Dr. Gridlock’s traffic, transit tips

Robert Thomson
Columnist March 31, 2012
Blossom race

The blossoms around the Tidal Basin have faded, and so has the intense crunch of car traffic on nearby roads. Ohio Drive is back to two-way traffic. But there are still plenty of activities related to the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Many streets around the Mall are scheduled to close Sunday morning for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. The best way to get to the run, or any other activities in the area, is to take Metrorail, which is opening at 5 a.m. to accommodate the run.

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. View Archive

The race staging area is on the Washington Monument grounds. The 10-mile run starts and finishes on 15th Street at Jefferson Drive. (Start times are 7:20 and 7:30 a.m.) The 5K Run-Walk starts and finishes on Independence Avenue about 200 yards west of the intersection of 15th Street and Independence Avenue. The start time is 8:40 a.m.

Street closings are scheduled to last until about 11:30 a.m.

New Park-and-Ride

The Maryland Transit Administration has opened a park-and -ride lot in Montgomery County just west of Georgia Avenue and south of the Intercounty Connector.

The lot, which has 202 parking spaces and two bus shelters with benches, serves as a stop for the five Metro Transit Administration commuter bus routes that use the ICC.

These commuter buses no longer stop at the older park-and-ride lot on Norbeck Road, just east of Georgia Avenue, although that lot remains open.

Metro openings

Metro riders have asked about scheduled openings for several projects. The new garage at the Red Line’s Glenmont station is scheduled to open in mid-April, Metro says.

The new staircase between the mezzanine and platform in the Orange Line’s Vienna station is scheduled to be ready in May.

Street Smart starts

Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists may notice some additional enforcement of traffic-safety laws. The Street Smart campaign’s spring offensive has begun in the D.C. region.

This is, in part, an educational campaign, and you’ll hear and see safety ads. But it’s also about stepped up policing. Drivers don’t want to make right turns into pedestrians at crosswalks. Cyclists don’t want to go against traffic on a one-way street. Pedestrians shouldn’t jaywalk.

Wisconsin Ave. paving

The Maryland State Highway Administration is resurfacing Wisconsin Avenue between Bradley Boulevard and the D.C. line. Watch for lane closings weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

GW Parkway

The rebuilding of the George Washington Memorial Parkway’s Humpback Bridge over the Boundary Channel is mostly done, but the southbound left lane is scheduled to be closed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday to repair the surface under the guardrails.

the Nationals’ return

The Washington Nationals open the regular season on the road this year, but they are scheduled to play an exhibition game against the Red Sox at Nationals Park at 3:05 p.m. Tuesday. The nearest Metro station is Navy Yard. Metro does a good job of crowd control on the platform there, but watch out for crowding at the transfer stations, L’Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place.

Silver Line project

Construction of a pedestrian pavilion across from the site of a new Metrorail Silver Line station is scheduled to begin this week and continue for seven days. The station, which has the working title of Tysons Central 7 until the Metro Board officially adopts a name, will be in the middle of Route 7 near the Marshalls shopping center at Tysons Corner.

The pavilion, a ground-level entrance to the pedestrian bridge over the road to the station, will be on the westbound side of Route 7. Later this year, a second pavilion will be built on the eastbound side.

For more transportation news, visit washingtonpost.com/transportation.

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