Dr. Gridlock’s traffic, transit tips

Robert Thomson
Columnist April 14, 2012
Emancipation Day rules

Monday is Emancipation Day, a D.C. holiday. In the past, the District has suspended rush-hour traffic rules, but not this year.

So anticipate the typical weekday traffic pattern on commuter routes that use reversible lanes. The District’s rush-hour parking restrictions will be enforced from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Violators are subject to ticketing and towing.

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

That should ease some of the congestion and confusion that occurs during a one-jurisdiction holiday in a multi-jurisdiction region.

On the holiday, the D.C. Department of Public Works generally will not issue tickets for expired meters, but there’s an important exception. Because the Washington Nationals will be playing home games Sunday and Monday, parking rules will be enforced in the neighborhoods around Nationals Park on both days. Look carefully at the signs on the street poles and on the meters.

Parade and festival

The Emancipation Day Parade is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, beginning at Third Street. A festival is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Freedom Plaza, along E Street NW between 13th and 14th streets.

Pennsylvania Avenue and surrounding streets will be closed between Third and 14th streets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the parade. Streets near the festival are scheduled to be closed from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

HOV lane closings

The Virginia Department of Transportation will close sections of the I-95/395 high-occupancy vehicle lanes starting Monday night. Monday through Thursday, lane closings are scheduled from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday, they are scheduled from 11 p.m. to 10 a.m.

The overnight closings, scheduled to continue for four to six weeks, will create work zones for test borings and survey work related to Virginia’s plan to convert the HOV lanes to high-occupancy toll lanes.

Bethesda road work

The Maryland State Highway Administration is closing lanes on weeknights along Route 355 (Rockville Pike) north of Jones Bridge Road in Bethesda.

The closings are related to utility relocation and intersection reconstruction at Route 355 and Cedar Lane. The work is one of several state projects to ease Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s impact on traffic, a result of military base consolidation. Work will occur between Cedar Lane and Jones Bridge Road and will affect about a quarter-mile of Route 355. This phase should be done by late spring.

Silver Line in Tysons

Starting tonight, the Dulles rail project plans to close some lanes on the eastbound Dulles Toll Road (Route 267) and the Airport Access Highway near Route 7 for overnight work.

The closings will allow workers to complete the last stretch of the Metrorail Silver Line bridge over both highways. This work is scheduled to continue through the end of May.

Three right lanes of eastbound Route 267 at Route 7 and the ramp from eastbound Route 7 to eastbound Route 267 will close Sunday through Friday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. They will also close April 22-24 during the same hours.

Three left lanes will close April 25-27 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and during the same hours April 29 and 30.

Maryland Route 50

The Maryland State Highway Administration will be closing lanes at off-peak hours on Route 50 between the D.C. line and the Columbia Park Road interchange in Cheverly as part of a resurfacing project scheduled to be completed by late fall.

Starting Monday, watch for single-lane closings in both directions between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. As the project continues, overnight closings will occur Sundays through Thursdays.

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

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