Maryland highway officials say they are concerned that fans traveling to the Washington Redskins playoff game today at FedEx Field could confront the same severe congestion that turned miles of Capital Beltway traffic to gridlock on the opening day of the football season.
Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari said he expects that a higher proportion of fans than usual will be new to the stadium and thus lack parking permits, forcing them to park in the cash lot near the US Airways Arena. The change in travel and parking patterns could present a challenge for police and stadium officials, who scrambled after opening day to implement new measures to manage traffic.
Although traffic to Redskins games has flowed smoothly since then, state officials warned fans not be complacent and offered the following advice:
* Take mass transit if possible. Shuttle buses will run to the stadium from Metrorail's Blue Line station at Addison Road and from Orange Line stations at Cheverly and Landover.
* If driving to the game, depart early to avoid delays and share rides with other fans to ease congestion.
* Pay close attention to electronic signs posted above and beside the Beltway for the latest information about which exits to use.
Officials at the Maryland Department of Transportation also urged motorists who are not attending the game, scheduled to begin at 4:05 p.m., to avoid the Beltway in Prince George's County and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The American Legion Bridge could be a better way to cross the Potomac River.
Real-time traffic information and live views from traffic cameras are available on the Transportation Department's Web site: www.chart.state.md.us.