I sent out an appeal for "good Samaritan" stories and appreciation of local transportation, and readers had plenty to say. I'm thankful for that.

If these stories prompt more, send them in, and we'll look to run another such column next month.

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Last August, my husband was driving me from our home in Bethesda to BWI for a flight. On I-95, around Glen Burnie, we had a flat. I was frantic because although we had left plenty of time, AAA said they would not arrive for an hour, and I was at serious risk of missing my plane.

All of a sudden, a cab pulled off onto the shoulder about 50 yards ahead of us. I walked down to the cab and he asked whether we needed help. He had a passenger in the cab whom he was taking to Baltimore!

I asked them both whether it would be all right if he took me to the airport so I could make my flight. They both agreed readily. I was stunned. He would not accept any money from me as a fare, but I tipped him generously for his kindness.

The cab driver's name is Victor Attoh, Capital Cab No. 66, and his passenger was Katrina Wilson of Savage in Howard County. I am eternally grateful to both of them.

Amy Fine


Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I would like to thank the person/s who put some cardboard in the window of my car during the weekend of Nov. 11. I had left the driver-side window of my SUV open while in the long-term parking area at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

I was gone for six days, and apparently it rained for several of those days.

It is so refreshing to know that some people still care. I hope that the person who did this good deed reads this and knows that I thank him/her for his/her kind gesture.

Myriam Bower


Dear Dr. Gridlock:

On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 27, my husband and I were headed north on Route 301 toward Bowie. The traffic was very heavy south of Route 214 (Central Avenue), and we began to slow down as the cars ahead of us appeared to be stopped. But the car behind us did not and ran in to our car.

When my husband steered into the median to avoid the car ahead, the grass and gravel swung our car into a small tree. Our seat belts held us in, but somehow my arm became entangled in the seat belt, and I couldn't feel my lower arm and hand. I had dislocated my elbow.

The first people to come to our car were a man and woman. He spoke gently and calmly telling me over and over that I would be fine. The woman tried to put her arm on my shoulder, but when I complained that it hurt, she stood there and said, "Well, I'm not leaving."

She stood beside my car and prayed aloud until the police and paramedics arrived. Then they both left, and we never got their names or even the chance to thank them.

Though I was in pain, their care and calm kept me from panic and fear. My arm is still very sore and stiff, but I am fine. Thank you to our good Samaritans.

Diana Kimberlin

Upper Marlboro

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I would like to give thanks to Metro for the RideGuide on its Web page. This is an incredible service.

I live in Herndon and currently work in Ashburn in Loudoun County, but I just accepted a job that is located at National Airport. One of my biggest concerns in taking the job was the commute, since I had a relatively easy 10-mile, 20-minute commute, and National Airport is about 25 miles away.

I knew that my new employer offered a Metro subsidy, so I wanted to check into using public transportation. I went to the WMATA Web page, put in my starting point, destination, travel date and time and, with the click of a button, I received back three different options involving bus and rail travel.

All three showed the times involved and the cost. At the push of another button, I was able to get a similar combination for my return trip.

I quickly realized that using mass transit was going to make my commute to my new job easy and affordable.

My girlfriend was so impressed with my results that she is planning to use the RideGuide to determine if she can take public transportation to her job in Bethesda at least once a week.

So, thanks, Metro. Nicely done.

Mark Tune


To use this service, log on to www.metroopensdoors.com and click on "Getting Around." Then click on "Plan Your Trip" and you'll be in the "RideGuide" section and can do the same type of research as Mr. Tune did.

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

On Friday, Sept. 13, about 12:30 p.m., I was on the Beltway heading east. I heard something bounce on my car but paid it no mind. . . . I was too busy watching traffic.

As I approached the Springfield interchange, I changed lanes and glanced toward my left to see a young lady motioning to me. I lowered my window -- as she had done -- to hear her shout that my rear tire was flat!

I couldn't move two lanes to the right so waited for the chance to move to the left lane, slowed down and soon found a pull-off.

I got out of the car, looked at the tire, wondering what I was going to do. To my surprise, a car some distance ahead pulled off, backed up, and the young lady who had called out to me -- along with a young man -- got out and came back to help me. The young man changed the tire, while both kept cautioning me to stay back because traffic was flying by.

When the tire was changed, I thanked them and offered to pay them for their kindness, but they would not accept anything.

They both said they had mothers and hoped that if either of them were ever in the same situation, someone would stop and help.

I didn't get their names; however, their car had the Maryland tag KDL 189.

Truly, these were good Samaritans. Their moms can be proud of them.

Mary Faunce


Transportation researcher Diane Mattingly contributed to this column.

Dr. Gridlock appears Sunday in the Metro section and Thursday in Howard Extra. You can write to Dr. Gridlock, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. He prefers to receive e-mail, at drgridlock@washpost.com, or faxes, at 703-352-3908. Please include your full name, town, county and day and evening phone numbers. Dr. Gridlock cannot take phone calls.