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Get There: February 21, 2010 - February 27, 2010

Va. Beltway shift coming

If the weather cooperates, there's going to be some road work Friday night and Saturday on the Capital Beltway's inner loop between the Eisenhower Avenue Metrorail overpass and the Beltway bridge over Cameron Run. Traffic congestion is likely.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 26, 2010; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving , Weekend Work , Wilson Bridge  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock  
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The weekend and beyond

The weekend weather will be cool and breezy, according to the Capital Weather Gang. Not bad for local travel. But there are a few obstacles in your path on the trains, buses and streets, including a late Valentine's Day race that will block some Arlington County streets.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 26, 2010; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weekend Work  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Winter storm disrupts NE travel

Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights in the New York City area and Philadelphia. Continental Airlines canceled 70 of its 200 flights at the major international airport in Newark, N.J., as well as all 200 flights planned by regional partners

By Michael Bolden  |  February 26, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Airports , Weather  | Tags: BWI, Dulles, Reagan National  
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Comment on King St. Station redo?

Alexandria commuters have until Monday to submit suggestions for the $4.3 million King Street Metro station redesign|http://alexandriava.gov/localmotion/info/default.aspx?id=29706. The area surrounding the Metro station is slated for safety and accessibility improvements. Some of the proposals included in the initial design are a series of pedestrian barriers, walkway canopies, and relocating taxi stands and bicycle lockers. After the final design, stakeholders hope to complete construction within two years. Comments may be submitted to wanda.cudzilo-smith@alexandriava.gov. -- Nicole Norfleet...

By Washington Post Editors  |  February 26, 2010; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro , transit  
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Metro to install train upgrades

Metro officials announced that they will upgrade electronics on 182 rail cars to prevent them from rolling backward while operationg in manual mode. The transit agency's board of directors approved the installation of the software during its Thursday board meeting. The upgrade will cost $813,000 and will be implemented on Metro's 5000 series rail cars by the end of summer, the agency said.

By Michael Bolden  |  February 26, 2010; 8:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  | Tags: metro safety  
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Downed trees a concern

Fallen trees a concern with the wind

By Mark Berman  |  February 26, 2010; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Morning commute watch

A roundup of the morning rush hour traffic news

By Mark Berman  |  February 26, 2010; 5:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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I-270 N reopened near Beltway

6:10 A.M. UPDATE: All northbound lanes have now reopened, while the shoulder remains closed. ORIGINAL POST: The northbound lanes of I-270 just after the Capital Beltway were closed early Friday morning after a tractor-trailer truck full over bananas overturned, authorities said. The accident occurred shortly before 4 a.m. Cleanup crews were working to clear the debris and reopen the road as soon as possible. The southbound lanes of I-270 were not affected. Motorists traveling west on the Beltway and wishing to head north on I-270 were advised to exit the Beltway on Wisconsin Avenue/Rockville Pike and then cut over to I-270 on Tuckerman Lane. -- Debbi Wilgoren...

By Washington Post Editor  |  February 26, 2010; 5:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting , Driving , highways  
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Headaches on the horizon

Besides getting blown around by the strong winds, travelers will encounter a few overnight construction projects to slow their journeys.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 25, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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More Metro jobs now vulnerable

Metro's Board of Directors on Thursday approved a plan to expand its number of "at-will" employees "as part of a larger effort to improve safety," according to a news release. Metro has 75 at-will employees. Previously, the policy applied only to Metro's senior and executive management. Now, the number of at-will employees will grow to 253, and include all mid-level supervisors, such as superintendents and front-line supervisors. At-will Metro employees may be terminated at any time with or without cause by either Metro or the employee....

By Washington Post Editors  |  February 25, 2010; 4:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro , transit  
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Repairs, maintenance to slow Metro

Some Metro commuters can plan on delays this weekend as the transit agency performs maintenance and repair work, the agency said. Red Line Train riders who travel between the Medical Center and Grosvenor-Strathmore stations should expect 20-minute delays as crews replace rail fasteners and make tunnel repairs, Metro said in a news release. Trains will share one track between these stops starting at 8 p.m. Friday to midnight Sunday. Other Red Line trains traveling toward Shady Grove will terminate at the Friendship Heights Station and return to the Glenmont Station. Four Metrobus lines will be detoured this weekend. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Metrobus route 80 will be rerouted because of heavy crane lifting that will close 19th Street NW between C and E streets. Because of a 5k marathon between 15th Street North and Army Navy Drive, Metrobus routes 10A, 10G and 16P will be rerouted from...

