WASHINGTON — The National Cherry Blossom Festival Welcome Center opens Saturday on the Tidal Basin; a crush of visitors is expected, and the best way to get around will likely be by foot or on a bike.
Capital Bikeshare is guaranteeing a place to dock its rentals at Jefferson Drive and 14th Street in Southwest.
“[If you] borrow a bike and you want to take it down to view those blooms but you don’t want to worry about not finding a place to dock your bike — we’ve taken the guesswork out of it,” said Capital Bikeshare program manager Kimberly Lucas of the D.C. Department of Transportation.
Bikeshare employees will be on hand to keep that promise this weekend between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and next week through March 24, daily between 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Thousands of cherry trees are spread through the National Mall area around the Tidal Basin, in East Potomac Park and on Hains Point, which has a 4.1-mile bike trail loop, mostly along the river.
There are more than 450 Capital Bikeshare docking stations in the region, with many sprinkled through the area of the National Mall.
Extreme cold this week might have damaged flowers on the most numerous and earliest blooming variety of cherry trees downtown, but there are 12 varieties in all. Peak bloom for Kwanzan trees, the second-most abundant variety, is projected to be about April 11.
“If you go down there to take a look at these blooms — and thanks to this weather they may or may not be present — there’s going to at least be great monuments for you to enjoy,” Lucas said.
National Mall Bikeshare station locations include:
- Ohio Drive and West Basin Drive in Southwest
- The MLK and FDR Memorials in Southwest
- Jefferson Memorial along the Tidal Basin
- Hains Point
- Buckeye and Ohio Drive in Southwest
- Lincoln Memorial
- 17th Street and Independence Avenue in Southwest
- Jefferson Drive and 14th Street in Southwest
The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs March 15 through April 16.
Get everything you need to know about visiting the Cherry Blossoms via WTOP’s Cherry Blossoms page.
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