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A Wider Beltway Getting Serious Consideration

Plans to widen the Beltway are getting serious consideration -- and opponents have announced a grass-roots effort to fight the addition of more toll lanes.

A new group called Citizens Against Beltway Expansion (CABE) plans to go door-to-door and distribute 20,000 leaflets outlining its position to Montgomery County residents.

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So how do you feell about this?

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Traffic continues to clog regional roads

Greater Washington's highway system has a new Top 10, but it's no honor to be on the list.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments released a transportation study Wednesday that says congestion has increased64 percent in the past three years during the evening rush hour :wacko: . The numbers were based on time spent on local highways between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. during the week, and the report also listed the 10 worst "chokepoints" for commuters during the morning and evening rush hours.

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I know this is kind of a off question, but I am travelling to DC for a few days, and want to go to Baltimore too. Which line or system would I take to get to Baltimore from DC, and back again?

Great question. I don't live in the area but hopefully someone will answer your question soon.

________________________________________________________________________________

Builders Offer to Fill Void On Roads

Amid Va. Inaction, Plans Entice but Come With a Catch

For more than 10 years, frustrated commuters have waited for Virginia to fix the notoriously clogged interchange of Interstate 66 and Route 29 in Prince William County.

Now, at last, county officials are considering an offer to do the work. But it's not the state coming in with bulldozers. It's a developer who is proposing to spend tens of millions of dollars on the work in return for approval to build 6,800 homes nearby.

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Truly an interesting proposition. :huh:

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I am visiting DC in a week, for a few days, and plan on riding the subway, A LOT. I need to know which stations I need to avoid due to crime or other things like that. I really want to check out the Wheaton Station because it is 21 stories underground, and the Forest Glen Station because of the escalator, lol wierd reasons, but im just fascinated by this stuff. So, any suggestions of stuff to do on the Metro and which areas to avoid and the like. Thanks in advance people!

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I looked through this today for the first time. Lot of talk about Metro.

FUNDING: Governor Kaine of Virginia says that the Metro funding measure not dead in VA. Virginia, Maryland and D.C. must commit $150 million per year for Metro to secure $1.5 billion in federal money for Metro. Bills to raise the sales tax in five Northern VA jurisdictions has been killed twice in the legislature. We'll see. This would be used to help fund the extension to Dulles Airport.. The Dulles Airport extension project involves the extension of the Metro along the 23.1-mile Dulles Corridor beginning at the existing Metrorail Orange Line near the West Falls Church station.

PURPLE LINE: The Purple Line is a proposed 14-mile light-rail link between Bethesda and New Carrollton via Silver Spring. It is not actually a part of Metro, in that it would not be Heavy Rail. It is also very much in doubt.

Other Systems:

VA Virginia Rail Express (VRE) Manasas, Fredricksburg

MD Maryland Area Rail Commuter (MARC Brunswick Line) Martinsburg WV, Frederick MD , (MARC Camden Line) Camden Station Baltimore MD, (MARC Penn Line) Perryville MD.

Baltimore Metro Subway and Baltimore Light Rail

For Urbanbna, To go back and forth to Baltimore take either the Camden or Penn Lines. You can go to the Maryland Transit Administration Web site http://www.mtamaryland.com/index.cfm The easiest point to get MARC it if you are in the District would be Union Station.

WIDER BELTWAY Question: Wider Beltway will not happen. Maryland will fight it with all it can muster.

Edited by TennBear
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I know this is kind of a off question, but I am travelling to DC for a few days, and want to go to Baltimore too. Which line or system would I take to get to Baltimore from DC, and back again?

If you're going to be travelling between Baltimore and DC on a weekday, the MARC Penn line (from Union Station in DC to Penn Station in Baltimore) has hourly service for much of the day (5:00 or 6:00am thru 6:00 or 7:00pm.) The Camden line adds additional rush hour-only service. (Union Station, DC to Camden Station, Baltimore). Both Baltimore stations are downtown, and both are on the LRT line.

