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Some Things About Getting Around on July 4

* Update: D.C. Announces July 4 Closures *
* Tips For Your July 4 Weekend Getaway *

Here are some tips for those of you who decided to celebrate Independence Day locally.

Trains will operate from 7 a.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday. The service will come close to peak-period levels from 4 p.m. to midnight, when most people head out in search of fireworks, then return home.

Trains will run on their usual routes on all five rail lines. For the first time in many years, the Smithsonian Station will be open. But it will be designated as exit-only from 6 p.m. until the start of the fireworks, shortly after 9 p.m., and entry-only from about 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Metrorail travel advice is similar to what many of you remember from Inauguration Day: Try to avoid transferring from line to line, because of the crowding in transfer stations like Metro Center, Gallery Place and L'Enfant Plaza. Instead, walk a few blocks to the Mall. Make sure you have a round-trip fare in the way in, so you don't have to wait in a long line on the way out.

Take Metro rather than trying to drive around closed streets downtown or the big crowds walking toward the festivities. There will be free parking for nearly 60,000 cars at Metro lots and garages regionwide.

Metro doesn't plan to be doing any track maintenance this weekend, so no delays on that account.

The buses will be on a Saturday schedule, but some that travel near the Mall will be detoured. These routes are affected: 13, 32, 34, 36, 52, 54, 64, 70, A42, A46, A48, P6, S2, S4, V8, D6, and F4.

Also, the 4H, 7A, 13G, 16B, 16E, 16G, 16J, 16K lines will be detoured near the Pentagon and Rosslyn stations, but will have access to the stations.

You may be anxious to experiment with the Next Bus real-time information system, which returns to service today, but its computer brain won't reflect all these detours.

There's a game Saturday at 1:05 p.m. against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, near South Capitol and M streets. That will mean some crowding at the Navy Yard Metrorail station and along the Green Line.

For those who over-celebrate, the SoberRide program will be in operation from 4 p.m. Saturday to 4 a.m.Sunday to keep the streets free of of impaired drivers. Adults can call the toll-free SoberRide phone number, 800-200-TAXI, and get a no-cost (up to a $50 fare) ride home. SoberRide is available in the District, Montgomery and Prince George's counties, and Arlington, Fairfax, eastern Loudoun and Prince William counties.

By Robert Thomson  |  July 1, 2009; 11:08 AM ET
Categories:  holiday travel  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, July 4 travel tips, Metrorail  
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Next: Metro Transit: NextBus Launches Today


Since the federal government is closed on Friday (since the holiday is on a Saturday), and a lot of companies are also giving a 3 day weekend, what type of service will Metro run on Friday, July 3rd? I know some of the other bus lines are Saturday service this Friday and there is no MARC or VRE service on Friday.

Posted by: dhlunar | July 1, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Has there been a map yet posted anywhere that shows all the closings and security checkpoints on July 4th?

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | July 1, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Good to see they finally found a way to keep Smithsonian open...

Posted by: thetan | July 1, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Good to see they finally found a way to keep Smithsonian open..."

I'm puzzled because in past years that station's Mall exit was within the "secure perimeter." Wonder what changed this time around. As the poster above you notes, there hasn't been any publicity about this year's "security" arrangements.

Posted by: 1995hoo | July 1, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The Independence exit was never within the secure area though. Either they have the Smithsonian exit closed, or they will set up a checkpoint to screen people as they exit the Metro. either way, an improvement over not having use of the station.

Posted by: thetan | July 1, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

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