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The weekend and beyond

Construction updates | D.C. area travel tips | Going Out Guide

You can rally on Saturday. You can run on Sunday. You can just dodge the resulting traffic. Do stay alert for the trick-or-treaters on Halloween, and don't party too hard in Georgetown. Whatever activity you're planning this very busy weekend, you'll be doing it in clear weather, but the temperatures will turn cooler. Here's a guide to planning the weekend's travel in the D.C. area.

Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally
The Comedy Central hosts will take over the eastern side of the National Mall, the side nearest the U.S. Capitol, from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. This location between 3rd Street and 7th Street NW means that participants have many options for Metrorail access, and that's definitely the best way to get there, since downtown parking is limited.

On weekends, parking is free at Metro lots and garages. You can drive to one of the outer stations, park and take the train into downtown D.C. But keep in mind that this is a common tactic for people from outside the immediate area. There's no system for checking in advance to see if a Metro lot or garage is full. The alternative: Drive to a parking area one or two stations from the end of the line. They tend to be less crowded.

Closest stations: The most crowded station for Mall events is Smithsonian. It's the one everyone knows is on the Mall. You're likely to find less crowding by getting off and on at L'Enfant Plaza or Federal Center SW on the Blue and Orange lines, Archives-Navy Memorial on the Green and Yellow lines, or Judiciary Square and Union Station on the Red Line.

Parking: The District enforces parking rules on Saturdays. That means you'll need to put money in the meters and follow the time restrictions on how long you can park in your spot. On most downtown streets, it costs $2 an hour to park at a meter, and in many places the time limit is two hours.

Street closings: This is an updated list of streets scheduled to be closed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
-- Third Street NW from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue
-- Fourth Street NW from Pennsylvania to Independence avenues
-- Maryland Avenue SW from Third Street to Independence Avenue
-- Constitution Avenue NW from Fourth to Sixth streets
-- Pennsylvania Avenue NW from Fourth to Sixth streets

The National Park Service is planning to close several streets near the rally site from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are Jefferson Drive; Third to Seventh streets NW; Madison Drive, Third to Seventh streets NW.

Marine Corps Marathon
The main event begins at 8 a.m. Sunday. The start line is just south of Arlington Memorial Drive on Route 110 in Arlington. The finish is by the Iwo Jima Memorial. In between the runners cover a lot of territory on the D.C. and Arlington sides of the Potomac River. See a marathon route map.

The street closings in that zone are very extensive. They will start at about 4 a.m. and continue till about 1:30 p.m. See a list of the closings.

Metrorail: The train system again is the best bet if you're running or watching. Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. Sunday. Also, extra Blue Line trains will operate from 5 to 9 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Blue Line trains will operate every 7½ minutes between the Franconia-Springfield and Stadium-Armory stations. All Blue Line trains will continue to leave Largo Town Center every 15 minutes, Metro says.

Closest stations: The Pentagon Station on the Blue and Yellow lines is the closest to the start line. The Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery stations also draw big crowds on marathon day. For security reasons, Metro says, the Arlington Cemetery Station entrance will open after the start of the race.

Metrobus: Bus riders should note that, because of the marathon route, the Pentagon Transit Center operations will be relocated to the Pentagon City Metrorail station between 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday. So if you would normally ride Metrorail to the Pentagon Station and transfer to a Metrobus, this Sunday you will need to ride to Pentagon City to catch your bus.

More security for Marine Corps Marathon

Chain Bridge
The District Department of Transportation is scheduled to close the Chain Bridge this weekend for structure repair work. DDOT says the work cannot be delayed because it is necessary to safely complete the replacement of critical bridge supports.

The bridge is scheduled to be closed from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. In light of the Marine Corps Marathon, which is going to close the Key and Memorial bridges over the Potomac, DDOT is working with the contractor to try to speed up the Chain Bridge work so that it might be open early Sunday morning.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, the Maryland State Highway Administration will again be offering Vests for Visibility. The highway agency lends reflective safety vests to parents or guardians for free, so they can be placed over children's Halloween costumes.

The vests will be available -- first come, first served -- at many of the agency's maintenance centers. Please return them by Nov. 5. See a list of the Maryland highway maintenance centers.

Halloween in Georgetown
Halloween draws throngs to Georgetown. The District Department of Transportation says it does not plan to close the main roads, including M Street and Wisconsin Avenue NW, but many side streets will be closed and there will be extensive parking restrictions.

