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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 06:08 AM ET, 07/03/2012

What to expect on your Tuesday morning commute

SAFE COMMUTING TIPS: It could be a tricky commute across the region. Remember to treat dark intersections as four-way stop signs. And be careful when you are walking or riding a bike, as loose tree branches could still come down.

9:10 A.M. Update:

Traffic remains remarkably light in the Washington area, due in part to many workers heading out of town to get a head start on their holiday travel.

The storm that tore through the region on Friday continues to impact the region’s roadways. The biggest problem is still the hundreds of traffic signals that remain dark. Drivers need to remember to treat all dark intersections as four-way stops; if you’re driving, walking or ridicing a bicycle, remember to be extra cautious.

Downed trees, fallen wires and other debris are also a lingering issue, creating road closures, detours and delays. Many Metrobus routes are still encountering these detours or delays, so make sure to see if your route is affected.

Something to remember for your commute home: H.O.V. restrictions are lifted for today on I-66 inside the Beltway and on I-270.

Scroll to the bottom of this post for resources on reporting debris, downed trees and outages.

8:35 A.M. Update:

Commuters reporting on traffic conditions throughout the region tell us that the region’s roads are remarkably uncrowded this morning. This is likely due to some combination of people heading out of town early for the July 4th holiday and, to a lesser extent, workers choosing to telecommute.

There are still downed trees and debris on many roadways, and dark traffic lights continue to be a problem across the region. But traffic does appear to be lighter than usual at this point in the morning rush.

8:20 A.M. Update:

A disabled vehicle on I-66 East in Centreville is blocking the right lane.

8 A.M. Update:

The earlier accident on westbound U.S. 50 at the exit for U.S. 301 in Prince George’s County has been cleared.

7:45 A.M. Update:

Traffic continues to move smoothly on major highways throughout the Washington region. Most of the dark traffic signals are on side roads, which helps avoid congestion on the area’s major arteries. But be careful on those smaller neighborhood roads, because we’ve heard multiple reports from across the region about drivers not stopping at dark intersections.

7:25 A.M. Update:

The disabled vehicle on Chain Bridge Road/VA 123 at International Drive in Tysons Corner has been cleared from the southbound right lane.

7:10 A.M. Update:

An accident on westbound U.S. 50 at the exit for U.S. 301 in Prince George’s County could cause delays.

7 A.M. Update:

A disabled vehicle on Chain Bridge Road/VA 123 at International Drive in Tysons Corner is blocking the southbound right lane.

The debris on I-270 North has been cleared.

6:40 A.M. Update:

Debris on I-270 North to the north of W. Montgomery Avenue could cause delays there.

6:27 A.M. Update:

The accident on the outer loop of the Beltway before St. Barbanas Road has been cleared from the shoulder.

6:25 A.M. Update:

Wisconsin Avenue is closed in both directions between Fessenden and Ellicott streets NW for repairs. Expect delays on both sides of this closure, which is just south of Friendship Heights.

6:20 A.M. Update:

The accident on the outer loop of the Beltway before St. Barbanas Road has been moved to the shoulder. The outer loop lanes have reopened.

6:10 A.M. Update:

An accident on the outer loop of the Beltway before St. Barbanas Road is blocking two outer loop lanes and one of the shoulders.

Original Post:

The storm that hit the Washington region on Friday continues to reverberate throughout the region, leaving thousands without power as another hot, humid day begins.

The Tuesday morning commute could be a tricky one for many workers, as travelers continue to encounter detours, delays, blocked roads and intersections with dark traffic signals.
A utility worker clears a downed tree in Springfield on Sunday. (Cliff Owen - AP)

Darkened traffic signals will continue to be a problem across the region. Dozens of lights remain dark in Northern Virginia, while about 140 intersections in Montgomery County lacked lights as of 5 a.m. on Tuesday.

Drivers, remember to treat any dark intersection as a four-way stop sign. Be careful to look for pedestrians and bicycle riders. 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.

Once again, if you have the option of telecommuting — and if you have power — we recommend it.

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 a few things you need to know before heading out:

METROBUS

Many Metrobus routes remain detoured due to debris on the roadways. Expect delays 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.

COMMUTER RAIL

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

VIRGINIA HOV

The state’s Department of Transportation lifted the HOV restrictions for eastbound I-66 inside the Beltway during the Tuesday morning rush. The HOV restrictions are also lifted for westbound I-66 inside the Beltway during the afternoon and evening commute. The HOV rules remain in place on I-95, I-395 and the rest of I-66.

MARYLAND HOV

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

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  |  06:08 AM ET, 07/03/2012

 
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