President Barack Obama is hosting more than 50 world leaders for a summit in Washington next week, a high-profile event that is set to disrupt traffic, parking and transit in portions of downtown.
The fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit to be held March 31 to April 1 at the Washington Convention Center, will close a portion of the busy New York Avenue corridor and shut down the Mount Vernon Square Metro station for two days. Parking restrictions around the convention center start Sunday, while commuters should expect the usual rolling closures near the White House, the State Department in Foggy Bottom, and around area hotels.
The U.S. Secret Service, which has put together a list of closures, also warns of restrictions to pedestrian access in areas near the event. But the impact could be beyond the restricted zone. There will be more motorcades than usual transporting summit participants, creating traffic problems elsewhere.
The world leaders are in Washington to continue discussions on “the evolving threat” of nuclear terrorism and to identify steps “to minimize the use of highly-enriched uranium, secure vulnerable materials, counter nuclear smuggling and deter, detect, and disrupt attempts at nuclear terrorism,” according to a White House statement on the event.
So it is a big deal, and there’s nothing we can do about it but prepare. The good news is this isn’t the first time we have had to deal with this type of event. The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in the District in 2010- also at the Convention Center. This year’s traffic and transit disruptions are expected to be similar to those.
“The effects of the full-time street closings and the transit restrictions will ripple out for many blocks around Mount Vernon Square. The street closings will affect the major east-west commuter routes of Massachusetts and New York avenues, as well as north-south Seventh Street NW. The travel times for Metrobus, the D.C. Circulator and some of the suburban commuter buses will be thrown off,” our in-house expert, Dr. Gridlock, aka Robert Thomson, said.
You should expect heightened security in the entire Metro system, he said, especially with the summit taking place just days after Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Brussels.
So, if your commute takes you near the Washington Convention Center, start thinking about some alternative routes to get around next week. We will provide some tips and more details in coming days. Now here’s what you should expect:
Impact on transit
Metro will close the Mount Vernon Square Station station for two days, beginning at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30. Yellow and Green line trains will skip the station because the stop is within the secure perimeter for the summit.
The station will re-open on Friday, April 1. Most likely in the late evening after the U.S. Secret Service ends the security efforts there, Metro said.
Your alternative: Gallery Place and Shaw-Howard stations.
Buses serving stops on 7th and 9th streets NW, between N Street And K Street NW will be diverted around the Washington Convention Center.
Parking restrictions around the Washington Convention Center
You won’t be able to park in the following blocks from 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 27, until noon Saturday, April 2:
- 7th St. NW (900-1400)
- 8th Street NW (1300-1400)
- N Street NW (600-1000)
- M Street NW (600-1000)
- L Street NW (600-1000)
- K Street NW (600-1000)
- Massachusetts Avenue NW (900-1300)
- New York Avenue NW (600-1000)
Parking will not be allowed in the following blocks from 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, until noon Saturday, April 2:
- 9th Street NW (800-900)
- 10th Street NW (800-1300)
- 11th Street NW (800-1200)
- 12th Street NW (800-900, 1000-1150)
- 13th Street NW (750-900, 1100-1150)
- 14th Street NW (700-800)
- N Street NW (1000-1200)
- L Street NW (1000-1200)
- K Street NW (1000-1100)
- Massachusetts Avenue NW (600-700)
- New York Avenue NW (1100-1450)
- H Street NW (1250-1350)
- O Street NW (600-900)
The following roads will be closed starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30:
- New York Avenue NW, from 6th St. NW to 11th St. NW – No vehicular access for the duration of the summit and limited pedestrian traffic to residents and employees of local businesses.
- Massachusetts Avenue NW, from 6th St. NW to 9th St. NW – Limited vehicular access for the duration of the summit and limited pedestrian traffic.
- K, L, M and N streets NW, from 6th St. NW to 10th St. NW – No vehicular access for the duration of the summit and limited pedestrian traffic.
- 7th and 9th streets NW, from O Street to K Street – No vehicular access for the duration of the summit and limited pedestrian traffic.
- 8th St. NW, from O St. NW to N St. NW – No vehicular access for the duration of the summit and limited pedestrian traffic.
- 10th St. NW, from L St. NW to New York Ave. NW – No vehicular access for the duration of the summit and limited pedestrian traffic.
- The following intersections will be shut down intermittently:
- 12th St. NW and New York Ave. NW
- 13th St. NW and New York Ave. NW
- 14th St. NW and New York Ave. NW
Around the White House
There will be no residential or street parking in the following blocks for the duration of the summit and road closures will be in place 2 to 10 p.m. Thursday, March 31, from
- 17th St. NW, right north bound lane from Constitution Ave NW to Pennsylvania Ave NW.
- 15th St. NW, south bound bike lane from Pennsylvania Ave NW to 14th St NW.
Around the State Department
No residential or street parking allowed during the duration of the summit and road closures will take place 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday March 31.
- C St. NW, from 20th St. to 21st St. NW
- 22nd St. NW, from Constitution Ave. NW to C St. NW