unless they do it too it won't work."
While road and transit crews are straining to keep up with snow that will continue to fall till Saturday evening, officials urge D.C. area residents to stay put.
Don't you be going anywhere today. The Postal Service isn't, and you know what it takes to get them off the roads.
February 6, 2010; 9:25 AM ET |
Categories: Advisories , Driving , Metro , Weather , transit | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snowstorm, tips for travelers
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With up to 21 inches blanketing the Washington region, districts of transportation wrestled with clearing Washington's roads of snow, an effort impeded by downed trees across the area. The Capital Weather Gang forecast another 5 to 8 inches would fall before it all ends sometime in the afternoon.
Arlington County's DASH bus ended service earlier Saturday night due to the dangerous conditions on the roads. DASH will not operate on Saturday, Arlington officials said. DASH will make a decision about Sunday service Saturday evening after 7.
Accumulating snow is causing accidents across the region. Efforts to keep the roads clear are gradually being overcome by wind-blown snow that is falling heavier.
Authorities shut down the 3rd Street Tunnel about 7:30 p.m. after a contract snow plow slid into concrete entrance to the tunnel near New York Avenue in Northwest. No injuries were reported but officials closed the road while they removed loads of salt and debris from the accident.
Metro will end service at 39 above-ground stations at 11 p.m. Friday. Metro intends to continue servicing its 47 underground stations. Bus service will end at 9 p.m. Friday. Metro isn't sure when conditions will permit the agency to resume servicing its bus routes.
The District Department of Transportation will suspend Circulator service at 9 p.m. Friday. There will be no Circulator service on Saturday. Montgomery County will suspend Ride On bus service at 9 p.m. Friday.
Metro expects to cut back rail service tonight and serve only the underground stations.
Accidents were on the rise along Virginia and Maryland roadways as night fell Friday and temperatures dropped with one reported traffic fatality by Virginia State Police and Maryland troopers on the scene of a serious accident, spokesmen for the agencies said.
Here's a status report from the transit authority.
Flight operations have been canceled at Reagan National for Friday and Saturday.
Montgomery County government's cable television channel, County Cable Montgomery, will have live coverage of road conditions until Sunday at 9 a.m. The channel can be viewed as Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN. On Verizon, it's Channel 30.
What Metro decides to do about its above-ground rail service Friday night will be a flash back to decisions made by an earlier generation of transit managers on a snowy evening almost seven years ago.
MetroAccess officials decided to stop taking reservations at 2 p.m. Friday and not make any trips after 4 p.m. as a result of the storm. That decision caused consternation among some care providers who were worried about their patients.
As an expected light evening rush hour begins, officials across the Washington region are urging motorists and pedestrians to stay off the streets tonight. Serious traffic problems have not materialized yet because many people paid heed to the warnings and stayed home today,
Montgomery County has suspended enforcement in public parking lots and garages as of 3 p.m. Friday. County officials want residents to use lots and garages instead of parking on streets to make it easier to clear the roads.
D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) is urging motorists and pedestrians to stay off city streets tonight because snowfall rates could exceed 3 inches an hour.
As snow falls steadily, the District Department of Transportation says evening rush hour restrictions are now in effect across the city, with the exception of Canal Road, which is on its normal schedule Friday.
Caps fans are wondering whether they should take Metrorail to Verizon Center to see if the Caps can extend their winning streak in the 7 p.m. game. There's no definite word from Metro yet, but it's at least questionable whether the trains will be operating above ground after the game as the snow deepens.
February 5, 2010; 12:36 PM ET |
Categories: Advisories , Events , Metro , Weather , transit | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snowstorm, tips for travelers
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As the first flakes begin to fall in Prince George's County, officials are gearing up to deploy hundreds of trucks to clear the roadways, and the county government has instituted a "liberal leave" policy, allowing some non-essential government workers to go home early, officials said.
Annapolis Transit will end bus service at 4 p.m. Friday, and there will be no service Saturday. No decision has been made about Sunday -- it will depend on road conditions....
There will be no scheduled track work on the Red and Orange lines.
Road construction delays will not be a problem this weekend. Let's start a few of the issues Mother Nature will have for you, then move on to the delays that are likely next week -- because there will be a next week, no matter how bad things look Friday and Saturday.
With snowfall about to hit Washington, we'll be on the lookout for big changes or news from the roads.
Virginia Railway Express trains with the most passenger capacity will leave Union Station at midday today (12:55 p.m.. and 1:15 p.m.) VRE officials said they expect those trains to be the most crowded of the day. The commuter train service will run trains later in the day, but they will have less capacity. VRE plans to run a full schedule but Amtrak has canceled trains 95, 83, 85 and 171, which will not be available to commuters this evening.
