Traffic Weekend in Washington
Three events are likely to make this a difficult weekend for travel in Washington: The National Marathon on Saturday, the opening of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday and two baseball games at the new Nationals Stadium.
Many people enjoyed this event last spring, but D.C. residents and visitors were howling about the extensive street closures that trapped them in their cars or in their neighborhoods. The marathon's Web site has a very good guide to the Saturday plan, along with a map of the marathon and half marathon routes and a list of the temporary street closings. You'll find them all on this page.
Cherry Blossom Festival
Saturday is opening day for the festival, which will continue for two weeks. This should be the peak weekend for viewing the blossoms around the Tidal Basin.
For bikers, park service and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association have teamed up to provide free valet parking during the festival. You'll find the times and locations here on the WABA Web site.
At 6 p.m. Saturday, the Nationals will play the Baltimore Orioles at the new park on South Capitol Street. That shouldn't draw a full house to the 41,000 seat stadium, since it's open to season ticket holders and employees. But it will be a chance for traffic and transit planners to test out their operations. Sunday at 8:05 p.m., the Nationals open the 2008 season in their new home.
The District, the transit authority and the Nationals have been urging fans to take Metro because of the limited parking around the stadium. (There's free parking at RFK's Lot 8, where you'll find a free shuttle service to the new stadium.)
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