The Inner Scoop
Find out the story behind the back-up on the WTOP Traffic Blog. The WTOP traffic team will have the lastest on road closures, construction projects and other useful information relating to your commute.
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Posted on: Friday 6/28/2013 1:51pm
WASHINGTON - The usual summer traffic patterns will slow weekend drivers down for the next several months. Steady increases in highway volume have led to delays on Interstate 95 in Virginia and Route 50 toward the Bay Bridge as vacationers and weekenders take to the roads. Typical summer travel weather, including the occasional downpour, can also be expected this weekend.
In addition to possible volume and weather delays, there are a few events and work zones to be aware of around town.
The DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance 5k Run/2k Walk will be held on Saturday at 8 a.m. on the Howard University campus, in front of the School of Medicine. The course will close parts of W Street, 5th and 6th streets and Gresham Street, but is not expected to have a major impact on travel.
Runners in the Pacers Mini Relay will dart between Pacers Running Store locations in Alexandria, Arlington and Washington on Saturday afternoon.
The relay begins around 4 p.m. near King Street and Payne Street, in Old Town. Runners will make their way north to Pentagon City, then into Washington toward a handoff location near Logan Circle, then back to Arlington. There are no road closures scheduled for the relay, but drivers should remain alert near crosswalks.
The Run for Independence 8k course will be held at 7 a.m. on Saturday in historic Leesburg. The eight- mile race will affect travel through Leesburg on routes including Catoctin Circle, North King Street (Route 15) and Battlefield Parkway, where runners will be relegated to the curb lanes. Be careful winding your way around the traffic cones and follow police direction where available.
Weekend sports delays
DC United plays against the Vancouver Whitecaps at RFK Stadium at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Fans driving to the match from Virginia should by now be used to the new traffic pattern on the eastbound Southeast/Southwest Freeway (I-395/I-695). Since there is no longer direct access to Parking Lot 8 from the freeway fans should take the outbound 11th Street Bridge to D.C. Route 295 North toward Benning Road to arrive at the stadium lots.
Normal traffic control during DC United home matches includes a lane closure on Route 295 south before the on-ramp from East Capitol Street. Although this lane reduction creates a safer merge for post-game traffic, it also tends to delay inbound traffic from Maryland and Northeast Washington on Kenilworth Avenue. Since this weekend's match is later than last weekend, delays should be relatively brief.
I-95 express lanes construction
Construction of the new I-95 express lanes is in full swing. Crews will close the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on Friday night as the process of transforming the express lanes into dynamically tolled lanes continues.
On Saturday, the express lanes will serve southbound traffic through early afternoon, but a short segment will remain closed for work from south of Duke Street on I-395 to the Franconia-Springfield Parkway on I-95. When the work zone clears by mid-afternoon, the lanes are expected to open to northbound traffic.
The lanes will again be closed late Saturday night through early Sunday morning.
Delays are likely for southbound traffic on I-95 on Saturday morning. Although the express lanes will be accessible south of Newington, many motorists are likely to remain in the mainline, which will likely be heavy early toward Woodbridge.
11th Street Bridge construction
In Southeast Washington, the major overhaul of the 11th Street Bridge and its connections to and from the Southeast Freeway continue on Sunday. A section of 8th Street SE between Virginia Avenue and I Street will be closed between noon and 6 p.m. to begin construction of a new on-ramp to the eastbound freeway.
Motorists may have noticed that construction of the new outbound freeway bridge has commenced. The demolition of the old outbound bridge was largely completed as of last week as the last bridge pier was dismantled near 8th Street.
This new bridge will connect the eastbound freeway to the outbound 11th Street Bridge. Currently outbound traffic, in a temporary configuration, is traveling in what will eventually be the inbound lanes.
Metrorail track work
All Metro stations will remain open this weekend, but routine track work will lead to delays on all five rail lines. The work begins at 10 p.m. on Friday and lasts through the weekend.
Red Line trains will operate every 20 minutes. Orange and Blue line trains will run at 24-minute intervals. Yellow Line trains will operate every 24 minutes between Huntington & Mt. Vernon Square.
