The Fourth of July holiday finds thousands still without power and adds scorching heat and the potential for storms. But it’s still a holiday, and if you stayed in town for the holiday, you know that means changes for such things as Metro service and parking enforcement.
The concert and fireworks on the Mall are going to draw huge crowds despite the heat, and many of those revelers will be riding Metro. The transit agency will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight on Wednesday, operating on a Saturday schedule until 6 p.m. and increasing the service from that point until the system closes.
Metro expects more than 500,000 riders over the course of the day, thanks to holiday celebrations on the Mall and a home game for the Nationals.
Crowds at stations will probably be largest before and after the fireworks, which are scheduled for 9:10 p.m. If you can, avoid the Smithsonian and Federal Triangle stations and walk to Foggy Bottom, Metro Center, Archives or another nearby station.
Escalators will be turned off at many downtown stations. After the fireworks wrap up, the Smithsonian station on the Mall will be open only for entering passengers.
Some lines will also have service changes. Starting at 2 p.m., every other Orange Line train heading to New Carrollton will stop at Stadium-Armory and turn back to Vienna. Starting at 6 p.m., all Yellow Line trains will run only between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square. Also starting at 6 p.m., trains should leave the end of each line every six minutes, with trains leaving the Shady Grove and Vienna stops every four minutes. This is to try to ensure that trains will run every four minutes through downtown.
There will be no Rush Plus service. Parking will be free at all stations, but bicycles won’t be allowed on the Metro system. Metrobus will run on a Saturday schedule.
The celebrations on the Mall will result in many street closures.
Visit wapo.st/drgridlock for a complete list of the streets that will be closed in the area. (If you’re reading this and you have no power or Internet connection, just avoid driving anywhere near the Mall.)
Parking will not be enforced in most of the District. The sole exception is the neighborhood around Nationals Park, because the Nats are hosting the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday morning. Otherwise, rules involving expired meters, residential parking and street sweeping are all lifted.
Similarly, parking enforcement will be lifted in Montgomery and Arlington counties as well as in Alexandria.
There will be no Maryland Area Regional Commuter or Virginia Railway Express service Wednesday.
Several suburban bus systems will limit or cancel service. Montgomery County’s Ride On and the Fairfax Connector will be running Saturday schedules, while Alexandria’s DASH system will run a Sunday schedule.