Dr. Gridlock's traffic, transit tips

Saturday, February 26, 2011; 9:14 PM

D.C. moving the slugs

The District Department of Transportation is again shifting the spot where vehicles can pick up carpool-mates in the informal commuting system known as slugging. Starting Monday, slugs should move from the short-lived location on 15th Street NW to New York Avenue NW between 15th and 14th streets.

The department, which has been trying to figure out the best stopping point that's not on 14th Street, says it's making this change in response to comments from the commuters who have been using the 15th Street location. The new spot may prove more convenient for them while still avoiding the stopping point on 14th Street.

Passengers can be picked up between 3:30 and 6 p.m. at the new location, the department says. D.C. police will be enforcing no-stopping rules on both 14th and 15th streets between H Street and New York Avenue.

Meanwhile, OmniRide commuter bus routes in that area will be relocated to 15th Street at New York Avenue. OmniRide buses will no longer stop at 14th Street and New York Avenue.

Georgetown streets

The District has begun the reconstruction of O and P streets between 37th Street and Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown. Work includes replacing the aging water mains, but there's also a historic element: The streetcar tracks - probably the most noticeable feature of these streets - will be removed, restored and reinstalled, along with other elements of the streetcar system.

This isn't part of the plan to create a new streetcar network. It's a historic restoration of a final vestige of the old system that operated until 1962. But when the restoration is completed in fall 2012, the streets should be easier to drive on. At least one lane of through traffic will remain open at all times during the reconstruction.

Maryland road work

Here are some Maryland State Highway Administration road work projects that will cause lane closings in the Maryland suburbs:

l Watch for single-lane closings along University Boulevard between Arcola Avenue and Colesville Road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.

l Watch for single-lane closings on Georgia Avenue between Norbeck Road and Glenallan Avenue from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays.

l Watch for single- and double-lane closings on East-West Highway at Queens Chapel Road from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekdays.

Reminder on ramps

Starting at 10 a.m. Monday, the westbound Interstate 66 high-occupancy vehicle ramps at Monument Drive and Stringfellow Road in Fairfax County will open to all westbound traffic on weekends and during off-peak hours.

New overhead message signs will alert drivers to the status of the ramps as they approach on I-66 west. Traffic signs and signals at the top of the exit ramps have been modified, and traffic signals near the interchanges will be re-timed to accommodate the new traffic.

New Transit task Force

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) announced last week that he has formed a 20-member Transit Task Force to help develop a comprehensive rapid-transit system for the county in coordination with the state of Maryland and the D.C. region.

The committee, chaired by Mark Winston, a lawyer who has been a member of the Maryland Transportation Commission, includes many transit advocates.

We need them to advance the cause of a rapid-bus network for the entire region. This has been talked about for years. There has been some progress on improving individual bus services that span jurisdictions. But I hope that within the lifetime of today's commuters we will see the much-discussed network that includes additional buses, traffic-signal priorities for them and dedicated bus lanes.

For more transportation news, go to washingtonpost.com/transportation .

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