The department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to share the reminder: “Buckle Up — Every Trip. Every Time.”
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Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes. As we approach the winter holiday season, we want to make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash, buckling up. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement from November 20 to December 1, 2017.
According to NHTSA, during the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend, 301 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide, and 53 percent were not their wearing seat belts at the time of the fatal crash. Nighttime proved even more deadly, with 57 percent of Thanksgiving weekend crashes occurring at night. That’s why one focus of the campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.
To learn more about the campaign, visit the NHTSA website.
In a similar effort, Virginia State Police will be be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., the Combined Accident Reduction Effort. Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program designed to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and not wearing seatbelts.
State police will have increased enforcement from tomorrow (Wednesday) through Sunday.
“Tragically, traffic fatalities are on the rise in Virginia,” Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, said in a statement. “We’ve seen an 11 percent increase over this time last year. With so many people estimated to travel over the Thanksgiving weekend, we need everyone to help prevent crashes by driving smart, buckling up and never driving drunk or drugged. We want everyone to arrive alive and enjoy the holiday.”
And while traffic may be busy along the I-95 corridor, as it has been historically at this time of year, the Virginia Department of Transportation is trying to make life a little easier.
During the Thanksgiving travel period, VDOT will suspend most major highway work zones and lift lane closures on Virginia interstates and major streets from Wednesday through noon on Monday, November 27.
VDOT’s Thanksgiving traffic trends map shows that Tuesday evening and midday Wednesday are among the busiest times on Virginia highways for heading out of the D.C. area.
— Adam Tuss (@AdamTuss) November 15, 2017
Similarly, Metro has no scheduled track work on Thanksgiving Day, with trains and buses operating on a Sunday schedule. The system opens at 8 a.m., and will close at 11 p.m. On Friday, November 24, the system will be open on a normal weekday schedule.
Metro’s next round of SafeTrack “surge” work begins Monday and it’s expected to have a major impact on Arlington commuters.
Surge #11 is scheduled from Nov. 28 to Dec. 21. The 24-day project will involve track work and single-tracking between the West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations, on the Orange and Silver lines.
The first 14 days of the work are expected to be especially disruptive as Metro will be unable to run additional trains to make up for the reduction in service. That’s due to the location of the track work and Metro’s rail signaling service, officials said.
“There will be a severe reduction in train service,” said Joe Leader, Metro’s Chief Operating Officer. “The first two weeks of this surge will be the worst of anything our riders have experienced so far since we started Safetrack.”
Riders should expect “very crowded trains and platforms.” Trains running through Arlington may be so crowded that riders will be unable to board during rush hour.
Additional ART buses and Metrobus shuttles will run along Arlington’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor to help provide additional capacity during the surge. Arlington County is also encouraging commuters to telecommute during the project.
Ultimately, the track work is expected to result in a smoother ride and more reliable service along the Orange and Silver lines.
“It’s going to be intense for the first two weeks,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey, during a press conference at the West Falls Church Metro station. “It’s short term pain for a lot of gain and it’s something that we’ve got to do.”
Starting at 10:00 p.m. on Friday the East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring and Vienna stations will be closed. Crews will be working on signal system integration with the new Silver Line extension. Trains will still operate on a normal weekend schedule between Ballston and New Carrollton.
Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Ballston and Vienna. Express buses will run only between the Vienna and Ballston stops; local buses will serve all stops in between Ballston and Vienna. Customers taking the express buses should expect to add an additional 25 minutes of travel time and those using the local buses should add up to 50 minutes of travel time.
The service alterations continue until closing on Sunday. More information about weekend track work throughout the system is available on WMATA’s website.
It’s Friday the 13th — According to superstition, it’s a day of supreme unluckiness. According to one Dutch statistics keeper, it’s actually less unlucky than other days. [Wikipedia]
Reminder: Blue, Yellow Line Work — As a reminder, track work will shut down the Blue and Yellow lines between the Pentagon City and Braddock Road stations this weekend. That means the Crystal City and National Airport stations will be closed. Free shuttle bus service will be provided.
Streetcar Skepticism on Board — Arlington County Board members Libby Garvey and Walter Tejada are both expressing skepticism about the controversial Columbia Pike streetcar project. The Board is scheduled to vote on the project on Monday, July 23. [Sun Gazette]
Colombia National Day Celebration — Arlington will celebrate the 24th annual Colombia National Day on Saturday (July 14). The event, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Theater (125 S. Old Glebe Road) will feature festivities like Colombian folkloric dance and musical performances. For more information, call 703-228-1850.
Murray on Moran Health Care Vote — Republican congressional candidate Patrick Murray is blasting his opponent, Rep. Jim Moran (D), for voting against the latest GOP attempt to repeal President Obama’s health care law. “I’m an eternal optimist,” Murray said. “I hoped against hope that, after having had an opportunity to actually read what is in this 2,700 page bill, Moran would have put partisanship aside and voted in favor of Americans. Sadly he again chose Party over country, particularly for young Americans.”
