Road Closures Planned in District
Reagan's Casket to Travel to National Cathedral, Then Andrews Air Force Base
By Steven Ginsberg and Fred Barbash
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 11, 2004; 5:23 AM
Major roads will be closed and traffic in parts of the District will be disrupted today as the funeral procession for former president Ronald Reagan travels from the Capitol to the Washington National Cathedral in the morning and then to Andrews Air Force Base in Suitland, Md., after the services.
The memorial service will bring to an end three days of ceremonies honoring the 40th president, whose coffin will be flown back to California this afternoon for a burial service at the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.
President Bush has declared today a national day of mourning and closed the federal government for the day. The District government and schools also will be closed.
Between 10:30 and 10:45 a.m., the procession will head west from the Capitol to Constitution Avenue NW, turn south on 3rd Street NW, continue west on Independence Avenue NW and then go north on 17 Street NW. From there, the motorcade will continue west on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, turn north on 22nd Street NW, turn west on Massachusetts Avenue NW and north on Wisconsin Avenue NW to Washington National Cathedral.
All of those streets and intersecting ones will be closed around 10 a.m. and will not reopen until the procession passes, District police said.
Additionally, several roads surrounding the cathedral will be cordoned off from 9 a.m. until Reagan's casket departs sometime around 1:45 p.m. Those include Macomb Street NW on the north, Massachusetts Avenue NW on the south, 34th Street NW on the east and Idaho Avenue NW on the west.
Residents with proof of residence will be allowed onto the streets, police said.
After leaving the cathedral, the procession will head south on Wisconsin Avenue, turn east on Massachusetts Avenue and south on Waterside Drive before merging onto Rock Creek Parkway. The procession will follow Rock Creek to Independence Avenue, then to Maine Avenue, east on the Southeast/Southwest Freeway, south on Route 295 and, lastly, south on Suitland Parkway to Suitland Road onto Andrews Air Force Base.
In addition, motorcades bringing other dignitaries to the service could disrupt traffic on other streets, officials warned.
Metro officials said they expect brief delays on bus routes while the roads are closed. Because of the holiday, disabled and elderly riders who subscribe to MetroAccess must call (301) 562-5360 to schedule those trips, officials said.
Metrorail set a ridership record on Wednesday, when passengers made 850,636 trips on the subway -- the highest level in a single day in the system's 28-year-history. Officials attributed the mark to hoards of everyday workers and people who came to see Reagan's casket, all of whom were directed by officials to take mass transit to get around numerous road closures.
The mark shattered a previous record set on Jan. 20, 1993, when 811,257 passengers crowded on for Bill Clinton's inauguration. Typical weekday Metro ridership in the spring usually hovers between 670,000 and 690,000, according to Metro officials.
Metro plans to run peak service all day today to accommodate crowds, spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said. Peak service means the subway dispatches longer and more frequent trains. But passengers will not have to pay for it -- Metro is charging peak fares only during the traditional rush periods of 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Until Reagan's body is moved, he continues to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda, where thousands of mourners and well-wishers have streamed past since Wednesday evening.
Metro officials said free shuttle service will be provided from the Stadium-Armory Metrorail station -- at Lot 3 of Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium at 19th and East Capitol Streets NE -- to near the Capitol from 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. for people who want to view Reagan's casket in the Capitol Rotunda.
Shuttle bus riders will be dropped off at 7th Street and Madison Drive on the Mall. Those returning to RFK will be picked up at First Street and Constitution Avenue NE.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company