Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

Z-Burger New Kid On The Burger Block

lAs you know I’m a fan of a good burger. So you can understand that I was intrigued when I learned from Lemmonex that there was a new burger place in town. I was so intrigued that I trekked all the way from Arlington to Tenleytown to check out Z-Burger.

The reviews of this place make lots of mentions of milk shakes, onion rings, and comparisons to Five Guys-  the golden standard of burgers around here. I drove by it and I noticed the Z logo, complete with a ribbon that resembles a superhero cape- is Z-Burger here to save us from the burger monotony?

The storefront is sleek and smooth, brushed metal describes the decor rather well and the signage explained simply what I could expect: “Z-Burgers, Z Fries & Shakes.” When I walked in the menu was rather familiar for fans of Five Guys:  Fresh burgers and toppings (that come with either 1 or 2 patties) and generous portions of fries cooked in peanut oil. What makes Z-Burger different are a few extra menu items which includes the aforementioned onion rings and milkshakes (75 flavors to choose from!) If you go to their Glover Park location you can also order salads. The Tenleytown location I visited also had a neighboring store inside called, “Sandwish” but it didn’t looked opened yet and I’m unsure of the status on that.

The food itself was great and honestly, kinda hard to tell apart from Five Guys. I ordered the seasoned fries which gave an extra kick out of the fries I’d usually expect. All in all, Z-Burger makes a solid product but I’ll need repeat visits to see who has the edge. I’ll also need those visits to try their other menu choices as well.

Z-Burger is definitely made a splash jumping into the Five Guys dominated DC burger market, but time will tell if this town is going to be big enough for the two of them.

Z-Burger
4321 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 966-1999

2414 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 965-7777

http://www.zburger.com

Metro Crash Aftermath: Expect Commute From Hell This Morning

Here’s the official from WMATA, complete with everything you need to know about commuting on Tuesday:

Red Line service will be severely impacted on Tuesday, June 23, as a result of a fatal collision on the Red Line on Monday, June 22, between the Fort Totten and Takoma Metrorail stations.

Red Line riders will have several options on Tuesday morning, however if they are able to avoid the Red Line, that may be the best option for Tuesday.

The Red Line will be operating in two sections on Tuesday. Trains will run back and forth between the Glenmont and Silver Spring Metrorail stations and between the Shady Grove and the Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood Metrorail station. All trains will be six- and eight-car trains on the Red Line and they will be running about 8 to 10 minutes apart. Trains are expected to be very crowded.

The Brookland-CUA, Fort Totten and Takoma Metrorail stations will be closed to Red Line traffic.

Free Metrobus shuttles will be available to take customers around the incident between the Silver Spring, Fort Totten, Brookland-CUA, Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood and Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metrorail stations. People can expect long waits for buses as a full Metrorail train often carries 100 people or more per car and a bus can only hold about 50 people at a time.

Metro officials recommend that customers who normally use the Red Line between the Glenmont and Silver Spring Metrorail stations should commute to Metrorail stations between the Shady Grove and Grosvenor-Strathmore Metrorail stations, or to use the following Metrobus lines to avoid the service disruption:

• Metrobus C8 line (Glenmont to White Flint)
• Metrobus Q2 line (Wheaton to Rockville)
• Metrobus C2, C4 line (Wheaton to Twinbrook)
• Metrobus J1 line (Silver Spring to Medical Center)
• Metrobus J2, J3, J4 line (Silver Spring to Bethesda)
• Metrobus L7, L8 line (Friendship Heights)

Metro officials also recommend that people utilize the Green Line from Greenbelt to the Fort Totten Metrorail station for service into downtown DC.

Metro Crash On Red Line Between Takoma And Ft. Totten Stations

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Be careful Red Line Metro Riders! RT @metro_man Red line crashed!

That was the tweet I got from MeggiePoo as I wrapped things up at my office. I wrote it off as a routine fender bender that causes most of the Metro Fails we all experience on a daily basis. I drive home from my office down the street to my home, thinking how lucky I am not to be stuck in the Metro system.

