Drivers may encounter some holiday weekend getaway traffic Friday afternoon, but on our long winter weekends, that tends to be relatively mild — just like the temperatures the Capital Weather Gang says travelers will see on Friday and Saturday.
The Gang is tracking a storm that could bring some snow into the D.C. region on Sunday, as the temperature turns cooler. The Monday holiday should be clear and cold. Dress warmly for the George Washington’s Birthday Parade from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday in Old Town Alexandria.
There’s not much disruptive road work, but Metro will use the long President’s Day weekend for extensive track projects, which will split up service on the Orange and Red lines. Shuttle buses will replace trains between Rosslyn and Virginia Square and between Medical Center and White Flint.
Metro weekend maintenance
The work is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. Friday and continue through the Metrorail’s midnight closing on Monday. I’ve gotten several letters from riders praising Metro’s performance during these line splits. Still, it means that many passengers have to get off trains, onto buses and back onto trains. The Trip Planner route guide doesn’t reflect the disruptions. And the platform information displays won’t always be accurate about the next train arrival time.
Orange Line: Trains will operate between Vienna and Virginia Square and between Rosslyn and New Carrollton at normal weekend service levels. Riders using the free buses between those segments should add 20 to 30 minutes to their normal travel times.
Red Line: Trains will operate between Shady Grove and White Flint and between Medical Center and Glenmont at normal weekend service levels. For those using the bus bridge in between those segments, allow 20 to 30 minutes for extra travel time.
Metro on Monday
For the holiday, Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. and close at midnight, operating with a Saturday level of service. Don’t forget that the track work listed above continues through Monday.
Metrobuses also will be on a Saturday style schedule, with some extra service.Some post-midnight trips will be canceled. See a full list of the Metrobus service changes.
MetroAccess service will operate on its normal hours, but subscription trips will be canceled unless specifically requested.
Metro’s customer information call center will be closed for the holiday.
Alexandria’s holiday parade
Parking for the George Washington’s Birthday Parade will be tough in Old Town. But parking will be free at some lots by the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station.
Free DASH shuttle buses will take parade-goers from the station area to the intersection of Prince and Washington streets, a block from the parade route, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday.
For Metrorail riders getting off at the King Street station, there’s the free King Street Trolley service between the station and Washington Street. The trolly will operate until 11 p.m.
Parking will be prohibited on the parade route from 10 a.m. Monday until the march is over. Only residents and vehicles with permits will be allowed in that area.
.Fairfax County Parkway/Fair Lakes Parkway
Drivers can once again turn left from Fair Lakes Parkway onto Fairfax County Parkway, as the construction of a major new interchange in that area progressed this week.
The turn had been blocked since July because of the work zone. The entire $69.5 million project is scheduled for completion in 2013. When it is complete, local and parkway traffic will be separate, walkers and cyclists will have better access through the area, and more than three lanes of the Fairfax County Parkway will have been widened.
Virginia Department of Transportation officials and their construction team on the I-495 express lanes project are looking for ways to ease the impact of the recent change that narrowed the ramp from the Capital Beltway’s outer loop to westbound I-66.
They were hoping the change would ease congestion on the inner loop and I-66 at the interchange without making traffic significantly worse on the narrowed ramp. But VDOT acknowledges that it is much worse and is studying how an adjustment can be made.
For now, be careful on that ramp. It used to be two lanes onto I-66 West, but now traffic must merge to a single lane about half way down the ramp.
See more about this situation on Sunday’s Commuter page in the Post Metro section.
New Silver Spring garage
A parking garage is scheduled to open Tuesday in Silver Spring, just north of the D.C. line.
It’s below the new Galaxy Apartments at 8025 13th St. Parking will be free till Feb. 27, when motorists will start paying Montgomery County’s Silver Spring parking rates: 75 cents an hour for parking of four hours or less and 60 cents an hour for long-term parking.