Amtrak announced that it is canceling most train service south from Washington for Friday. Southbound Northeast Regional trains will not operate between Washington and Richmond and Newport News. Train 67 will be an exception. Amtrak is not providing any alternate transportation.
D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has announced that a snow emergency will be in effect on city streets as of 9:30 a.m. Friday, probably before anyone on those streets sees any serious snow.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday it is extending to three days the public hearing this month on its investigation into the June 22 Red Line crash that killed nine people. Board member Robert L. Sumwalt will lead a Board of Inquiry to question witnesses at the Feb. 23-25 hearing, the board said in a statement. Others questioning witnesses will include a technical panel composed of the NTSB staff, as well as representatives from Metro, the Federal Transit Administration, the Tri-State Oversight Commission, transit unions and other agencies, it said. The board said a link for the hearing webcast will be posted on its Web site. -- Ann Scott Tyson...
The panda got out just in time. See advice on what road and rail travelers should expect Friday.
February 4, 2010; 7:00 PM ET |
Categories: Advisories , Construction , Driving , Metro , Weather , Weekend Work , transit | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon
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Drivers across the D.C. region will see highway crews out pre-treated the roadways in anticipation of the snowstorm. They do that up to 48 hours ahead of a storm and the chemicals or salt brine break the bond between the road surface and snow or ice once it starts falling. Here are some updates from the highway departments.
Metro officials expect to begin Friday with regular bus and rail service throughout the Washington region but anticipate that will change as conditions deteriorate throughout the weekend.
The MTA commuter bus schedule for Friday afternoon has been amended. Afternoon trips will begin running three hours earlier than the regular schedule.
It's not just people on the roads rails and in the air who will be affected by the approaching snowstorm. The Coast Guard is warning mariners from Virginia to New York about an approaching storm that could produce gale-force winds.
Virginia's ban on radar detectors might be nearing an end. A bill advanced in the General Assembly on Thursday that would end Virginia's distinction as the last state in which detectors are illegal, the Associated Press reported. Only one other jurisdiction, the District of Columbia, outlaws the devices that alert motorists of speed traps. Opponents of Del. Joe T. May's bill to end the ban first enacted in the 1970s say it would encourage drivers to speed up and make roads more deadly. May (R-Loudoun) chairs the Transportation Committee, which advanced the bill on an 11 to 8 vote. But May noted that some cars come with the detectors built in, and that detectors themselves slow speeds because drivers brake when the devices go off....
Here are some tips for D.C. area transit users as they plan their Friday and Saturday travels.
Commuters have been weather-lucky so far this winter. The snow either fell on the weekend or overnight, or both. This forecast is different. The Friday weather in which you drive to work is unlikely to be the weather in which you drive home. Have a plan for the afternoon trip.
February 4, 2010; 10:50 AM ET |
Categories: Advisories , Driving , Metro , Weather , Weekend Work , transit | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snowstorm, tips for travelers
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Airlines are relaxing their ticketing policies and waiving change fees as a snowstorm with the potential to dump 16 inches of snow on the Washington region approaches. Call your carrier to see if they have made alterations.
An accident has closed three of four lanes on I-495 south of River Road.
U.S. Airways has relaxed its ticketing policies for this weekend in anticipation of the snowstorm that's expected to begin Friday in the Washington region and continue through Saturday. The airline will waive the change fee, advance reservation and ticketing requirements for people traveling to or from many cities in the East, including the Washington area. The policy change applies for travel through Sunday. Call 800-428-4322.
The snowfall on Wednesday won't impact Thursday's commute.
Weekend forecasts all suggest we're in for a significant winter storm, so now is the time to prepare. If we get a significant snowfall, authorities will discourage you from driving so that snow crews can do their work clearing the highways and other roads. Make plans now with the expectation that weekend movements may your weekend movements may be limited.
Some overnight road work remains scheduled, despite the weather, and Metrorail work also continues.
The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) said crews will be making repairs to a broken sewer main in the Glen Echo area of Montgomery County tonight. The agency said the right outbound lane of Clara Barton Parkway at Lock 7 will close at 6:30 and will be closed overnight. The lane will reopen by 6 a.m. Thursday if repairs are complete, the agency said.
Metro has launched an outreach campaign to inform riders about the closing of the Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery stations on Presidents' Day weekend. That means the Orange and Blue lines both will be split in two, with shuttle buses providing the links between closed stations.
