By all accounts, yesterday's morning rush hour into Washington from suburban Virginia was among the worst in recent memory.

Traffic on I-395, Shirley Highway, which feeds into the 14th Street bridges, was "a solid parking lot" for the 16 miles from Lorton to the Potomac River, WTOP radio's airborne traffic reporter David Marbourg told his listeners.

He estimated shortly after 9 a.m. that "10,000 people are going to be an average hour late" to their jobs in Washington as a result of the jam -- largely caused, Marbourg said, by a single car disabled in the second lane from the right on the four-lane principal Potomac crossing.

Marbourg voiced anger on the air that the car stood immobile for more than two hours before the D.C. police got there to arrange for it to be towed away.

A D.C police spokesman, Lt. William White III, said a cruiser dispatched to the scene of the stalled car at 7:07 a.m. stopped en route to deal with an accident and, because of a communications breakdown, no other car was sent quickly to the bridge. He said officers were given clear instructions yesterday on ways to avoid a repeat of the situation.