WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Officials in Washington, D.C. announced their plans to mitigate the impact of Metro’s SafeTrack plan.
The first of 15 safety surges, which mean long periods of continuous single-tracking or entire shutdowns for sections of the rail system, begins June 4. It will be continuous single-tracking between the East Falls Church and Ballston Metro stations.
"The project will affect every single commuter. No matter if the surge is happening in the District proper or not, we think that Washington, DC will be affected by all ten months of the work,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Bowser was joined at Thursday's news conference by officials from Metro, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
Officials are urging people who normally ride Metro to work to think about other ways to get around.
"Not everyone is going to be able to ride Metro everyday as the normally do,” said Metro Chief Operating Officer Jack Requa.
In an attempt to mitigate the impact of SafeTrack, the D.C. government is rolling out several initiatives.
On major roadways that see heavy Metro bus traffic, the "no parking” restrictions in effect during rush hours will be expanded by 30 minutes. In the mornings, that means no parking will be allowed from 7 a.m. -10 a.m. In the evenings, no parking will be allowed between 4 p.m. -7 p.m.. For routes that have all day rush hour restrictions, those will be in effect from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
When these new restrictions are in place will depend on what safety surge is currently taking place.
“We’re prioritizing the east-west bus routes during June and that will begin next week,” said DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo. “In the month of August, we’ll roll out the north-south parking restriction changes."
D.C. will also create a citywide traffic control center to coordinate the different government agencies, deploy more traffic control officers, modify street signal timing plans, and expand taxi stands and areas for ride-sharing or carpools.
The Capital Bikeshare program will also offer a discount during SafeTrack. Instead of needing an annual membership or day pass, rides under 30-minutes will only cost $2.
More details about SafeTrack and its impact can be found on Metro’s page dedicated to the plan.