No cars allowed: DC Open Streets event envisions other ways to travel

The District of Columbia will close several miles of Georgia Avenue in Northwest — a major north-south route through the nation’s capital — for five hours Saturday, as a way to encourage residents, visitors and businesses to consider alternatives to car-based travel.

During the District’s second Open Streets event since 2019 (last year’s was canceled during the pandemic), Georgia Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to Everett Lott, interim director of the District Department of Transportation.



“From essentially the McDonald’s at Barry Place [near Howard University] all the way up to Missouri Avenue — about a 3-mile stretch,” Lott said. “The streets will be open to walkers to joggers to cyclists, for people to enjoy a variety of safety- and fitness-oriented activities.”

Lott said businesses along Georgia Avenue reported benefiting from the 2019 event. Officials expect 30,000 people to participate in the Saturday event.

Several hours of a car-free thoroughfare will provide a safe location to exercise, shop and perhaps envision other ways to travel through the District.

“It inspires people to think differently about their streets,” Lott said. “We think this is a great way to reclaim our public spaces here in Washington, D.C.”

On Friday, a new law goes into effect in the District, requiring shareable electric scooters be locked up when they are parked.

In other parts of D.C., road closures and parking restrictions will also be in effect for the Women’s March.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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