2 tricky commutes ahead for D.C.-area drivers

WASHINGTON — With a holiday and a time shift approaching, drivers in the D.C. area may run into some tricky commutes over the next few days.

Friday is a big day this week, especially for parents who will be rushing home to get their kids ready for Halloween.

“Usually, we see Friday afternoon rush hour begin around 1 o’clock. You’re going to see a lot of heavier traffic early in the rush hour on Friday,” said WTOP Traffic Director Jim Battagliese.

So if you have plans to leave town or get home early, be sure to factor in some extra time.

Once the Halloween fun has passed, drivers will face another commute challenge. Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday morning, and drivers will head back to work Monday on standard time. That may mean some sun glare during the drive home.

“The sun’s setting earlier, you get sun glare, and then people just aren’t used to turning their headlights on when they’re driving home sometimes,” Battagliese says.

He also says that the time shift makes for a slower commute every year.

Georgetown parking restrictions

Crowds often flock to Georgetown on Halloween for spooky festivities. If you’re headed to that area, be aware that parking restrictions are in place from 4 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Saturday.

There will be parking restrictions in place on the following D.C. roads:

  • K Street NW from 30th Street to Wisconsin Avenue NW
  • Water Street NW from 32nd Street west to the mouth of the Capital Crescent Trail
  • 1000 – 1300 Blocks of Wisconsin Avenue, NW
  • M Street NW from 25th Street to the Key Bridge
  • 1100 block of 26th Street NW

More parking restrictions will follow Saturday and Sunday for the Color Run and the National Race to End Women’s Cancer.

Watch for people

Driving through neighborhoods, Battagliese recommends slowing down and taking it easy because of the trick-or-treaters.

Safety tips for drivers

  • Drive slowly.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel on Halloween night.
  • Use caution especially when turning, approaching intersections or when cars are parked curbside.
  • Obey all traffic signals.
  • Watch for children darting into the street.
  • Don’t drink and drive.

Safety tips for trick-or-treaters

  • Always trick-or-treat with at least two friends or an adult for the entire evening.
  • Only trick-or-treat at homes that have their outside lights on.
  • Carry a bright flashlight so drivers can see you and you can see where you’re walking.
  • Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape.
  • Cross only at crosswalks or at street corners.
  • Never cross the street between parked cars or diagonally across an intersection.
  • Look left-right-left before crossing the street.
  • Look over your shoulder before crossing to watch for turning cars.
  • Obey all traffic signals. Never cross against a red light.
  • Walk, don’t run, whenever crossing the street.
  • Use sidewalks.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Do not take rides from strangers or use shortcuts through backyards, alleys, or parks.
  • Stay in familiar neighborhoods and never cut across yards or driveways.
  • Make sure costumes don’t drag on the ground and that your shoes fit well.

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide

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