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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 03:07 PM ET, 07/03/2012

July 4th transit, transportation changes

The Fourth of July arrives as thousands still lack power, with scorching heat and potential storms in store for the holiday. Still, if you are in town — and particularly if you have no air conditioning and want to get out of the house — you need to get around.

Here are some of the transit and transportation changes to keep in mind for Wednesday.

(And if you are heading out of town, make sure to check out our Summer Getaway Guide.)

Metro

Metrorail will operate a modified July 4th schedule, running from 7 a.m. to midnight. The transit agency plans to run a Saturday schedule during the day and have service levels near what we see during rush hour between 6 p.m. and midnight.

Expect a lot of crowding on the system. Metro anticipates more than 500,000 riders over the course of the day, with particularly heavy crowds before and after the fireworks scheduled for 9:10 p.m. on the National Mall.

If you can, avoid the Smithsonian or Federal Triangle stations and walk to Foggy Bottom, Metro Center, the Archives or another nearby station.

Escalators will be intentionally turned off at many downtown stations. After the fireworks finish, the Smithsonian station on the Mall will only be available for entries.

Some lines will also see service changes. Starting at 2 p.m., every other Orange Line train heading to New Carrollton will stop at Stadium-Armory and turn back to Vienna. Starting at 6 p.m., all Yellow Line trains will only run between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square. Also starting at 6 p.m., trains should leave the end of each line every six minutes, with trains leaving the Shady Grove and Vienna stops every four minutes. This is to try and make it so that trains will run every four minutes through downtown.

There will be no Rush Plus service. Parking will be free at all Metro stations, but bicycles won’t be allowed on the Metro system.

Metrobus will run on Saturday schedule.

Street closures in D.C.

Multiple streets will be closed due to Independence Day events in the District.

The following streets will be closed between 6 a.m. and about 11 p.m. due to “A Capitol Fourth” on the Mall:

— 4th Street from Independence Avenue SW to Constitution Avenue NW

— 7th Street from Independence Avenue SW to Constitution Avenue NW

— 15th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Maine Avenue SW

— 17th Street from Independence Avenue SW to E Street NW

— 19th Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue

— 20th Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue

— 21st Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue

— 22nd Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue

— 23rd Street NW from Independence Avenue SW to C Street NW

— Virginia Avenue NW between 18th and 20th streets

— Constitution Avenue NW between 14th and 23rd streets

— Independence Avenue SW between 14th and 23rd streets

Between 11:30 a.m. and 11 p.m.:

— 14th Street between Independence and Pennsylvania avenues NW

— 3rd Street from Maryland Avenue SW to Pennsylvania Avenue NW

And the following streets will be closed between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. due to the parade:

— The 9th Street Tunnel between Pennsylvania Avenue and the Southeast-Southwest Freeway

— The 12th Street Tunnel from the Southeast-Southwest Freeway to Pennsylvania Avenue

The 14th Street and Roosevelt bridges will remain open all day, but any vehicle that stops on either bridge will be ticketed and towed, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

Parking won’t be allowed on the following streets between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.:

— 3rd Street between Independence and Constitution avenues NW

— 4th Street between Independence and Constitution avenues NW

— 7th Street, between Independence and Pennsylvania avenues NW

— 14th Street, between Independence and Constitution avenues NW

— 5th Street from Constitution to E Street NW

— 17th Street from Constitution to E Street NW

— Both sides of Constitution Avenue from Pennsylvania Avenue on west to 23rd Street NW

— 10th Street NW between Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues NW

— 14th Street NW between Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues NW

— C Street NW between 17th and 18th streets

— Virginia Avenue NW from Constitution Avenue to 21st Street

HOV restrictions

The High Occupancy Vehicle restrictions on I-66 and I-395/395 will be lifted. They’ll be back on Thursday.

SoberRide

The program, which offers free taxi rides to people to keep them from getting behind the wheel after drinking, will be available from 10 p.m. Wednesday through 4 a.m. Thursday.

The service is available to people 21 and older and covers a cab fare up to $30 (riders have to pay anything over that amount). Area residents can call toll-free at 800-200-8294 (TAXI).

If you are using this, remember that the service is both free and popular. You might need to call more than once and wait a little while. Plan ahead by calling well before you think you might need a ride.

Parking enforcement

D.C.: Parking regulations will not be enforced in most of the District. The sole exception: Parking regulations in the neighborhood around Nationals Park, which will be enforced because the Nats are hosting the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday morning. Otherwise, rules involving expired meters, residential parking and street sweeping are all lifted.

Montgomery County: Parking will be free at public garages, parking meters and parking lots.

Arlington: Parking meters won’t be enforced.

Alexandria: Parking enforcement will be lifted at meters, in areas with residential parking permits and in any other area with signs limiting parking time.

MARC

There will be no MARC service, according to the Maryland Transit Administration.

VRE

The Virginia Railway Express will not operate on Wednesday.

Additionally, VRE anticipates having the largest crowds Tuesday on Fredericksburg Line train 303, Manassas Line train 327 and Manassas Line train 329, all of which leave Washington between 3:35 and 4:2 5 p.m. These will be the longest trains today to try and accommodate these crowds.

VRE trains on the Fredericksburg Line will have speed restrictions due to the heat. This could lead to some delays, which is something to be prepared for as you head out for the holiday.

Ride On

Montgomery County’s Ride On service will be running a Saturday schedule on Wednesday

DASH

Alexandria’s DASH system will run a Sunday schedule on Wednesday.

Fairfax Connector

The Fairfax Connector is running a Saturday schedule on Wednesday. Certain routes won’t operate.

Arlington Transit

Arlington Transit will only run ART routes 41 and 51 on a Sunday schedule. No other ART route will operate.

OmniRide

There will be no OmniRide service on Wednesday. The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission will run a few extra OmniRide buses on Tuesday afternoon to accommodate the additional passengers who head out early the day before a holiday.

TheBus

TheBus in Prince George’s County will not run on Wednesday.

By  |  03:07 PM ET, 07/03/2012

 
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