Driving in D.C. This Week Will Be Even More Hellish Than Usual

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit means lots of walking for D.C. residents.

National Journal
Brian Resnick
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Brian Resnick
Aug. 4, 2014, 6:05 a.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama is host­ing 50 lead­ers from across the Afric­an con­tin­ent this week for a sum­mit to dis­cuss gov­ernance and in­ter­na­tion­al trade. And while it may be good for in­ter­na­tion­al de­vel­op­ment, it will be hor­rible for D.C. traffic.

A city that is routinely grid­locked by mo­tor­cades of its own lead­ers will be brought to even more of a stand­still by the dozens of high-level in­ter­na­tion­al guests who are vis­it­ing this week. The Met­ro­pol­it­an Po­lice have re­leased a sched­ule of road clos­ures and they are, well, ex­tens­ive.

Here’s just the list for Monday:

The Secret Ser­vice has also re­leased a (slightly con­fus­ing) map of sched­uled clos­ings. Click for a lar­ger ver­sion.

The clos­ures hit the heart of North­w­est Wash­ing­ton — par­tic­u­larly around the White House, the State De­part­ment — and around the Man­dar­in Ori­ent­al Hotel on the South­w­est wa­ter­front. Met­ro­rail be run­ning per usu­al, but sev­er­al bus lines have been rerouted. “Driv­ing down­town prob­ably will not be a good idea dur­ing this peri­od, be­cause there will be a lot of rolling clos­ures,” a D.C. De­part­ment of Trans­port­a­tion spokes­per­son told The Wash­ing­ton Post, most likely an un­der­state­ment.

The U.S. Of­fice of Per­son­nel Man­age­ment has gone as far as re­com­mend­ing tele­work or even va­ca­tion days for gov­ern­ment work­ers so they don’t get caught in the traffic. “Em­ploy­ees may be giv­en the op­tion to use their al­tern­at­ive work sched­ule days off, take an­nu­al leave, or use pre­vi­ously earned com­pens­at­ory time off and/or earned cred­it hours un­der a flex­ible work sched­ule (if per­mit­ted un­der agency policies),” an OPM memo states.

Even the wa­ter­ways may be re­stric­ted, if you’re one to kayak to work. “There will be an en­hanced se­cur­ity pres­ence on the wa­ter­ways of the Po­tom­ac River around Wash­ing­ton, DC,” Metro Po­lice states.

And to be sure, “[the De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works] will be­gin tick­et­ing and tow­ing vehicles from des­ig­nated streets once the Emer­gency No Park­ing re­stric­tions go in­to ef­fect.”

The sum­mit lasts un­til Wed­nes­day. En­joy your walk­ing! At least the weath­er will be de­cent.

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