This Weekend and Beyond: Metro delays, marathons and St. Patrick’s Day

March 16, 2012

(Carolyn Kaster/AP)

The Capital Weather Gang forecast calls for pleasant weather all weekend. But it’s going to be particularly difficult to navigate through and around the area, especially if you’re depending on the subway; Metro will be doing work on all five lines.

Here’s what you need to know for this weekend:

Metro Track Work

Red Line:

• The Shady Grove station will be closed. Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Shady Grove and Rockville from Friday at 10 p.m. until the system closes on Sunday night. Add at least 15 minutes to your trip.

• Trains will run between Rockville and Glenmont every 10 minutes on Saturday and Sunday between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. They will run at regular weekend intervals all other times.

• The last Glenmont-bound train will leave Rockville at 2:33 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights/early the next morning and at 11:33 p.m. on Sunday.

Orange Line:

Dulles rail construction in Tysons Corner last year. (Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post)

• Orange Line trains will depart the ends of the line every 20 minutes.

Blue Line:

• Trains will single track between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road from 10 p.m. Friday until the system closes on Sunday night. This is to allow for repairs to the concrete slabs beneath the rails. Add at least 10 to 15 minutes to your trip.

• Blue Line trains will depart the ends of the line every 20 minutes.

Green Line:

• Trains will single track between Fort Totten and Prince George’s Plaza from 10 p.m. Friday until the system closes on Sunday night. This is to allow for track upgrades. Add at least 10 minutes to your trip.

• Green Line trains will depart the ends of the line every 16 minutes.

Yellow Line:

• To coordinate with the single-tracking on the Green and Blue lines, Yellow Line trains will run every 16 minutes throughout the weekend between the Huntington and Mount Vernon Square stations. Add at least 10 minutes to your usual trip.

• If you’re going to or from a station north of Mount Vernon Square, use the Green Line to finish your trip.


St. Patrick’s Day is one of the bigger drinking holidays around — right up there with the Super Bowl and Arbor Day (joking on that last one). Because it falls on Saturday, which is also the beginning of the second round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, it’s safe to assume there will be a lot of boozing this weekend*.

Area residents once again have an easy way to avoid drinking and driving: SoberRide, a program that provides free cab rides to people who shouldn’t be getting behind the wheel.

The program, provided by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, is simple: Call the toll-free number 1-800-200-TAXI (or 8294) from 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday. You must be 21 to use this service, and it only covers a fare up to $30 (riders have to pay anything over $30).

Calls must originate in the District, Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, eastern Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas and Manassas Park) or Maryland (Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and the cities of Rockville, Bowie, College Park, Gaithersburg, Greenbelt and Takoma Park).

In the past, readers have complained that the number is often busy or that the wait is too long. This is a very popular service, so you have to expect that when you call. You can’t reserve a ride in advance, so the usual tips apply: Call long before you actually want to be picked up and be patient when you’re calling this free service.

* (We here at the Dr. Gridlock blog neither condone nor condemn excessive drinking. We simply remind you to be careful and remember that you’re sharing the road with lots of other people, some of them babies. You don’t want to hurt a baby, do you?)

DUI checkpoints

As if you need another reason not to drink and drive (not that you do), here’s one: Law enforcement agencies throughout the region are setting up DUI checkpoints this weekend to crack down on drunk drivers. They will also have extra officers patrolling the streets. We don’t know precisely where they will be doing this, but it’s safe to assume it’s somewhere between your home and wherever you may be celebrating or watching games.

Rock ’n’ Roll USA Marathon - Street Closures

The Rock ’n’ Roll USA Marathon and an associated half marathon will be held in Washington on Saturday. This race will hit all four of the District’s quadrants and cause street closures beginning very early on Saturday morning and continuing through Saturday afternoon.

Here’s a map showing the race’s route. The race is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. Some street closures will begin as early as 3 a.m., while all streets are expected to be reopened by 2:30 p.m., according to the District Department of Transportation.

The marathons begin at 19th and C streets in Northeast, but you should generally avoid the area around RFK Stadium and any of the streets being utilized. Again, you really should take a look at the course map, because no traffic will be allowed along the race route.

If you have any questions about the traffic-related plans for the marathon and half-marathon, call (202) 727-9099.

The marathon’s route:

• Start on 19th & C Street NE

• West on C Street NE

• West on North Carolina Avenue NE

• South on 13th Street SE at Lincoln Circle

• West on East Capitol Street SE

• North on 11th Street SE

• West on East Capitol Street NE

• North on 2nd Street NE

• West on Constitution Avenue NE

• West on Pennsylvania Avenue NW

• West on Constitution Avenue NW

• (turn around)

• East on Constitution Avenue NW at 20th Street NW

• North on 18th Street NW

• North/Northwest on Connecticut Avenue NW

• North on Columbia Road NW

• East on Harvard Street NW

• South on 5th Street NW

• East on Bryant Street NW

• South on North Capitol Street NW

• East on K Street NE

• South on 4th Street NE

• East on H Street NE

• South on 13th Street NE

• East on Constitution Avenue NE

• East on North Carolina Ave NE

• Merge onto C ST NE

• South onto 22nd ST NE

• West into RFK LOT 3

[This is where the half marathon wraps up. The full marathon continues: Course map ]

