Traffic adjustments in downtown DC to aid cherry blossom visitors

Blooming Yoshino cherry trees are seen in the afternoon sun, Thursday, March 23, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The branch of the National Park Service overseeing the National Mall announced Friday there would be changes to the flow of traffic in downtown D.C. this weekend to help move busy roads and get visitors to and from the cherry blossoms.

Thousands will drive through and visit the area along the Tidal Basin daily to see the cherry blossom trees in peak bloom.

Starting at 6 a.m. Saturday, drivers on Ohio Drive through East Potomac Park near Hains Point will travel in reverse flow, the National Park Service said in a tweet. All traffic will enter the loop road on the Potomac River side and exit on the Washington Channel side by the East Potomac golf course.

On Wednesday, drivers were stuck in traffic for over an hour just to cross the bridge into Arlington, Virginia.

Organizers expect more than 1 million visitors over the weeks of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs through April 16.

As a recommended alternate route, Metro has increased weekend service on its buses and trains, with fares ranging from $2 to $4. And for those who don’t want to go out and face the crowds, or the weird weather the area has been experiencing, you can view the trees from the comfort of your home on the Trust for the National Mall organization’s Bloom Cam. 

Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is the Evening Digital Editor at WTOP. She is a graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

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