Regional transportation news stories compiled by CommuterPage.com. Subscribe to a daily email with the most recent news, recent ACCS blog posts, and upcoming events. Every CommuterPage.com News email includes an "unsubscribe" link.
Thanksgiving weekend Metro schedule: Single-tracking, closures
Here's what to expect if you're taking the Metro this weekend.
Alessia Grunberger, November 27, 2020, Takoma Park Patch
Possible legal challenges pose cost risks for Maryland toll lanes proposal
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has said the state can expand the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 at no net cost to taxpayers because the private sector will build billions of dollars of toll lanes in exchange for keeping most of the revenue.
Katherine Shaver, November 27, 2020, Washington Post
State expects I-495/I-270 widening to proceed despite Navy's opposition
Although the U.S. Navy has spoken strongly against Maryland’s I-495/I-270 widening project, state officials said they remain “confident” they can work out a deal to help make it happen.
Briana Adhikusuma, November 25, 2020, Bethesda Magazine
Weekend Road and Rail: Blue Line shutdown; roadwork reduced
The Blue Line will see a shutdown between Franconia-Springfield and King Street-Old Town for signal upgrades.
Mary DePompa, November 26, 2020, WTOP
Thank you. Yes, you!
Everyone in this bicycling community supports each other in so many ways, and we here at WABA are grateful for all of you: advocates, riders, volunteers, neighbors, and friends.
Colin Browne, November 26, 2020, WABA
26 DUI arrests made in first round of 2020-21 alcohol crackdown
The Alcohol Holiday Task Force arrested 26?? people for driving under the influence during a four-day period in Montgomery County.
Alessia Grunberger, November 25, 2020, Takoma Park Patch
Bicycling made 2020 a little better
During the pandemic, this community brought the joy of bicycling to more people than ever before -- and made our region a better place to bike in a time when we really needed it.
Greg Billing, November 25, 2020, WABA
Driving badly in DC? You might get a warning text.
If you’re a driver piling up traffic tickets, some researchers believe that you’re at a higher risk of being involved in a serious crash. But if those traffic violations happened in DC, you might get a warning first.
Libby Solomon, November 25, 2020, GGWash
Amtrak's enhanced cleaning strategy ahead of holiday travel
Amtrak says it has taken additional steps to ensure cleanliness and safety for those traveling during the coronavirus pandemic.
Valerie Bonk, November 25, 2020, WTOP
USDOT announces first-ever plan targeting pedestrian injuries, fatalities
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) said its recently released Pedestrian Safety Action Plan seeks to address the reduction of pedestrian injuries and fatalities on America’s roads.
Douglas Clark, November 25, 2020, Transportation Today
Driving top choice for Thanksgiving travelers in D.C. area: AAA
Thanksgiving travel usually means congested roads, mass delays and long lines at airports, but the pandemic has many Americans staying home.
November 25, 2020, NBC Washington
Millions of Americans stick to Thanksgiving travel plans despite warnings
About 1 million Americans a day packed airports and planes over the weekend even as coronavirus deaths surged across the U.S. and public health experts begged people to stay home and avoid big Thanksgiving gatherings.
November 25, 2020, Fox5
Md. and Purple Line contractors settle lawsuit, will move forward with reivised partnership
A lawsuit between the state of Maryland and the Purple Line’s private contractor partners has been settled out of court, paving the way for a smoother future for the beleaguered light rail line.
Jordan Pascale, November 24, 2020, dcist
WMATA pulls 6000-series railcars after second train separation in two months
Metro is pulling all its 6000-series railcars from service after a train separated Tuesday afternoon on the Red Line. The event bears similarities with another recent separation, the agency said in a statement.
Daniella Cheslow, November 24, 2020, dcist
12 passengers evacuated after Metro train separates while in service on Red Line
No passengers were hurt in the second uncoupling incident since October.
Justin George, November 24, 2020, Washington Post
Take action: Connecticut Ave. needs continuous, safe, protected bike lanes
The District Department of Transportation is considering removing the Connecticut Avenue reversible lane and redesigning the street from Chevy Chase to Woodley Park. We have a real opportunity to make the street safer, comfortable for biking, and a more vibrant, livable main street.
November 24, 2020, WABA
White Oak's first delineated bike lanes
Really late to this but earlier this year Montgomery County announced the first "protected bike lanes in White Oak," even though I don't think a lot of readers of this blog would call them "protected."