MARC's lack of night/weekend service is a pretty big omission, but you do have another option: Amtrak. They have frequent, faster, essentially 24 hour service, and the accomodations are nicer, but it costs more ($18 one way on Amtrak vs $7 one way on MARC.) If you really want to travel in style, you can fork over about $40 to ride the Acela. Be sure you get on a train that ORIGINATES in DC, or else you could be stuck waiting for a train that got delayed somewhere south of DC.

I'm sure there are bus services out there too, but I'm not familiar with them, so you'll have to ask someone else.

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I am visiting DC in a week, for a few days, and plan on riding the subway, A LOT. I need to know which stations I need to avoid due to crime or other things like that. I really want to check out the Wheaton Station because it is 21 stories underground, and the Forest Glen Station because of the escalator, lol wierd reasons, but im just fascinated by this stuff. So, any suggestions of stuff to do on the Metro and which areas to avoid and the like. Thanks in advance people!

For the most part, I would consider Metro to be very safe. Wheaton is located in the parking lot of an older Mall. Not a Mall that I go to. It is too run down. I think that it is interesting that you named two stations that are next to one another. Since you asked about stations that I would suggest that someone who is not fully aware of the area might avoid; I would avoid Rhode Island Ave, I would not take the Blue Line past Stadium-Armory, and I would not take the Green Line past L'Enfant Plaza. Since you seem to want to be on the Red Line, I would think that Gallery Place and Metro Center would be places that you would be interested in. Gallery Place comes up at MCI Center and China Town. Metro Center is in the retail hub of downtown. Judiciary Square comes up at the building museum and is the closest to the Mall along the Red Line. You can of course transfer at either Gallery Place of Metro Center and get closer to the Mall. As a tourist, I would get a day pass at the station when you get to Metro. That way you can travel all day for a given rate and not keep determining the rate to another station. Hope this helps. Union Station is also on the Red Line and has shopping and a good food court. It is also where you would catch the MARC train to Baltimore.

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If you're going to be travelling between Baltimore and DC on a weekday, the MARC Penn line (from Union Station in DC to Penn Station in Baltimore) has hourly service for much of the day (5:00 or 6:00am thru 6:00 or 7:00pm.) The Camden line adds additional rush hour-only service. (Union Station, DC to Camden Station, Baltimore). Both Baltimore stations are downtown, and both are on the LRT line.

MARC's lack of night/weekend service is a pretty big omission, but you do have another option: Amtrak. They have frequent, faster, essentially 24 hour service, and the accomodations are nicer, but it costs more ($18 one way on Amtrak vs $7 one way on MARC.) If you really want to travel in style, you can fork over about $40 to ride the Acela. Be sure you get on a train that ORIGINATES in DC, or else you could be stuck waiting for a train that got delayed somewhere south of DC.

I'm sure there are bus services out there too, but I'm not familiar with them, so you'll have to ask someone else.

Good points. I didn't think about the service hours. I just looked at the MTA site and couldn't find a bus that you would not have to change buses in Columbia to get between the two cities. You also would have the commute hours situation.

Edited by TennBear
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For the most part, I would consider Metro to be very safe. Wheaton is located in the parking lot of an older Mall. Not a Mall that I go to. It is too run down. I think that it is interesting that you named two stations that are next to one another. Since you asked about stations that I would suggest that someone who is not fully aware of the area might avoid; I would avoid Rhode Island Ave, I would not take the Blue Line past Stadium-Armory, and I would not take the Green Line past L'Enfant Plaza. Since you seem to want to be on the Red Line, I would think that Gallery Place and Metro Center would be places that you would be interested in. Gallery Place comes up at MCI Center and China Town. Metro Center is in the retail hub of downtown. Judiciary Square comes up at the building museum and is the closest to the Mall along the Red Line. You can of course transfer at either Gallery Place of Metro Center and get closer to the Mall. As a tourist, I would get a day pass at the station when you get to Metro. That way you can travel all day for a given rate and not keep determining the rate to another station. Hope this helps. Union Station is also on the Red Line and has shopping and a good food court. It is also where you would catch the MARC train to Baltimore.

OK. I thought the day pass was for unlimited rides anywhere on the metro. The way you described it sounded like i had to buy a one day pass, then pay a set ammount each time i board. how do the day passes work. i know in dallas, my home town, you buy a pass once and its good for unlimited travel all day long.