I arrived home and turn on NBC4 to see the dramatic image of two Metro trains collide and stack on top of each other. I listen and watch while eating dinner and started to take it all in. Mid-bite I realized that the accident happened on the same line my roommate takes from her Silver Spring office back home to Arlington. I drop my things and run to my cell phone.

Those were the longest 90 seconds of my life as I waited to see if she would answer.

My roommate finally did, she missed that train by five minutes and was stuck on the platform, however she was safe and found a ride home.

Here’s what we know now (see update below)

  • At least 4 people are dead (one confirmed to be a female WMATA employee- a train operator), over 100 are injured
  • One train has appeared to rear end the other- this is not a head to head collision
  • There have been reports that there was track work scheduled on the Red Line earlier today
  • FBI is on the scene to assist but there is no reason to suspect that this was a criminal act
  • The rest of the lines appear to be working but they are moving slow
  • Adrian Fenty will hold a press conference soon

Here’s the official word from WMATA:

A six-car Red Line train headed in the direction of Shady Grove derailed between the Takoma and Fort Totten Metrorail stations today and was involved in a collision with another train at 5 p.m. today, Monday, June 22.

Metro officials advise that people avoid the Red Line this afternoon. Trains are operating between Glenmont and Takoma Metrorail and between Shady Grove and Brookland stations for the remainder of the day.

There are preliminary reports of injuries on board, some serious. Emergency officials are responding to the scene.

This being said- avoid the Red Line at all costs.

Twitter has been crazy and DCist is all over the situation.

As I return to watch more, my hopes and prayers go out to everyone in the District- I hope everyone makes it back home safe!

UPDATE 8:59 PM: As the night winds down let’s do a recap and review of the latest

  • A correction on an earlier title of the post, the Metro crash occurred on the Red Line between the Takoma and Ft. Totten Stations.
  • More detail and the actual accident: around 5 PM today a train was waiting on the tracks for the platform ahead to open up when another train slammed into it from behind. The trains were six-car trains and were headed in the same direction. The female operator of the trailing train died.
  • The Washington Post reports that at least six people are dead and scores of passengers are injured and are being described as “walking wounded” in what is being called the deadliest accident in Metro history. The last time two trains crashed was back in November 2004.
  • The Metro is still operating between Glenmont and Silver Spring and between Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue. Around the accident scene Metro is offering a shuttle bus service.
  • If you are seeking information on anyone that may have been riding on those trains should call the Metro Emergency Information line at 202-737-4404. If you live in Washington DC you can also call 311.
  • Metro reports that the sections of the Red Line where the accident occurred will be closed through tomorrow, so plan your commutes accordingly.

Here is video of the Mayor’s press conference earlier tonight:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGdew-OF7JE[/youtube]

After the Mayor was on, the Metro Chief provided more details on the accident:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VT23UJR-tg[/youtube]

Daily DC Item: Get Your Water On At Union Station

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Victoria Belanger

Now I’ve had my own experiences with keeping hydrated but it looks like Crystal Light would like to encourage women to drink more water, and is launching their own Water Way Challenge. I prefer the challenge I took on last month but for those that are going to be around DC and Union Station should be on the lookout for, “CONVERTibles” cruising around town giving away free bottles of water.

Given today’s temps are going to reach the mid 80’s, I say it’s a deal you shouldn’t pass up.

UPDATE: All these things will be going on next Tuesday, so be on the look out next week!

F-16 Flyovers This Morning And Wednesday Night

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In an effort avoid another low-flying plane SNAFU, word is out that the North American Aerospace Defense Command will be conducting low altitude fly overs where F-16 fighter jets, Cessna prop planes, and helicopters will be involved in an exercise over downtown. The Post has the brief announcement, which notes that the activities will be taking place between midnight Monday to 6 AM. The exercise will repeat on Tuesday midnight to 6 AM Wednesday. For all you early bird don’t panic, it’s just a drill.