On the Green Line, trains will single-track through a work zone between Branch Avenue and College Park. Trains will otherwise run at normal intervals.
You can find more on this weekend's track work here.
Posted on: Thursday 6/27/2013 4:21pm
WASHINGTON - Metro will halt track work and add extra trains to handle the crowds this Fourth of July.
Metrorail will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight on the nation's birthday and will offer service levels similar to the rush hour from 6 p.m. to midnight to accommodate the heavy traffic.
In addition to the 9:10 p.m. fireworks display on the National Mall, the Washington Nationals play at home during the day. And more than 500,000 people are expected to travel on Metro to holiday events throughout the region.
No track work will delay riders or trains and all stations will be open. However Smithsonian Station will be entry-only after the fireworks end.
Riders are encouraged to avoid transferring once inside the system to avoid crowded transfer stations. And riders will not be allowed to bring bicycles or large coolers on Metro trains.
"We start out running a Saturday service. But as you get closer to late afternoon, early evening, we get to almost full rush hour service. But only so many can fit through the station at once," says Metro General Manager Richard Sarles.
Sarles encourages riders to purchase their fare card in advance to avoid long lines at the fare machines. And choose a station a little further from the National Mall to avoid crowded platforms and escalators.
"Walk down from Gallery Place or L'Enfante Plaza or even frankly Metro Center. It's not that long of a walk," he says.
Alternate stations include:
- Foggy Bottom for Orange or Blue line riders
- Metro Center for Red, Orange or Blue line riders
- Archives for Yellow or Green line riders
- Gallery Place for Red, Yellow or Green line riders
- Union Station for Red Line riders
- L'Enfant Plaza for Orange, Blue, Yellow or Green line riders
- Capitol South for Orange or Blue line riders
Metro has posted more details and fare information for the holiday on its website.
WTOP's Ari Ashe contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
Posted on: Saturday 6/22/2013 2:39am
WASHINGTON - Summer weekend traffic patterns will be in place for the next several months as most schools have let out for vacation.
On Sundays the usual sore spots where traffic tends to slow include northbound Interstate 95 through Fredericksburg, Va. and Stafford County, Va. and Route 50 through Queenstown, Md. It is not uncommon for Interstate 66 to bog down during the daytime hours.
Events around the area
Many motorists will be heading downtown for Safeway's National Capital Barbecue Battle. The event will block Pennsylvania Avenue downtown between 9th and 14th streets NW. It will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Expect delays on the routes around Federal Triangle and inside the 12th Street Tunnel.
In Clarendon, the Arlington Festival of the Arts will block Highland Street through the weekend.
From 4 a.m. on June 22 to 10 p.m. on June 23, 2013:
- N. Highland St. from Washington Blvd. to 1210 N. Highland St. -- Vehicles will be permitted to enter and exit the parking garage for 3100 Clarendon Blvd. via N. 11th St.
- N. Hartford St. from N. Highland St. to 1228 N. Hartford St.
The festival will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and may affect traffic on Wilson and Clarendon boulevards. The event is accessible by Metro.
In Leesburg the popular Northern Virginia Brewfest will take place at Morven Park. In the past, this event has caused significant delays on Route 15 between the Route 7 Bypass and Lucketts, Va. Police will be on scene directing traffic after 10 a.m. near the park entrances.
Loudoun County authorities warn that attendees will encounter a new traffic pattern on Route 15. Earlier this month the traffic signals on Route 15 at Sycolin Road were removed as the construction of a new overpass ensues.
Track work on Metro will prompt delays on the Red Line. Shuttle buses will replace trains between Rhode Island Avenue and Forest Glen.
The Brookland, Takoma and Silver Spring stations will be closed. Two types of buses will be available outside these stations. Limited-stop buses will run between Forest Glen and Rhode Island Avenue and will make one stop at Silver Spring. Local buses will make stops at all closed stations.
The Fort Totten station will be open for Green and Yellow line service only.
Trains will single track on the Orange Line between Cheverly and New Carrollton. Delays are not expected between Vienna and Cheverly.
