Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Share Stories  |  Traffic  |  Columns  |  Q&A     |  Get Gridlock:    Twitter |    Facebook  |     RSS   |  phone Alerts

Watch for Afternoon Congestion

The exit from the papal mass at Nationals Park on South Capitol Street should create a surge of traffic and some additional crowding on Metrorail. But it shouldn't be as difficult as this morning's combination of commuters and worshipers.

navy%20yard%20crowd%20%282%29.jpg Crowd at Navy Yard Metro station, 8 o'clock this morning. (Thomson)

Metro will maintain peak service through 7 p.m. (though the reduced fares remain in place until the afternoon rush). That should help a lot.

And what I observed this morning gives me confidence in the transportation system for the rest of today. Because the Douglass Bridge was shut and the trains were bound to be crowded, I feared the worst. But what I saw this morning was far from the worst.

Interstate 295 and Suitland Parkway were crowded near the junction that leads to the 11th Street Bridge, but I saw worse last July when the Douglass Bridge was shut down for reconstruction. (By the way, it's scheduled to remain closed until 2 p.m. today.)

Traffic.jpg Morning rush on I-295 heading for 11th Street Bridge. (Thomson)

Trains were extremely crowded and the transfer stations -- particularly L'Enfant Plaza -- were stressed. One train bound for the stadium broke down at L'Enfant, but the impact on Navy Yard Station's platform was not severe.

At Navy Yard, the platform became more crowded than it has been during recent baseball games, but everyone remained calm and the people movement was well-managed.

Some reminders about today:

Papal Schedule
After the mass, the rest of today's events are in the Brookland area, as they were Wednesday afternoon. At 5 p.m., Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to address Catholic educators at Catholic University on Michigan Avenue, east of North Capitol Street. At 6:30 p.m., he will meet with interfaith leaders at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center at 3900 Harewood Road NE. These are the last scheduled events. The pope leaves for New York on Friday morning.

Street Closures
Until 2 p.m.: South Capitol SE from I Street to Potomac Avenue over the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge to Firth Sterling Avenue
Until 8 p.m.: Harewood Road, NE from Taylor Street to Michigan Avenue
4 - 6 p.m.: Michigan Avenue NE from Monroe Street to Irving Street
4 - 6 p.m.: McCormick Avenue NE from Taylor Street to Michigan Avenue
3 - 8 p.m.: North Capitol Street open to cars only. No truck traffic from Taylor Street to Michigan Avenue.

Until 9 a.m. Friday
-- No truck traffic on Massachusetts Avenue between Wisconsin Avenue and Observatory Circle.
-- Massachusetts Avenue from Observatory Circle to 34th Street is one lane in each direction.

Metro
-- Peak level service until 7 p.m.
-- No bikes allowed on board trains until 7 p.m.
-- Visitors, don't forget that at most Metro parking garages and lots, you must use a SmarTrip card to pay for parking when you exit. You can buy the cards from vending machines at the stations. At six stations, you can pay with a major credit card. These are the stations: Anacostia, Franconia-Springfield, Largo Town Center, Vienna/Fairfax-GMU, Shady Grove and New Carrollton.


By Robert Thomson  |  April 17, 2008; 11:25 AM ET
Categories:  Events  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Metro Handles Stadium-Bound Crowds
Next: Pope Traveling to Catholic University

Comments

Of course the Navy Yard station was more crowded than recent Nats games.

The Pope had a capacity crowd, which is roughly two nights worth of Nats fans.

Posted by: Kim | April 17, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Metro was a nightmare this morning with delays on the Green and yellow lines right at the time that people were trying to get to the Navy Yard. Train problems at both Mt. Vernon and L'enfant Plaza. Plus, more delays than normal for us regular commuters.

Way to go Metro.

Posted by: LV | April 17, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

next time hold it in a locale AWAY from the city

Posted by: Ace | April 17, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Of course, we'll just hold it in our other Nation's Capital next time because we wouldn't want to inconvenience you poor regular commuters with your sense of entitlement that says you and only you are allowed to use Metro during rush hour.

If you don't like the inconveniences of working in our Nation's Capital City, then perhaps you should find a job elsewhere.

Posted by: haha | April 17, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

like another city

I'm dumb

Posted by: Ace | April 17, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

some of us had no issues this morning - and you people need to get over yourselves! Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch.

I left early from my home to get to New Carrollton station, anticipating more people and cars. Although the station was busy, everything proceeded smoothly and it took only 5 min longer than usual to get to work.

Posted by: just me | April 17, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Was this a suprise to anyone?

Posted by: pay attention | April 17, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Having been on the green line train that went out of service because of door difficulties, I can say that metro needs to do a better job of informing non-regular riders that they cannot treat metro doors like they can elevator doors.

Posted by: John | April 17, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

People shouldn't treat elevator doors that way either.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Having been on the green line train that went out of service because of door difficulties, I can say that metro needs to do a better job of informing non-regular riders that they cannot treat metro doors like they can elevator doors."

Other riders need to police this, too. I've told tourists to get away from the doors because they do not spring back and they're often taken aback and say they didn't know. If worst comes to worst, regular riders need to push the tourists.

Posted by: Rich | April 18, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I've seen many tourists put their hand across the door when members of their party are sprinting down the escalators to catch a train. I've taken time to tell them that: 1) not only is it incredibly impolite to hold up hundreds of people so that 2 more can squeeze on, but also, 2) putting their hand across the door isn't going to do squat when the train operator hits the door close button. On a couple of occasions, I've seen tourists learn the hard way...one person is standing inside the train with their palm across the door, then the doors close leaving one person on the train and the rest of the family on the platform. I hope they all had Verizon cell phones...

Posted by: Woodley Park | April 18, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

What is the "pope" doing here, anyway? Why couldn't he stay home and amuse himself in the usual manner, by flipping through Cosmo?

Posted by: YASHWATA | April 18, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

oops, that's what I do, although "flipping" is putting it nicely

Posted by: YASHWATA | April 18, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

YASHWATA, you are rude, and Woodley Park, you can go suck a lemon. Tee hee!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

hello?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

"...I've seen tourists learn the hard way...one person is standing inside the train with their palm across the door, then the doors close leaving one person on the train and the rest of the family on the platform. I hope they all had Verizon cell phones..."

I saw some woman shove a baby stroller through as the doors closed once. They slammed closed on her arm and the people on the platform managed to pull her arm loose, and the train left without her.

Posted by: Rich | April 20, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Rich, that sounds like she wants a post-term abortion. I hope she gets one.

Posted by: Laurie | April 21, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company