The weekend and beyond: holiday events, road work, rail delays

February 15, 2013

Henry Teeters, Will Sauers and Sam Sauers watch the 2011 Presidents’ Day parade in Alexandria. (Melina Mara — The Washington Post)

Travelers may notice some extra traffic Friday afternoon and evening as we begin the long weekend ending with the Presidents’ Day holiday. Friday morning traffic was very light, suggesting that many people planning getaways have already gone.

The road work schedule for the weekend is light but the Metro track work schedule is quite full, as Metrorail managers try to take advantage of the long time period of relatively light travel.

While Friday started off well, the Capital Weather Gang says the sky will get cloudier, with rain and snow showers developing late. (But they say you don’t have to worry about that asteroid passing near Earth.) The temperature will fall through the weekend, and there’s a chance of light snow on Saturday.

Those in the true holiday spirit may head for George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon, and there’s also the annual holiday parade in Alexandria on Monday. (See details below.) Learn more about President Lincoln from the Ford’s Theatre exhibit called “Torn in Two: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.”

See more weekend happenings in the Going Out Guide.

Metro weekend delays

Orange Line: From 10 p.m. Friday through the rail system’s midnight closing Monday, free shuttle buses will replace trains between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. Splitting the rail line in two segments will clear the way for replacement of track switches outside Stadium-Armory, as well as other work.

The Minnesota Avenue and Deanwood stations will be closed. Trains will operate between Vienna and Stadium-Armory and between New Carrollton and Cheverly every 15 minutes through the holiday weekend. The shuttles will make all station stops between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. Taking a shuttle all the way probably will add about half an hour to the normal travel time, Metro estimates.

Blue Line: From 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Monday, buses will replace trains between Stadium-Armory and Largo Town Center. This is also for that switch replacement project, as well as other work. The Benning Road, Capitol Heights, Addison Road, Morgan Boulevard and Largo Town Center stations will be closed.

A local shuttle will stop at all the stations between Stadium-Armory and Largo. Taking that entire route would add almost an hour to normal travel time, so if you need to go the whole way, look for the limited-stop shuttle, which goes to Stadium-Armory, Addison Road and Largo Town Center. Taking that trip will add about 35 minutes to regular travel time.

Red Line: From 10 p.m. Friday through the Monday closing, trains will share a track between Rhode Island Avenue and Takoma. Crews will be working on the platforms. Through the weekend, trains will operate every 20 minutes between the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont. Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, extra trains will operate between Shady Grove and NoMa-Gallaudet. In that zone, trains should reach platforms about every 10 minutes. That level of extra service also will be in effect between Shady Grove and NoMa-Gallaudet from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday. If you’re planning to ride through the work zone, figure on an extra 15 minutes of travel time.

Green Line: On Saturday only, shuttle buses will replace trains between Greenbelt and College Park. That’s the zone where Metro is building a test track for the new 7000-series rail cars. Between College Park and Branch Avenue, trains will operate at their regular weekend pace. Between Greenbelt and College Park, add about 15 minutes to normal travel time.

Metro on Monday

Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. and close at midnight, as on a weekday, but the level of service will be about what riders would see on a Saturday. Metrobus will operate on a “Saturday supplemental schedule,” something Metro goes to on holidays when more people are likely to be working. It’s best to check the timetables on Metro’s Web site.

Other transit schedules

MARC and VRE have no service on Monday. For other Presidents’ Day transit schedules, see the list compiled by Mark Berman in this blog posting.

Holiday traffic rules

The District suspends enforcement of parking meter payments and rules, residential parking restrictions, and rush hour lane controls on Presidents’ Day.

Montgomery and Prince George’s counties suspend collection of parking fees, except at the New Carrollton garage and at National Harbor. Parking fees are collected in Anne Arundel and Howard counties.

In Virginia, the HOV restrictions are suspended. Meter rules are not enforced in Arlington County and in Alexandria.

See various holiday schedules for Presidents’ Day.

Alexandria holiday parade

Alexandria will hold its annual parade in honor of local hero George Washington from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday. The mile-long route goes from Gibbon and South Fairfax streets to Wilkes and South Royal streets.

Beulah Road bridge

Virginia drivers will notice two temporary traffic signals on either end of the bridge on Beulah Road over the  Dulles Toll Road. The signals, which will remain in place for about three months, will help control traffic while the bridge is reduced to one lane during reconstruction.

New York Avenue bridge

From 6 a.m. to noon Saturday, drivers will find the New York Avenue bridge reduced to a single lane in each direction between Florida Avenue and Penn Street. Watch for the signs directing motorists into the lanes.

The District’s bridge reconstruction team provides traffic updates on its Twitter feed, @NYAve411.

Maryland bridge inspections

The Maryland State Highway Administration has several routine bridge inspections scheduled.

On the Capital Beltway’s inner loop, watch for double lane closings from 5 a.m. to noon Saturday under the CSX rail bridge in Silver Spring.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, the right lane will be closed on southbound I-270 at Tuckerman Lane.

Those heading to the Eastern Shore for the holiday weekend should note the closing of the right lane on westbound Route 50 over Route 301 in Queen Anne’s County.

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.
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