So on the way to D.C. United training today, I tested the new freeway route to RFK Stadium. For those driving from Northern Virginia, this is important.
If you haven’t been on the reconfigured roads and are planning to attend Saturday night’s home opener, give yourself extra time and, when you inevitably begin veering away from the stadium, the big lights fading from view, don’t panic. You’ll get there, just not as directly as in the past, when the freeway would spill directly onto the RFK campus under Barney Circle and along the Anacostia River for access into Lot 8.
One benefit: No freeway back-ups where stadium traffic and Pennsylvania Avenue drivers would split.
Here’s the deal: Follow the freeway as you normally would past Capitol Hill. The route leading to the stadium in the left lanes no longer exists. Instead, you have no choice but to follow the highway across the Anacostia. Don’t panic. Watch for signs to 295 North. Move to the right as soon as possible in order to avoid missing the exit. Take 295 North and look for the Pennsylvania Avenue West exit. It’s not perfectly marked as you approach. Don’t panic.
If you end up on the first Pennsylvania Avenue exit, you are heading East — inconvenient but manageable. Make a U-turn at the gas station and get onto Pennsylvania Avenue westbound. This will take you to Barney Circle and the access point to the stadium road on the right.
If you miss both Pennsylvania Avenue exits, don’t panic. Stay on 295 for another mile and get off at Benning Road. It’s a left-lane exit, however, so be alert. Follow Benning for a half-mile and take a left onto Oklahoma Avenue (across from Langston Golf Course). This is the back entrance to the RFK campus. The stadium is directly in front of you.
(The route out of Lot 8 after the match has also changed. Plan accordingly. It’s really quite simple but will require some acclimation.)
Option #2: Cut through Capitol Hill neighborhoods.
Option #3: Take Metro (if you are willing to tolerate delays caused by maintenance work this weekend).
Option #4: Ride a bike. Nice weather in the forecast.