The weekend and beyond: playoff hockey, Race for the Cure, Metro rebuilding, HOV closings


The Gallery Place-Chinatown area should be hopping as the Capitals play the Rangers at Verizon Center on Friday night. (Toni L. Sandys / The Washington Post)

The Mother’s Day weekend will be feel like summer until a cool front pushes through on Sunday, the Capital Weather Gang says. Look for some heavier than normal traffic Sunday as people travel to family gatherings.

If you see people in downtown D.C. on Saturday morning, chances are they will be running. Two events are scheduled, and some streets will be closed.

HIGHLIGHTS: Metro work on four lines. | Getting to the Caps game. | Races in D.C. | I-95/395 lane closures. | Roosevelt Bridge ramp closure.

The Capitals are in playoff action at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Verizon Center. The Nationals have a weekend series with the Cubs at Nationals Park. For less polished but very fun baseball, travel out to Millwood, Va., for the Chesapeake and Potomac Vintage Baseball Club’s doubleheader from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Rock Creek Park and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center will host an International Migratory Bird Day festival at Rock Creek Park Nature Center. The nature center is at 5200 Glover Rd. NW. Parking and admission are free.

See more weekend events in the Going Out Guide.

Here’s a look at some potential travel delays.

Metro weekend delays

Crews will work on four lines from 10 p.m. Friday through the rail system’s midnight closing Sunday.

Orange Line. Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Vienna and Ballston. The Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations will be closed. Throughout the weekend, trains will operate on their regular schedule between Ballston and New Carrollton. The shuttle buses will operate on an express route, stopping only at Vienna and Ballston, and on a local route, making all stops.

Taking the express all the way probably will add about 25 minutes to the regular travel time. Taking the local all the way would add about 40 minutes.

Red Line. Trains will share a track between Grosvenor and Twinbrook, and between Rhode Island Avenue and Takoma. The platforms are being rebuilt in these zones. They will be scheduled to leave the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont every 28 minutes. Between Grosvenor and NoMa-Gallaudet, more trains will be in service during the daytime. So in that middle section of the line, trains should arrive at platforms about every 10 minutes.

Blue and Yellow lines. Trains will share a track between Braddock Road and Pentagon City. They will be scheduled to operate every 30 minutes. During the daytime, more Yellow Line trains will be in service between Pentagon City and Mount Vernon Square stations. So in that zone, trains should reach platforms about every 15 to 20 minutes.

The Yellow Line trains will be in service only between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square. On weekends, they normally would continue north to Greenbelt. A rider needing to continue north this weekend will need to switch to a Green Line train.

Capitals at Verizon Center

The playoff with the New York Rangers is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Driving: Verizon Center is at 601 F Street NW. See driving directions on the center’s Web site.

Parking: Verizon Center’s own parking garage is not open for games. The center lists several other parking places nearby: Gallery Place parking garage on 6th Street NW; the public garage next door to Rosa Mexicano restaurant on F Street NW; and the public garage located near 7th and I Streets NW. But there are many more lots and garages in the Chinatown area. The ParkingPanda Web site lists some availabilities.

If you’re looking for street parking in the neighborhood, be careful: Read the instructions on the meter, whether it’s a traditional, stand-alone meter or one of the newer, green multi-space meters. Make sure you know the hours of meter enforcement.

Metrorail: The Green, Yellow and Red lines converge at Gallery Place, below Verizon Center. The station gets crowded, especially after the game, when everyone leaves at once. See the Metrorail map. Here are some tips.

  • Check the weekend work schedule above. Remember that it starts at 10 p.m. Friday.
  • Make sure you have enough value on your fare card or SmarTrip card to cover a round trip, so you don’t have to wait in a long line after the game at the fare vending machines.
  • Remember the other stations in easy walking distance: Metro Center, Judiciary Square, Mount Vernon Square and Archives. A Red Line rider in the direction of Glenmont might have a better chance of getting a seat on a post-game train by walking over to Metro Center. A Red Line rider heading toward Shady Grove might find the trains less crowded at Judiciary Square. Green and Yellow Line riders heading north might have better luck at Archives, while those heading south might try Mount Vernon Square.

Race for the Cure

The annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is scheduled to begin the run at 8 a.m. Saturday on 15th Street near Constitution Avenue NW. The walk starts at 8:15 a.m.

See a map of the start and finish areas near the Washington Monument.

Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. Saturday, two hours early. The stations nearest the start are  Metro Center, Federal Triangle and Smithsonian. Check the weekend work schedule above because it could affect travel time to the start.

If you’re from out of town and planning to take a few trips on Metro this weekend, it might be worth investing $5 to buy a reusable plastic SmarTrip card to pay the fares. If you use a paper fare card, you’ll pay a surcharge of $1 on every trip. (Plus the paper cards tend to get damp during a run.)

Street closings: 15th Street between Constitution and Independence avenues will be closed starting at 2 a.m. From 5 to 11 a.m., these streets will be closed:

  • 15th St NW between Independence and Ohio Dr. SW
  • Madison Drive SW between 14th and 15th streets
  • Jefferson (between 14th and 15th streets
  • Independence Avenue from west of 14th Street NW to the Lincoln Memorial
  • Westbound traffic on Interstate 395 will be directed to exit at 12th Street until 11 a.m.
  • Rock Creek Parkway exit eastbound from Memorial Bridge to 23rd Street SW

National Police Week 5K

The National Police Week 5K is scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. The streets along the run’s route will be closed from 7 to 11 a.m. Here’s the route:

  • South on Third Street from between F and G streets NW
  • West on C Street SW
  • North on Fourth Street SW
  • East on Independence SW
  • North on Third Street SW
  • West on Pennsylvania Avenue NW
  • U-turn on Pennsylvania Avenue at Seventh Street NW heading east
  • North on Third Street NW
  • West on E Street NW
  • North on 5th Street NW
  • East on G Street NW
  • Finish: G Street between Fourth and Fifth streets NW

I-95/395 HOV lane closings

At 11 p.m. Friday, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close the HOV lanes in the middle of I-395/95 from the D.C. line to the end at Route 234 in Dumfries. The closing will continue till 10 a.m. Saturday when the lanes will reopen from south of the Franconia/Springfield Parkway (Route 289) to Dumfries.

The HOV northern section from D.C. to south of the Franconia/Springfield Parkway will remain closed until 5 p.m. Saturday, when the entire HOV system opens northbound.

VDOT will close the left lane on I-395 South between Seminary Road and the Capital Beltway from 11 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday.

The work for the 95 Express Lanes is likely to cause delays for weekend travelers in the I-95 corridor in Northern Virginia.

Ramp closing on Roosevelt Bridge

The District Department of Transportation plans to make some repairs on the outbound Roosevelt Bridge (I-66) at the ramp to George Washington Parkway starting Sunday. The repairs will require temporary closings at the ramp.

These are scheduled for Sunday to Tuesday nights and for Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19. The hours will be 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Detours will be posted, taking drivers to Route 50, then to North Lynn Street and the George Washington Parkway.

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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