Area Traffic Eases Up Later in Day

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Tuesday, September 11, 2001; 6:41 PM
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Roadways around the Washington area are slowly getting back to normal.

The U.S. Park Police have reopened the southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway. The Clara Barton and Rock Creek Parkways now have traffic flowing in both directions.

According to the Park Police, they have closed Constitution Avenue between 15th and 17th Streets, and 15th Street at Constitution Avenue.

Traffic inside the District has cleared up, but there are two areas off-limits to cars: All areas in Northwest bordered by K Street to the north, 18th Street to the west, Constitution Avenue to the south and 11th Street to the east, as well as the areas south of Massachusetts Avenue, east of North Capitol Street and west of 4th Street NE.

Northbound I-395 is closed, and there is still a lot of police activity at the exits.

Anthony Jeffers of SmarTraveler, a traffic information service, said that southbound I-95 is clear. HOV restrictions have been lifted an all roads, he said, which has helped ease traffic.

"US 1 is the biggest delay," Jeffers said. "It's reopened but it's almost at a standstill because people are trying to get to Woodrow Wilson Bridge."

"The off ramp from the G.W. Parkway to the 14th Street Bridge is closed," Jeffers said. The National Airport exits are closed from the Parkway as well.

Traffic signals in D.C. have been reprogrammed to the afternoon rush-hour cycle. D.C. Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Rice said that should help move vehicles through crowded streets, particularly in the downtown area.

The traffic and transportation department is still recommending that Virginia commuters head north and take the Beltway.

There are brief delays on the Dulles Toll Road. Route 66 is on alert because Dulles International Airport is closed, Jeffers said.

U.S. Park Police have switched all lanes on Rock Creek Parkway to one way, northbound.

Canal Road has been switched to one-way outbound traffic.

The area rail systems are experiencing schedule changes.

The Pentagon and National Airport metro station have been closed. Trains are running through but aren't stopping. WMATA is running buses from L'Enfant Plaza to the Pentagon City station and from Arlington Cemetery to Pentagon City. The Yellow Line from Huntington is switching its route, to run through Arlington Cemetery, and out to Stadium-Armory.

As for bus service, spokeswoman Cheryl Johnson says most service is a mess due to the heavy traffic.

The Virginia Railway Express has very limited service this afternoon. On the Fredericksburg Line, VRE will run trains out of Union Station at 4 and 6 p.m. On the Manassas Line, a shuttle train will load up at Alexandria, and make all stops. It will leave Alexandria at 3, 5 and 7 p.m.

MARC has suspended train service. A MARC spokesman said they are running buses from New Carrollton, Silver Spring, Branch Avenue and Shady Grove Metro stations to suburban MARC stations. Amtrak has also stopped running trains in the Northeast Corridor and the D.C. area.

Greyhound has stopped running buses in the Washington area.

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