going deeper

Before you travel this weekend...

By: Rob
Rob's picture

It’s finally that time of year! Fun, fireworks…and traffic?! AAA Mid-Atlantic officials say that a record number of D.C.-area residents will hit the roads for Independence Day. Across the DMV, it’s expected that over one million residents will travel, 9 in 10 driving to their destination due to gas prices being low and rental car rates down 38 percent compared to last year. Experts also add it’s due to the fact that the July Fourth holiday coincides with the weekend!

Navigating Downtown 

  • Lots of activities and festivities will be taking place throughout the day of the Fourth – along with several street closures. The National Park Service has the full list of closures. The National Independence Day Parade is expected to draw thousands on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Street with the parade starting at 11:45 a.m. Also expect some congestion around Nationals Park with a baseball game that starts at 11:05 a.m. The fireworks show starts at 9:09 p.m. on the National Mall.

Metro Madness

  • You guessed it! There’s going to be a few slow spots on Metro! Despite the expected delays, officials say it’s the best way to get around town, especially on Independence Day. The Smithsonian station is the closest stop for fireworks on the Mall – yet, it’ll likely be the most congested. Metro Center, Archives, Federal Triangle, L’Enfant Plaza, and Foggy Bottom are all good alternate stops that are within walking distance of the Mall. Capital Bikeshare and taxi services are also options for getting around town. 

Out of Town/Beachgoers

  • It’s estimated that nearly 43 million American’s will travel more than 50 miles from home for the fireworks this year. The worst of the traffic is expected on July 1st-3rd. Officials say I-95 is likely going to be the slowest stretch this year. I-95 runs from Maine to Florida and is already one of the nation’s busiest roadways. Expect some slow spots heading south towards Virginia Beach. More break lights should be expected on Route 50 heading east towards the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. More of the bumper to bumper activity is expected into Delaware. 

All that to say, you’ll definitely need to pack some patience as you and the family head to your holiday destination. Not to worry – we’re going to keep you encouraged and be right alongside you through the slow spots!

Happy Fourth of July from all of us at WGTS 91.9!

 - Tom Miner