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Spring break from Metro track work

Friday - 3/23/2012, 6:29pm  ET

Tim Bracken, wtop.com

Weekend Wakeup Call – Friday, March 23 to Monday, March 26

It’s a good thing that Metro starts its spring break from Metro track work this weekend, because there will be lots to do in the District: The Cherry Blossom Festival, ShamrockFest, and the Reason Rally will bring quite a few visitors. A portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail has been rehabbed, and the Maryland Day Celebration will be in Annapolis.

Enjoy the first weekend of spring!

Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival continues this weekend — One of the highlights will be the Bike Ride and Cycle Expo on the Georgetown Waterfront. The cycle expo is scheduled for Sunday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., featuring local vendors, educational seminars, and celebrity-led bike rides along the Capital Crescent Trail, which will begin around 11 a.m.

This weekend also marks the beginning of Metro’s spring break from weekend track work between March 24 and April 13. Here are some suggestions for anyone planning to use Metrorail to check out the Cherry Blossoms:

  • On weekdays, try to avoid taking Metro during rush hour, especially between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Metro suggests using their Trip Planner and downloading the Metro Pocket Guide.
  • The Smithsonian Station can become especially busy during Cherry Blossom season. Consider using other stations, such as Federal Triangle, Archives, Arlington Cemetery or L’Enfant Plaza.
  • Each traveler age 5 or older must have a Farecard or SmarTrip card. You can purchase a Farecard at any Metrorail station entrance. Remember to load enough value on the card for your return trip.
  • If you’re planning to take multiple trips, consider purchasing a One-Day Pass for $9. The One-Day Pass can be used for unlimited travel after 9:30 a.m. on weekdays, and all day on weekends.
  • When boarding the train, move all the way in to the center of the car to allow other customers to board. Don’t stand near the doors.
  • When riding on escalators, stand on the right to allow others to pass.
  • When the “door closing” chime sounds, step back to avoid injury. Train doors do not bounce back like elevator doors.

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

Just in time for the Cherry Blossom Festival, a portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail has been improved. Walking and biking will now be much easier between the Tidal Basin and the Southwest Waterfront area. More info here.

Reason Rally

The Reason Rally is scheduled for Saturday at the National Mall, and will feature talks from Richard Dawkins, Eddie Izzard, and Adam Savage (co-host of Mythbusters), along with comedy and music performances.


The ShamrockFest is scheduled for Saturday at RFK Stadium. 50 bands are on the bill this year, including Gavin DeGraw and Dropkick Murphys. There will also be raffles, food vendors, and carnival rides.

Maryland Day Celebration 2012

The Maryland Day Celebration takes place in Annapolis, and is scheduled for Friday through Sunday. Go on walking tours, listen to historical lectures, check out some museums, all celebrating Maryland’s history.

Beltway construction

  • Scheduled for Sunday between 4:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., expect alternating double lane closures on the Outer Loop over the I-270 spur.
  • On Sunday night between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m., watch for total temporary closures on both sides of I-495 between Route 50/Arlington Boulevard and 193/Georgetown Pike.

Arlington emergency drill

  • Emergency officials will be conducting a training exercise near The Fashion Center at Pentagon City from 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday. There may be temporary traffic delays in the area while emergency equipment is positioned.

    The drill is to assess Arlington County's emergency response to an active shooter incident. The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City will open at 11 a.m. for normal shopping hours.

Arlington Boulevard closure

Construction will close westbound Route 50/Arlington Boulevard between Courthouse Road and 10th Street -- Starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, ending Sunday night at 8 p.m. Some long-term closures are now in place in Arlington:

  • The bridge from southbound 10th Street to eastbound Route 50 will be closed through late 2012/early 2013 as crews continue bridge construction. Drivers can use Washington Boulevard to North Pershing Drive back to Route 50 as a detour.
  • The ramp from westbound Route 50 to North Fairfax Drive between Courthouse Road and 10th Street will close.
  • Fairfax Drive between Scott Street and Courthouse Road will be closed (Scott, Taft and Troy Streets remain open; drivers can use North Scott Street to 13th Street North to access). Drivers will also not be able to make left turns from Courthouse Road to Fairfax Drive.
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