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Alexandria approves North Potomac Yard development

Sunday, June 13, 2010; C05

VIRGINIA

North Potomac Yard project advances

Alexandria's City Council unanimously approved the $3 billion to $4 billion North Potomac Yard project Saturday.

The rezoning allows for a new Metro station on the Blue and Yellow lines and 7.5 million square feet of commercial, residential and retail space on the 69-acre tract of land on the former railroad depot property abutting Arlington County.

A high-capacity transitway, new street grid, parks, a school, hotel and other amenities are slated for the area. Much of the construction is based on final federal and city approval of the estimated $240 million Metro station. The city has established a financing plan to build the station.

-- Christy Goodman

Arlington bus rides will cost more

The Arlington County Board voted Saturday to increase its ART transit bus service fares from $1.25 to $1.50 with a SmarTrip card. The new fares take effect July 1.

The board said the increase will help cover the doubling of ridership since the last fare increase in 2004 and will pay for fuel and maintenance.

Paratransit riders on the STAR system will see an increase, too. Local trips will increase from $2.50 to $3.00. Trips inside the Capital Beltway were raised $1 to $4 and regional trips increased by $1.50 to $8.50.

-- Christy Goodman

THE DISTRICT

Changes at New York and Florida avenues

New traffic patterns designed to ease the perpetual congestion at New York and Florida avenues will take effect Sunday.

First Street NE will become one way southbound from Florida Avenue to New York Avenue. Florida Avenue will be limited to one-way traffic westbound between O and First streets NE. Eastbound Florida Avenue traffic will be detoured to First Street. Drivers can go left at New York Avenue and right on O Street to return to Florida Avenue.

-- Ashley Halsey III

Expect Key Bridge delays Sunday

Southbound traffic on the Key Bridge may be slowed Sunday as the District Department of Transportation closes one lane between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. to conduct a safety inspection of the span over the Potomac River.

DDOT said temporary signs and traffic-control measures will be in place to direct motorists, pedestrians and cyclists around the temporary closures. DDOT said traffic in the bridge area would be monitored and lane closures suspended if significant backups develop.

-- Ashley Halsey III

MARYLAND

New stars, stripes license plates

Maryland's standard-issue license plate takes on a new look Monday.

Gone is the basic black-and-white plate, to be replaced by a War of 1812 motif that depicts the stars and stripes flying over Fort McHenry with bombs bursting in air.

The black-and-white plates won't disappear -- vehicles that have them can keep them -- but when people apply for new plates, they will get the 1812 model.

Those who want the new-style plates can order them for an additional $20 when their license plate comes up for renewal.

The two other styles -- a farm scene and a heron -- will continue to be available.

-- Ashley Halsey III

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