There is no scheduled work on the Blue, Yellow and Green lines.
Posted on: Tuesday 6/18/2013 3:06am
WASHINGTON - On your commute there's probably one traffic light that just drives you crazy. You're not alone, but there's a reason traffic signals work they way they do.
Traffic lights facilitate the flow of traffic, and an array of traffic signals working harmoniously regulates the flow of traffic across a broader region.
In densely populated areas, however, a network of signals can quickly become overloaded during peak travel times. That's when frustration sets in.
An unofficial WTOP poll conducted in late May asked local motorists to identify the intersections that cost them the most time. The map below illustrates the widespread nature of the grievances aired by these commuters.
View Traffic Lights Poll in a larger map
The process of coordinating a network of traffic lights can be complex and exhaustive. Detailed studies and weekly surveys account for drivers traveling roads of varying capacity across a broad area to various points at different times of the day. The balance between optimal and gridlock is often tenuous.
Wayne Wentz, chief of transportation, engineering and operations for Arlington County's Department of Environmental Services, says highway engineers often work on razor-thin margins when timing a series of traffic signals.
"You have to essentially time a whole corridor for the worst intersection in that corridor, two major arterials (that) both need a certain amount of time to serve them. All the other streets on each corridor then need to match that same cycle length if we're going to synchronize," Wentz says.
It's not just vehicles - planners also have to factor in pedestrian traffic patterns at nearby crosswalks.
Wentz says that long cycle lengths are pedestrian-unfriendly and can lead to jaywalking and other unsafe behaviors, which can result in bigger problems for road users.
Highway engineers classify the batch of vehicles that accelerate away from a green light as a "platoon."
"We try to do a time-space analysis," Wentz says. "If any particular signal lets a platoon of cars go and that platoon is going to travel at a certain speed our goal is to progress every platoon all the way through the length of roadway.
"We know the length of the average platoon of 15, 20, 30 cars and we know how far apart the signals are. If you take the distance divided by the speed, you know how long it should take that platoon to get from signal to signal to signal."
This simplified approach to traffic management relies on an idealized traffic flow. Wentz says it gets more complicated with added volume.
"The greens are supposed to be long enough for every platoon, but because we load some blocks up with (traffic from) side streets and driveways and because speeds aren't perfectly regulated, platoons start to break up. We can't perfectly predict the volumes."
Throughout the region, various jurisdictions are charged with the responsibility of traffic signal coordination and control. Although a series of lights may be coordinated along a stretch of roadway, they may not be synchronized across jurisdictional lines. Backups can therefore result in corridors that span county and city lines.
WTOP contacted a few of these local governments and inquired about the most troublesome intersections identified in the poll.
Most of the representatives insist that a mistimed signal is a rare occurrence.
In many cases, what seems like a poorly-timed intersection from one vantage point is functioning properly in a larger system. In other cases there is simply too much input.
The road network is then said to be over capacity, and the traffic signals are overwhelmed.
"Every intersection has a capacity. There are times when the demand volumes can exceed that capacity and that's when the level of service falls," Wentz says.
When traffic volumes increase, synchronization of signals on one road gives way to the optimization of the regional traffic flow on all of the roads. This, Wentz says, comes at a cost.
"If you have two main streets that are crossing each other, you've got to (regulate) both of those corridors."
In other words, what is good for the individual is not necessarily best for the whole.
Still, there will always be a running list of traffic signals that seem to defy the greater good.
"Sometimes there are faults in the system. Sometimes it's worth calling your jurisdiction and saying, 'Have you noticed there's a change?' But it can also be that there are just situations that people aren't aware of. It may be that the particular signal they're going to is optimized for the intersecting street," Wentz says.
The agencies that oversee traffic lights on major arteries do their best to flush out weaknesses that may arise from irregularities in the traffic pattern. Accommodating everyone's needs can often be challenging, if not impossible.
"Like anything you can think of, sometimes stuff breaks — no conspiracy, just the way it is," WTOP Traffic Reporter Bob Marbourg says.