By Washington Post Editors  |  February 25, 2010; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro , Weekend Work , transit  
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Transit advocates stepping up

Not a moment too soon, Metro riders and their support groups are urging the local governments that finance the trains and buses to come to their rescue. Metro board members should join the riders in this quest, even if it turns out to be quixotic.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 25, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, MetroAccess, Metrobus, Metrorail  
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Acela train kills two teens

Amtrak is reporting that two people were struck on the tracks nine miles south of Philadelphia's 30th Street Station by acela train 2151, which runs from Boston to Washington, DC, via New York and Philadelphia. A hold was placed on all four tracks at 10:38 a.m. Amtrak said, which means big service disruptions in the corridor. At 11;26 a.m., one track was reopened at restricted speeds.

By Michael Bolden  |  February 25, 2010; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Snow leaves twisted landscape

For days the snow piled up, plowed and shoveled into mountains wherever there was room for it. Now, as it begins to melt away the collateral damage caused by tons of the stuff has begun to emerge. Busted fire hydrants, toppled fences, twisted sign posts, crumbled walls, small trees and bushes crushed beyond recognition. We are collecting photos of the footprint left by the double-blizzard of 2010. Please send us yours. Click here to submit your latest....

By Michael Bolden  |  February 25, 2010; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Today's read: Is D.C. anti-car?

Wanting city residents to have more choices for getting around, wanting to reduce the number of solo drivers and wanting to make the streets safer isn't anti-car. If the District's approach to the snow cleanup was anti-car than so was that of the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Maryland State Highway Administration, because they were all basically the same.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 25, 2010; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Today's read  
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NTSB hearing is a primer on safety

Day Three of the NTSB hearing into the Red Line crash began at 8 a.m. Thursday. The focus today will be on testimony from "high reliablility organizations,'' which one of the witnesses partially described as organizations or groups of organizations that conduct "relatively error-free operations."

By Michael Bolden  |  February 25, 2010; 8:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Safety  | Tags: metro, metro safety  
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National and Dulles open

Area airports are expected to remain open.

By Mark Berman  |  February 25, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Airports  
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Morning commute watch

Roundup of morning traffic problems

By Mark Berman  |  February 25, 2010; 5:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Headaches on the horizon

This is the sort of winter forecast that gives the road crews fits. The Capital Weather Gang tells us we're likely to encounter a mix of rain and wet snow overnight into the early morning.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 24, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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VRE to hold hearings on new trains

The Virginia Railway Express will hold a series of public hearings on a proposed service change that, if approved, would allow the commuter-rail operation to add new and longer trains. VRE officials proposed to have two morning trains, one on each line, and two evening trains terminate and originate at L'Enfant inside of Union Station. By doing so, VRE officials said, they would have the storage space needed to add two cars to Manassas line trains 326 and 329, add one car to Fredericksburg trains 308 and 311 and add two cars to Fredericksburg line trains 300 and 307. The commuter rail service has also proposed to add a morning express train on the Frederickburg line that would leave at 5:05 a.m. and stop only at Leeland Road, Brooke, Alexandria, Crystal City, L'Enfant and Union Station. Public hearings will be held in Fredericksburg, Manassas, Burke Centre, Woodbridge, Alexandria and Washington,...

By Washington Post Editors  |  February 24, 2010; 4:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express , transit  
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Metro readies for another blast

Metro is preparing for the light snow predicted to hit the Washington region tonight through Thursday. The transit agency expects its buses and MetroAccess paratransit service to be more affected by the weather than rail service Thursday. There are chances of Metrobus and MetroAccess delays and detours Thursday depending on the road conditions.

By Michael Bolden  |  February 24, 2010; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro , Weather  | Tags: metro, weather  
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Parts maker says it warned Metro

The National Transportation Safety Board hearing into the June 22 Red Line crash kicked off Wednesday with an examination of technical problems that may have been a factor in the accident.

By Michael Bolden  |  February 24, 2010; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Metro modifying fare plan

A few things about the fare surcharge plan scheduled to take effect Sunday have been changed to conform with various laws and agreements. The changes affect what D.C. students, seniors and people with disabilities will pay to ride Metro.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 24, 2010; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Metro , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro board, Metro fares, Metrobus, Metrorail  
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Metro's midday parking problem

Although Metro ridership is down, parking at Metro stations is not. Riders find they must get to the lots and garages earlier and earlier to find a space. Where does that leave a person who needs a space at midday? This letter writer decides to explore the issue to help her daughter.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 24, 2010; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Hit and run in Tysons

A hit and run killed a man and closed a stretch of Route 7 in Tysons this morning

By Mark Berman  |  February 24, 2010; 6:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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Morning commute watch

A look at the morning's commuter issues.

By Mark Berman  |  February 24, 2010; 5:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion , Metro  
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Headaches on the horizon

Scheduled roadwork could slow your travels overnight.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 23, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Impatient for Metrorail progress

If you've been listening to the National Transportation Safety Board hearing on the June 22 Red Line crash, you've heard a broad-ranging discussion. Here's one thing you've heard little about: the June 22 Red Line crash.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 23, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro , Safety  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Victims' families attend hearing

A few family members of victims of the June crash attended the first day of hearings as part of what some called an ongoing process of grief and an effort to find closure over the loss of their loved ones.

