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National Marathon in DC on Saturday

This event has been of great concern to weekend travelers for the past couple of years, because it's held on a Saturday, rather than a Sunday when traffic tends to be lighter and covers a lot of territory in the District.

In fact, its popularity with drivers ranks on a level with the annual Christmas tree lighting held on the Ellipse during the afternoon rush hour.

The National Marathon and Half Marathon start at 7 a.m. and finish at 1 p.m. RFK Stadium is the start and end point, but the runners go through six of the District's eight wards. There will be numerous street closings while the runners pass, and there will be traffic delays. The plan does not affect parking on those streets. This link will take you to a page of maps and more information about street closures.

These are just some highlights of the areas affected:

East Capitol Street will be closed to all vehicular traffic from 6:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The traffic plan says that Capitol Hill residents will be allowed intermittent access across East Capitol Street on the north-south streets.

On Connecticut Avenue, drivers are likely to encounter delays between 7:15 and 8:30 a.m. Minnesota Avenue SE will be closed to traffic from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Best bets for getting around on major streets are Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York avenue.

Metrorail will open two hours early, at 5 a.m. Before the race, all Red Line trains will operate every 12 minutes. All Blue, Orange, Yellow and Green Line trains will operate every 15 minutes from the ends of each rail line and every seven to eight minutes in downtown Washington.

The widespread road closings will interfere with most downtown Metrobus routes and MetroAccess service, the transit authority says. Forty-one Metrobus routes in the District will be detoured. Metro suggests that passengers build in extra time for morning trips or, if possible, postpone them till midafternoon.

These are the routes that face detours and delays: 5A, 13A, 13B, 13F, 13G, 32, 34, 36, 38B, 42, 52, 54, 64, 70, 80, 90, 92, 96, 98, A42, A46, A48, B2, D4, D6, D8, G8, H2, H4, H8, L2, M6, N6, N22, P6, S2, S4, U6, V8, X2 and X8.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 18, 2009; 7:34 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Events  
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This Marathon is a mess. From what I read from one list serve. One community is completely blocked in by the race. And Metro hasn't told anyone where the detoured routes will be. They aren't even on the METRO website.

What a mess.

Posted by: duonoir | March 18, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

How many marathons does DC have each year? Seems like there is one every other weekend from April - October.

Posted by: Axel2 | March 19, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Marathons are nice events and certainly serve some useful purposes, especially for the runners, but they come at a cost to everyone else. Can't DC consider routing this event in such a way as to minimize that impact on others?

Posted by: MarkTune1 | March 19, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The SunTrust website for the Marathon is ridiculous. The map is 12MB! And the website is slow as molasses. I have been waiting 20 minutes to get this map. I live on the Hill and had forgotten about this event. I just got a text reminder from the City. There go my Sat plans.

Dr. Gridlock - please post the street closures in a more readable text format. This high tech stuff is for the birds.

Posted by: dlesterdc1 | March 20, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Update from my previous posting.

Go to the DC gov home page and click on the links there. You get the map and list of street closures and times very quickly.

Dr. Gridlock - change your link, this one works way better. Less than 30 seconds.

Posted by: dlesterdc1 | March 20, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

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