Dr. Gridlock’s traffic, transit tips

Robert Thomson
Columnist December 23, 2011
Metro holidays

On Monday, Metro will operate on a holiday schedule, with rail service from 7 am. to midnight. Metrobuses will operate on the same schedule they use on Sundays.

On Friday, as many once again get out of work early for the New Year’s holiday weekend, Metro plans to add trains in the afternoon to help with the getaway.

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

On New Year’s Eve, rail service will operate as usual from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Normal service also is scheduled for New Year’s Day, followed by a repeat of the holiday service schedule — 7 a.m. to midnight — for Monday, Jan. 2.

No track work is scheduled for either this weekend or next, because of the holidays. But the maintenance schedule will pick up again after the new year starts.

Second bridge span

The District Department of Transportation had hoped it might be able to open a second replacement span on the 11th Street Bridge shortly after last weekend’s opening of the new inbound span. But department spokesman John Lisle said the second opening probably will have to wait for early January.

The earlier opening had been a long shot anyway, he said.

Meanwhile, drivers heading up Interstate 295 still are getting used to the new configuration as they approach the inbound span, the one heading toward downtown D.C. Traffic on northbound 295 now stays left to reach the bridge on a new alignment. Drivers who want to stay on 295 north toward Kenilworth Avenue use the center or right lanes.

Once drivers become familiar with the new pattern, they should find it’s a good thing, eliminating the need for many drivers to weave left or right to reach desired lanes.

HOV schedule

Virginia’s HOV restrictions on Interstates 95, 395 and 66 will be lifted on Monday, the federal holiday, then again the following Monday, Jan. 2, which also is a holiday.

For the New Year’s weekend, the I-95/395 reversible lanes will be open to all traffic heading south from 6 p.m. Friday to 2 p.m. Saturday. They will be open to all northbound traffic from 4 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, when HOV-3 rules again take effect.

Beltway/Dulles Toll Road

The Virginia Department of Transportation has reopened the left lane on the eastbound Dulles Toll Road where it approaches the Capital Beltway. The work zone, one of many along the Beltway that are part of the high-occupancy toll lanes project, created extra traffic congestion after it was set up in the spring.

Project managers sped up the construction schedule and reopened the lane early, but construction at the interchange will continue well into the new year.

Mormon Temple lights

Beltway drivers in Montgomery County get a brief glimpse of the Christmas lights display around the Mormon Temple. This is a very popular attraction each December, and for those who want a longer look, the Festival of Lights is at 9900 Stoneybrook Dr., Kensington.

The display of a half-million lights is illuminated from dusk till 10 p.m. through New Year’s Day. From the Beltway, use exit 33, the Connecticut Avenue exit, go north to Beach Drive and turn right, then turn left onto Stoneybrook Drive. The visitor’s center is on the left. This is a residential neighborhood, but there’s lots of traffic at holiday time. Drive carefully.

Remember SoberRide

The SoberRide program is operating its annual holiday safety campaign for people in the D.C. area who have had too much to drink and shouldn’t drive home. Offered by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program through a network of cab companies, SoberRide will continue from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night through New Year’s Eve.

Adults 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.

SECTION: {section=local, subsection=commuting}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: {allow_comments=true, allow_photos=false, allow_videos=false, comments_period=14, comments_source=washpost.com, default_sort=, default_tab=, display_comments=true, is_ugc_gallery=false, max_items_to_display=15, max_items_to_display_top=3, moderation_required=false, stream_id=}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Comments
SECTION: {section=local, subsection=commuting}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: {allow_comments=true, allow_photos=false, allow_videos=false, comments_period=14, comments_source=washpost.com, default_sort=, default_tab=, display_comments=true, is_ugc_gallery=false, max_items_to_display=15, max_items_to_display_top=3, moderation_required=false, stream_id=}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Show Comments