November 24, 2020, WashCycle
Amtrak releases FY 2020 data
Amtrak reported today preliminary results for fiscal year 2020 (October 2019-September 2020), including an operating loss of $801.1 million due to the pandemic.
Marybeth Luczak, November 23, 2020, Railway Age
Study: Free transit doesn't reduce driving -- but does increase local business support
A new study finds that commuters with access to free public transportation don’t drive any less -- but they do take more leisure and shopping trips than those who have to pay a fare, which could help provide local economies with the cash they need to provide more social services.
Kea Wilson, November 23, 2020, Streetsblog USA
TSA screens 2M flyers in two days after warning against travel
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has screened more than 2 million flyers on Friday and Saturday, in the two days after the federal government issued a warning against Thanksgiving travel.
Justine Coleman, November 22, 2020, The Hill
FBI investigating armed robberies of DC-area delivery drivers
Armed carjackings and robberies of commercial delivery drivers in parts of D.C. and Maryland have triggered an FBI investigation.
Matt Small, November 21, 2020, WTOP
US Navy strongly opposed to Capital Beltway widening project
In a tersely-worded letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation, the U.S. Navy served notice that the state should not plan on gaining control of “any” military property in Bethesda for the widening of the Capital Beltway (I-495).
Bruce DePuyt, November 21, 2020, WTOP
D.C. Council weighs making it easier for e-scooter riders to collect damages after crashes
Scooter and e-bike riders in the District could soon have a greater chance of collecting damages when they are involved in collisions with vehicles.
Luz Lazo, November 20, 2020, Washington Post
Studies show riding transit during pandemic is pretty safe
As coronavirus cases surge nationally, many scientific studies are reassuring essential workers that it’s largely safe to take public transportation (if they use basic precautions) -- and reminding Washington that it’s past time to give transit agencies the relief they need.
Kea Wilson, November 20, 2020, Streetsblog USA
18% of D.C. households use a bike once a week
Some interesting facts from the Transportation Planning Board's Regional Travel Survey.
November 20, 2020, WashCycle
In D.C., a resident tracks the flying machines hovering above on the city's 'helicopter highway'
D.C. resident Andrew Logan calls his neighborhood the city’s “helicopter highway.” Some evenings, whirlybirds of unknown origin seem to descend en masse.
Justin Wm. Moyer, November 20, 2020, Washington Post
Metro board approves budget cuts, buyouts as pandemic dents agency's budget
Metro board members unanimously approved service cuts and a buyout plan Thursday aimed at avoiding as many layoffs as possible as the transit agency faces a $176 million budget shortfall due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Justin George, November 19, 2020, Washington Post
Planning process for Army Navy Drive changes nearly complete
After five years, Arlington County is putting finishing touches on its Complete Street plan to improve walking, biking and driving conditions along a stretch of Army Navy Drive in the Pentagon City area.
Jo DeVoe, November 18, 2020, ARLnow
Metro board votes to change frequency of trains
The Metro board voted Thursday to close a budget gap by changing how often trains run.
Adam Tuss, November 19, 2020, NBC Washington
Metro budget crunch will mean less frequent trains, but not earlier closing time
Metro riders may soon have to wait a bit longer for a train, but won’t have to worry about the mass transit system closing down earlier than usual. The changes come as Metro faces a massive budget gap.
John Aaron, November 19, 2020, WTOP
Study: Drivers more reckless when their cars have more 'safe' AV tech
Automated vehicle technology was supposed to end car crashes forever — but a new study suggests that the more autonomous a car gets, the more reckless its driver may become, negating many of the technology’s safety benefits to vulnerable road users when “smart” cars make mistakes.
Kea Wilson, November 20, 2020, Streetsblog USA
DC Bike Ride is off this year, but organizers still want you to pedal for a purpose
Every year, the District shuts down some of its busiest streets for a few hours so bicyclists can pedal around the city without worrying about traffic. But this year, because of the pandemic, the DC Bike Ride has been called off.
John Domen, November 19, 2020, WTOP
DC-area residents staying put for Thanksgiving because of pandemic, AAA says
A majority of residents in D.C., Maryland and Virginia will not be traveling this Thanksgiving, in large part because of the coronavirus pandemic, AAA reports.
Anna Gawel, November 19, 2020, WTOP
Tysons Corner and Prince George's Plaza Metro stations are getting new names
Two Metro stations will be renamed, following a vote of the Metro Board of Directors.
