Big Weekend Downtown
As you make your travel plans for the weekend, watch in for some nasty weather that will roll in on Saturday and linger through Sunday. Here are some things you should know about getting around.
Cherry Blossom Parade: The two-week long festival climaxes with the parade, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street and heading west along Constitution to 17th Street. Road closures in the Mall area begin at 5 a.m. and the last of them, on Constitution, are scheduled to end at 6 p.m. The festival ends on Sunday.
Ice Show: If you're heading for Champions on Ice at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Verizon Center downtown, you're best bet is to take Metrorail to the Gallery Place-Chinatown Station and just walk upstairs.
IMF/World Bank: Because of the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in downtown Washington, the D.C. police department is closing some streets and restricting parking in certain areas. Click here to see the police department's traffic advisory.
Driving Downtown: Saturday is not a good day for it, but here's a link to a map and guide for those of you who do.
Transit: Taking Metro is a better option. Smithsonian Station is usually the most crowded during cherry blossom time. You'll see quite a crowd of tourists around the fare card machines there. Here's a link to Metro's advice on how to get to the festival. Parking is free at Metro's many garages and lots at its stations across the region. Here's a link to a Metrorail map.
Delays and Detours: If you're taking the train, you might want to avoid the Green Line this weeken because of the rail car testing. Green Line riders should expect 10 to15 minute delays because trains will be sharing a single track between Greenbelt and College Park from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Here's a link to a full list of all the bus detours because of the various events this weekend.
Douglass Bridge: Inbound lanes of South Capitol Street are closed for bridge rehabilitation work from 10 a.m. Friday until just before the Monday morning rush. Signs direct traffic to the 11th Street Bridge. The most challenging traffic occurs on Friday, while Saturday and Sunday don't seem to be much of a problem for drivers. Here's a link to a full description of the work and detours.
Looking Ahead: Monday is D.C. Emancipation Day. Holiday rules apply for lane use and parking in the District. During the afternoon, there will be a voting rights rally and march along Pennsylvania Avenue. The rally starts at 2:30 p.m. at the Wilson Building and the march to the Capitol is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
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