"Even when the engineers try to optimize and maximize the flow of traffic, the solution will almost always be a compromise but hopefully without compromising safety."
Posted on: Saturday 6/15/2013 12:13am
WASHINGTON - Metro continues its rebuilding work this weekend with a docket of track work that will affect all five rail lines.
All of the track work begins at 10 p.m. Friday and will last through the weekend.
A portion of the Red Line will be closed to allow for ongoing infrastructure reconstruction and maintenance. Riders should brace for delays of up to 40 minutes. A total of three stations will be closed.
The Brookland, Takoma and Silver Spring stations will be closed. The Fort Totten Station will be open for Green Line service only.
Two types of bus service will be available for riders who travel through the work zone. Limited-stop buses will operate between Forest Glen and Rhode Island stations. These buses will make an intermediate stop in Silver Spring. Metro says that customers using limited-stop buses should add up to 40 minutes to their travel time.
Local buses will operate between Forest Glen and Rhode Island Avenue, and will make intermediate stops at the Silver Spring, Takoma, Fort Totten and Brookland stations. Each stop will require about 10 extra minutes.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, the last train from Glenmont to Forest Glen will depart 53 minutes earlier than normal to allow for shuttle bus connections.
Track work on the other lines will make for long waits on station platforms. Orange, Blue, Yellow and Green line trains will run every 20 minutes throughout the weekend to allow for rebuilding work in three separate work zones.
Metro says that passengers will experience the longer wait time on the platform and that "once a train departs a station, it is not expected to encounter delays en route."
Anne Arundel residents will have two motorcycle rides to contend with Saturday.
The annual Burn Foundation ride for charity runs from 9 a.m. to noon and will affect traffic along Dorsey Road, Telegraph Road/MD Route 170, Route 100 East, Interstate-97 South and Route 50 east to the Bay Bridge.
Drivers should expect heavy traffic and should drive with caution with so many motorcycles on the road. Police will be stationed at the intersections of Dorsey and Route 170 plus Route 170 and Route 100 to alleviate traffic problems.
Also Saturday, the Faces of Valor ride begins at 9:30 a.m. At the Outback Steakhouse on Forest Drive in Annapolis. Impacted roads include Route 2, Route 50, Route 450, the Severn River Bridge, St. George Street, Rowe Boulevard and Generals Highway. The ride ends at the county fairgrounds.
Police will escort the 80 to 120 participants. But motorists should expect delays along the route and heavier than normal traffic.
Posted on: Sunday 6/9/2013 11:47am
WASHINGTON - Weekend work zones and events may slow drivers on some routes around town. Travel conditions will be improving on Saturday as the WTOP Weather Center expects the heaviest downpours will have lifted into the New England and out to sea.
In Northwest Washington, eastbound K Street will be closed through the weekend under Washington Circle and 22nd Street for bridge work, if the weather holds out.
In Georgetown, a stretch of K Street will be blocked between 30th Street and Wisconsin Ave from 5:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday. The Lawyers Have a Heart 10K will launch from their staging area on K Street and onto the Whitehurst Freeway westbound toward M Street. The race also includes a stretch of Canal Road and Foxhall Road.
Expect early inbound delays on Key Bridge and a diversion for inbound travel from Chain Bridge and Arizona Avenue. The closures on M Street, Canal Road and the Whitehurst Freeway should be lifted before noon.
The Capital Pride Parade will block several streets near Dupont Circle on Saturday afternoon. The parade route includes P St, Dupont Circle, New Hampshire Avenue, R Street, 17th Street and 14th Street north of Logan Circle. The street closures are expected to remain in place until 9:30 p.m.
The Washington Nationals will host the Minnesota Twins on 4:05 p.m. Saturday and will play a double-header Sunday beginning at 1:35 p.m. Expect congestion on South Capitol Street and the Southeast/Southwest Freeway before and after the ballgames.
In Northeast Washington, traffic on New York Avenue will be reduced to one lane each way between Florida Avenue and Penn Street for bridge work through noon on Saturday.
