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Traveler's Notes . . .

March 19, 2000|TIMES WIRES

Cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., are expected to bloom earlier than average, peaking early this week, before the March 26 to April 9 National Cherry Blossom Festival. The National Park Service, which estimated the peak last week, said warm days had accelerated the blooming schedule. . . . A coalition of skaters, cyclists and public transit advocates in San Francisco is collecting signatures for a November ballot initiative to extend the Sunday closure of auto traffic on John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park to Saturdays. They must collect 9,735 signatures by July 10 to make the ballot. The city has considered the idea before, but protests from the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum and the California Academy of Sciences killed the proposal. . . . Major U.S. airlines' fuel costs could rise about 40% this year from 1999, and passengers will likely pay much of that in higher fares, the Air Transport Assn., an industry trade group, said last week. It estimated that fuel costs for the U.S. airline industry will rise from $10.2 billion in 1999 to $14.6 billion this year. U.S. carriers have had spotty luck so far this year in raising prices to offset the fuel costs.

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