Getting to Nationals Park

October 12, 2012

Thanks to Jayson Werth’s series-extending home run Thursday, the Nationals are hosting Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Friday night at 8:30 p.m. Once again, massive crowds will make their way to Nationals Park to watch playoff baseball in Washington. 

Here are some tips for getting to and from the game:

METRO:

  • Metro has track work scheduled on the Red and Green Lines, but the transit agency won’t begin that work until after the baseball crowds have made their way through the system. 
  • Extra Green Line trains will be put into service between the Mount Vernon Square and Anacostia stations. These eight-car trains will have operators at both ends so they can quickly reverse direction. 
  • Still, even with extra trains, expect crowding on the Green Line and at the Navy Yard, L’Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place stations before and after the game. 
  • The Navy Yard platform will be jammed before and after games. The Half Street entrance is closer to the ballpark, but if it’s overflowing, try the New Jersey Avenue entrance. 
  • Riders transferring to the Yellow Line to head to Springfield or Alexandria might want to switch at Archives rather than at L’Enfant. 
  • To get to the Orange or Blue Line, think about walking to the Capitol South or Eastern Market stops rather than taking the Green Line and transferring. 
  • If you do need to board a Green Line train but don’t want to deal with the Navy Yard station, you could walk to the Waterfront stop, board a train heading toward Anacostia and wait for it to turn around.
  • As always, use caution when you’re out and about. Remember that platforms and trains will be very crowded. It will be late when the game ends, so keep that in mind  if you are walking to another station and aren’t familiar with the neighborhood.
  • Metrorail will be open until 3 a.m. 
DRIVING:
 
The same streets that closed for Wednesday and Thursday’s games will once again be blocked. 
 
The following streets closed at 12:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. (UPDATE: The District Department of Transportation initially reported these closures as beginning at 12:30 p.m., but clarified to say they actually kicked in at 2:30 p.m.)
 
  • N Street SE between First and South Capitol streets
  • Half Street SE between M and N streets
  • Van Street SE between M and N streets (it will still be accessible to taxis and stadium traffic)
And the following streets will close at 6 p.m., though they will remain accessible to stadium traffic: 
 
  • First Street SE from M Street south to Potomac Avenue
  • Potomac Avenue SE from South Capitol Street to First Street
These streets will reopen once most of the pedestrian traffic has cleared the area. 

The District Department of Transportation’s plan remains focused on guiding traffic away from the stadium and onto nearby freeways as quickly as possible. Northbound traffic on South Capitol Street will be directed to Interstate 395, and southbound traffic will be directed to the Douglass Memorial Bridge. Traffic on westbound M Street will be shunted toward the ramp at Maine and 12th streets, and eastbound M Street will head to the 11th Street Bridge. 

Judging by the situations before and after the first two games, drivers should expect heavy but manageable congestion heading to and from Nationals Park. Things didn’t seem to stop entirely, but there was a consistently high number of cars on these major arteries. 

BUSES:

Metrobus routes 74, P1, P2, V7, V8 and V9 serve Nationals Park. Circulator buses that travel between the Navy Yard station, Eastern Market station and Union Station will extend service until 1 a.m. or the ending of the game.

BIKING:

Capital Bikeshare will once again have a corral at First and N streets SE. The corral has proven very popular, with more than 100 bikes being checked in for each of the two playoff games at Nationals Park so far. There are also three Bikeshare stations close to the stadium and several others a short walk away.

You can also park your own bike at the stadium. Nationals Park has a free bike valet in Garage C (also at First and N streets SE; enter on N Street) that can hold 100 bikes, and there are other bike racks surrounding the ballpark, which can hold up to 250 bikes.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news, developing stories and quick analysis of events around the country.
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Mark Berman | October 12, 2012