A trucker convoy that originated in the Los Angeles area is expected to arrive in the D.C. region this weekend.
Dubbed the “People’s Convoy,” the group is expected to “disrupt traffic around the District,” said D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Director Chris Rodriguez.
While previous iterations of trucker convoys intending to come to D.C. have fizzled out, authorities around the national capital region aren’t taking any chances on getting caught flat-footed.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Q: What is the People's Convoy?
The People’s Convoy is a group of truckers and other recreational and passenger vehicles who started the trip in Barstow, California, early last week to protest vaccine and mask mandates implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Q: How many people are a part of the People's Convoy?
There is no hard estimate provided about the size of the convoy — even by its organizers. The convoy has been growing in size as it travels across the country, in part due to rallies it has held in various cities and states along the way.
- Q: Where is the convoy now?
As of Friday night, some members of the convoy were at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland. One group departed from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and another from Cambridge, Ohio.
Local authorities were already preparing for their arrival. Washington County advised drivers to avoid certain areas Friday evening due to possible traffic delays, including:
- I-70 East from Hancock to I-81
- I-81 North
- 40 West between I-81 and Hagerstown Speedway
Public schools in Washington County dismissed students early on Friday in order to avoid any travel conflicts with the convoy.
- Q: When will the convoy be in the D.C. area?
Law enforcement officials plan on the convoy arriving in D.C. either Saturday or Sunday.
- Q: What can I expect from the convoy being in the region?
It’s safe to assume that, if your travel patterns sync up with the convoy, you may experience delays on the road.
However, law enforcement officials have made it clear that they will work to dislodge any traffic jams that arise from the convoy, while also respecting the participants First Amendment rights.
Both the Virginia State Police and Maryland State Police have said they will deploy additional officers to keep traffic flowing on the roadways as needed.
Though the truckers protesting have said they won’t be entering D.C. proper, the city is prepared for delays.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has come out and said that riders should brace for “significant delays and disruptions” if the convoy makes its way to downtown D.C.
If the convoy makes its way to the city’s center, it could affect 29 bus routes by making them have to take detours or shorten their routes altogether.
The following routes could be affected — 5A, 16E, 32, 33, 36, 38B, 42, 43, 52, 54, 64, 70, 74, 79, 80, 96, D4, D6, D8, G8, L2, N2, N4, N6, P6, S2, S9, X2, X8.
WMATA said that anyone looking to use Metrobus should opt to use Metro rail instead.
That being said, previous convoys that have said they were descending on the nation’s capital never materialized.