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
New Long-Haul Flights Coming to DCA — Three new long-haul flights to western cities are being added at Reagan National Airport. A new United flight to San Francisco will start in May, and flights to Salt Lake City and Los Angeles will start in June. While travelers may be happy about the new nonstop options, some Arlington residents are concerned about the potential for added noise from the larger planes necessary for the long-haul flights. [Sun Gazette, Washington Business Journal]
Metro Track Work This Week — Metro is working on the Blue Line this week, and those who travel between the District and Arlington around midday may experience some delays as a result. Metro is single-tracking between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day through Friday. Crews are performing “rail, fastener, tie and insulator renewal.” Riders should add an extra 10 minutes to their travel time, according to Metro. Orange Line passengers may also experience brief delays as a result of the Blue Line work. [WMATA]
Pricey Rehab Options for Reeves Farm — The historic Reeves Farm, located near Bluemont Park, is in need of rehabilitation. According to a new report, it will cost between $1.1 and $1.3 million to convert the Reeves farmhouse to a learning center or demonstration kitchen. [Arlington Mercury]
Retailers Helping Arlington’s Car-Free Diet — The Arlington County Commuter Services Bureau has partnered with 327 local retailers to help promote its Car-Free Diet campaign. You can find a map and a list of specific options for getting to each retailer without a car on the Car-Free Diet web site. [TBD]
As we reported earlier this week, riding Metro will be a challenge for users of the Orange and Blue lines this weekend. Major track work will force the closure of the Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery stations.
The closures will be in place starting at 10:00 tonight and continuing until the system closes on Sunday. WMATA says workers will renew rail fasteners, replace insulators and remove sludge from the tunnel beneath the Potomac River.
Orange Line trains will be split into two segments. One set of trains will run between Vienna and Court House every 20 minutes, and another between Foggy Bottom and New Carrollton at normal weekend service levels.
Blue Line trains will also operate in two segments. One set of trains will run between Franconia-Springfield and Mt. Vernon Square via the Yellow Line bridge at normal weekend service levels, and the other between Foggy Bottom and Largo Town Center at normal weekend service levels.
Shuttle buses will be provided at affected stations along both lines. Metro says riders should expect to add 20-30 minutes to regular travel time — or reconsider their use of Metrorail altogether.
“While bus shuttle service is available, customers traveling between the District and Blue/Yellow stations in Virginia may wish to consider alternate travel options,” WMATA said on its web site.
More details about the buses and the service impacts, after the jump.
Metro will be performing major track work this weekend on all five rail lines, including the Blue, Orange and Yellow lines. Riders should expect some delays starting at 10:00 p.m. Friday (tonight) through system closing on Sunday.
Orange Line trains will be single-tracking between the East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations for testing of the Dulles rail project. As a result, Orange Line trains will be running roughly every 24 minutes in each direction.
Blue Line trains will be single-tracking between Braddock Road and Van Dorn Street for rail rehabilitation. Trains will run every 24 minutes in each direction. WMATA says Blue and Orange line trains will be coordinated to that one arrives every 12 minutes from Rosslyn to Stadium-Armory.
Yellow Line trains will also be single-tracking, between Braddock Road and Huntington, for rail rehabilitation. Like the Blue and Orange lines, Yellow Line trains will be running every 24 minutes in each direction.
Metro says that additional trains may be placed into service on any of the three lines “based on ridership and available track space.”
A cracked Yellow Line rail, caused by the recent dramatic downward swing in temperatures, is forcing trains to use a single track near the Pentagon.
The track problem is causing 20-30 minutes delays on the Yellow Line and slight delays on the Blue Line, according to WMATA. As a result, Metro is advising customers to use the Blue Line instead of the Yellow.
Crews will not be able to fix the cracked rail until after the morning rush hour, according to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
Trains will not run between East Falls Church and West Falls Church while crews work on the Dulles rail extension project. Passengers will be able to use free shuttle buses between the two stations. Buses will run from tonight at 8 p.m. through closing on Monday.
The last train from Vienna will also depart 20 minutes earlier than usual–at 2:08 a.m. tonight and tomorrow night, and 11:08 p.m. on Sunday.
Riders who travel through the work zones should expect to add about 30 minutes to travel times until normal service resumes on Tuesday.
The Blue Line will also be undergoing major construction. Click here to see the full list of Metro changes this weekend.
Metro is warning Blue and Yellow Line riders to add a half hour to their travel time this weekend.
Track work, starting at 10:00 tonight and ending at midnight on Sunday, will force trains to single-track through parts of the system.
Metro says riders should expect trains to run about every 30 minutes on both lines.
As a reminder, those driving into the District may also face delays this weekend. Chain Bridge will be closed to all traffic starting at 9:00 tonight.