Margaret Barthel, November 19, 2020, dcist
D.C. Council wants to bring oversight to Metro Transit Police
An effort to bring civilian oversight to WMATA’s police force is moving forward in the DC Council -- but to make real change, council members will have to get Maryland and Virginia lawmakers on board.
Libby Solomon, November 19, 2020, GGWash
Metro employee shot in apparent road rage attack
A Metro employee was shot in Virginia Wednesday evening during an apparent road rage incident, WMATA says.
November 19, 2020, NBC Washington
Federal transportation funds will help renovate roads and statues on DC bridges
Who’d guess a mural on the road could help improve safety at intersections? Some are going to get painted on curb extensions in D.C., compliments of federal transportation money helping fund seven projects in the city.
Kristi King, November 18, 2020, WTOP
How regional transportation hubs are preparing to keep travelers safe on Thanksgiving
Despite officials and experts advising against it, some locals will still be traveling for Thanksgiving.
Matt Blitz, November 18, 2020, dcist
Downturn in U.S. driving led global CO2 decline
U.S. cars and trucks, the source of 5 percent of world carbon emissions, have accounted for a whopping 20 percent of this year’s global dip in carbon pollution, according to comprehensive emissions data compiled by Carbon Monitor and recalculated by me for the Carbon Tax Center.
Charles Komanoff, November 18, 2020, Streetsblog USA
D.C. may mandate electric vehicle infrastructure in new and renovated buildings
A bill going through Council would require that at least 20% of parking spots in new or renovated commercial and apartment buildings have the infrastructure to allow for future electric vehicle charging.
Jordan Pascale, November 18, 2020, WAMU
Scooter and e-bike riders face a nearly impossible legal bar after crashes. A bill could change that.
Before 2016, if you were a pedestrian or bicyclist who was hit by the driver of a car in DC, if even 1% of the incident was your fault you couldn’t collect a cent in damages.
Libby Solomon, November 18, 2020, GGWash
FCC votes to open airwaves devoted to road safety to WiFi
The Federal Communications Commission voted Wednesday to open a new chunk of the airwaves for wireless Internet, a step designed to immediately make it easier for people to get online but which critics say could imperil future highway safety technology with the potential to save thousands of lives a year.
Ian Duncan, November 18, 2020, Washington Post
Md. will seek new Purple Line concessionaire if talks with original firms fail
The Maryland Transit Administration plans to pursue another public-private partnership to complete the Purple Line and operate it long-term if the state doesn’t reach a deal with the initial concessionaire over cost overruns, a top state transit official said Tuesday.
Katherine Shaver, November 18, 2020, Washington Post
Reagan National, Dulles won't fully recover from pandemic passenger drop until 2024
The COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on air travel demand will bring 10 straight years of passenger growth at Reagan National and Dulles International Airport combined to a screeching halt this year, and it will be years before passenger levels return to pre-pandemic levels.
Jeff Clabaugh, November 18, 2020, WTOP
Delta to block middle seats through March
Delta is extending its commitment to blocking middle seats on flights through March 2021, the airline announced on Wednesday.
Alex Gangitano, November 18, 2020, The Hill
FAA lifts ban on Boeing 737 Max
The Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on the Boeing 737 Max on Wednesday, 20 months after the aircraft was grounded following two crashes within five months that killed 346 people.
November 18, 2020, Washington Post
Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight
President-elect Joe Biden is eyeing the departments of Agriculture and Transportation as key partners for achieving his climate goals, exciting progressives by broadening efforts beyond traditional environmental agencies.
Rebecca Beitsch, November 18, 2020, The Hill
With ridership down 85%, here are the money-saving measures Metro will vote on this week
Metro's board of directors is expected to vote this week on budget cuts that are significant but less severe than the transit system's general manager first proposed months ago.
Tom Roussey, November 16, 2020, WJLA
Want more recreational space? Now is your chance to let the District know.
DC is looking for input on the master plan that will shape the city’s parks and recreation for the next 20 years.
George Kevin Jordan, November 17, 2020, GGWash
Covid testing before flying could become the norm as airlines try to boost confidence and woo travelers
With no federal mandates to follow, an increasing number of U.S. airlines and airports are offering preflight coronavirus testing to boost public confidence in flying during the pandemic and help restore their businesses.
Lori Aratani, Ian Duncan, November 17, 2020, Washington Post