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Get There: March 14, 2010 - March 20, 2010

Headaches on the horizon

Some road projects may affect your Friday night travels.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 19, 2010; 7:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Metro posts online survey

In advance of the public hearings that begin Monday, the transit authority is asking people to take an online survey about the budget options. The results of the survey will become part of the public record presented to the Metro board members in April before they make their decisions about fare increases and service cuts.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 19, 2010; 3:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Metro , Transportation Politics  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget, Metrobus, Metrorail  
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Bill targets VRE ticket cheaters

Virginia lawmakers passed legislation last week 3/12 that targets the use of fraudulent and nonvalidated tickets on the Virginia Railway Express, and the measure now awaits the governor's signature, VRE officials said Friday. The legislation was unanimously approved by the House and Senate and will make it easier for VRE officials to crack down on people using bogus tickets, yet is more rider-friendly than the legislation adopted last year, VRE officials said. The bill makes it illegal for people to produce and use a fraudulent or counterfeit ticket on the commuter train service. Violators can be fined $500 or more and could face jail time. Riders who don't validate a ticket before boarding or ride out of the ticket's designated zone could face a civil infraction and be fined no more than $100. VRE officials said they needed a new bill because existing policy makes it hard for VRE...

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 19, 2010; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting , Virginia Railway Express , transit  
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Chat with DDOT director Gabe Klein

Gabe Klein, the director of the District Department of Transportation, is hosting an online chat right now on DDOT's Web site. To participate or view the archived chat, click here....

By Michael Bolden  |  March 19, 2010; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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The weekend and beyond

The weekend weather looks great, the Capital Weather Gang says, but so does the potential for travel delay. See the warnings on the National Marathon, Metro maintenance and construction along the Capital Beltway and on Chain Bridge.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 19, 2010; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Metro bus driver fired for texting

Metro has fired a bus driver caught texting in a photo taken by a passenger and posted on a local blog.

By Washington Post editors  |  March 19, 2010; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Metro , Safety , transit  
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National Marathon to affect traffic

The marathon is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. Saturday and finish at 1 p.m. It starts and ends at RFK Stadium, but in between, it covers a huge territory, extending across six of the District's eight wards. If you have plans to move about in the District early Saturday, see this map and develop a plan. Intermittent street closings will begin at 6:45 a.m. The streets will be posted with "Official Course Route" signs. Parked cars won't be allowed to move from those streets once runners enter the area. See the lengthy list of street closings and times on Page 2 of this pdf. D.C. police will be stationed along the route to control traffic and safety. Each officer will have a Race Day Operations Guide with detailed information on open access routes and detour plans. East Capitol Street from 13th to Second streets NE will be closed to...

By Terri Rupar  |  March 19, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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I-95 issues at interchange

A roundup of the morning traffic woes.

By Mark Berman  |  March 19, 2010; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Headaches on the horizon

Tysons traffic delay Another caisson test for the Dulles Metrorail construction is scheduled for 9:30 to 11 a.m. Friday near the ramp from southbound Route 123 to eastbound Route 267 (the Dulles Connector Road). The ramp is closed to traffic through June for the construction project. As in the previous tests, flaggers and police will stop traffic from entering adjacent roads during the testing. State police will halt traffic along Route 123 and the exit ramp from Route 267 for less than 10 minutes when the test is conducted. The test will produce a very loud noise similar to a small explosion....

By Robert Thomson  |  March 18, 2010; 8:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Md. signs giving travel-time forecasts

When the small voice comes from the backseat asking the age-old question, "Are we there yet?" parents behind the wheel can provide accurate arrival forecasts if they happen to be within range of 23 overhead electronic bulletin boards that Maryland is now using to provide real-time travel information. Ten days after the State Highway Administration began providing the information, they have heard from about 50 motorists, the majority of them complaining that the new information is a distraction that slows traffic. After concluding that traffic was slowing as it approached the sign on the Capital Beltway near Route 450, the SHA stopped using it for travel time forecasts. The signs were erected several years ago to provide Homeland Security and traffic congestion alerts. They began to flash travel-time messages March 8, based on information provided by a private firm that gathers data from GPS devices aboard trucks. -- Ashley...

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 18, 2010; 4:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Driving , highways  
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Georgia Avenue reopens after gas leak

According to traffic incident data, Georgia Avenue is closed in both directions between Eastern Avenue and Route 410 due to a gas leak that originated near King Street. Traffic cameras show emergency crews and police on the scene.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 18, 2010; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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New I-66 lanes opening

The I-66 widening project in Gainesville is set to open all four of the westbound lanes in their new configuration next Thursday afternoon, the Virginia Department of Transportation says. Drivers will then have three regular lanes and one HOV lane from the 234 Bypass exit (Exit 44) through the Route 29 Gainesville exit (Exit 43).

By Robert Thomson  |  March 18, 2010; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Congestion , Construction , Driving , highways  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, I-66  
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Hybrids stay in HOV lanes

They never listen to me. Virginia legislators and the governor have once again extended the provision that allows hybrid vehicles, even with solo drivers, to use the carpool lanes in Northern Virginia. It is now set to expire July 1, 2011. (They'll extend it again next year.)

