Travel tips for fans as playoff baseball returns to the Nation's - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Travel tips for fans as playoff baseball returns to the Nation's Capital

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The Nationals and Cardinals are dead even as playoff baseball returns to the Nation's Capital, which will host its first postseason baseball game in 79 years on Wednesday.

If you're riding the rails to the game, Metro has some advice.

You should try to avoid switching lines near downtown, so stay away from Metro Center, L'Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place if you can.

You might want to take the New Jersey Avenue entrance to the Navy Yard Ballpark Station because it is often less crowded.

Also, make sure you have your Smartrip or fare card before you leave for the game to avoid long lines at the vending machines.

If you're driving, there are several street closures to look out for.

Early morning drizzle will give way to a break in the clouds for some sunshine and temperatures in the low 70s – a perfect day for playoff baseball.


Metro is reminding fans of some important travel tips:

• Nationals games will have the potential to add thousands of additional riders onto the system during already busy travel periods. Whenever possible, fans are encouraged to plan a route to the ballpark that avoids downtown transfer stations during rush hours.

• For example, riders traveling to/from stations the eastern side of the Red Line should consider connecting to Green Line service at Fort Totten, rather than Gallery Place.

• Blue and Orange line customers should consider using Capitol South Station, rather than Navy Yard-Ballpark Station, to avoid transferring at L'Enfant Plaza or Metro Center. Capitol South Station is located 0.8 miles from the ballpark via First Street SE.

• After the game, customers connecting to Yellow Line trains toward Huntington should consider making the transfer at Archives Station, rather than L'Enfant Plaza.

• Navy Yard-Ballpark Station has two entrances. Half Street is slightly closer to the ballpark and often gets very crowded. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Avenue entrance is a short three-block walk from the ballpark and is usually significantly less crowded. Both entrances are equipped with elevators, in addition to escalators.

• To avoid potentially long vending machine lines after the game, Nationals fans are reminded to load enough value on their paper farecard or SmarTrip for their entire roundtrip. Customers using paper farecards pay $1 more per trip than those using SmarTrip. SmarTrip cards can be purchased in advance at local CVS and Giant Food stores, Metro Sales offices, regional transit stores, online at, or at 47 Metrorail stations.

• Metro operates a combination of six-car and eight-car trains. Often, the last two cars of eight-car trains are the least crowded. Take note of the number of cars on the platform information displays, and spread out along the platform to take advantage of the additional space of eight-car trains whenever possible.
Before and after each post-season game, Metro will operate additional trains on the Green Line to provide extra capacity for Nationals fans traveling to and from the ballpark. The additional trains will operate between Mt. Vernon Square and Anacostia Stations, making stops Gallery Place, Archives, L'Enfant Plaza, Waterfront and Navy Yard-Ballpark.

In the event of a Friday night game, Metro will delay the start of scheduled track work until Nationals crowds are through the system. Similarly, in the event of a Sunday game, Metro will end scheduled track work early.

Additional customer tips:

• Sign up for MetroAlerts to be notified of Metrorail and Metrobus service disruptions.

• After boarding the train, move into the center of the car—away from the doors—to create space for customers behind you.

• Allow plenty of extra travel time. Consider arriving at the game early and waiting until crowds disperse after the game ends. If a train is too crowded, do not attempt to board it. Allow the doors to close and wait for the next train.

About late-night service:

In the event of an 8:05 p.m. post-season game*, Metro will provide service at Navy Yard-Ballpark station until 12:20 a.m. -- one hour later than normal – as a result of a service agreement made possible by LivingSocial.

• Customers using expanded service (after 11:20 p.m.) must enter the system at Navy Yard-Ballpark Station. All other station entrances will close at their regular times; however customers will be able to exit at all stations.

• If the game is still being played at 11:45 p.m., a second additional hour is triggered. Customers will be able to enter at Navy Yard-Ballpark Station until 1:20 a.m.

* Extended hours only apply for Sunday through Thursday night games, as Metrorail provides service until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.


The Nationals Park parking lots will open at 10 am, the gates will open at 10:30 am (2½ hours before game time) and the team recommends fans allow extra time to reach the stadium. There will also be pre-game activities up until the first pitch. Information about transportation options and routes is available online at External Website.


Capital Bikeshare and its operator Alta Bicycle Share will provide a corral at the N and 1st Street, SE station next to the stadium. Staff will be on hand to check in bikes from members before the games, and the bikes will be available after the games as well. There are other Bikeshare stations in close proximity as well. For more information visit External Website.


Fans driving to the game can avoid the worst of the congestion by delaying their trip home and patronizing local businesses. The Capital Riverfront BID lists places to dine on its website at External Website. Other nearby options include Barracks Row External Website and Capitol Hill External Website.

DDOT will have dozens of traffic control officers and other personnel stationed at intersections around Nationals Park, working with officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to guide vehicles and pedestrians safely through the area. In addition, Road Operations Patrol (ROP) units will be on the ready to clear disabled vehicles, and engineers will monitor traffic and remotely adjust the signal timing to mitigate delays.


MPD is also advising motorists that the following streets will be closed on Wednesday at the listed times:

  • N Street SE, from 1st Street to S. Capitol Street will be closed at 7:00 AM
  • Half Street SE from M Street to N Street, will be closed at 7:00 AM
  • Van Street SE, from M Street to N Street, will be closed at 7:00 AM and accessible to Taxis and stadium traffic
  • 1st Street SE, from M Street south to Potomac Avenue will be closed at approximately 10:30 AM and accessible to stadium traffic only
  • Potomac Avenue SE, from S. Capitol to 1st Street will be closed at approximately 10:30 AM and accessible to stadium traffic only

Commuters are also encouraged to consider altering their travel plans to avoid the congested roadways around the stadium including M Street SE/SW and South Capitol Street. Alternative routes for outbound traffic include Pennsylvania Avenue, Benning Road and New York Avenue to reach points east of the Anacostia River.

Workers may also want to consider varying their work schedule on Wednesday, or teleworking, if their employer permits it.

Please note, due to the timing of the game, DDOT has decided not to restrict turn movements on M Street and at the intersection of M Street and South Capitol Street following the game, as originally planned.

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