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OK. I thought the day pass was for unlimited rides anywhere on the metro. The way you described it sounded like i had to buy a one day pass, then pay a set ammount each time i board. how do the day passes work. i know in dallas, my home town, you buy a pass once and its good for unlimited travel all day long.

I'm sorry. I did not mean to confuse you. You are correct. A one day pass is for unlimited rides. I was meaning to say that you would then avoid....

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Good points. I didn't think about the service hours. I just looked at the MTA site and couldn't find a bus that you would not have to change buses in Columbia to get between the two cities. You also would have the commute hours situation.

RE buses: Good info about not having a direct MTA route. However, there are also things like Greyhound, which has hourly (or better) service between Baltimore and Washington for $11 one way. Greyhound's depot is a couple blocks north of Union Station, and a couple of blocks south of the New York Ave. station on the Red Line. The Greyhound depot is on the west side of the tracks so it's not that sketchy... but if you're alone and it's late you'll probably want to take a cab.

There are probably other bus companies as well but I don't really know where to go to check them out. "Today's Bus" might be worth a check. Their DC depot is in Chinatown - but I don't know their routes or schedules or where to go to look them up.

Alternatively, you could find a bus to BWI and take Baltimore LRT from there.

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what are some quick tips that you would recomend for riding the metro. safety stuff, as in theft and the general. I know the usual, carry wallet in front, dont make things accessible in backpacks and stuff. anything else, you guys know best. i just dont want anything to happen on a vacation.

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Although I am a mod here I am also an outsider to DC but I have been there quite a few times and generally I feel very safe. I tend to just be cautious and don't stray too far off the Metro lines. If you do the general sightseeing I wouldn't anticipate any problems. I don't know if you intend to rent a car but if you are just sightseeing generally the Metro works wonderfully and parking fees can sometimes be steep.

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I used to live in DC, and found the Metro to be very safe. I agree with TennBear's recommendations regarding which stations to avoid. In general, assume that northwest DC is the safest area (directions are in reference to the Capitol). The two least desirable areas are southeast (off limits as far as I'm concerned, even in the daytime) and northeast. Thus, do not stray too far out on any of the eastern lines. Each stop has different things near it, but most of the non-commuter stations (i.e., the closer-in stations) are built-up around the metro station.

You can keep a dummy wallet in your back pocket with a few dollars in it to be safe, especially if it makes you feel better, but I would be surprised if you ever had to use it. You aren't likely to get any problems from anyone in the Metro station itself, because people generally keep to themselves and there are security guards around (not to mention plenty of other riders, unless you are at one of the commuter stations on a weekend). As a rule, don't stray too far from the tourist areas. If you stick to where the other people are, and use common sense, you will be fine. People in DC are generally friendly, so don't hesitate to ask if you get confused or need directions. Fortunately, the streets are arranged in a grid (you can thank Pierre L'Enfant for that) so the numbering and lettering make sense.

Don't forget your "Metro etiquette": stand to the right on the escalators so people who are in a hurry can walk/run by you on the left (much like when driving, slower traffic keeps right). Armed with this knowledge, you can point and laugh at all the tourists who don't know how to behave. ;)

Enjoy your time in the District! Please post here when you return to tell us about your adventures.

Edited by Greenville
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i will for sure post all my experiences and pictures i take there. I am planning on writing an essay on the trip. just for fun and other reasons. thank you for all your help guys/gals!!!

We would like to see what you think is important and memorable. Question, What are your interests? If we know what your interests are, we can lead you in the right direction for sites.

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Wheaton is located in the parking lot of an older Mall. Not a Mall that I go to. It is too run down.

When was the last time you were there? I ask because they just reopened the final stages of a complete renovation of the entire mall and it's quite nice. While the metro stop there is deep, the escalator ride up isn't all that interesting, I think Bethesda and Dupont have much more impressive looking rides from the bottom. I think it's because they have more escalators and therefore the tunnel is wider and has more light where the Wheaton escalators are in a dark narrow tunnel. Just my opinion and yes I have put way too much thought into it!

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