This summer, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), is shutting down six Metro stations on the blue and yellow lines south of Ronald Reagan National Airport. These stations include Braddock Road, King Street-Old Town, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, Van Dorn Street, and Franconia-Springfield. The Washington Post estimates that 17,000 daily commuters are affected by these station closures.
Increased Traffic Volume
The displacement of passengers affected by the station closures will likely increase traffic in the District and surrounding areas over the summer, especially during rush hour. Commuters not affected by the station closures should still be aware that they might face denser traffic and longer commute times depending on their route and location. This may increase the risk of accidents and crashes, as more people will be on the road for longer periods of time. Even before the station closures this summer, DC and Northern Virginia have experienced a steady rise in car crashes and auto-accident related fatalities over the past several years. While intoxicated driving is the main reason behind these crashes and fatalities, distracted driving is still a large source of collisions. Commuters should not only make sure they drive carefully, but be on the lookout for dangerous drivers that pose a threat to others.
WMATA is Improving Shuttle and Bus Services
To alleviate some of the congestion caused by displaced metro riders, WMATA is offering free shuttle rides between stations that are closed. For detailed schedules and routes, visit WMATA’s Alternative Travel Options site to plan your commute. Additionally, WMATA is improving bus service in high frequency areas, such as along H and I streets with new bus-only lanes. These lanes are painted red, and cars that drive or park in these lanes during peak travel times will be fined or towed. The Washington Post has an article which details the times and locations of the designated bus lanes across the city.
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