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Detours in Downtown Washington

During Monday morning's Roads and Rails discussion with Eric Weiss and Lena Sun, there were many comments about the street closings downtown around the Hay Adams Hotel where the Obamas are staying until they can move into the White House.

Alternative driving routes include K Street for east-west traffic, L Street for eastbound traffic and M Street for westbound traffic.

This is what Metro says about bus detours: The following routes are on detour in the downtown Washington area until further notice: 30s, 42, 11Y, G8, P17/19, L2, W13, S2/4 and the X2/3.

To keep up with the detours and disruptions, check Metro's Web site and look to the left for Metro Service Status. That's divided into tabs for Metrorail, Metrobus and Elevator. Here's a direct link to the Service Status page, in case you want to book market. Here's a link to the page where you can sign up for Metro's eAlerts, something that might be particularly useful between now and Inauguration Day.

Here are the street restrictions imposed until midnight Jan. 15 around the Hay Adams Hotel:
-- 16th Street NW between I (Eye) Street and H Street will be closed to traffic and parking will be restricted.
-- Connecticut Avenue NW between I Street and H Street will be closed to traffic and parking restricted.
-- H Street NW between 17th Street and Vermont Avenue will be closed to traffic and parking restricted.
-- Parking will be restricted on I Street NW between 14th and 17th streets.

Pedestrian access may be restricted on any of those streets, but people still will have access to their homes, and delivery trucks will be able to make deliveries to businesses after they are cleared through security checkpoints, the District Department of Transportation said.

This is nothing compared to what we'll see on Inauguration Day itself when the Secret Service imposes a security zone around the Capitol and the Mall and some adjacent areas are restricted for charter bus parking only.

Here's a map of that area.

View Larger Map

By Robert Thomson  |  January 5, 2009; 12:12 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Inauguration  
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So glad I don't work in DC anymore. I'm not bragging, but there's a lot to be said about the peace of mind I'm now getting from not having to deal with Metro and DC roads.

Posted by: Strawberry23 | January 5, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't there been discussion about utilizing Fed Ex field for parking buses on Inauguration? As it stands, on the Maryland side of the beltway the two stations that are easiest for out-of-town drivers to get to (Greenbelt and Morgan Blvd) are being reserved for buses - no car parking. Just where are the cars supposed to park?? Shuttle buses could be run from Fed Exp field to a metro station. Danny Snyder should love the plan--more money for him.

Posted by: hedgelike | January 5, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: hedgelike, there has been discussion of using FedEx for charter bus parking. People getting off there would most likely go down to Morgan Boulevard Metrorail station or take bus shuttles toward the Mall.

No final plans for any of this have been made public. But one change in thinking occurred when planners realized they couldn't put all these charter buses out on the area's perimeter and still get all their passengers downtown. That would overwhelm both Metrorail and our main commuter routes. They need to come up with some mix that is going to distribute the charter buses between the perimeter and locations closer to downtown.

Posted by: rtthomson1 | January 5, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that planners would have liked to use those stations for car parking, but decided to use them for busses because of one reason: geometry. You can't park any busses in garages, and those stations have large tracts of parking lots that can be used for busses.

All things said though, I'm sure there are still more parking spaces available for cars in MD then in VA. You just might have to drive to them from trhe Beltway, such as Silver Spring, College Park, Largo, etc.

Posted by: thetan | January 5, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: One thing I should remind people about is that there's plenty of parking around an MD station like Silver Spring that isn't Metro parking. There are the Montgomery County garages.

Posted by: rtthomson1 | January 5, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Good point. Also the PG County garage at New Carrollton and the Ballston garage in Arlington.

Dr. G, a topic that might be good to cover between now and the big day might be what parking rules apply in area jurisdictions. As I understand, resident restrictions and meters are not in effect in DC on the 19th and 20th, but knowing that same info for Arlington, Montgomery, etc. would be helpful as well. I'd hate to encourage people to park in someone else's neighborhood near a Metro station, but I fear that it would happen anyway, and people would just consider the ticket "part of the cost of attending a once in a lifetime event".

Posted by: thetan | January 5, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Another concern for commuters, I noticed this morning that the Yellow line service was less frequent than usual. Apparently that's the down-side of Metro's much publicized eight car train tests on the other lines.

Posted by: DelRayVA1 | January 5, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

When I first read about the Metro parking, I thought the Greenbelt closure sounded outrageous. It's a terminal and it has a large car park (I recently parked there for the first time for a bus trip to Philadelphia for a hockey game), and if the Powers That Be are serious about taking cars off the road, I thought it would be ludicrous to close that car park. On the other hand, as I think about it, that stop is an EASY one for the bus traffic to reach due to the dedicated ramp off the Beltway (accessible from I-95 north of the Beltway), and I believe I've heard that New Carrollton has more parking anyway. So, if we assume that commuter traffic on the subway is halved that day due to the feds being off, the idea of the commuters popping down to New Carrollton doesn't seem as ludicrous as I initially thought.

(My nearest two stops are Van Dorn, which will be reserved for buses, and Franconia-Springfield. Van Dorn is no loss. The car park is runt-sized. I think I will go skiing that day and record the inauguration on the DVR. I was supposed to attend the 1985 inauguration that was moved indoors due to the cold and since then I've never cared enough to attend any of them.)

Posted by: 1995hoo | January 5, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

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