Highlights from Bike To Work Day

 

Photo props to WABA

WABA again did an excellent job with Bike to Work Day in downtown DC on Friday, May 15.  For those of you who aren’t hardcore cyclists, I have to say I recommend this event highly even if you only bike to work one day a year!  A few highlights:

  • Most importantly, the weather held out – perfect temperatures and no raindrops on Freedom Plaza!
  • The food was excellent – bagels and schmears, apples and oranges all nicely quartered, hot coffee and cold tea — and plenty of  it.  Yay, sponsors!
  • The Coast Guard contingent was particularly impressive, led by Admiral Thad Allen
  • A surprise visit by the Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate, Stephen Chu, who clearly knows his way around a bike.    Here’s hoping he has reversed the insane disincentives to bike to work at the Forrestal Building.
  • Excellent giveaways and raffles; the drawings are the only time during the event that everyone on the plaza pays strict attention.  Again, yay, sponsors!
  • A lot of other speakers (of varying degrees of interest) allowing plenty of time to chat with friends. :)  Amazing who you run into at this thing.  I swear, every year it’s someone else.
  • All kinds of kids, dogs, and bikes; a great opportunity to shop for new gear by talking to folks who already own it.
  • The Tune Ups, always a treat at BtW, did a memorable rendition of Smart Bike Ditty, which I am still humming.  Where’s your website, kids?  I want youtube videos!
  • I didn’t stick around to see Mayor Fenty (as I had to, you know, actually bike to work).  Just FYI, the festivities normally run from 8 to 9 am.

Daily DC Item: Street Lines FAIL?

Courtesy of Loudoun Extra

It looks like something straight out of FAIL Blog but it’s not.

The Zig-Zag lines you see there is not the product of drunken VDOT workers, it’s actually a new technique that is being tried out in Ashburn to reduce accidents at pedestrian and bicycle crossings. The technique of painting confusing lines to slow down drivers has already been used in Europe, and VDOT is one of the first in the United States to try it out for themselves.

If you are interested in seeing the work it has been placed along Route 7 at Belmont Ridge Road and Sterling Boulevard. And if it catches on it will be implemented in more areas throughout the region.

If you thought that wasn’t crazy enough the Loudoun Extra article on the story ends with, “VDOT officials aren’t sure what to expect from the zigzag lines but will try to gauge how they are working this week by placing “fake” pedestrians in the crosswalk to see what happens.” Fake pedestrians? Why does that sound like joy to a reckless teenager?

Eating on The Metro: Why I’m For It

photo

As we leave another tourist-filled, sports heavy weekend behind us here in the District I’d like to share a few thoughts I have about eating on the metro.  Throngs of people packed into tiny spaces, tourists collecting at the bottom of escalators and failing to understand that the train extends all the way along the platform-you may think that, as fed up as I already sound about PT in DC, that I’d be calling for you all to not bring your snack on the train.

On the contrary-I’m all for it.  Full disclosure here- what follows is an updated post from my personal blog that posted just about a year ago (before my Metblog rebirth).  Still, it was time to update and reintroduce the topic to a much wider audience (that’d be you). 

The reason it all came back to me now is the picture above-taken during the cherry blossom weekend rush.  Some kid spilled his smoothie (which he wasn’t drinking) over the rug.  People had to step around it.  So why am I okay with it?  Well-read on!

(more…)

DC Video: Cherry Blossom Madness In Metro

I couldn’t avoid the crowds as I tried to make my way to a Heat/Wizards game over at the Verizon Center. These were the crowds I had to put up with at Metro Center.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x74zpnMwHxM[/youtube]

Now this is why I stay away from the Cherry Blossoms.

More Traffic Woes Hit I-66 This Morning

I was really frustrated yesterday when my evening commute was delayed thanks to gridlock downtown caused by malfunctioning traffic lights.

Looks like those coming into DC from out west will be feeling the same pain. From the Washington Post:

A multi-vehicle accident has closed some lanes of eastbound Interstate 66 this morning between Centreville and Manassas, with rush-hour traffic backing up and a trickle of vehicles squeezing by, officials said.

A staffer at the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Smart Traffic Center said the accident involved five cars and a tractor trailer, between mile markers 48 and 49. Several people were reportedly injured and taken to local hospitals for treatment.

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