By Michael Bolden  |  February 23, 2010; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: WMATA, metro, metro safety  
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NTSB hearing to continue Wed.

The National Transportation Safety Board hearing into the June 22 Red Line crash is underway. The three-day hearing is open to the public and will take place in the board room and conference center at 429 L'Enfant Plaza in Southwest Washington. The sessions begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

By Michael Bolden  |  February 23, 2010; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Did safety experiment work?

In the spring, the Virginia Department of Transportation will complete an assessment of its effort to improve safety and traffic flow through the Wilson Bridge construction zone. The effort, called the Variable Speed Limit program, was an attempt to slow down traffic so that drivers would get where they were going more quickly.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 23, 2010; 10:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Congestion , Construction , Driving , Safety , highways  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock  
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Today's read: Feds take on Metro

if you think the transit authority leadership is distant and unresponsive now, would you really feel better having Metro run from Capitol Hill?

By Robert Thomson  |  February 23, 2010; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Metro , Safety , Transportation Politics  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Anger, like the snow, lingers

Travelers can't shake off their snow trauma. About four of every five comments I received during our regular online chat on Monday had to do with what the continuing struggle to clean up the streets, sidewalks and trails, as well as what could be done better next time we have a heavy snow.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 23, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snowstorm  
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Morning commute watch

Morning traffic roundup

By Mark Berman  |  February 23, 2010; 5:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Bus detours finally lifted

For the first weekday since the snow began, there are no Metrobus delays.

By Mark Berman  |  February 23, 2010; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Metro  
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Headaches on the horizon

This has been the most common, lingering complaint during Metro's recovery from the two snowstorms: Riders wonder not only when the bus is coming, but also whether there is going to be any bus at all.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 22, 2010; 8:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the Horizon  
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Double charge for Metro parking

Has anyone using Metro parking lots and garages has had an experience similar to this one?

By Robert Thomson  |  February 22, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro parking, Metrorail  
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Fresh lane stripes on 14th Street Bridge

The District Department of Transportation said its crews moved swiftly Monday to lay down fresh lane markings on the 14th Street Bridge after drivers said that plowing and salting had virtually erased temporary lane markings. The temporary markings had been put down while the bridge undergoes a major rehabilitation project. Drivers on Monday morning reported that most of those lines had disappeared in the aftermath of the snowstorms, and they said many drivers were trying to follow faint lane markings put down before the construction began, resulting in confusion and congestion. DDOT said crews were dispatched immediately to put down new lines. -- Ashley Halsey III...

By Ashley Halsey  |  February 22, 2010; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Friendship Heights anti-terror drill

Metro police and other emergency personnel will descend on the Friendship Heights Station starting at 11:30 Wednesday night for an anti-terrorist exercise in which mock gunmen open fire, killing or wounding several passengers. The exercise is intended to test the ability of local governments to coordinate and respond to a major incident in the Metro system. The simulated incident, involving role players as gunmen and passengers, will begin at 12:30 a.m. Feb. 25, after the station closes. Agencies responding will include the Metro police special response team, as well as fire, police and emergency medical personnel from the District, Montgomery County and the FBI, according to a Metro statement. "It's important to test and practice our response to this type of crisis that would impact Metro's ability to provide safe and essential transportation services," said Jeff Delinski, acting chief of Metro Transit Police, in the statement. The Metropolitan Washington...

By Washington Post Editors  |  February 22, 2010; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro , Safety , transit  
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Join in noon discussion

Our regular weekly chat about traffic and transit issues in the D.C. area is scheduled for noon. We have so many issues.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 22, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock  
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Silver Spring Transit Center blasting

Blasting work begins on the Silver Spring Transit Center site today.

By Mark Berman  |  February 22, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Construction  
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Maryland crews attack potholes

After weeks of plowing snow from Maryland's 17,000 miles of state highway, the State Highway Administration is dealing with the byproduct of snow and ice: potholes. The SHA said there already are plenty out there and the number will grow in the weeks ahead as melting snow continues to seep into pavement cracks, freezing overnight and busting up the roadways

By Ashley Halsey  |  February 22, 2010; 8:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving , Safety  
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The week ahead for traffic and transit

Drivers and bus riders still face delays getting to and from work because of snow and snow clearing. We heard that I (Eye) Street in downtown Washington was among the problem areas. Many Metrobus routes continue to experience delays and detours. But as conditions generally improve, some drivers again must deal with road construction.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 22, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving , Metro , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Metrobus routes remain limited

Metrobus routes remain somewhat limited after the snowstorm

By Mark Berman  |  February 22, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion , Metro  
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Morning traffic roundup

Traffic issues and hiccups from throughout the region.

By Mark Berman  |  February 22, 2010; 5:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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