The week ahead for traffic, transit: Playoff baseball returns to D.C.

October 8, 2012

This is an abbreviated week for many workers due to the Columbus Day holiday. And some people might call in sick later this week as playoff baseball makes its official return to Washington for the first time in nearly 80 years. Nationals playoff games are sure to create major delays and headaches for fans heading to the ballpark, to say nothing of commuters who might be trying to get around town at the same time. 

The Capital Weather Gang forecast calls for cool temperatures Tuesday, followed by pleasant conditions the rest of the week. After Monday, we might make it until Friday without rain. 

Here’s the rundown of what you need to know for Monday and the week ahead:

Columbus Day Transit Changes

Columbus Day brings with it the usual gamut of transit changes. Here are the main things to keep in mind for the rest of Monday: 

• Metro: Metrorail is running a Saturday holiday schedule and closes at midnight. Metrobus is running a Saturday supplemental schedule, which means some routes won’t run. Check the bus timetables to see if your particular route is running.

Track work continues on the Red and Orange lines. Red Line trains are sharing a track between Judiciary Square and Fort Totten. Trains should arrive at platforms between Shady Grove and Judiciary Square every 13 minutes until 9 p.m.; after that, trains will run between Glenmont and Shady Grove every 26 minutes until the system closes at midnight. Orange Line trains are sharing a track between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. During the day, every other train from Vienna will only go as far as Stadium-Armory before turning around. 

• Commuter rail: There is no Maryland Area Regional Commuter or Virginia Railway Express service. 

• Virginia busesArlington Transit is running ART routes 41425177 and 87 on Saturday schedules, but no other ART routes are operating. Alexandria’s DASH system is running a Saturday schedule, while the Fairfax Connector is running a holiday weekday schedule. The Loudoun County Transit bus system is running a reduced schedule (full schedule here). There is limited OmniRide bus service (see the schedule for more)

• Maryland buses: Montgomery County’s Ride On service is running a normal weekday schedule. TheBus in Prince George’s County is running a mostly normal service; the exceptions are routes 51, 52 and 53, which won’t operate. 

Taste of D.C. Street Closures 

Taste of D.C. lasts until Monday at 7 p.m., but multiple streets closed in downtown Washington for the food festival won’t reopen until early Tuesday morning. This could cause problems for anyone who normally travels through this area heading to or from work.

The following streets are still closed and will reopen on Tuesday at 3 a.m.:

  • Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 9th to 14th streets NW
  • 10th Street NW from E Street to Constitution Avenue NW
  • 11th Street NW from E Street to Constitution Avenue NW 
  • 12th Street NW from E Street to Constitution Avenue NW
  • 13th Street NW from E Street to Constitution Avenue NW

Nationals Playoff Baseball

The Nationals are in St. Louis again Monday, but the series switches to Washington for games on Wednesday, Thursday and (if a fifth game is necessary) Friday.

These home playoff games are going to draw massive crowds and create major gridlock. We will have plenty of coverage of this as we get closer to the games. But if you want to start planning your trip to Nats Park now, visit wapo.st/natsparkguide.

Metro’s exact plans depend on when games begin, but the transit agency is planning for late afternoon or evening games and will add extra trains regardless of the start time. If the games start in the late afternoon, overlapping with the evening rush hour, Metro will use every available car and put eight-car gap trains into service between Mount Vernon Square and Anacostia.

If the games begin at night, trains will run late to accommodate crowds leaving the ballpark. One thing to keep in mind for these late games: Only the Navy Yard station will remain open after midnight. All other stations will remain open, but fans can only exit at those stops. 

Make sure you visit wapo.st/drgridlock on the day of any home Nationals playoff game to find out the latest. We will be live-blogging the transit situation before, during and after these games, keeping an eye on roads, Metro, congestion, crowding and everything else.

And if you are heading to the game, make sure to e-mail us anything you see so we can tell your fellow commuters. Send tips to transportation@washpost.com.

Paving to slim University Dr. in Fairfax

Roadwork could create headaches around George Mason University in Fairfax this week. The Virginia Department of Transportation will be paving a stretch on University Drive between Rappahannock River Lane and Rapidan River Road. The work is scheduled to begin Oct. 11 and last until early Oct. 17. 

One lane will be closed in each direction Oct. 11 (from 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning),  Oct. 12 (10 p.m. until 9 a.m. the following morning) and Oct. 14 through 16 (from 8:30 p.m. each night until 5 a.m. the following morning). 


View Larger Map 

Beltway/Telegraph Road Interchange closures

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project will close multiple ramps and lanes around the Telegraph Road/Beltway interchange this week. 

• Monday through Friday, Oct. 12,  from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Mill Road will be closed in both directions between Stovall Street and Telegraph Road. Detour: Use Eisenhower Avenue.

• Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The right lane of the Outer Loop thru lanes will be closed between Telegraph Road and U.S. 1.

• Tuesday and Thursday nights from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following mornings: The ramp from Duke Street West to Telegraph Road South will be closed. (Drivers should continue to Van Dorn Street South to the Outer Loop to Telegraph Road South.) The ramp from Duke Street East to Telegraph Road South will be also be closed. (Drivers should continue to U.S.  1 South to Huntington Avenue West to Telegraph Road South.) 

• Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The ramps from Telegraph Road North and Telegraph Road South to the Outer Loop will be closed. 

• Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The right lane of the Outer Loop local lanes will be closed between Telegraph Road and U.S. 1. 

Closures also occur next weekend: 

• Friday, Oct. 12, at 9 p.m. until until Monday, Oct. 15, at 5 a.m.: The Inner Loop local will be reduced to one lane between U.S. 1 and Telegraph Road. (Use the thru lanes here.) The Inner Loop local exit ramp to Telegraph Road North and Eisenhower Avenue will be closed. (Drivers should try using exit 174 to Eisenhower Avenue East.) The access ramps from U.S. 1 North and South to the Inner Loop local  lanes will be closed.  (Drivers should use the access ramp to the thru lanes.) 

• Sunday, Oct. 14, from midnight to 5 a.m.: All Inner Loop local lanes will close between U.S. 1 and Telegraph Road. Drivers should use the thru lanes; all local traffic will be routed to U.S. 1 South to Huntington Avenue West to Telegraph Road North to the Inner Loop. 

Weekend Metro Work

It’s never too early to start planning for upcoming Metro track work. Here’s what you can expect next weekend:

• Red Line: Single-tracking between the Grosvenor and Twinbrook stops and between the NoMa and Fort Totten stations.
• Green Line: Single-tracking between Fort Totten and Prince George’s Plaza.
• Yellow Line: There won’t be any track work, but trains will turn around at Mount Vernon Square due to the Green Line work.

Sundays at FedEx Field

The Washington Redskins host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. The game is nearly a week away, but just in case you are going to start tailgating incredibly early (or maybe you just want to plan your trip in advance), here’s Dr. Gridlock’s guide to getting to the game.

New intersection law

In a move that took effect this month, Maryland has tweaked its law on how drivers should act at an intersections with dark traffic signals. Approaching from any direction, drivers must stop at a stop line before entering a crosswalk or before entering the intersection. After stopping, drivers must yield to any vehicle or pedestrian in the intersection and wait until it’s safe to enter.

As Dr. Gridlock noted Sunday, a driver caught violating those rules is subject to a $90 fine and two points on a license. If the violation contributes to a crash, it’s $130 and three points.

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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Mark Berman · October 8, 2012