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Labor Day travel preview: Local changes, crowded roads

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Labor Day is a bittersweet holiday. Sure, it’s a day off from work or school for many people, but it comes with the knowledge that summer is just about over.

Traveling around the region is also tricky over the holiday weekend because of all the changes to transit and parking. Some changes are welcome: Parking meters and restrictions won’t be enforced in most of the District and Prince George’s County on Monday. In the District, parking restrictions still will be enforced around Nationals Park, where the Nats host the Chicago Cubs at 1:05 p.m. Prince George’s County will enforce parking at National Harbor and the New Carrollton parking garage.

Parking enforcement also is lifted in Alexandria, Arlington and Montgomery County.

Metro’s trains and buses will run on a Sunday schedule on Sunday and Monday. Metrorail is open from 7 a.m. until midnight both days, so keep that in mind when making evening plans.

No Metro stations will be closed this weekend, but repair work will create delays on three lines from 10 p.m. Friday through the closing of the system on Monday. Red Line trains will single-track between Rhode Island Avenue and Fort Totten; Orange Line trains will single-track between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly; and Blue Line trains will single- track between Arlington Cemetery and Foggy Bottom.

Taking commuter rail into Washington won’t be an option Monday: neither Maryland Area Regional Commuter nor Virginia Railway Express service will be operating.

Suburban bus options also are limited. TheBus in Prince George’s County and OmniRide in Prince William County won’t be running Monday. Montgomery County’s Ride On, Alexandria’s DASH and the Fairfax Connector will run Sunday schedules on Monday. Arlington Transit will run only routes 41 and 51, which will be on Sunday schedules.

Heading out of town? Expect a lot of company, particularly if you’re driving. AAA Mid-Atlantic expects about 799,900 people to travel from the Washington region this weekend, a slight increase over the numbers from the same period last year. (AAA defines the holiday weekend as Thursday through Monday.)

The majority of these travelers are using cars for these trips, so prepare for congestion on the roads.

HOV rules will be lifted Monday on Interstate 66, Interstate 95 and Interstate 395 in Northern Virginia. Normal HOV restrictions will be in place Friday and Tuesday.

The reversible lanes on Interstate 95/Interstate 395 will all be southbound from Friday at 1 p.m. until Saturday at 2 p.m. Those same lanes will all head north from Saturday at 4 p.m. until Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Plenty of travelers are expected to flock across the Bay Bridge. The Maryland Transportation Authority predicts that more than 347,000 vehicles will use the bridge between Friday and Monday, so it’s best to take that route during off-peak hours — Thursday and Friday before 10 a.m. of after 10 p.m., Saturday before 7 a.m. or after 5 p.m., and Sunday and Monday before 10 a.m. or after 10 p.m.

Construction-related temporary lane closures on the bridge are lifted until Tuesday at 7 p.m. Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for traffic conditions or visit BayBridge.com to see live traffic conditions.

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