Dear Dr. Gridlock:
I was uncertain whether to send this question to Miss Manners or Dr. Gridlock, but I thought you might offer a more pragmatic solution.
I live in Alexandria and have family arriving at Dulles for the Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday evening around 5:30 p.m. Is there any reasonable way to get them here other than my abandoning the guests who have already arrived to make a several-hour foray across town? Grateful for any suggestions.
Carol Ann Small
Our rush hours being what they are, I would have no problem advising guests who arrive in evening rush hours to take ground transportation to your home. Your guests can get a taxi or shuttle bus to your house, and you can remain with your guests.
You can pay for their transportation, if you think that's appropriate. It would be nice to make the pickup arrangements from your end.
The Washington Flyer taxi service charges $42 for a ride from Dulles to your area. The blue SuperShuttle bus charges $22 for the first person, $10 for each additional person.
You can get more information by calling Washington Flyer at 703-661-6655 or the SuperShuttle at 800-BLUEVAN. The shuttle Web site is www.supershuttle.com.
The SuperShuttle also serves National Airport. For more information on ground transportation at Dulles or National airports, go to www.mwaa.com.
For similar information for Baltimore-Washington International Airport, go to www.bwiairport.com and click on "Ground Transportation" at the top of the home page.
Stranded by Metro
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
I was shocked and appalled at the insensitivity of Metro for extending their rail schedule only two measly hours on the first historic viewing of Rosa Parks at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Oct. 30.
On such a momentous occasion, officials have to be aware of the situation and allow for exceptions. A lot of people were stranded because the city or whoever was responsible for the event didn't expect the massive number of people.
It became apparent early from the local news that the occasion would run well over the set time.
The event was supposed to have lasted from 7 p.m. until midnight. However, because of the massive lines, the Rotunda hours were extended until well after 4 a.m.
Why couldn't Metro have done the same? We waited in lines for six to seven hours only to be abandoned by Metro!
I am a single female who was left stranded by a cold, heartless transit system.
Some 40,000 showed up for the Sunday night procession and Rotunda viewing. It was hastily organized. Thousands lined up with me to watch the funeral procession turn into the Capitol grounds, not realizing there was another line to visit the Rotunda. This was to be expected when events moved so swiftly.
Remember, Congress had just voted to allow Ms. Parks to lie in honor at the Capitol.
Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said: "Because the events came together so quickly, we did not have time to work with event organizers in advance to plan for keeping the Metrorail system open past midnight on Sunday. However, late that Sunday night, when we saw how many people were still in line, we made the decision to keep the rail system open for two extra hours.
"We hope that most people who wanted to take Metro after leaving the Capitol that night were able to do so; for those who got to the Metro system after we closed, we apologize for any inconvenience."
The highlight of the evening for Dr. Gridlock was the goodwill and mutual appreciation of those gathered to honor this remarkable woman.
Here's a thought: The original Montgomery, Ala., bus she rode on is in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. Why not put it on a flatbed truck and make it the centerpiece of a touring event honoring Ms. Parks and the civil rights movement? Keep it in a city long enough for everyone to see it without having to stay up past 4 a.m.
The people will surely come.
Transportation researcher Diane Mattingly contributed to this column.
You can write to Dr. Gridlock at 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. He prefers e-mails to email@example.com or faxes to 703-352-3908. Include your full name, town, county and day and evening telephone numbers. Dr. Gridlock cannot take phone calls.