Parking Restrictions: Parking will be banned from 3 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday and from 3 p.m. Sunday till 6 a.m. Monday on these streets.
-- K Street NW from 30th Street to Wisconsin Avenue
-- Water Street NW from 32rd Street west to the Capital Crescent Trail
-- 1000 to 1300 Blocks of Wisconsin Avenue NW
-- M Street NW from 25th Street to the Key Bridge
-- 1100 block of 26th Street NW

Street closings: These streets will be closed to through traffic from 5:30 p.m. Saturday till 4 a.m. Sunday.
-- 3300 and 3400 blocks of Cady's Alley NW
-- 1000 block of Grace Street NW
-- 3200 block of Cecil Place NW
-- 3100 block of South Street NW
-- 3100 block of Oak Alley NW
-- 3100 block of Blues Alley NW
-- 1200 to 1500 blocks of 27th Street NW
-- 1200 to 1500 blocks of 28th Street NW
-- 1000 to 1500 blocks of 29th Street NW
-- 1000 to 1500 blocks of 30th Street NW
-- 1000 to 1500 blocks of 31st Street NW
-- 1000 block of Thomas Jefferson Street NW
-- 1200 to 1600 blocks of 33rd Street NW
-- 1200 to 1700 blocks of 34th Street NW
-- 3200 to 3600 blocks of Prospect Street NW
-- 2700 to 2900 blocks of Olive Street NW
-- 2700 block of Poplar Lane NW
-- 2700 to 3600 blocks of N Street NW
-- 2600 to 3100 blocks of Dumbarton Street NW
-- 2600 to 3600 blocks of O Street NW
-- 2600 to 3100 blocks of P Street NW
-- 1500 block of 32nd Street NW

Only residents and employees of businesses within these areas will be granted access. Additional streets may be closed at the direction of the D.C. police. Drivers must present proof of residency or work identification to use the closed streets.

Halloween and drinking
Throughout the D.C. region this Halloween weekend, police will be conducting their annual Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign to crack down on drunk driving.

SoberRide: The Washington Regional Alcohol Program will offer its SoberRide free trips home from 10 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday. See details on the Halloween SoberRide program.

Howard University Homecoming Parade
Saturday is Homecoming Day. From 10 a.m. to about 1 p.m. streets near the campus will be closed while the parade passes by. This is the parade route:
-- North on Sixth Street to Fairmont Street NW
-- West on Fairmont Street to Georgia Avenue NW
-- South on Georgia Avenue to Florida Avenue NW
-- Southeast on Florida Avenue to Fifth Street NW
-- North on Fifth Street to T Street NW
-- East on T Street to Anna Cooper Circle NW
-- Southeast around the circle to Third Street NW
-- North on Third Street to Elm Street NW
-- East on Elm Street to Second Street NW
-- North on Second Street to Bryant Street NW
-- West on Bryant Street to Fourth Street NW
-- North on Fourth Street to the Valley.

Red Bull Sound Clash
This music event is scheduled for Saturday, but street closings start at 8 p.m. Friday and continue till 5 a.m. Sunday. These streets will be closed:
-- 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue NW
-- 300 block of Constitution Avenue NW

Metrobus detours
Many of these weekend events will require bus detours.

Friday-Sunday: Routes P2 and P6 will detour from 8 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Sunday around Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Third and Seventh streets NW, because of the Red Bull Sound Clash.

Saturday: Route P6 will detour from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. around Third and Fourth streets between Constitution and Independence avenues because of the Jon Steward/Stephen Colbert rally.

Routes 70, 90, 92, 96 and G2 will detour from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. around the vicinity of Georgia and Florida avenues NW, because of the Howard University Homecoming Festival and Parade.

Routes 31, 32 and 36 may detour in the evening in Georgetown if D.C. authorities close primary streets because of crowding from the Halloween celebrations. The 38B route may be shortened in Rosslyn.

Sunday: Routes 3A, 3E, 5A, 7A, 9A, 10A, 13A, 13F, 13G, 16B, 16E, 16J, 23A, 25P, 25R and 38B in Virginia and 5A, 32, 36, 52, 54, 70, D6, P6 and V8 in the District will detour from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. around several streets, becasue of the Marine Corps Marathon.

Route 23A will detour from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. around Crystal Drive between 18th and 23rd streets in Arlington, because of the Crystal Run, an event associated with the Marine Corps Marathon.

Routes 32, 92, W2, W4, W6 and W8 will detour from 4 to 9 p.m. around Alabama Avenue SE between Know Place and Irving Street in the District, because of the Seventh District Halloween Festival.

GW Parkway paving
Milling and paving are scheduled for the George Washington Parkway this weekend, from 7 p.m. Friday till 5 p.m. Sunday. Watch for lane closings in both directions between Route 123 and the Capital Beltway interchange. One lane in each direction will be open at all times.

