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In Brief

Friday, January 14, 2005; Page B03


Metro to Automate Message System

Metro board members approved a plan yesterday to spend $200,000 to improve the reliability of the electronic message boards in rail stations. The money, which will come from increased advertising revenue, will be used to automate the system so central operators will know when one of the boards is not working.

The boards tell riders when trains are expected and alert them to breakdowns, but Metro has had problems with their reliability. Metro officials said they were unsure how soon the changes will be made.

_____Springfield Interchange_____
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Weather Postpones I-95 Lane Closures

Virginia transportation officials said yesterday that plans to close the two right northbound lanes of Interstate 95 last night and early this morning were postponed until Tuesday because of bad weather.

The lanes from the Franconia-Springfield Parkway to the ramp to the outer loop of the Capital Beltway will be closed Tuesday night until Wednesday morning so the I-95 ramp to the outer loop can be shifted 1,200 feet south to make way for bridges that are part of the Springfield interchange project.


Pedestrian Fatally Hit by Two Vehicles

A man was fatally struck injured yesterday morning when he was struck by two vehicles yesterday morning while crossing a downtown street, D.C. police said.

The man, whose name and age were not released by police, was crossing the street in the 600 block of H Street NW when he was hit by one vehicle. The impact knocked him into the path of another vehicle on H Street, police said.

The man was taken to Howard University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 7:15 a.m. Police said they were were still investigating.

SW Neighborhood Added to Walking Tour

Cultural Tourism DC, a nonprofit coalition that promotes the city's heritage and the arts, will introduce its newest neighborhood heritage trail in Southwest Washington tomorrow.

The trail, called "From River Farms to Urban Towers," features 17 illustrated story-telling stations. The two-hour self-guided tour starts at the Waterfront/SEU Metro station, at Fourth and M streets SW, and includes some of the District's oldest houses on "Wheat Row," as well as more modern buildings, and stops along the waterfront. The trail's opening will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow aboard the Odyssey, 600 Water St. SW. The luxury cruise vessel will remain docked, and members of the public can board at no charge.

The Southwest trail is the city's fourth neighborhood walking tour.

Police to Share Tips on Signs of Terrorism

D.C. police announced a new program yesterday to share information with the city's business community about ways to detect signs of terrorist activity.

The initiative, called Operation TIPP -- Terrorist Incident Prevention Program -- provides advice to various trades and industries. It also creates a toll-free telephone number for businesses and employees to report suspicious activities -- 877-YOU-WATCH.

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