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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 08:59 AM ET, 06/04/2012

Speed cameras, Beltway slowdowns, Gay Pride parade: the week ahead for traffic, transit

The first week in June may feel more like a week in April, the Capital Weather Gang says, but mid-week showers will yield to a warm and dry weekend.

The Nationals play night games against the Mets from Tuesday through Thursday before hitting the road, and D.C. United plays Tuesday in Germantown.

The annual Capital Pride parade is scheduled for Saturday, starting at 4:30 p.m. in Dupont Circle and ending in the Logan Circle neighborhood.

Metro riders can study up on the Rush Plus changes, scheduled to start June 18, with the new maps showing up in train cars and stations. But I got a letter from a rider concerned that the early posting of the maps would cause confusion.

Join me for an online chat at noon, when we can discuss Rush Plus, or the upcoming changes along the Capital Beltway near the Wilson Bridge or any other local transportation issue on your mind.

Here’s a quick review of some of the traffic and transit events coming up this week.

D.C. speed cameras

Speed cameras at several dozen new locations in the District are scheduled to stop issuing warnings and start issuing fines on Wednesday. The cameras have been issuing warning notices since the sites were established early in May.

The locations are all over the District, and the speed limits in those areas range from 25 to 40 mph. But I think the location that might get particular attention from drivers is on the Southwest Freeway (Interstate 395) near Exit 4, on both sides of the highway.

Drivers who speed get very upset when the District places cameras along highways where they think the speed limits are too low. Near Exit 4, which is east of the 14th Street bridge in the vicinity of Maine Avenue SW, the speed limit is 40 mph.

D.C. police say the locations were chosen based on the number of crashes and injuries, the number of calls for police service and the number of vehicles traveling at high speed. Police say they also consider recommendations from the D.C. Transportation Department, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and civic groups.

Beltway/Telegraph Road

Weekend work that caused extensive delays along the route of the Wilson Bridge project was designed to put the THRU lanes on the Capital Beltway’s inner loop in their final configuration.

Now, work will focus on the inner loop LOCAL lanes. From Monday until July 1, only one inner loop LOCAL lane will be open.

During this time, drivers on the inner loop THRU lanes won’t be able to exit at the Eisenhower Connector. Drivers bound for Eisenhower Avenue will need to exit farther west at the Van Dorn Street interchange.

If the weather doesn’t mess with this schedule, all the inner loop work between Route 1 and the Eisenhower Connector will be done by July 2, leaving two THRU lanes and two LOCAL lanes in their final alignment.

New Metro maps

The Metrorail maps that display the Rush Plus service also include a few modified names for stations that were approved by the Metro board this year.

The only one that might cause some confusion is “NoMa-Gallaudet U” on the Red Line between Rhode Island Avenue and Union Station. That’s not a new station, just a new name for the New York Avenue station.

D.C. United at SoccerPlex

D.C. United is scheduled to play Philadelphia Union at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown. If you’re checking for directions, the address is 18031 Central Park Circle, Boyds, Md, 20841. It’s west of I-270 off Germantown Road (Route 118).

Route 5 plan

The Maryland State Highway Administration plans to hold a public hearing Thursday night in Clinton on a plan to improve traffic flow in the Route 5 corridor.

The session will be held at Surrattsville High School, 6101 Garden Dr.

People can see displays about the project at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., highway officials will spend about a half-hour describing the project before opening the meeting for public comment.

Springfield Interchange

On Friday night, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close all lanes of I-395 North near the Springfield interchange. The closing, part of the 495 Express Lanes project, is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. and continue until 7 a.m. Saturday. Workers will be putting down pavement stripes for a traffic shift.

That night, I-395 North traffic will be detoured to Exit 170 (the Beltway’s inner loop). Drivers will swing around at Exit 52A and get back on the Beltway to Exit 57B for I-395 North. The traffic delays are likely to add about 20 minutes to regular travel times.

Beltway/Gallows Road

VDOT also plans to close Gallows Road (Route 650) at the Beltway from 10 p.m. Saturday until 9 a.m. Sunday during installation of an overhead overhead sign. Emergency vehicles will be permitted through the work zone to maintain access to INOVA Fairfax Hospital. Beltway drivers using Exit 51 for Gallows Road also can reach the hospital. Other drivers will face a detour.

This work and the work at the Springfield interchange are part of the 495 Express Lanes project.

Wilson Bridge inspections

The Maryland State Highway Administration says it plans to do regular maintenance inspections of the Wilson Bridge over the next several months.

This will periodically close one lane of traffic between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. During these times, drivers on the bridge may see what the highway administration calls “snooper” trucks. The vehicles have hydraulic arms with buckets that can reach down to the underside of the bridge.

Metrorail weekend

This weekend, free shuttle buses will once again replace trains between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. Crews are working on the connection to the Silver Line. We’ll have more details about Metro’s weekend schedule later this week.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

A summer travel season reminder: The best times to use the Bay Bridge are Thursdays and Fridays before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m., Saturdays before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m., and Sundays before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

By  |  08:59 AM ET, 06/04/2012

Categories:  Commuting, Metro, Events, Capital Beltway | Tags:  DC transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation, District Department of Transportation, Maryland Department of Transportation, Metro, WMATA, Wilson Bridge, Rush Plus

 
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