The Washington Post

World Cup watch party in D.C. affects traffic, commute

The soccer viewing party is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. in Freedom Plaza. Commuters should avoid the area Tuesday afternoon.

TeamUSA better win. The big World Cup watch party has begun at Freedom Plaza and is likely to sour many commuters’ view of the game.

To accommodate the hundreds of fans who have filled the plaza to watch the USA-Belgium match on a big screen, the District has closed some streets and imposed parking restrictions.

Freedom Plaza is at Pennsylvania Avenue and 14th Street NW, so the closings, the crowd and the general hoopla are likely to affect commuter traffic heading for the 14th Street Bridge, Constitution Avenue NW and the Roosevelt Bridge at the end of Constitution Avenue.

Metrobus says afternoon riders should expect delays up to 15 minutes on these nearby routes: 11Y, 32, 36, 37, 39, 52, A9, D1, P17, P19 and W13. See details on Metro’s Web site.

Here are the locations of the street closings and parking restrictions, scheduled to remain in effect till 9 p.m.

  • Pennsylvania Avenue between 13th and 14th streets NW
  • E Street between 13th and 14th streets NW
  • 13th Street between E Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW

For fans planning to join the free event, the nearest Metro stations are Federal Triangle and Metro Center. See a map of Capital Bikeshare locations. While the viewing party begins at 3 p.m., the game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. People can bring blankets and lawn chairs to Freedom Plaza. (I’d bring a sun umbrella and wear a hat. Freedom Plaza doesn’t offer much shade, and the Capital Weather Gang warns of this afternoon’s high temperature.

Look for water stations that DC Water plans to set up in the Freedom Plaza area.

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.

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