Marathon to disrupt D.C. travel
The two annual events that most annoy local travelers are the Christmas tree lighting on the Ellipse and the National Marathon. We got past the tree lighting. It's time for the marathon.
Like the tree lighting, the marathon is a fine event, and we're glad to have it, but the timing is very disruptive. The tree lighting, for some reason lost to history, is scheduled for a weeknight rush hour. The marathon, a more recent event, is scheduled for a Saturday morning, when plenty of people are trying to get out of their D.C. neighborhoods and many others are trying to get into the city.
The marathon is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. Saturday and finish at 1 p.m. It starts and ends at RFK Stadium, but in between, it covers a huge territory, extending across six of the District's eight wards. If you have plans to move about in the District early Saturday,see this map and develop a plan.
Intermittent street closings will begin at 6:45 a.m. The streets will be posted with "Official Course Route" signs. Parked cars won't be allowed to move from those streets once runners enter the area. See the lengthy list of street closings and times on page 2 of this pdf.
D.C. police will be stationed along the route to control traffic and safety. Each officer will have a Race Day Operations Guide with detailed information on open access routes and detour plans.
East Capitol Street from 13th to Second streets NE will be closed to all vehicles starting at 6:45 a.m. It will reopen about 10:45 a.m. as the runners pass. Capitol Hill residents who normally use East Capitol to get to or from their homes will be allowed to cross East Capitol at these locations: Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, 10th, 15th and 17th streets, under the direction of police officers, who will decide when to open and close access.
But travelers far from Capitol Hill also will be affected. Drivers along Connecticut Avenue between Florida Avenue and M Street NW are likely to experience delays between 7 and 8:35 a.m. Minnesota Avenue SE will be closed to traffic from about 8:55 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
If you're driving into the District, best bets for getting across the marathon route are: Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York Avenue.
The good news is that Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. Saturday to help runners and spectators get to their places. The bad news is that all the street closings will disrupt Metrobus service on 42 routes, as well as MetroAccess service.
Metrorail: Before the race, all Red Line trains will operate every 12 minutes and will share one track between the Medical Center and Grosvenor stations because of track maintenance. 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.
After the race, all Blue Line trains will share one track between the Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street stations because of track maintenance. They will operate every 24 minutes. Every other Blue Line train traveling toward Franconia-Springfield will terminate at Van Dorn Street and return to Largo.
Metrobus routes detoured and running slow: 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, G2, G8, H2, H4, H8, L2, M6, N6, N22, P6, S2, S4, U6, V8, X2 and X8. Buses should be back to normal routes in the early afternoon.
Several of the District's Circulator bus routes also will detour because of the marathon.
The Georgetown/Union Station route will be split in two from 7 a.m. until about 8:45 a.m. Half of the route will operate from Union Station to 17th Street NW and the other half will operate from Georgetown to 20th Street NW.
Riders who need to travel through the affected area between 17th and 20th streets must walk across the marathon route to reach buses on the other side.
The Woodley Park/Adams Morgan/McPherson Square route will not offer service to the Columbia Heights or Woodley Park Metro stations from 7 a.m. to about 9:30 a.m., because Columbia Road will be closed Metro. This also prevents service to the Adams Morgan neighborhood during that time.
The Convention Center/Waterfront Route will be split in two from 7a.m. to about 1:30 p.m. Half of the route will operate from O Street NW to Pennsylvania Avenue, and half of the route will operate from I (Eye) Street SW to Independence Avenue SW. Riders who need to travel through the affected area between Pennsylvania Avenue and Independence Avenue must walk across the marathon route to reach buses on the other side.
March 17, 2010; 5:05 PM ET
Categories: Congestion , Events | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, National Marathon
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