For the second time, a forecast of weekend snow and cold has led to postponement of the plan to close Chain Bridge for work on the bridge surface.
Metro reports that all elevators at Friendship Heights Station are out of service. The agency has requested shuttle bus service.
Looking through the mailbag of comments I didn't get a chance to publish during Monday's chat I spotted this once, which will allow me to ask Metro riders how they're getting along on the platforms these days.
With the overnight snow fresh in people's minds and anticipation building for a larger one Friday and Saturday, here's an issue of storm etiquette.
Red line delays in both directions
Icy roads in Virginia for commuters this morning.
Virginia Railway Express officials said the service is running a normal schedule Wednesday. VRE officials said station crews worked through the night to keep parking lots and platforms clear of snow and ice, but riders should use caution in these areas. MTA bus and MARC commuter train services indicate those services are running normally.
For the latest road conditions, check out the cameras on our traffic page. For the latest forecasts, visit the Capital Weather Gang....
Officials with Dulles, Reagan and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall airports advised travelers Wednesday night to check with their airlines before heading to the airports. Airport Web sites were showing a small number of delayed or canceled arriving and departing flights
February 2, 2010; 11:29 PM ET |
Categories: Advisories , Airports , Weather | Tags: Airports, BWI, Dulles, National Airport, Reagan National, airport
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The Fairfax Connector has altered several of its bus routes due to the snowfall throughout the region.
Metro decided to limit its Metrobus service Tuesday night to snow emergency routes only. According to a statement from the agency, buses are traveling only on passable main roadways as snow falls throughout the region. Officials anticipate that there will be limited Metrobus service for the morning commute, but will adjust service as conditions permit.
The snow arriving in the D.C. region will cancel much of the overnight road work, including construction on the Capital Beltway HOT lanes and on the Dulles Metrorail project. That deals with the man-made delays, but there's still Mother Nature to contend with.
The Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport|http://www.dullesmetro.com/stations/ and beyond is slated to receive $96 million in the next fiscal year in the federal budget proposal sent to Congress this week. The money is part of the federal "New Starts" program for transit projects across the country and highlighted by the Federal Transit Administration|http://www.fta.dot.gov/regional_offices_11123.html on Tuesday. The Silver Line sum is part of the $900 million commitment to the 23-mile rail line the federal government made in 2008. The Silver Line is one of 27 transit projects included in the FTA's $1.8 billion request, including $834.6 million for 19 new bus and rail construction projects. The first 11.7 miles of the Dulles line, which will stop at Wiehle Avenue in Reston, are expected to open in 2013, with the rest of the line opening in 2016. -- Lisa Rein...
The transit authority expects Metrorail will operate close to a normal schedule, but Metrobus and MetroAccess riders could encounter delays and detours Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Dale Zehner, chief executive officer for Virginia, will field questions from riders Wednesday during an online chat. The forum will take place at noon. Visit www.vre.org/chatterbox the day of the chat, and click on the "ask" button to submit a question.
Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell scored a legislative victory Tuesday as identical bills raising the speed limit on some rural roads from 65 to 70 mph emerged from both the House of Delegates and the state Senate. McDonnell called for the increase during his campaign for governor and asked the legislature to approve it this year during his first address to a joint session last month. He called the approvals "an important early step" in the goal of improving Virginia's traffic-clogged roads, arguing that raising the limit would speed drivers to their destinations. The bills each would raise the speed limit on U.S. Route 29, U.S. Route 58, U.S. Route 360, U.S. Route 460, and on U.S. Route 17, where they are limited-access highways. -- Rosalind Helderman...
The Maryland Transit Administration has announced a new plan for boarding MARC trains at Union Station during the afternoon rush, which the MTA says is intended to improve passenger flow and security.
The District Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation and Maryland State Highway Administration all have channels on YouTube where you can watch the latest videos of their snow teams battling the white stuff during recent storms. You can also find tips on driving in the snow and peruse non-snow-related activities, such as bridge demolition, if you're trying to pass the time as the snow falls. Here are some links: DDOT VDOT Maryland State Highway Adminstration...
The Post's Capital Weather Gang is forecasting 2 to 4 inches for the region, probably starting between 3 and 6 p.m. and ending early Wednesday morning. Meterologist Matt Rogers says afternoon highs in the mid-to-upper 30s should help keep the roads from freezing during the afternoon commute.
