Crowds and traffic for the Fourth of July: Caution is the key

: Fireworks light up the sky over the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the U.S. Capitol on July 4, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Heading down to the National Mall for the Fourth of July? Between the traffic, the parking and the crowds, it’s going to be an experience.

WTOP’s Dave Dildine says that streets and sidewalks will be packed with cars and pedestrians, so caution is key.

Consider taking Metro. Metro will run more trains as the day continues. On Friday evening, trains will run on a rush-hour schedule. Both should help the congestion a bit, Dildine says.

Capital Bikeshare will set up a corral at Constitution Avenue and 10th Street, in Northwest, from 3 p.m. until an hour after the fireworks end. It says it can guarantee you a place to dock your Bikeshare bike if you ride down there, but it can’t assure you that there will be a bike for you to ride home, so plan accordingly.

In her Tuesday appearance on WTOP, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said many of the District’s Potomac River bridges will be closed for the fireworks.

Meanwhile, some parking restrictions will be lifted due to the holiday, but some will still apply. And temporary no-parking signs are going up already along the Mall, while all parking restrictions will remain in force around Nationals Park for the Fourth.

Get more Fourth of July information in WTOP’s live blog.

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