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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 07/02/2012

After the storm: What to expect on your Monday morning commute

SAFE COMMUTING TIPS: It’s going to be tricky commuting across the region. Remember to treat dark intersections as four-way stop signs. Be extra cautious in Metro stations that might not have full power and could have issues with lighting and escalators. And be careful when you are walking or riding a bike, as loose tree branches could still come down.

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for tips on Metro, commuter rail and resources for reporting downed trees and debris.)

9:10 A.M. Update:

The Monday morning rush hour aw emptier roadways than usual as many workers were already out of town for July 4th vacations or chose to stay home and avoid a potentially messy commute.

The biggest headache facing drivers was a spate of dark traffic signals throughout the region. Hundreds of intersections remain without power in Montgomery and Fairfax counties.

H.O.V. restrictions were lifted on I-270 in Montgomery County and eastbound I-66 inside the Beltway in Northern Virginia. The restrictions were still in place on I-95 nad I-395, and I-395 North seemed typically congested around the 14th Street Bridge.

Commuters who opted for the rail rather than driving encountered multiple headaches throughout the morning. MARC Brunswick Line trains were all delayed due to signal issues and power outages, so Metro accepted MARC tickets.

Metro, in turn, had delays on the Orange, Blue and Red lines. The Orange and Blue lines are still experiencing some problems as of 9 a.m.; those trains are slowing as they move through downtown due to congestion, according to Metro.

Detours are still plaguing multiple Metrobus routes, with buses having to avoid downed trees, wires and other debris. Check out the full list here to see if your route is affected.

And don’t forget: Metro’s fares went up on Sunday. You can use our fare calculator at wapo.st/metrofares to see how this will impact you.

Here’s a rundown of what you need to know:

8:55 A.M. Update:

A commuter reports that on Old Georgetown Road, from I-270 on down to the National Institutes of Health, almost every light is out. Police are at most intersections, but not all of them. Use caution.

8:45 A.M. Update:

The biggest problem for commuters is still intersections without working traffic signals. Be careful and treat dark intersections as four-way stops

8:40 A.M. Update:

According to Metro, the Red Line delays have been cleared, while problems remain for Orange and Blue Line trains heading to Vienna and Franconia-Springfield, respectively.

8:35 A.M. Update:

Robert Thomson, a.k.a. Dr. Gridlock, is out and about checking out some of the area’s roads this morning. He reports that traffic looks fine in Silver Spring, and that the volume there is even lighter than usual.

8:27 A.M. Update:

The disabled vehicle has been cleared from the inbound Chain Bridge and all lanes are open.

8:25 A.M. Update:

Blue and Orange Line trains continue to experience delays between Stadium-Armory and Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road due to a signal problem.

8:22 A.M. Update:

A disabled vehicle on the inbound Chain Bridge is blocking the left lane.

8:20 A.M. Update:

Red Line trains are no longer single-tracking, according to Metro. Trains are still experiencing some lingering delays and getting back to normal after the earlier sick customer at Judiciary Square.

Be careful on Red Line platforms, which could be crowded due to the single-tracking.

8:15 A.M. Update:

The Orange and Blue lines continue to experience delays heading to Vienna and Franconia-Springfield due to a signal malfunction near Stadium-Armory.

And Red Line single-tracking continues between Judiciary Square and NoMa due to a sick customer at Judiciary Square.

8:10 A.M. Update:

Problems persist for MARC’s Brunswick Line, as delays continue to slow riders all along that line. All trains are boarding on the opposite track at the Silver Spring station.

8:05 A.M. Update:

Red Line trains are single-tracking between the Judiciary Square and NoMa stations due to a sick customer on a train at Judiciary Square. There are delays in both directions.

Orange and Blue Line trains are experiencing delays between Stadium-Armory and Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road due to a switch problem.

8 A.M. Update:

All Metro stations currently have power, and no stations are running on emergency lighting right now, according to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.

Metrobus detours remain a major problem due to downed trees, power lines and other debris. Check out the full list here.

7:55 A.M. Update:

Orange and Blue Line trains are holding as they approach Stadium-Armory due to a switch problem. Expect delays.

The disabled vehicle on the outer loop of the Beltway before Georgia Avenue has been cleared and the lane reopened.

7:35 A.M Update:

A disabled vehicle on the outer loop of the Beltway before Georgia Avenue is blocking one of the outer loop lanes.

7:20 A.M. Update:

A commuter reports that every traffic signal on Georgia Avenue between the Beltway and 16th Street NW is out and traffic is being directed by the police.

