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Problems still abound for commuters

Capital Weather Gang | Plowing plans | Snow removal | Live traffic

11:55 p.m. a.m. Update: We're still hearing about problems on inbound 395 and the 14th Street Bridge. Snow removal crews are reportedly working in the area, which is slowing down traffic considerably.

11:50 a.m. Update: The problems on U.S. 50 westbound are being caused by the presidential motorcade traveling in the area. President Obama had a scheduled visit to a job training center.

11:40 a.m. Update: More problems reported on U.S. 50. The Post's Lynn Medford is stuck in westbound traffic near Route 704. According to Trafficland, there is police activity in the area. We are checking on what the issue is.

On Metro, the problem at Union Station was resolved, but delays continue in both directions.

10:46 a.m. Update: Matt Zapotosky reports that traffic is moving again on Route 50.

10:40 a.m.: The Post's Matt Zapotosky reports that traffic on Route 50 headed east is at a virtual standstill from Bladensburg Avenue to the split with the BW Parkway.

10:35 a.m. Update: Metro is reporting delays on the Red Line in both directions due to a "train malfunction" at Union Stations. Trains are single-tracking between Judiciary Square and Fort Totten.

9:30 a.m. Update: Reader Ken Ambrose sent in this photo of another problem area, northbound Wisconsin Avenue near the intersection with Edmunds Street.

Snow piles force morning traffic into one lane on Wisconsin Avenue northbound near Edmunds Street on Tuesday, Feb. 16. (Photograph by Ken Ambrose)

9:10 a.m. Update: Be alert for snow and ice blocking the curb lanes on Wisconsin Avenue near Center Drive in Bethesda.

9:05 a.m. Snow and ice in the merge lanes for the Clara Barton Parkway at I-495 are causing delays. Also, I-395 inbound across the 14th Street Bridge is another trouble spot this morning.

Elizabeth Chang is also reporting that the top level of the White Flint garage hasn't been plowed either.

9 a.m. Update: The Post's Elizabeth Chang reports that the top level of the parking garage at Grosvenor hasn't been plowed. She observed a commuter shoveling a spot for himself. Are you seeing other problem areas like this? Please send us an e-mail.

8:30 p.m. a.m. Update: Metro has been a bright spot this morning. The transit agency hasn't reported any bus or rail delays.

And DDOTDC tweeted a reminder that the District snow emergency is still in effect this morning.

8:25 p.m. a.m. Update: Challenges keep cropping up. A multi-vehicle accident on U.S. 50 westbound at I-95 is causing trouble. Only the two right lanes get by, according to Trafficland.

7:55 a.m. Update: Delays extend from Urbana to I-70 on I-270 southbound due to an accident. Multiple vehicles are on the right shoulder.

7:50 a.m. Update: The northbound exit to I-295 from I-95 in Oxon Hill has only one lane available because of snow.

7:30 a.m. Update: Some northbound I-95 traffic is being permitted to exit at the Park & Ride, but there are still severe problems in the area due to the overturned tractor-trailer. Avoid the area and talk take U.S. 29 or BW Parkway if you can.

In other areas, be alert for pedestrians in the roadway where sidewalks remain piled with snow. One area that seems to be a problem is New York Avenue, east of Brentwood, where pedestrians were spotted this morning walking in the eastbound lanes.

Inbound travelers on New York should also be aware that snow and ice are blocking the right lane at Fourth Street NE,

Also be alert for crews still clearing snow. Crews have been spotted this morning on Connecticut Avenue and on New Hampshire Avenue at Powder Mill Road.

Original post: What was expected to be a rocky commute Tuesday morning deteriorated before most motorists could even hit the roads.

Near College Park an overturned tractor-trailer shut down the northbound lanes to I-95 just east of Riggs Road. Emergency crews on the scene were dealing with a fuel spill, too, shutting down ramps from the Beltway. U.S. 29 or BW Parkway were both better alternatives. Tractor-trailers looking to head north were advised to head east on U.S 50 to Interstate 97.

That scene wasn't the only challenge. A disabled tractor-trailer on the outer loop was blocking one lane of the outer loop near Route 4, and ramps from Route 214 to the Beltway closed for a while due to a snow-removal operation.

Virginia drivers headed east on Interstate 66 were also facing problems. A vehicle fire near the Prince William Parkway blocked two lanes of the highway, causing severe backups that were expected to extend well into the morning commute. Traffic cameras show long lines of traffic lights.

Elsewhere, the remnants of recent record snowfalls were expected to play havoc with traffic as motorists contended with missing lanes filled with snow and ice. Some routes were anticipated to be better than they had been Friday, such as westbound U.S. 50 from Annapolis, which had only two lanes in places last week.

However, snow was also reported in some locations around the region Tuesday morning, from Falls Church to Bowie, complicating the commute even more.

Metro at least opened on time and expected to offer full bus and rail service, though travelers were warned that snow and ice would be a problem in some parking lots.

The federal government delayed opening by two hours Tuesday in anticipation of it being a difficult commute for employees returning to work.