• West on C Street NE

• South on 13th Street SE at Lincoln Circle

• West on East Capitol Street SE

• North on 11th Street SE

• West on East Capitol Street NE

• North on 2nd Street NE

• West on Constitution Avenue NE

• West on Pennsylvania Avenue NW

• West on Constitution Avenue NW

• South on 9th Street NW (tunnel)

• East on Maine Avenue SW

• South on 6th Street Extension SW

• South on Water Street SW

• Merge onto the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

• East on P Street SW

• South on 2nd Street SW

• East on V Street SW

• North on First Street SW

• East on Potomac Avenue SW

• South onto South Capitol Street SE

• East on South Capitol Bridge access road

• North on South Capitol Bridge access road

• East on Anacostia Drive SE

• (turn around)

• West on Anacostia Drive SE

• South on Nicholson Street SE

• East on Fairlawn Avenue SE

• Southeast on Pennsylvania Avenue SE

• North on L’Enfant Square SE

• Merge east on Minnesota Avenue SE

• Continue northeast on Minnesota Avenue SE

• East on East Capitol Street SE on ramp

• West on East Capitol Street SE

• Merge northwest onto C Street SE

• Merge northwest onto 22nd Street NE

• Enter Lot 3 at RFK Stadium; marathon ends.

Rock ’n’ Roll USA Marathon - Metro

Metrorail will open at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning, an hour earlier than usual, due to the marathon.

Metrobus will impact the following Metrobus routes (deep breath): 32, 34, 36, 38B, 42, 52, 54, 64, 70, 74, 80, 90, 92, 96, A42, A46, A48, B2, D4, D6, D8, G2, G8, H2, H4, L2, M6, N6, P6, S2, S4, U2, U6, V8, X2 and X8.

The Metrobus detours have been split into two zones:

North of Constitution Avenue: Detours are expected between 7:20 a.m. and noon. Buses north of the course will try to turn back close to a Metro station, and you can transfer to Metro for free by requesting a free transfer from the bus operator.

South of Constitution Avenue: Detours are expected between 8:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. There will be no regular service in this area from the start of the race until runners are through the area.

Metrobus will resume service once a significant number of streets have reopened in each neighborhood, with streets reopening after all runners have finished passing through.

Please refer to this full list of the Metrobus detours, broken down by routes.

Arlington 5K

Arlington is also hosting a race on Saturday. This one is a 5K around Nottingham Elementary School.

The Nottingham Elementary PTA Run/Walk 5K is scheduled for 8 a.m.. It will close several roads near the school (located at 5900 Little Falls Rd.). Here’s the race map.

The following streets will be closed, according to the Arlington County Police Department:

• Williamsburg Boulevard will be closed to eastbound traffic from Little Falls Road to North Harrison Street between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m.

• Little Falls Road will be closed from Williamsburg Boulevard to North Harrison Street between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m.

• North Ohio Street will be closed from North 26th Street to Williamsburg Boulevard between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m.

There could also be some temporary street closures as the race makes its way along the route, so make sure you check the route map to see if it will impact you. Residents of this area will be escorted through the traffic closures, but police advise that residents park cars in driveways rather than on the streets during this time.

Roads are supposed to reopen at 10:30 a.m.

Ringling Bros. in D.C.

Elephants are led by handlers past the US Capitol on March 13 during the annual Pachyderm Parade to mark the arrival of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to Washington. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Arlington Boulevard lane closures

The ongoing project meant to improve Arlington Boulevard’s interchanges at 10th Street and Courthouse Road will continue to affect travelers on this major artery.

There will be lane closures on westbound Arlington Boulevard/Route 50 between 10th and Rhodes streets on Monday, March 19, through Friday, March 23. These closures will occur sometime between 5:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Additionally, westbound Arlington Boulevard will close between Courthouse Road and 10th Street on Saturday, March 24, at 8 a.m. It won’t reopen until Sunday, March 25, at 8 p.m. This is so crews can demolish the 10th Street bridge over westbound Arlington Boulevard.

Several long-term closures are also being put in place next week, beginning on Thursday, March 22:

• The bridge from southbound 10th Street to eastbound Arlington Boulevard will be closed through late 2012 or early 2013 as crews continue bridge construction.

• The ramp from westbound Arlington Boulevard to N. Fairfax Drive between Courthouse Road and 10th Street will close.

• Fairfax Drive will close between Scott Street and Courthouse Road. You won’t be able to make left turns from Courthouse Road to Fairfax Drive.

Harlem Globetrotter will commute across Arlington Memorial Bridge

The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to town to play ball at the Verizon Center and the Patriot Center. But why merely drive or take the Metro to town when you can head to D.C. in style? Globetrotter Herbert “Flight Time” Lang will be crossing the Arlington Memorial Bridge on Monday at 1:30 p.m., dribbling and spinning a basketball from Arlington Cemetery to the Lincoln Memorial. The trip is a little more than a mile, and he’ll be using the sidewalk. If you’re driving across that span, we wanted you to be adequately prepared.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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