Dr. Gridlock’s traffic, transit tips

Robert Thomson
Columnist December 10, 2011
tolls on connector

After tolling resumed Monday on Maryland’s Intercounty Connector, travelers wrote in with several questions. Here are some answers.

The tolled portion of the Intercounty Connector is 16 miles long, hence the maximum peak period toll with an E-ZPass is $4 at 25 cents a mile. Determination of the toll rate — peak, off-peak, overnight — is made when the driver enters the toll road, rather than when the driver leaves it.

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. View Archive

The Maryland Transportation Authority is not considering a commuter discount. That would blunt the goal of using a variable rate toll to manage traffic congestion, said Kelly Melhem, a spokeswoman for the authority. A commuter rate probably would knock down the rush-hour toll to about the level of the off-peak toll and negate any incentive to travel at the less-congested times.

Nebraska ave. project

Travelers also asked about new road work in upper Northwest Washington. The District Department of Transportation recently began a year-long reconstruction project on Nebraska Avenue NW. The project includes new curbs and pavement on Nebraska Avenue, Military Road and Broad Branch Road.

There will be new traffic signals and accessibility ramps at Nebraska Avenue and Military and at Nebraska and Nevada avenues. The sidewalks and storm drains will be repaired. During the project, D.C. Water will complete a valve upgrade on a 48-inch water main.

Military Road will be closed to eastbound traffic through the winter. Signs trace a detour route using Nevada and Nebraska avenues to carry the eastbound Military Road traffic around the construction zone. Nebraska Avenue will have at least one lane open in each direction throughout this period. Work hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.

Downtown run

The Jingle All the Way 8K Race is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Sunday at Freedom Plaza, Pennsylvania Avenue and 14th Street NW. Metro’s Federal Triangle station on the Blue and Orange lines is close by. Also near is the Metro Center station on the Red, Blue and Orange lines. Metro opens at 7 a.m. on Sundays.

Several bus routes will detour Sunday morning around the race along Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Louisiana Avenue NW, Third Street and other nearby streets. Detours were scheduled to begin at 5 a.m. for Routes 32 and 36, and then at about 8:45 a.m. for Routes 54, 64, 70, 74, 96, P6, S2, S4 and V8 routes.

Virginia travel times

Starting Monday, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to expand the number of highway message boards displaying travel times to the stretch of Interstate 95 between Washington and Fredericksburg. The program began in August on I-66 between the Beltway and Gainesville.

The travel times on I-95 will be displayed on the overhead signs from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends at these locations.

Northbound: At Route 234, with the travel time to the Capital Beltway; at Route 123, with the travel time to the Beltway; at the Fairfax County Parkway, with the travel time to the D.C. line.

Southbound: Near the Pentagon, with the travel time to the Beltway; before the Beltway, with the travel time to Route 123; near the Fairfax County Parkway, with the travel time to Route 234; near Lorton, with the travel time to Route 3 in Fredericksburg.

SobeRride for holidays

As we launch the holiday party season, the SoberRide program is about to launch its safety campaign. Offered by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program through a network of cab companies, SoberRide will operate from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night from Friday through New Year’s Eve.

Adults in the D.C. region who are at risk of driving while impaired can get a free ride home up to a $30 fare value by calling 800-200-TAXI (8294).

For more transportation news, visit washingtonpost.com/transportation.

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