Capital Weather Gang | Plowing plans | Snow removal | Live traffic The snow just doesn't seem to quit. 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. There will be a lot of shoveling ahead. Alexandria snow removal information: Visit the snow report Web site of call the snow emergency hotline at 703.746.4488.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.You can also visit Virginia 511 for the latest information Virginia road conditions.Track snow plows in the District here. The District...
Metro officials say a maintenance vehicle carrying 20 workers hit a rail truck on icy tracks, causing a domino effect crash that damaged at least four vehicles Saturday night. The accident occurred between the Grosvenor-Strathmore and Medical Center stations on Metrorail's Red Linet. Metro says there were no reported injuries.
Metro holds anti-terrorism exercise at Union Station this morning.
VRE train #324 is seeing big delays this morning
Riders on the Red, Blue and Orange lines will experience late-night delays through Thursday night as Metro trains share a single track to get around maintenance zones. Here's the schedule.
A smoking manhole drew Pepco crews to the 1500 block of R St. NW Monday, shutting down a major exit route from downtown during the evening rush hour. "It's going to take them several hours more to get it fixed," said John Lisle, a spokesman for the D.C. Department of Transportation, as darkness fell and thousands of drivers tried to find alternate routes home. "I believe they have to replace a cable." Pepco reported that fewer than five customers were without power as a result. -- Ashley Halsey III...
Metro Transit Police will hold a "major anti-terrorism show of force" Tuesday during rush hour at one of the agency's "busiest Metrorail station," according to a media advisory released by the agency. Metro will conduct the exercise from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. The agency won't release the location until Tuesday morning. Officials said there is no current threat or elevated threat level in the system.
DDOTDC just tweeted this: PEPCO emergency repairs in 1500 block of R Street, NW are likely to continue through rush hour. Use alternate routes.
Traffic congestion on Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia will be discussed Saturday as U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th|http://wolf.house.gov/ District) and two Fairfax County supervisors -- Pat S. Herrity|http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/springfield/ (R-Springfield) and Michael R. Frey|http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/sully/supervisor.htm (R-Sully) -- convene a public meeting on the subject at 10 a.m. at Chantilly High School. The agenda includes proposals to establish a Bus Rapid Transit system in the I-66 corridor, increase the use of shoulder lanes, open the Monument and Stringfellow interchanges to non-HOV vehicles outside of normal HOV hours, and improvement to the interchange at I-66 and the Beltway. Chantilly High School is at 4201 Stringfellow Rd., just off Route 50. -- Ashley Halsey III...
Virginia Rail Express announced that Train No. 307 on the Fredricksburg Line, which is scheduled to leave Union Station at 4;40 p.m., will be two cars short this afternoon due to a mechanical problem. Because of possible crowding, officials are advising riders that they should consider taking train No. 305, which departs Union Station at 4:05 p.m., or No. 309 (5:15 p.m.).
The availability of a new track to park trains on in the District has Virginia Railway Express planning an additional early morning express train from Fredericksburg and weighing other options. The ability to store a pair of trains at the L'Enfant station between morning and evening rush hours means that two inbound trains will terminate there each morning, instead of continuing to Union Station. Those two most likely will be the Manassas Line 330 and the Fredericksburg Line 304. In the evening, two trains will begin service at L'Enfant, heading to Virginia. The two trains being eyed to start there are the Fredericksburg Line 301 and the Manassas Line 333. Before finalizing the decision, VRE is seeking input from riders. The new express train will head north at 5:05 a.m., stopping at Leeland Road, Brooke, Alexandria, Crystal City, L'Enfant and Union Station. The rail storage capability will also allow...
Gunfire and explosions in the Metro system? Well, it's all going to be simulated this month during three drills designed to test Metro's response to such events and its coordination with law enforcement and emergency agencies throughout the Washington region.
We'll have our weekly discussion about local traffic and transit issues at noon.
Last week it was Metro. This week, several suburban jurisdictions are scheduled to hold forums and hearings on bus fare increases and service cuts.
Watch for these potential delays during the rest of the week.
Expect to encounter icy spots Monday morning. Slush may have refrozen overnight. Give yourself more time for the commute.
Metro has decided to operate its buses on snow emergency routes only. That means bus service will only be available on main roads The transit agency has also canceled MetroAccess trips from home addresses for the rest of the day. In a statement, officials said customers are being contacted to arrange pickups. You can also call 301-562-5360 to arrange for an earlier pick-up time. Metro said rail service continues to operate normally.
Once the snow stopped falling, area departments of transportation were able to do some serious road clearing. Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation, the District Department of Transportation and the Maryland State Highway Administration continued to work through Saturday night and Sunday morning to plow roads.