Stuck in Traffic

Even the president of the United States can’t escape the United States’
jammed highways.

On his way to play golf on Sunday, President Obama ended up stuck for nearly
15 minutes in a monstrous traffic tie-up at Northern Virginia’s Springfield
Interchange, a notoriously crowded point where the Capital Beltway and
interstates 95 and 395 converge into a convoluted and congested ribbon of
ramps.

The presidential motorcade normally speeds through Washington as city police
shut down intersections. But this time, police, Secret Service and President
Obama inched past what the White House pool report called “at least a
half-dozen exits” before the motorcade cut across traffic to leave the
highway.

All in all, it took 36 minutes to get from the White House to Fort Belvoir,
the military base where the president played golf, which most would consider
a pretty fast trip. But it may have given him time to study reports on the
need for many, many billions of dollars needed for infrastructure
improvement.

The president can take heart that the traffic jam could have been worse: The
packed highway interchange recently underwent a massive and expensive
construction overhaul that sought to untangle the traffic nightmare.

Still, the president had little choice but to face the traffic. Fort Belvoir
is well out in the Virginia suburbs of Washington and there’s no passenger
rail service, even the subway system, within a few miles.

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