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Tuesday commute preview

Metro expects to offer regular service on Tuesday. (WMATA Photograph)

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

Getting to work on Tuesday is expected to be a grind. Although local officials say most major roadways are clear, many will be constricted where snow hasn't totally been removed. Snow mounds will block parking lanes. Traffic watchers say many workers who have taken advantage of liberal leave policies in the past week will be pressing to get back to work Tuesday.

plans to run trains on Monday through midnight; and on Tuesday anticipates regular weekday service for trains and buses. Metro said it was monitoring roadway conditions. Any decision to curtail bus service because of weather would come late Monday night or early Tuesday.

VRE, MTA Commuter Bus and MARC trains expect to operate full service on all lines. MARC warns that trains at Greenbelt will all board from the lower platform, due to problems with accumulated snow. That means service will not be available for people with impaired mobility. All of the transit services warn that snow remains a problem in parking lots. MARC says people who normally park at Laurel, Edgewood, West Baltimore, Germantown, and Barnesville may need to allow time to drive to other stations to find parking,

Pedestrians and bus riders, particularly those in wheelchairs, should expect difficulty.

School children will also have a hard time. School bus stops are rarely designated, giving snow removers little or no way to identify which spots to clear.

People at bus stops might be standing a few feet into the road or have to climb over large ice packs to get to buses and sidewalks. Pedestrians are reminded to use extra caution. Drivers are urged to share the roads.

The District on Monday acknowledged that lots of sidewalks still needed shoveling and again asked residents to form snow shovel teams, especially routes used by schoolchildren.

On D.C. roads, transportation chief Gabe Klein said the city cleared snow on major thoroughfares and highways. However, some crews that were hauling away snow from last week's snowfall were put back on duty to treat roadways in anticipation of Monday's storm.

Montgomery County reported that many streets had mountains of snow and ice that blocked lanes, although it said most major thoroughfares had been cleared.

The Virginia Department Transportation said it deployed 600 trucks on Monday to de-ice, salt and plow ramps, bridges and other problem spots on interstates on interstates with de-icing chemicals and salt. VDOT reported the following:

  • Interstates I-66, I-95/395, I-495 and high volume roads such as routes 1, 7, 28, 50 and the Prince William and Fairfax County parkways were bare pavement Monday afternoon, but the department asked motorists to be alert to black ice on Tuesday morning.
  • The I-95/395 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes and the I-66 shoulder or "X' lanes are clear and will run on normal rush-hour schedules on Tuesday.
  • All northern Virginia commuter lots have been cleared and treated. The majority of parking spaces in these lots are available, but commuters should expect large mounds blocking some spaces where the snow has been pushed.

In Loudoun County, drivers are urged to use special caution on gravel roads, as re-drifting snow continues to be an issue.

Subdivisions and side streets are passable, but not cleared curb-to-curb or to bare pavement. Crews have sanded hills, tight curves and intersections, but drivers should continue to use caution as the daily thaw and refreeze can make those roads slick.

Other transit
D.C. Circulator: Full service on all routes.
Alexandria's DASH Bus: See details here.
Arlington's ART buses: Plans a normal service start on Tuesday and will run peak service for an additional hour due to the delayed start for the federal government.
Fairfax Connector: Check the Web site for the latest.
Loudoun County Transit: Regular service, though the agency may run some later buses because of the delayed start for the federal government.
Montgomery County Ride On: There may be minor delays or detours due to road conditions.
PRTC OmniRide: Regular service.
Linton Hall Metro Direct: Regular service.
Manassas Metro Direct: Regular service.

-- Sholnn Freeman

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  February 15, 2010; 6:52 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Weather  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Metro: Normal service on Tuesday
Next: Problems still abound for commuters


Even on roads that have been cleared of snow, watch out for humongous potholes. Roads like Missouri Ave which has always been a mess even in the best of weather is now just a horrible obstacle course.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | February 15, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Metro has thus far really blown its chance to shine (i.e., "the roads are hell, but the trains are running great!" would have won back a lot of public confidence and probably made them forgive a multitude of sins once the government re-opened). I do hope it reverses this trend tomorrow; there is far less track to clear than road around here.

