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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 09:46 AM ET, 03/09/2012

The weekend and beyond

While most gatherings remain indoors on this late-winter weekend, we do have signs of spring: D.C. United will play its season opener at RFK Stadium on Saturday. The D.C. St. Patrick’s Day parade is Sunday. And early Sunday, the clocks spring forward.

Many bicyclists will be heading to Arlington County on Saturday afternoon for the Crystal City Diamond Derby, a cycling event in a parking garage at 1850 Crystal Drive. It’s preceded by a River Ride.

The Capital Weather Gang sees a lovely-looking weekend, but the front that blew through Thursday night will lower temperatures.

Metro weekend delays

All these disruptions begin at 10 p.m. Friday and continue through Metrorail’s midnight closing Sunday.

Red Line: Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Dupont Circle and Van Ness. The Woodley Park and Cleveland Park stations will be closed. (A traveler pointed out to me that this shuts the two stations closest to the National Zoo.)

Trains will operate every 10 minutes during the daytime, and on the regular weekend schedule during late hours, the transit authority said. Riders using the shuttles should add 20 minutes to their normal travel times.

Orange Line: Trains will share tracks between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory and between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. They will leave the ends of the line at Vienna and New Carrollton about every 24 minutes. Add 15 to 20 minutes to normal travel times.

Blue Line: Trains will single track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory and between Reagan National Airport and Braddock Road. They will leave the ends of the line at Franconia-Springfield and Largo Town Center about every 24 minutes. Add 15 to 20 minutes to normal travel times.

Yellow Line: Trains will share a track between National Airport and Braddock Road. They will operate about every 24 minutes between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square. Add 15 to 20 minutes to normal travel times.

At off-peak hours and on weekends, Yellow Line trains normally continue north to Fort Totten. Riders who want to continue north this weekend should switch over to the Green Line on the same platform.

Daylight Saving and Metro

Don’t miss your last train Sunday morning. When your clock springs forward one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, so does Metro’s, which means it’s closing time for Metrorail.

This causes confusion for some riders. Basically, you should figure that your last train early Sunday morning will pass through the stations one hour earlier than usual.

The train system always shuts when the clocks say 3 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

D.C. United on Saturday

The hometown soccer team opens its 2012 season at 7:30 Saturday against Sporting Kansas City at RFK. The nearest Metro station is Stadium-Armory on the Orange and Blue lines, but keep in mind those Metrorail disruptions listed above.

The stadium’s parking lots open four hours before game time. Parking for cars is $15. For buses, limousines and RVs, it’s $30. They can park in lots 3 and 7.

All lots have parking available for disabled people.

South Dakota Ave. road work

The District Department of Transportation temporarily closed southbound South Dakota Avenue NE between Riggs Road and Kennedy Street on Friday morning for about two days. A single northbound traffic lane will be open at the Fort Totten intersection.

On northbound South Dakota, drivers can make a left, right or go straight at Riggs Road. Drivers heading eastbound on Riggs Road can get to South Dakota Avenue from the Riggs Road ramp. Motorists going west on Riggs Road and southbound on Third Street will be directed to First Street to reach South Dakota Avenue.

DDOT says these weekend closings are necessary so that workers can speed up preparations for the permanent closing of the Riggs Road ramp to South Dakota Avenue. That is scheduled for March 12.

St. Patrick’s Day parade

The annual parade begins at noon Sunday and continues for about two and a half hours, proceeding west on Constitution Avenue NW from Seventh to 17th streets. Streets leading to Constitution Avenue will be closed during the morning and early afternoon.

Constitution Avenue rehab project

There’s no work scheduled on Constitution Avenue NW this weekend for the National Park service road rehabilitation project.

But from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, the eastbound curb lane may be closed between 17th and 15th streets for installation of a fence. Parking will be restricted

Trench work may begin south of the Ellipse this coming week. Pepco will be installing a conduit to operate the traffic signals.

Red top meter changes

The District Department of Transportation is adding 1,100 red top parking meters reserved for disabled people to the initial round of 400. The new meters will be distributed citywide by April 17, DDOT says.

The initial program distributed the 400 meters through the central business district and streets around federal buildings in Southwest Washington.

Under the new parking program, everyone must pay at D.C. meters, even if they have valid placards or plates indicating a disability. The complaints I’ve heard aren’t about the requirement to pay. They are about the part of the program that restricts double-time parking at meters other than the reserved red tops.

The District has been planning to expand the number of red tops and takes requests for them through the mayor’s 311 call center, but this announcement about the accelerated distribution is welcome.

The DDOT announcement also includes several important details about parking between now and April 17.

Only vehicles displaying a valid disability placard or plate may park at a red top. (And they must pay.) Vehicles without the placard or plate will be subject to ticketing. The fine is $250.

Vehicles displaying a valid placard or plate may park at any D.C. meter and stay for up to twice the time, with the proper payment. This applies even if it’s just a regular meter. But the motorist would have to either return to the regular meter and deposit coins for the extra time or use the pay-by-cell system to add the extra time.

Motorists who exceed the time allowed may be ticketed. The fine is $25.

Starting April 17, D.C. will go back to the original plan: Vehicles with the proper placards or plates will be able to park for double time only at the reserved red top meters.

By  |  09:46 AM ET, 03/09/2012

Categories:  Weekend Work, Metro, Events | Tags:  DC transportation, Metro, WMATA, St. Patrick's Day parade, D.C. United

 
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