By Robert Thomson  |  March 18, 2010; 11:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Commuting , Transportation Politics  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, HOV  
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Reminder: Meeting on D.C. bike plans

The District Department of Transportation and the Downtown Business Improvement District have scheduled a meeting tonight to discuss plans to accommodate more biking downtown.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 18, 2010; 9:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Biking  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock  
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VRE delays this morning

A roundup of the morning's traffic issues.

By Mark Berman  |  March 18, 2010; 5:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Headaches on the horizon

SoberRide If you're out late celebrating St. Patrick's Day, consider calling SoberRide for a safe way home. Adults in the Washington area can call 800-200-TAXI for a ride that's free up to $50. AT&T wireless customers can dial #TAXI for the service, which will operate until 4 a.m. Metrorail delays Red Line: Riders between Medical Center and Grosvenor should add at least 20 minutes to their travel time while trains share a single track around a maintenance zone from 8 p.m. until the rail system's midnight closing. Blue Line: Riders between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road should add at least half an hour to their travel time while trains share a single track around a work zone from 9:30 p.m. through the midnight closing....

By Robert Thomson  |  March 17, 2010; 7:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Marathon to disrupt D.C. travel

The marathon is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. this Saturday and finish at 1 p.m. It starts and ends at RFK Stadium, but in between it covers a huge territory, extending across six of the District's eight wards.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 17, 2010; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Congestion , Events  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, National Marathon  
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Southeast Freeway lanes reopen

D.C. emergency crews are reporting a seven-car accident on the Southwest Freeway eastbound near the Third Street Tunnel exit. Officials said two lanes are blocked, and two adults have been transported to a local hospital.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 17, 2010; 4:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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Metro board member discusses future

Mort Downey, a federal member of the board of directors for Metro, was online with David Alpert of the Greater Greater Washington blog earlier today discussing the challenges the system faces. Among the highlights: Downey said he frequently rides Metro, and "it is very clear that riders have a lot to be frustrated about."

By Michael Bolden  |  March 17, 2010; 2:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  | Tags: metro  
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Riders comment on Metro plans

Many riders let us know how they thought the transit authority should solve its budget crisis. We invited their comments on Sunday's Commuter page, which showed the enormous range of proposals up for debate at the six hearings starting Monday.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 17, 2010; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus, Metrorail  
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Ride sober today

The Washington area's SoberRide program will again be providing free cab trips to people who might otherwise drive drunk. Adults in the Washington area can call 800-200-TAXI for a ride that's free up to $50. AT&T wireless customers can dial #TAXI for the service.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 17, 2010; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Driving , Events , Safety  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, SoberRide  
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Virginia reopens more rest areas

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will be on hand in Dinwiddie as the commonwealth continues to reopen rest areas closed in 2009. The ribbon cutting on Wednesday will mark the reopening of the Interstate 85 south rest stop. It is one of eight set to reopen on Wednesday. They were among 19 rest stops that were closed last year by then-Gov. Tim Kaine. All the remaining rest stops will reopened by April 15.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 17, 2010; 9:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Advisories , highways  | Tags: VDOT  
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B.W. Parkway Reopened At MD 193

A roundup of morning traffic issues.

By Mark Berman  |  March 17, 2010; 5:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Headaches on the horizon

Accident reconstruction investigators plan to close the northbound George Washington Parkway between 10 a.m. and about noon Wednesday. U.S. Park Police will divert all northbound traffic at Spout Run Parkway.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 16, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Donate food, ride bus for free

In exchange for canned goods and nonperishable food, Montgomery County residents can earn free bus rides this spring. When people donate food April 11-17, Ride On will award them a free bus ride. Food collection bags will be near the fare boxes on buses. Any amount of food will be counted at the regular fare rate of $1.45. Operators at all Ride On bus stops will also accept food from those who wish to donate but not ride the bus. Children's items such as diapers and formula will also be accepted. Donations go to the Manna Food Center, which feeds 3,000 families a month. -- Nicole Norfleet...

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 16, 2010; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting , transit  
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All roads open in Dupont Circle

D.C. firefighters have evacuated a building 8 to 10 stories high in the Dupont Circle area and were trying to contain a fast-moving blaze in the structure's ductwork, fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said. Officials expected traffic to slow in the area

By Michael Bolden  |  March 16, 2010; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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N.Z. firm launches jetpack venture

For Washington area commuters who have the means, relief from gridlock might not be too far in the future. New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft Co. announced a $12 million joint venture to produce what it's billing as the world's first commercially available jetpack....

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 16, 2010; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Chain Bridge closing planned

Weather permitting -- as it so far has not this year -- Chain Bridge will be completely closed to traffic this weekend.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 16, 2010; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Construction  | Tags: Chain Bridge, Dr. Gridlock  
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Fastest way to D.C.?

Need your advice: A new commuter is planning a trip from Frederick to 18th and L NW in downtown Washington. The new commuter has heard this should take about an hour, but can't believe that. (Neither can I, not during regular commuting times.)