2013 Air Force Cycling Classic
The Arlington County Police Department will close several streets in Clarendon on Saturday from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the 2013 Air Force Cycling Classic bicycle race. The following streets will be affected:
- Wilson Boulevard from N. Fillmore Street to Washington Boulevard
- Clarendon Boulevard from Washington Boulevard to N. Fillmore Street
- Washington Boulevard from Wilson Boulevard to N. Highland Street
- Highland Street from Wilson Boulevard to Washington Boulevard
- Garfield Street and Fillmore Street from Wilson Boulevard to Washington Boulevard
On Sunday, these streets will be affected. From 4:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.:
- Joyce Street closed from Army Navy Drive to Columbia Pike
- Columbia Pike closed from Oak Street to Pentagon South Parking (Access to the Pentagon is available at Eads Street/Army Navy Drive and Fern Street/Army Navy Drive.)
- South Gate Road - no access to Columbia Pike
- Washington Boulevard eastbound closed at I-395
- Washington Boulevard westbound closed from Memorial Bridge to I-395
- Route 110 southbound closed from Rosslyn to S. 15th Street
- Marshall Drive closed at Route 110
- I-395 South ramp to Route 1 closed
- Crystal Drive from the 1400 block to the 2300 block
- S. 15th Street - no traffic permitted east of Jefferson Davis Highway. All eastbound traffic must use Route 1.
- S. 18th Street and Clark Street - no traffic permitted eastbound towards Crystal Drive unless parking. All traffic will be detoured southbound on Bell Street.
- S. 20th Street and Jefferson Davis Highway - no traffic permitted from Jefferson Davis Highway.
- S. 23rd Street - will be converted to a one way street westbound from Crystal Drive to Jefferson Davis Highway. All traffic coming from Jefferson Davis Highway will be sent south on Clark Street.
Race attendees are encouraged to use Metro. The Clarendon station on the Orange Line is located in the middle of the race course at the corner of Highland Street and Wilson Boulevard. And motorists should be on the lookout for temporary "No Parking" signs as illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-228-4252.
I-395/95 Express Lanes Project
VDOT has cancelled previously planned HOV lane closures along I-95/395 this weekend because of heavy rain.
The closures had been planned for ongoing construction of the new 95 Express Lanes.
Leesburg Events and Traffic Changes
In Leesburg, the Potomac Celtic Festival will be held at Morven Park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Big events at Morven Park often produce delays between the bypass and Lucketts even when accompanied by police direction at the park entrances.
Event-goers headed to the Celtic Festival or the Run, Walk & Wag 5K at Philip Bolen Memorial Park will want to be aware of the new traffic pattern change on the southside of the Leeburg Bypass. On Saturday the traffic signal on the Route 7/15 Bypass at Sycolin Road will be permanently removed. Traffic on the bypass will no longer be able to access Sycolin Road. Sycolin Road will be closed between Gateway Drive and Hope Parkway while a new overpass is constructed.
Metro Track Work
Rail work on Metro this weekend won't close any stations, but it will cause longer waits on station platforms. The work will affect all five rail lines from Friday night through closing-time on Sunday. Metro is expecting larger crowds due to downtown events and says many trains will be operating with eight cars.
- Red Line trains will operate every 24 minutes between Shady Grove and Glenmont. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, additional trains will operate between Grosvenor and NoMa-Gallaudet, resulting in service about every 12 minutes between these stations.
- Orange Line trains will operate every 18 minutes between Vienna and New Carrollton.
- Blue Line trains will operate every 18 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and Largo Town Center.
- Yellow Line trains will operate every 18 minutes between Huntington and Fort Totten.
- Green Line trains will operate every 18 minutes between Greenbelt and Branch Ave.
Other VDOT construction work
Saturday night, expect alternating double lane closures on I-395 South between Exit 3 Duke Street/Route 236 and Exit 2 Edsall Road/Route 648.
Sunday night, expect alternating double lane closures on I-395 South between Shirlington Road and Exit 5 King Street/Route 7.