7:05 A.M. Update:

More than 80 intersections lack power in Fairfax County. Here are some of the major intersections without power in that county:

— Chain Bridge Road/Route 123 and International Drive in Tysons Corner

— Lorton Road at I-95

— Route 50 at Gallows Road

— Route 50 at Nutley Street

— Route 50 at Stringfellow Road

— Route 1 at Telegraph Road

7 A.M. Update:

The latest information from Montgomery County: There are about 240 intersections without working stoplights in the county. Here are some other major dark intersections:

— Connecticut Avenue and Randolph Road

— Connecticut Avenue and Veirs Mill Road

— Cabin John Parkway and MacArthur Boulevard

— Little Falls Parkway and River Road

6:55 A.M. Update:

There are still hundreds of dark traffic intersections in Montgomery County. Here are some of the major intersections without working traffic signals:

— Wisconsin and Woodmont avenues in Bethesda

— Democracy Boulevard and Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda

— Parklawn Drive and Randolph Road in Rockville

— Colesville Road and University Drive in Silver Spring

— Frederick Road and Gude Drive in Rockville

— Randolph Road and Viers Mill Road in Rockville

— Connecticut Avenue and Jones Bridge Road in Kensington

6:50 A.M. Update:

All MARC Brunswick Line trains are going to run at least 10 to 45 minutes behind schedule due to signal issues and power outages in the system. Metro will accept MARC tickets.

Original Post:

Despite the lingering effects of Friday night’s storm, which left thousands without power and littered roads and sidewalks with debris, many are still heading to work Monday morning. The com
A utility worker clears a downed tree in Springfield on Sunday. (Cliff Owen - AP)
mute is likely to be difficult throughout the region, as travelers encounter delays, detours and intersections without working traffic signals.

All federal agencies are set to open on Monday, though workers can take unscheduled leave or telecommute. (For more on what governments and agencies are closed, visit washingtonpost.com/regional.) If you have the option of telecommuting — and if you have power — we recommend it for Monday.

Darkened traffic signals will create some of the biggest headaches on Monday morning. Montgomery County still has large swaths of darkness. The District will have traffic control officers at trouble spots, but that could still lead to congestion around those intersections. Drivers, remember to treat any dark intersection as a four-way stop sign. And bicycle riders should also be extra vigilant. Watch for tree branches that could still fall and make sure not to touch any downed wires.

We’ll be monitoring the morning commute at wapo.st/drgridlock. Read our live-blog there or follow @drgridlock on Twitter. Share your experiences and what you see in the comments below.

Here are some things you need to know before heading out:

METRORAIL

Every Metro station is expected to be open for Monday’s morning commute. Some stations were running on backup power as of Sunday night, which could lead to problems with the escalators, lighting, platform displays and announcement system.

Expect the Monday morning commute to take longer than usual. Be ready for delays and be careful at stations, particularly as riders crowd escalators and potentially enter dimly lit stations.

METROBUS

About two dozen Metrobus routes were still being detoured as of Sunday night. Expect delays to persist on Monday morning as buses encounter these detours and darkened traffic signals.

METRO FARE INCREASE

Metro’s fares went up on Sunday. To see how the fare hike affects you, visit wapo.st/metrofares on your computer or mobile device.

COMMUTER RAIL

MARC and VRE trains expect to run full service on Monday.

VIRGINIA HOV

With many intersections still dark in Northern Virginia, the state’s Department of Transportation has lifted the HOV restrictions for eastbound I-66 inside the Beltway during the morning rush. The HOV rules remain in place on I-95 and I-395.

MARYLAND HOV

HOV restrictions on I-270 in the Montgomery County will be suspended Monday.

RESOURCES

Here are some resources for reporting power outages, downed trees and debris in roadways.

Utilities

BGE outages: 877-778-2222; downed wires: 800-685-0123; outage map

Dominion outages and downed wires: 866-366-4357; outage map

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative outages and downed wires: 703-335-0500; outage reports

Pepco outages: 877-737-2662; downed wires: 202-872-343; outage map

Washington Gas: 800-752-7520

Downed trees and debris in roads

Anne Arundel County: After hours, 410-222-6120; northern district, 410-222-6120; central district, 410-222-7940; southern district; 410-222-7940; Annapolis; 410-263-7870.

Arlington County:703-228-6527; after hours, 703-558-2222.

Calvert County: 410-535-1600.

Charles County: 301-932-3450 or 301-870-2778.

The District: 311; clogged storm drains, 202-612-3400.

Fairfax County: 703-324-5033 (Public Works); 571-350-1000 (Emergency Management); 703-383-VDOT.

Howard County: 410-313-3440.

Loudoun County:703-777-0333 (Emergency Management); 703-383-VDOT.

Maryland State: 800-543-2515.

Montgomery County: 240-777-6000.

National Park Service: www.nps.gov/state/dc/

Prince George’s County: 301-499-8520; after hours, 301-499-8600.

Prince William County: 703-792-7070 or 703-383-VDOT.

Virginia State: 703-383-VDOT.

By  |  12:00 AM ET, 07/02/2012

 
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