The weekend’s traffic and transit issues get an early start Friday with the March for Life abortion protest along Constitution Avenue. But there are some other issues, including the Chinese New Year Parade on Sunday, that could affect travel in the D.C. region.
The marchers will encounter chilly, windy weather, according to the Capital Weather Gang forecast. Temperatures on Saturday and Sunday will remind travelers that it’s winter, but there’s little chance that precipitation could interfere with getting around.
After skipping over last weekend, because of the presidential inauguration and the Women’s March, Metrorail returns to a very active schedule of track maintenance.
Orange, Silver, Blue lines. On Saturday and Sunday, free shuttle buses replace trains between Rosslyn and McPherson Square. The Foggy Bottom and Farragut West stations will be closed. On the open portions of the lines, trains are scheduled to operate every 15 minutes. The shuttle bus route includes stops at the closed stations. The bus ride between each stop will take 12 to 15 minutes, Metro estimates. Tap your SmarTrip card each time you exit or enter a station. A trip through the work zone will count as one continuous trip.
Red Line. From 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Sunday, trains will share a track between Medical Center and Grosvenor. Trains are scheduled to leave the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont every 18 minutes. Between Farragut North and Silver Spring, more trains will be in service from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. So in that zone, trains should reach platforms every nine to 10 minutes.
Yellow Line. Trains will operate on their regular schedule between Huntington and Fort Totten. After 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, they will share a track between Mount Vernon Square and U Street while crews work on communication cables.
Green Line. It’s the regular weekend schedule, but as with the Yellow Line, trains will share a track between Mount Vernon Square and U Street after 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
March for Life
Metro is adding midday service to accommodate the crowds for Friday’s march, and police are closing streets along the route. Watch for extra traffic and many extra pedestrians on the north side of the Mall and Capitol Hill. See more details about the march, including a map, the transit schedule and a list of street closings.
Wisconsin Avenue closing in Bethesda
Beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, all lanes on southbound Wisconsin Avenue (Route 355) are scheduled to close between Cordell Avenue and Battery Lane in Bethesda while a crane hoists equipment onto the roof at 8200 Wisconsin Ave. The lanes should reopen by 9 p.m. Saturday. Watch for signs indicating the detour around the work zone. Pedestrians will be directed to crossings with traffic signals on the opposite side of the road.
Rebuilt interchange to open
Will the fourth time be the charm? With a better weekend forecast than it had for previous attempts, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to open Northern Virginia’s first diverging diamond interchange at 9 a.m. Saturday at Interstate 66 and Route 15. In a diverging diamond, drivers are channeled to the left side of the overpass when they would normally expect to be on the right. It takes a little getting used to, but traffic engineers consider it safer because it avoids some left turns in the face of oncoming traffic.
The interchange is scheduled to close for final lane striping at 8 p.m. Friday, and a detour will be set up. While the new traffic pattern begins this weekend, the interchange project won’t be complete. Only two of the three lanes will be open to traffic and work continues on the walker-biker path, overhead signs and concrete islands. All work should be done by summer. See more about the diverging diamond, with a map.
Chinese New Year
The parade is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in the heart of the District’s Chinatown. The paraders will go from Sixth and I (Eye) streets NW to Seventh and H streets NW. D.C. police plan to close those blocks from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The nearest Metrorail station is Gallery Place-Chinatown, on the Red, Green and Yellow lines.