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Sunday, February 1, 2009; Page C02

D.C. Street Closings

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The Chinese New Year parade starts at 2 p.m. today in the 500 block of I Street NW and ends in the 600 block of H Street NW, in Washington's Chinatown. Police will close streets in the blocks around the parade route. Watch for congestion in the area. The nearest Metro station is Gallery Place, on the Red, Green and Yellow lines.

New E-ZPass Charge

The Maryland Transportation Authority has approved service charges for drivers who have E-ZPass accounts with the state.

Starting July 1, a $1.50 monthly maintenance charge per account will be added. New and replacement transponders will cost $21 for the standard model. There will be a new charge of $3 accompanying a Notice of Toll Due. Toll violation charges will increase from $15 to $25. Also effective July 1, the duration of E-ZPass commuter plans will change from 60 days to 45.

The account maintenance charge was particularly troubling to drivers who might go weeks or months without using their E-ZPasses. The way they figured it, they should pay for the service only when they use it. The authority says the monthly cost for each user's account must still be paid by the authority to the contractor who administers the E-ZPass system, whether or not the account holder makes any trips.

Weekend Track Work

After a lull for the December holidays and the inauguration, Metro will pick up the pace in February on its schedule of weekend track work and maintenance, which always causes delays for rail riders.

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