Posted on: Saturday 6/1/2013 1:24pm
WASHINGTON - Drivers will certainly be rolling the windows down or cranking up the air conditioning this weekend. The WTOP Weather Center is forecasting hot, muggy temperatures on Saturday and Sunday.
The summer heat can take its toll on your vehicle. And now is a good time to check the fluid levels under your hood, including your coolant and oil. Roadside breakdowns on sun-beaten, shadeless highways can be dangerous and frustrating.
And there will be plenty of events to keep the roads busy around the region Saturday.
In Arlington, the Corso de Santa Cruz Parade will step off from Shirlington Road near South 25th Street. The parade route will block various lanes on Shirlington Road, Four Mile Run Drive and Walter Reed Drive in Shirlington from noon to 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, a 15K race in Springfield will affect travel on some of the roads through the commercial district. The course includes part of Route 644/Old Keene Mill Road, Loisdale Road and Highland Street between Springfield Mall and Lake Accotink. The race begins at 8 a.m.
The ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon course includes a portion of Route 2/Ritchie Highway between Route 50 and the Naval Academy Bridge. There will also be street closures in downtown Annapolis between Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and City Dock. A portion of the race will close Rowe Boulevard. The half marathon begins at 7 a.m. and will likely cause some inconvenience to motorists heading through Annapolis.
Delays are not uncommon on weekends through Georgetown. But there may be more traffic than usual headed inbound on Canal Road and the Key Bridge this Saturday for Taste of Georgetown. Wisconsin Avenue will be blocked for this event between M Street and K Street. The festival, which features food and beer tastings, will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. But the closure of Wisconsin will be in place for several hours before and after the event.
In Fredericksburg, a soap box derby on William Street and an antique car show on Caroline Street may cause localized delays.
Interstate 95 in Virginia
The bigger headaches will exist on the region's major thoroughfares including Interstate 95, which will handle heavier weekend volume as more summer vacationers hit the road. Expect southbound congestion to develop by midday on Saturday from Lorton to the Occoquan River after the express lanes are closed to southbound travel. Northbound I-95 normally begins slowing in Fredericksburg and through Stafford County by early afternoon, especially on Sundays.
Bay Bridge traffic
Last weekend was a long weekend for many and also the unofficial start of summer. The first significant delays of the season were observed on Route 50 between Easton and The Bay Bridge on Memorial Day as vacationers headed home from the Atlantic beaches and Eastern Shore. The potential of heavy traffic exists again this weekend on Route 50 although delays may not be as intense as they were last Monday.
Metro riders should expect longer wait times on all station platforms this weekend. Trains will run at 22 minute intervals with scheduled track work at various stations on all five rail lines. A section of the Red Line between Woodley Park and Metro Center will be closed for work. The Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations will both be closed. Free shuttle buses will route riders around the work zone. Delays of up to 25 minutes are possible.
Posted on: Thursday 5/30/2013 10:40am
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) -- A southbound stretch of Interstate 81 in Montgomery County has reopened with additional lanes to avoid an unstable rock slope.
The Virginia Department of Transportation closed the southbound lanes after the unstable slope was discovered on Wednesday. The slope is in a work zone where a truck climbing lane is under construction between mile markers 120 and 125.
VDOT reopened the highway Thursday morning after the climbing lane contractor paved additional southbound lanes to route traffic away from the slope. A barrier wall also has been installed.
VDOT says there's a 25-foot deep crack in the unstable section of the slope, which appears to be about 60 feet wide and 60 feet tall.
Geotechnical experts are working to determine the safest way to remove the slope.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Posted on: Tuesday 5/28/2013 11:27pm
WASHINGTON - The Interstate 66 ramps to and from northbound Fairfax County Parkway/Route 286 will close overnight starting Tuesday as crews work on paving the Fair Lakes/Fairfax County Parkway interchange.
Detours will be posted from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Thursday night, May 30. On Friday May 31, signs will be posted from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Police will be on-site to provide assistance.
Single-lane closures and detours onto Fair Lakes Circle run from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday though Friday nights for the next eight weeks. Crews are working along Fair Lakes Parkway and the Fairfax County Parkway from Route 29 to Rugby Road.
