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Crowding Likely on Trains, Streets

Here's what thousands of people will be trying to get to or avoid today:

10:30 a.m.
Pope Benedict XVI, who is staying at the Vatican Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue NW, meets with President Bush at the White House.

Noon
Popemobile procession from the White House west on Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Washington Circle, to Rock Creek Parkway to Massachusetts Avenue to the embassy.

5:30 p.m.
The pope meets with U.S. bishops at the National Shrine on Michigan Avenue in Brookland, just east of North Capitol Street.

So the traffic hotspots are Massachusetts Avenue NW, Pennsylvania Avenue NW and the North Capitol Street/Michigan Avenue area, but expect the effects to ripple out from those corridors.

Transit is likely to be crowded today. Many commuters who have the option will turn to Metro, because of the likelihood of congestion in central Washington during the pope's visit. Many visitors also will be parking at the outer stations and taking trains downtown.

That includes Virginia Railway Express, which says it's monitoring the ridership to see if more coaches should be added.

Metrorail will extend peak service from opening till 7 p.m. today and tomorrow. No bikes on trains till after 7 p.m.

Many Metrobus routes will be detoured today and tomorrow because of parades, motorcades and street closings.

Through 5 p.m. today:
-- No parking on Pennsylvania Avenue between 17th and 26th streets NW.
-- No parking on Massachusetts Avenue from Waterside Drive to 34th Street.

Here's the street closing schedule for today in the Brookland area:

3 - 8 p.m. Michigan Avenue NE from Monroe Street to Irving Street
3 - 8 p.m. 4th Street NE north of Lincoln Road
3 - 8 p.m. Harewood Road NE from Taylor Street to Michigan Avenue

Through 10 a.m. Friday on Massachusetts Avenue NW:
-- No truck traffic will be allowed on Massachusetts Avenue from Wisconsin Avenue to Observatory Circle.
-- Massachusetts Avenue from Observatory Circle to 34th Street will be one lane in each direction.

By Robert Thomson  |  April 16, 2008; 5:28 AM ET
Categories:  Events  
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