Posted by: | February 15, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to keep saying this until someone reads it who can do something about it:

19th St NW is a major commuter route out of the city. On Friday, the fact that it was throttled down to one lane just north of Constitution was a huge factor in the mess. Three days later on Monday, nothing had changed -- it's going to be just as bad on Tuesday.

Posted by: joe36 | February 15, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Well, a little thing like a derailment to avoid a head-on collision makes a big reality dent in a slogan like "the trains are running great."

Posted by: WashingtonDame | February 15, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

joe36: send a tweet to DDOTDC with specific location. The guy who gets them forwards all the problems to the snow command center.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | February 15, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Joe36 is right. How the DC government can say major thoroughfares are cleared is a joke. Did any of their vaunted road crews happen to drive around the city? If they did, they would have seen 19th Street and 18th Street are still a disaster. Huge piles of snow turn 19th Street into one lane between G and Constitution. Why can't government work on even such a simple matter.

Posted by: jymerk | February 15, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Most definitely would not classify many side roads in Fairfax as passable. They are a huge, icy, bumpy mess!

Posted by: amylorr1 | February 15, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Federal government is on unscheduled leave/2-hour delayed arrival.

Posted by: member8 | February 15, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse


I tweeted your concern to DDOTDC.

Michael Bolden
Transportation Editor

Posted by: Michael Bolden | February 15, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow. That picture at the top of the incredibly well-lit Metro station is stunning. Does this station really exist or did the photographer just overexpose the photo?

Posted by: KS100H | February 15, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

KS100H -
The blurred people in the picture show that the photographer used a longer exposure time (maybe 1 second), resulting in a brighter scene.

Posted by: howellb1 | February 15, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Major inner-beltway roads in MD have been a disaster, too. Like joe36, I have been saying this on boards and to public works voicemail boxes for days:

MD193-University Avenue, the main thoroughfare leading into the University of Maryland, is in rough shape. What is normally a rather busy three lane road most times of the day, has literally been turned into near standstill by emerging third--and even second--lane snowbanks for over 12 hours of the day (I was out there at 8 and 8). It took me 50 minutes to get from campus to Takoma Park two days ago, a four mile drive. 42 of those minutes were spent on 2 miles of a six--I repeat six--lane road. There was an ambulance behind the crush of cars for nearly five of those minutes, as people edged dangerously out of its way.

I can't help but wonder why the plowing has been more than adequate up Route 1-Baltimore Ave, but not on this 4 mile stretch of road. Could it be the inconsistent communication between MoCo and PG, who share public works on this route?

Posted by: Vanadias | February 15, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

If you see roads that continue to be a concern, please post a comment here or message

Michael Bolden
Transportation Editor

Posted by: Michael Bolden | February 16, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

If the governmnet is delayed two hours, some school systems are delayed as well, won't it be a typical rush hour? Just curious. Govt. delayed to allow school buses to get to schools, Schools delayed to be behind the rush hour, which they now won't. Am I missing something?

Posted by: kris2 | February 16, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Just wondering what a SNOW EMERGENCY route is. I spent 50 minutes funneling into one lane on New Hampshire and North Capitol this morning. ONE lane!

Posted by: kmshornet | February 16, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Downtown is a gridlocked mess, and I'm dreading the evening rush hour. 14th St and 15th St are still down by one lane in each direction. Drivers on these routes are trying to get through the intersections with east-west routes, such as K Street and I St, and blocking them. We could have used the traffic cops that help keep these intersections moving in the evenings. Will they be out there tonight?

Posted by: jclinger | February 16, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Downtown is gridlocked...14th and 15th Sts are down by a lane in each direction. Drivers are trying to get through the intersections with K ad I Streets and blocking them. We could have used the traffic cops that are usually out in the evenings. Will they be out there tonight to help keep traffic moving?

Posted by: jclinger | February 16, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

@ Michael Bolden -- thanks for passing my note on via Twitter, unfortunately nothing at all had yet been done about 19th St. as of around 4:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

Posted by: joe36 | February 16, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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