The new $69.5 million interchange improves pedestrian and bike access, widens more than three miles of the Fairfax County Parkway and improves traffic flow by separating local and Parkway traffic.
Completion of the project is slated for this October.
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Posted on: Monday 5/27/2013 6:39am
WASHINGTON - Memorial Day weekend events continue Monday and travelers will want to be aware of various holiday-themed events around town, including the Memorial Day Parade, which will close Constitution Avenue on Monday afternoon.
While most long-term road projects will be put on hold to accommodate holiday travel volume, track work will continue on parts of the Metrorail system. Six Metro stations on the Red and Orange lines will be closed.
Rolling Thunder Weekend Closures
Groups of motorcyclists will be riding on roads around the metro area throughout the weekend. According to its mission statement, Rolling Thunder is "a demonstration for service members that were abandoned after the Vietnam War" that strives keep the issue in the public eye.
Their big event, the First Amendment Demonstration Run wrapped up Sunday.
However, Thunder Alley took over 22nd Street NW, north of Constitution Avenue throughout the weekend. The closure of 22nd Street will not have a direct impact on traffic. Vendors will continue to offer food and official merchandise Monday between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Memorial Day Wreath Laying/Parade
The National Wreath Laying Ceremony will take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery at 11 a.m. Monday. Expect motorcades, motorcycles and delays along Washington Boulevard and on the George Washington Parkway near the Potomac River Bridges during and after the ceremony.
For more information on the ceremony, click here.
Following a separate ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the National Memorial Day Parade will kick off from 7th Street NW at Constitution Avenue around 2 p.m. The parade will march westward on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 23rd streets from 2 to 5 p.m. The staging area will block 7th Street near The Mall.
All associated street closures for the parade should be clear by 6 p.m.
There will be many other events across the region during the holiday weekend. Some of the parades will block streets and bring about localized congestion. See WTOP's 2013 Memorial Day events around the region for a rundown of the festivities.
Metro Track Work
Since Monday is a federal holiday, Metro will continuing its track work through system closing on Monday night.
Two segments of the Red and Orange lines will be closed. Free shuttle buses will ferry riders around the work zones, but Metro says some customers could experience delays of up to 40 minutes.
- Buses replace trains between Shady Grove and Twinbrook.
- Shady Grove and Rockville stations will be closed.
- Buses riders should expect a 10- to 20-minute delay.
Consider driving to/parking at Twinbrook, White Flint or Grosvenor instead of Shady Grove.
- Buses replace trains between Vienna and Ballston.
- Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations will be closed.
- Express buses will run directly between Vienna and East Falls Church, while local buses will stop at all four stations.
- Delays of up to 25 minutes are possible for customers on express buses and up to 40 minutes on local buses.
- Trains run at normal intervals between Ballston and New Carrollton.
Memorial Day Traffic and Transit Changes
Since Monday is a federal holiday, morning travel should be easier than usual. It won't take long for the volume to build on I-95 in Virginia and on Route 50 on the Eastern Shore in Maryland, though. Traffic may slow on I-70 east and I-270 south through Frederick County, Md., during the afternoon hours.
There are no guarantees about alternate routes. The bailout traffic will often saturate the most popular work-arounds when the main thoroughfare slows down. Here are some of the most common alternatives to the some of the most heavily traveled routes on holiday weekends.
Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. on Monday and close at midnight. Metro trains and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule.
There will be no MARC or VRE service on Monday.
In Washington, reversible roads and lanes will remain in two-way mode, as they would during off-peak hours. This includes Canal Road, Clara Barton Parkway, Rock Creek Parkway, Connecticut Avenue and 16th Street.
Parking restrictions for residential zones, rush hour lanes and metered spaces will be suspended citywide except near Nationals Park.
Nationals at Home vs. Orioles
The Nationals will host the Baltimore Orioles at 1:05 p.m. Monday. Delays will be possible on South Capitol Street. If you're taking the Metro to Navy Yard, there is no scheduled track work on the Green Line this weekend.
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