By Michael Bolden  |  February 16, 2010; 5:23 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Weather , highways  
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Next: Snow emergency through rush hour


Metro this morning was not bad. Got to Union Station at around 6:30 from Baltimore, let one packed train go by and another followed a minute later. Hope everyone else did as well as I did.

Posted by: jhpurdy | February 16, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Substantial confusion on the 9S this morning as drivers seem unclear as to whether they are running the whole loop or turning around at the EPA. If you live at 33rd St/Eclipse or are trying to get to Harris Teeter be forewarned.

Posted by: ferbear | February 16, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The bright minds in Fairfax County saw fit to place 5+ ft. of snow on the sidewalks (uneven asphalt and dirt) around the Dunn Loring metro, ie. no access to crosswalks from the south end. Considering the crosswalks here are literally disappearing as they haven't been repainted in 10 years and crosswalk signals don't work (Gallows Rd.), this is nothing new. Alas I am stuck at home working today... and apparently the next month as well until the snow melts.

Posted by: janeway1 | February 16, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

If you value your sanity, STAY AWAY FROM 395 NORTH!!!!!

Posted by: reliford | February 16, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

If Metro isn't reporting any bus delays, it is because they're not talking about them, not that there aren't any. After nearly an hour on the 4A this morning (I got on at Rt. 50 and George Mason, got off at Rosslyn) I can confirm that anything running on Rt. 50 is completely hosed. That usually takes twenty minutes tops to get in- I'd have to call that a delay, whether Metro says so or not.

Posted by: GovtMinion | February 16, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Trains on the Red line in the direction of Glenmont were delayed. Our train sat in the tunnel outside the Dupont Circle station for about ten minutes. The conductor indicated that trains were backing up from Metro Center due to a switch problem.

Posted by: LibraLady1 | February 16, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

The top level and ramps at the Glenmont Metro are also not plowed. I went to work early so I could get a spot and wasn't able to. That's about 150 spots!

Posted by: RockvilleMom | February 16, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: ElCid2 | February 16, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Many main roads in the District still have only one lane. Even Constitution Ave has no curb lane and missing many turn lanes. What were they doing all weekend?

Even if curb or 2nd lane is available, it is unusable due to piles of snow at each intersection blocking continual access.

A week later? What an embarrassment for the Capital of the richest nation.

Posted by: johninBethesda1 | February 16, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

We had a real slog from Arlington to Silver Spring. Getting to and over the Key Bridge was great, barely any time at all (that's the part that took 40 minutes on Friday), but then in DC we were just parked on roads that, on Friday, were absolutely clear. Most of Nebraska was a disaster... about 90 minutes door-to-door for a 40-50 minute commute (as I hear it from co-workers).

We just started driving last week, though, so time will tell how it goes without snowbanks. I could really like for there not to be snowbanks on all of the corners, sidewalks, and intersections. Getting from our apartment to our car has become really, really dangerous.

Posted by: EtoilePB | February 16, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The D2 and D1 bus lines were not running through Glover Park this morning - so metro was lying when it said that there were no delays or detours.

Posted by: mg8145a | February 16, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I third the comments about Metro not disclosing bus problems. The website makes no mention of changes in bus routes, and the NextBus service claimed this morning that E2, E4, and E6 buses would appear at my busstop momentarily. However, E2, E4, and E6 buses are still on modified routes running down Military Rd. and Connecticut, and never went by. It would be nice if the NextBus service had some basis in reality.

Posted by: balanceandunrest | February 16, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Special thanks to the presidential motorcade at 15th and Constitution at 9:00-9:30 this morning. Did you really have to go somewhere right then?

Posted by: support6 | February 16, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Circulator Bus was *useless* this morning. Waited 30 minutes at the Woodley Park terminus spot, and when a bus finally showed up the guy wouldn't let anybody get on because he said he wasn't sure what his next move was going to be. (WHAT? Are you KIDDING me?!?)

I used to think Circulator was the only good thing about public transportation in D.C. but now I realize that's just as worthless as the rest of it.

I just now went online and bought a monthly spot in the garage near my office. If the commute is going to be a gigantic time-sucking mess, at least I'm going to sit through it in comfort with a heater, my radio, and some personal space.

Posted by: mccxxiii | February 16, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Fenty + snow removal = Major fail!

Posted by: ceebee2 | February 16, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Commute from Arlington at 8:30 a.m. was pretty tolerable until I needed to turn left on 15th from Constitution. Traffic was barely moving because 15th narrows to one lane at Pennsylvania.
And, of course, people were still turning off Constitution onto 15th even though there wasn't enough room to clear the intersection, blocking westbound traffic on Constitution.
Just before noon, 14th and 15th northbound at F Street were still jammed with cars.
The good news is that all the lanes feeding onto Constitution from the TR Bridge were open.

Posted by: ccdcbureau | February 16, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

East West Highway was still one lane in each direction near Bethesda and near Connecticut Ave yesterday evening. Any chance Montgomery County will get to that major artery or do we need to impeach Ike to get anything done?

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | February 16, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Had to try a few different stations (Huntington, Van Dorn, Springfield) before I found a space...

Posted by: benborealis | February 16, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

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