By Robert Thomson  |  March 16, 2010; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Commuting  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Fastest commute  
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I-66 ramp fix delayed again

Bad weather has again delayed plans to ease congestion where the I-66 eastbound ramps take traffic onto the Capital Beltway's inner loop.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 16, 2010; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, VDOT  
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I-395 North very congested

A roundup of the morning's traffic news.

By Mark Berman  |  March 16, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Headaches on the horizon

Rendering of the Wiehle Avenue Metro station. (Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project) Metro maintenance work People traveling on the Red and Blue lines after 8 p.m. through Thursday can expect longer travel times as Metro conducts maintenance work. On the Red Line: Between Medical Center and Grosvenor-Strathmore, and between Medical Center and Friendship Heights, add at least 20 minutes as crews replace old rail fasteners as part of the Red Line rehabilitation project. Trains will share one track between these stations. On the Blue Line: Between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road-Seat Pleasant add at least 30 minutes as Metro replaces concrete slabs beneath the rails. Trains will share one track between these stations. Wiehle Avenue Metro Station Crews are schedule to begin driving piles to support bridges that will allow pedestrians to access the future Wiehle Avenue Metro station, which will be located in the median of the Dulles Toll Road,...

By Michael Bolden  |  March 15, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: Dulles, Dulles Metrorail, Dulles Toll Road, metro  
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Metro makes pick for new safety chief

Metro has selected James Dougherty, director of safety for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, as its new chief safety officer, although no formal offer has been extended, Metro officials said Monday. Metro notified its board of directors last week that Dougherty is its pick for the top safety job -- one of the most important of several vacancies in Metro's senior ranks, according to board member Jeff McKay of Fairfax County. Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said Monday that Metro has "not made an offer to anyone" for the chief safety job, which has been vacant since mid-December, when the former safety officer, Alexa Dupigny-Samuels, stepped down. Metro Police Chief Michael Taborn was put in charge of safety while Metro recruited a replacement. Taborn said last week that Metro was nearing a decision on the new safety officer and that he would share information on a candidate or candidates with...

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 15, 2010; 5:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro , Safety  
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Conn. Ave. blocked due to fire

Emergency crews reponding to a fire in the 1800 block of Connecticut Avenue NW have the street blocked in both directions while they battle the blaze on the fourth floor of a six-story apartment building.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 15, 2010; 5:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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High water threatens Georgetown

The National Park Service says rangers are going door to door in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood to advise shop owners near the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park of a flood threat.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 15, 2010; 4:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Barge hits 14th Street Bridge

The U.S. Coast Guard says high water levels have caused a large barge to bump into the 14th Street Bridge. There were no injuries and an initial assessment shows no structural damage to the bridge, officials said.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 15, 2010; 3:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Funeral for officer to cause delays

A funeral Monday for police officer Thomas P. Jensen is expected to cause widespread delays in central Prince George's County. Jensen's funeral is being held Monday morning at Riverdale Baptist Church in Largo on Route 202. Internment will be at Lakemont Memorial Gardens in Davidsonville. Motorists can expect lane and road closures along Routes 202 and 214 throughout the day.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 15, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Rain, melt bring minor flooding

Several waterfront sections of Alexandria and Georgetown have experienced minor flooding as the combination of rain and snow melting near the headwaters of the Potomac has sent water surging over the river banks.

By Ashley Halsey  |  March 15, 2010; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Driving , Safety , Weather , highways  
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MTA meets to discuss Commuter Bus

The Maryland Transit Administration will hold two town meetings this week to discuss issues on Commuter Bus Routes 922 and 950. A meeting in Stevensville will be held Tuesday night at 6 at Kent Island Senior Center. A meeting in Annapolis will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ay Stanton Community Center.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 15, 2010; 10:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: MTA, commuter bus  
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Circulator to return to National Mall

A bus route that was suspended six months ago will be back in time for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. District officials suspended service on the Circulator line around the National Mall in the fall for six months saying it would save $140,000. The Circulator will now resume service on March 27, the first day of the cherry blossom festival. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday through September.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 15, 2010; 10:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , transit  
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The week ahead in traffic, transit

D.C. commuters who use 15th Street NW should be extra alert this week. On Monday, the District plans to eliminate the reversible lanes between K Street and Massachusetts Avenue. The three-block stretch will be two-way at all times. Warning signs were posted last week, but drivers should watch out for motorists who haven't broken the one-way habit. Also, watch for pedestrians -- including jaywalkers -- who may be looking in the wrong direction when they cross.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 15, 2010; 10:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: DDOT, HOT lanes, VDOT  
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Accident on 295 causes delays

An accident involving several vehicles on northbound DC-295 is expected to cause traffic issues northbound and southbound between E Capitol Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE, according to D.C. Fire and EMS. Emergency officials said there are at least four injuries.

By Michael Bolden  |  March 15, 2010; 9:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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MARC Penn Line schedule changes

Amtrak track work will cause schedule shifts and delays on the MARC Penn Line.

By Mark Berman  |  March 15, 2010; 6:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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GW Parkway NB accident [UPDATED]

A roundup of morning traffic news

By Mark Berman  |  March 15, 2010; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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