Beware: Monday Commuting Nightmare Predicted
Hundreds of traffic lights are out and Metro must detour around downed power lines. HOV restrictions are lifted.
With hundreds of traffic signals still out and downed tree limbs blocking Metro routes, Monday's commute was shaping up to be especially bad as the Washington, DC, region struggled to recover from Friday's powerful storms.
The Maryland State Highway Administration is urging commuters to take public transportation as they head into work, while Metro warned of rail and bus delays.
HOV driving restrictions on Montgomery County’s Interstate 270 will be suspended to facilitate the flow of traffic.
More than 400 traffic signals were without power in Montgomery County Sunday and several roads remain blocked with fallen trees and limbs, according to an SHA news release.
SHA is warning commuters who need to drive to leave early and expect delays.
“This is a very serious situation and drivers need to be patient and allow extra time to commute in the morning as many traffic signals may still be without power,” said SHA spokeswoman Melinda Peters in a statement.
“At a signaled intersection where traffic lights are not operating it is imperative to treat it as a four-way stop, but remain extra cautious of other drivers that may think they have the right-of-way.”
Meanwhile, Metro announced Sunday that delays could be widespread Monday. About two dozen Metrobus routes are detouring around downed power lines, trees and other storm damage, according to a Metro news release.
Metro has enough third-rail power to support the rail system, but trains may need to run under speed restrictions if more commercial power is lost, according to the release.
All 86 stations will open Monday, but riders may notice "offline station equipment, including escalators, platform displays, lighting and PA systems" at some stations running on backup power systems.
Metro is advising riders to sign up for MetroAlerts to receive email or text message notification of delays.