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Get There: April 6, 2008 - April 12, 2008

Parkway Paving Postponed

The repaving on Rock Creek Parkway that had been scheduled to start today has been postponed for a week. The National Park Service says this weekend's weather forecast, which includes the possibility of thunderstorms, could have posed a problem for the paving project on the parkway's southbound side between P Street and Virginia Avenue. Here's the new plan: The southbound curb lane will be closed Friday, April 18, after noon. Then at midnight, the southbound P Street ramp will close, reopening after noon on Saturday. On Sunday, the Pennsylvania Avenue and K Street ramps will be repaved, so they can reopen by 6:30 a.m. Monday, April 21. Three travel lanes will remain open both northbound and southbound during the paving operations. The Thompson's Boat Center parking lot will close for repaving on Monday, April 21, after 7 p.m. and reopen Tuesday, April 22 at noon....

By Robert Thomson  |  April 11, 2008; 9:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Construction  
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Cherry Blossom Parade on Saturday

Dear Dr. Gridlock: I have a ticket for a play at the Lansburgh Theater, 450 7th St. NW, on Saturday at 2 p.m. As the Cherry Blossom Parade starts at 10 a.m. and lasts to at least 12 p.m. rain or shine, what is the best way to get to the theater and avoid the parade traffic and crowds. Is it better to drive or to use Metro? Elaine Horsfield I'd take Metro -- especially because you've got two stops so close to the theater on 7th Street. There's Archives-Navy Memorial at 7th and Pennsylvania, and there's Gallery Place-Chinatown with an exit at 7th and F streets. They're both within two blocks of the theater. Also, there's no track work scheduled for this weekend, so you should not experience any train delays....

By Robert Thomson  |  April 11, 2008; 6:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Events  
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Weekend Work Near Wilson Bridge

Watch for a construction project that will close part of the outer loop tonight through Sunday evening. Starting at 9 p.m., two of the outer loop's four lanes between the Eisenhower Connector and Telegraph Road are scheduled to close, with all the lanes reopening by Sunday evening in a new three-lane configuration. This work may sound familiar because it was postponed from last weekend. If the forecast for tonight through Sunday looks bad for the work, project managers could still postpone it. If I hear that, I'll post it right away. But if the project comes off this weekend, the result will be an earlier merge from four to three lanes on the outer loop approaching the Wilson Bridge. You regulars know that traffic backs up in this area. Stay alert this coming week, because the backup will likely start sooner as a result of the shift in the merge...

By Robert Thomson  |  April 11, 2008; 6:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Wilson Bridge  
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Big Day For Metrorail Ridership

For the first time this year, a day's worth of rail ridership broke into Metro's top 10 list of travel dates. The transit authority said people took 801,370 Metrorail trips on Wednesday, placing it at No. 9 on the all-time list for ridership. Four of the top 10 dates are from 2007. The all-time leader is June 9, 2004, the date of Ronald Reagan's funeral, when ridership totaled 850,636. Over the years, the cherry blossom festival often has pushed a date into the top 10. That was a factor on Wednesday, but so was a series of evening sports events at Nationals Park, Verizon Center and RFK Stadium. Look for next Thursday, the date of the morning papal mass at Nationals Park, to challenge for top 10 membership. What suggestions do you have for those traveling to the mass or just trying to avoid the resulting congestion?...

By Robert Thomson  |  April 10, 2008; 1:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Metro  
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Paving to Start on Rock Creek Parkway

The National Park Service plans to start a paving project on Rock Creek Parkway between Virginia Avenue and P Street tonight after the evening rush. The work involves closing the southbound curbside lane, the P Street ramp, the K Street ramp and the Pennsylvania Avenue ramp. Three travel lanes will remain open both northbound and southbound during the paving operations, the park service says. All those ramps are scheduled to reopen by 5 a.m. Friday and stay open until 10 a.m. Then they will close again through Sunday. The parking lot for Thompson's Boat Center will be closed for repaving on Monday after 7:00 p.m. It's scheduled to reopen Tuesday afternoon. This whole project, which began last April, is scheduled to be done in May. You can see a fuller description of the work on this page from the Federal Highway Administration, which is overseeing the project in conjunction with...

By Robert Thomson  |  April 10, 2008; 6:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction  
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Sports Meet Traffic Today and Friday

This may be a bit more of a challenge than navigating to, or through, the first two games at the new baseball stadium: This evening, we have three sports events in Washington; and on Friday evening, two. Tonight, it's Nats at Nationals Park, DC United at RFK Stadium and Wizards at Verizon Center. Something important for Nats fans: The free parking at RFK will move from Lot 8 to Lot 7 on Wednesday night, and whenever the Nats and DC United overlap. So DC United fans will be using the RFK access road to Lot 8. The Nats recommend that baseball fans reach Lot 7 by taking either the Whitney Young (East Capitol Street) Bridge or Oklahoma Avenue. The free Nationals Express shuttle will meet baseball fans at Lot 7. Transit Users: Metro did very well on Monday night, but only the Nats were playing. Today and Friday will be...

By Robert Thomson  |  April 9, 2008; 5:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Advisory for Route 1 Drivers in Virginia

This advisory just came in from the Wilson Bridge project: Northbound Route 1 travelers, whether coming from southern Fairfax County or the Capital Beltway, can expect continued delays through the remainder of the work week because the far-right lane is closed immediately north of the Beltway. Project managers say the closure is necessary to install footings for new barriers for soundwalls that will protect nearby residents from highway noise. The work requires deep excavations immediately adjacent to Route 1 in the northwest quadrant of the interchange. So the lane closure was imposed for safety reasons. To lessen the impact on traffic, the single-lane reduction that occurred today on Route 1's two-lane Beltway overpass is being moved slightly north this afternoon to where Route 1 is usually three lanes. Motorists entering northbound Route 1 from the Beltway's inner loop will need to merge expeditiously into the remaining two lanes, rather than...

By Robert Thomson  |  April 8, 2008; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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No Stress Test For Stadium Traffic

Nationals Park will cause no congestion problems at all, as long as the team plays every game in mist and bone-chilling cold. Lonely duty for traffic control on M Street north of stadium. (Thomson) For the first week night game at the new stadium by the Anacostia waterfront, fans and commuters had it easy. But then the game was played in bad weather on NCAA men's final night, factors that likely held down attendance at the ballpark. Also, Mondays tend to be lighter on commuting than other weekdays. The worst congestion I saw in a two-hour pre-game tour last night was at L'Enfant Plaza Metro station. The platform was crowded with a mix of commuters and baseball fans, and so were the trains. Metro had plenty of staffers spread out along the Green Line platform. As trains heading toward Branch Avenue (and stopping at Navy Yard Station, nearest Nationals Park)...

By Robert Thomson  |  April 8, 2008; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Stadium  
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Traffic Meets Baseball Tonight

The Nationals are scheduled to play their first week night game at the new stadium starting at 7:10 tonight. I'll take a look around the area and tell you what the traffic and transit conditions were like. Meanwhile, here are some tips for getting to -- or getting around -- Nationals Park, at 1500 South Capitol St. SE. Evening traffic from I-395 to South Capitol Street. (Thomson) Drivers -- First, don't type that stadium address into your online directions finder, make a printout and get in the car. This trip is way more complicated. The secret neighborhood parking spot you think you know is likely to be inaccessible or restricted at game time. -- These are probable hotspots for traffic: the Maine Avenue and South Capitol Street exits on the Southeast-Southwest Freeway, the intersection of M and South Capitol streets, M Street SE in front of the Navy Yard and...

By Robert Thomson  |  April 7, 2008; 8:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Stadium  
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