The week ahead: Seeing more daylight, road and transit work, Silver Line meetings


The Spring Hill Metro station for the Silver Line in Tysons now has a canopy and pedestrian bridge visible on Route 7. (Chuck Samuelson – Dulles Metrorail project)

Monday will remain mostly cloudy, and Tuesday may bring showers, the Capital Weather Gang says, but commuters this week will eventually notice the effects of daylight savings time. Early morning travelers are suddenly back in predawn dark, while afternoon drivers find the sun is right in their eyes.

Of course, everyone gets used to this, but for the first few days, use extra caution on the roads as you adapt. The weather for the rest of the week looks pretty good, but it’s going to be chillier.

The Capitals play at Verizon Center on Tuesday night. The Wizards are there Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, so watch for extra congestion around Gallery Place and Chinatown.

In addition to some of the road and transit issues that might affect your commutes, I also want to tell you about an unusual number of public events coming up this week that may interest travelers of all sorts.

And join me at noon Monday for our weekly discussion of travel issues in the D.C. region.

Radio discussion on bike culture

Interesting forum at noon Monday on Kojo Nnamdi’s WAMU 88.5 FM radio show: “Our region’s growing bike culture,” with Shane Farthing of Washington, executive director of Area Bicyclists Association, Chris Eatough, program manager for Bike Arlington, Carolyn Szczepanski, director of communications for Women Bike.

Dulles Access Highway

The left lane of the eastbound Dulles Airport Access Highway is scheduled to close  between Difficult Run and Hunter Mill Road from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day through Friday. This is for grading work related to the Dulles Metrorail project.

Arlington Boulevard interchange

Lane closings continue at the Arlington Boulevard interchange with 10th Street and Courthouse Road in the Rosslyn area that the Virginia Department of Transportation is rebuilding.  This week’s closings will occur from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on westbound Arlington Boulevard and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the eastbound side.

Mobile DMV in Loudoun

The DMV 2 Go mobile customer service center, part of a fleet of five vehicles operated by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, will be at the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Eastern Loudoun Station from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Among other services at the mobile center, people can apply for or renew ID cards and driver’s license, update DMV information,  get vehicle titles and license plates and order disability parking placards or plates.

The Eastern Loudoun Station is at 46620 E. Frederick Dr., Sterling.

Route 32 road work

[Updated at 11:15 a.m. Monday to indicate rescheduling of work.] Watch for single-lane closings from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on the nights of Monday, March 18, through Thursday, March 21 Wednesday through Friday nights on Route 32 in Clarksville. Temporary  traffic stops of up to half an hour could occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. as workers install steel beams over the highway for a new bridge. Use Ten Oaks Road to avoid delays.

Anne Arundel sidewalks

The Maryland State Highway Administration is starting work this week on sidewalk improvements along Galesville Road in Galesville, a pretty little town on the West River in Anne Arundel County. The daytime work, which may include single-lane closings, is part of a state sidewalk upgrade program for Anne Arundel and the Southern Maryland counties.

Silver Line meetings

Metro plans to hold three open houses this coming week to answer questions about the Silver Line, scheduled to open by the end of the year. The new Metrorail line, which will provide service between the Reston area in Virginia and Largo Town Center in Maryland, is likely to change the commuting habits of thousands of travelers.

Here’s the schedule for the three meetings:

Tuesday, 5 to 8 p.m.: Faith Temple No. 2 Baptist Church, 211 Maryland Park Dr., Capitol Heights; Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m.: Reston Community Center Hunters Woods, 2310 Colts Neck Rd., Reston; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Sheraton Crystal City Hotel, 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington.

Metro Riders’ Advisory Council

The panel that advises the Metro board about riders’ concerns has rescheduled its monthly meeting for this Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The council will hear a Metro presentation about the Silver Line service. These meetings at Metro headquarters, 600 Fifth St. NW, are open to the public.

St. Patrick’s SoberRide

SoberRide, offered by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, will once again provide those 21 and older with a safe ride home if they’ve celebrated too much on St. Patrick’s Day. The operation begins at 4 p.m. March 17 and continues until 4 the next morning.

During that time, residents of the D.C. area can call the toll-free line, 800-200-TAXI, and get a free ride home, up to the equivalent of a $30 fare.

Metro track work

Next weekend is the last before Metro gives riders a month-long Cherry Blossom Festival break from major track work.

But first comes a disruption on the Red Line from 10 p.m. Friday through midnight Sunday, March 17. (Keep this in mind if you are out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.) Buses will replace trains between NoMa-Gallaudet and Takoma. The Rhode Island Avenue and Brookland stations will be closed, along with the Red Line platform at Fort Totten.

Planning I-66

The Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation in Virginia will hold two public hearings this week on their plans for long-term changes along the Interstate 66 corridor outside the Beltway.

The first hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at Four Points by Sheraton, 10800 Vandor Lane, Manassas, the second for Thursday at Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Rd., Falls Church. Both are from 6 to 9 p.m.

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.
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Mark Berman | March 8, 2013