Beltway/Telegraph Road
The ramp from southbound Telegraph Road to the outer loop of the Capital Beltway is scheduled to close from 8 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday as part of the Wilson Bridge project's reconstruction of the interchange. A detour will take drivers onto eastbound Huntington Avenue, to northbound Route 1 and then back to the Beltway.

On Saturday night, Interstate 66 east to the Beltway's inner loop exit ramps will be closed for bridge demolition. Traffic heading to I-495 north (the inner loop) will be detoured onto I-495 south (the outer loop) to Little River Turnpike (Route 236) to turn around on the exit ramps back to I-495 north. The work is scheduled for 10 p.m. Saturday through 7 a.m. Sunday.

Three left lanes on I-495 north will also be closed overnight in the I-66 area with closures of all lanes after midnight lasting up to half an hour. I-66 east motorists heading to I-495 north should add 20 minutes to their normal travel time before midnight and up to 40 minutes after midnight when intermittent closings of all lanes are in effect.

Eastern Avenue Bridge
The District has reopened the bridge that takes Eastern Avenue over Kenilworth Avenue (DC 295). This follows a complete rebuilding of the bridge that took less than 10 months, thanks to $10.4 million in federal stimulus funds, a $1 million federal grant and innovative construction techniques.

Though it's been just 10 months, drivers may only dimly remember the ugly, old bridge that hung over the avenue and showed the dents where trucks had clipped it. The total reconstruction involved lane closings and reroutings of traffic.

But the impact was reduced by pre-casting big sections of the bridge and trucking them to the site for assembly at night. Otherwise, the project could have taken two years.

[This item updated.]
Maryland bridge inspections
The Maryland State Highway Administration plans several routine bridge inspections that will close lanes this weekend. Watch for double lane closings on northbound Georgia Avenue, where it passes under the Capital Beltway bridge, from 4:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Also scheduled for 8 to 11 a.m. are double lane closings on the inner loop where a ramp goes over Beltway at Branch Avenue.

Then from 4:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, watch for double lane closings on Randolph Road where it goes under the Rockville Pike bridge.

Hunter Mill Road
Drivers who use Hunter Mill Road in the Reston area will experience significant delays overnight this coming week. The road is scheduled to be closed at the Dulles Toll Road between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. each week night.

During the closings, workers on the Dulles Metrorail project will install decking for a new bridge that will carry tracks for the new Metrorail line in the median of the Dulles Toll Road over Hunter Mill Road.

Drivers going south on Hunter Mill Road will need to detour by turning right onto Sunset Hills Road, left onto Wiehle Avenue, then left onto Sunrise Valley Drive to reconnect with Hunter Mill Road.

Drivers heading north on Hunter Mill Road will be directed to turn left onto Sunrise Valley Drive, right onto Wiehle Avenue, then right on Sunset Hills Road to reach northbound Hunter Mill Road.

Ohio Drive
The planned completion of the Ohio Drive reconstruction near the Lincoln Memorial has been pushed back two weeks, to Nov. 15.

Work on the middle of the drive is scheduled to be done next week, with the exception of the final asphalt and striping, the National Park Service says. The old traffic pattern is schedule to resume after the center phase is complete. At that point, the morning rush hour pattern will have both inbound and outbound traffic, with all lanes open. The afternoon pattern will return to four lanes outbound.

After completion of the center phase, the final asphalt and striping will be placed. So watch for full closures in both directions from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. nightly. Work will consist of milling 1 to 2 inches of asphalt off the roadway that leads towards the
Kennedy Center. The final placement of asphalt and road markings is scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 12- 15, weather permitting.

Work for this weekend's closure will begin Friday at 11 p.m.

By Robert Thomson  | October 29, 2010; 8:10 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Congestion, Events, Metro, Metrobus, National Mall, Traffic Safety, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Next: Metrorail work for the weekend


"many options for Metrorail access, and that's definitely the best way to get there, since downtown parking is limited." There's another option -- the bicycle. Especially for a large recreational event that's going to strain the roads and trains, it would be a great way to get there, but as always, your blog doesn't address issues like best routes, parking, prohibitions, or if Capital Bikeshare is a realistic option.

You claim to support bicycle transportation, but don't legitimize it by actually providing helpful information (the way you do for other modes) that would allow people to actually do it.

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | October 29, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget about all of the Metro delays this weekend:

As a Red Line rider, I remain confused by Metro's phrasing of the delays: it seems to suggest that only riders going between Shady Grove and Twinbrook will experience a delay, but wouldn't the single-tracking cause all trains in the system to have a delay? UMDTerps Girl explained it well once on these pages, but I can never seem to correctly remember it.

Posted by: informedtraveller | October 29, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

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