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Wizards open tonight at Verizon

The Washington Wizards' 2010 home opener is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Verizon Center, so look out for extra crowding on Metro and for extra vehicles and pedestrians at Gallery Place.

Here's a basic guide to getting there and getting back home.

Driving
Use this link to find driving directions for Verizon Center, which is located at 6th, 7th, and F streets NW.

Parking
The Verizon Center's own parking garage is not open for Wizards or Capital games. The center lists several other parking facilities nearby: the public garage next door to Rosa Mexicano restaurant on F Street NW and the public garage near 7th and I streets NW. In fact, there are thousands of spaces in parking garages in the Gallery Place-Chinatown area.

If you're looking for street parking in the area, be careful: Read the instructions on the meter, whether it's a traditional, stand-alone meter or one of the newer, green multi-space meters. Make sure you know the hours of meter enforcement.

Metro
The Green, Yellow and Red lines converge at Gallery Place, below Verizon Center. The station gets crowded, especially after the game, when everyone leaves at once. Here are some tips:

-- Make sure you have enough value on your fare card or SmarTrip card to cover a round trip, so you don't have to wait in a long line after the game at the fare vending machines.
-- Remember the other stations in easy walking distance: Metro Center, Judiciary Square, Mount Vernon Square and Archives. A Red Line rider in the direction of Glenmont, might have a better chance of getting a seat on a post-game train by walking over to Metro Center. A Red Line rider heading toward Shady Grove might find the trains less crowded at Judiciary Square. Green and Yellow Line riders heading north might have better luck at Archives, while those heading south might try Mount Vernon Square. See the Metro station map.
-- Listen to the station and train announcements, and check the final destination displayed on the side of the train to be sure it's the right one for you.
-- Metro sometimes adds trains after games if the platform crowding gets bad. They might not operate on the line's full route.
-- Metro's list of escalator outages shows that five at Gallery Place are not operating today.

Barnes Dance
If you visit the area only for basketball games, you might not be familiar with the District Department of Transportation's pedestrian crossing experiment at 7th and H streets NW, by the Chinatown arch around the corner from the entrance to Verizon Center.

There's one light cycle when pedestrians can cross any way they want. All drivers must stop. Also, drivers are not permitted to make turns at any time in any direction. This crossing pattern is called a Barnes Dance, after the man who made it popular.

By Robert Thomson  | November 2, 2010; 4:40 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Driving, Events, Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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Next: Massive delays on 301 S

Comments

People could ride a bicycle to Verizon Center, too, certainly a reasonable option for folks already in the city and don't want to deal with rush-hour metro, or the ludicrous notion of driving and parking in rush-hour gallery place. There are Capital Bikeshare stations at 5th and F and 8th and H, and will someday be one at 7th and G. There's bikelanes on E and G going east/west, and on 7th and 9th going north/south. I don't know if there are sheltered bike facilities at Verizon Center, perhaps a reporter devoted to covering how people move about the city could find out.

Will Dr. Gridlock ever deign to acknowledge bicycling not just as something that should be tolerated by everyone, but a sensible option to be included in making our decisions on how to get around town, especially for events such as these?

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | November 3, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

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