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DR. G'S TIPS

Sunday, September 27, 2009

U2 Concert at FedEx

The band's concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at FedEx Field in Landover, and if the traffic congestion is anything like it was for the Paul McCartney show in August, it will severely test fan loyalty.

The concerts draw thousands of people who are unfamiliar with the roads and parking around the Redskins stadium, and that slows down everybody. Best advice is simply to go early and be patient.

The Arena Drive exit from the Capital Beltway is now open full time. But Maryland highway officials say the Route 214 exit (Central Avenue) is usually a good bet for special events, because it tends to be less crowded.

Transit users: The Blue Line's Morgan Boulevard Station is the closest Metrorail stop to FedEx Field. Metro is going to keep it open an extra hour, until 1 a.m., to help people get home from the concert. No other stations will let people enter after the normal midnight closing time. Trains will be available for transfers to other lines. Metro also will add extra trains after the concert.

ICC Meets I-95

Early Monday, the Maryland State Highway Administration will temporarily close all lanes of I-95 between Route 198 and Route 212 for 15-minute intervals. The closings will repeat periodically through the spring as the state builds three bridges over I-95 for the Intercounty Connector.

These 15-minute closings will occur between midnight and 4:30 a.m. on northbound I-95 and between midnight and 3:30 a.m. on the southbound side. Each night, there could be up to four closings.

In addition to the complete shutdowns, the project might also close one or two lanes of I-95 between exit 33 and exit 29 Sunday nights through Friday mornings. On the northbound side, that would be from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. On the southbound side, it would be from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

I-270 Traffic Shift

Traffic on I-270 at the bridge over Dr. Perry Road will shift to the new bridge section in the median Monday. The shift is scheduled to occur overnight, in time for the Tuesday morning commute. Drivers will not lose any through lanes. The Maryland State Highway Administration is demolishing and replacing the northbound and southbound bridge spans on the Interstate. It should be done next spring.

Green, Yellow Line Delays

In preparation for Metro's Columbus Day weekend switch-replacement project at L'Enfant Plaza on the Green and Yellow lines, Green Line trains will share one track between the Navy Yard and Mount Vernon Square, and Yellow Line trains will share one track between Pentagon City and Mount Vernon Square from 9:30 p.m. to the midnight closing on Wednesday and Thursday.

Franconia-Springfield Parking

There will be as many as 220 fewer parking spaces at the Franconia-Springfield Metro station starting Thursday. It's the start of a garage rehabilitation scheduled to last 18 to 20 months.

Alternatives: Park for free in the Macy's parking area at the Springfield Mall, at the Backlick Road Park and Ride, or at the Gambrill Park and Ride. Ride the Fairfax Connector to Metro stations.

To make this a bit easier, Fairfax Connector Route 380 will be rerouted starting Monday. The temporary route will start at Gambrill Road Park and Ride in the morning, then go to the Backlick Road Park and Ride and then directly to the Pentagon. (It won't stop at the Franconia-Springfield Metro station.) The fare for this limited-stop route will be cut to $5.

VRE Schedule Change

The schedule for VRE's Fredericksburg Line train 307 and Manassas Line train 331 will be adjusted starting Thursday to clear the way for the new rail service between Lynchburg and Washington. Train 331 will operate five minutes later and train 307 five minutes earlier.

For traffic information, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/traffic.

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