New School Budget Approved — The Arlington School Board approved a new $499.98 million budget last night. The budget includes a 2.84 percent cost of living increase for school employees, but no seniority-based “step” increases. The per-student cost at Arlington Public Schools will increase to $18,615, up from $18,400 in Superintendent Patrick Murphy’s FY 2013 proposed budget and $18,110 in this past year’s budget. [Sun Gazette]
Extra I-66 Lane Studied — Adding an extra lane in each direction on I-66 would improve travel times for drivers by only about 2 percent, while costing some $310 to $685 million, according to a preliminary study. [Greater Greater Washington]
Human Error in Rosslyn Derailment — Human error is suspected in Tuesday night’s derailment at the Rosslyn Metro station. Two Metro employees were placed on paid leave following the incident. [Washington Post]
Randy Johnson Visits W-L – Future Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson came to Arlington to watch a Washington-Lee High School baseball game last Friday. The Big Unit spent time in the dugout and posed for photos with players. [Patch]
Last 5K Friday Tonight — The last Crystal City 5K Friday of the season will take place starting at 6:30 tonight. Registration for the race is $20. [Pacers Events]
Could anything else go wrong on outgoing Metro General Manager John Catoe’s watch? Catoe leaves office on April 2, which may be time enough for Metro to have another major, every-one’s-commute-affected catastrophe.
Today started out with Metrorail only serving the closer-to-the-city stations, leaving those in the outer suburbs to fend for themselves. Many people chose to drive, causing highways to turn into parking lots.
Then, in many cases, Metro only ran the trains every 30-45 minutes, causing huge lines to form at stations. At one point, according to several accounts, access to the Ballston Metro station was cut off due to too many people waiting for trains. Massive queues were also reported at the Pentagon City Metro station.
Finally, although this was beyond Metro’s control, a train derailed at the Farragut North station, causing already-bad delays on the Red Line to become nightmarish. Luckily, there were only a few very minor injuries.
The derailed train has been cleared and the stationed has reopened, Metro says, but the delays continue.
“Trains will be restricted to a speed of 25 mph between Dupont Circle and Farragut North Metrorail stations while Metro officials investigate the incident,” Metro said in a statement.
Metro says 345 people were on board the derailed six-car train, which should give you a sense of just how full trains are running today.