Traffic blog: Commuters outraged by I-395 road striping

A view of the road Wednesday morning. (WTOP/Rick McClure)

WASHINGTON — When it comes to traffic in D.C., it’s always something. Well, Wednesday morning’s commute may be one for the record books.

The main call to the WTOP Traffic Center was not about a crash with an overturned tractor trailer, or the Beltway being littered with an oil spill. No, Wednesday morning, it was all about the lines on the road.

Apparently, in Virginia, Interstate 395’s terminal construction through Landmark had taken a turn. Or, as Jack Taylor said on air during the morning commute, “it was a line striping project gone awry.”

It appears a contractor failed to finish restriping about 1,000 feet of Interstate 395. Work on the interstate typically wraps up by the time commuters head out in the morning.

The WTOP Traffic Center received call after call from commuters about the incident — some angry, some enlightening, some very, very amusing. This was not taken lightly by the traffic staff. WTOP sent a driver to take a look and he too was bewildered and at a loss for words by the project calamity.

Usually, a summertime rush hour is lighter than normal, but by mid-rush Wednesday morning, delays on I-395 heading northbound toward D.C. stemmed from I-95 in Newington.

The phones were ringing off the hook with great descriptions of the mishap, how the lanes went from three to four, back to three. But our favorite description in the Traffic Center came via social media, using a Seinfeld reference, asking if Kramer was in charge of the paint job, “Kramer Striping.”

Eventually, WTOP did get word from VDOT. The situation was deemed to be an incomplete project, which comes as no surprise. But, commuters can rest assured it will be remedied during the overnight and ready to go again tomorrow morning, hopefully.

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