WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – In advance of Wednesday’s early afternoon playoff game at Nationals Park, police in D.C. are warning the commute home will be worse than usual.

Officials say Nats fans should come to the game early and plan to stay late.

A sold-out baseball game in the city means much heavier traffic volume, before and after the game, and Metropolitan police are warning, it’s the after drivers should be concerned about.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 p.m. and a typical baseball game runs between two and half to three and a half hours long. Barring a prolonged extra-inning affair, 40,000 people will be heading to the cars and Metro stations as the evening rush hour begins.

“We encourage fans to come early, stay late, and take transit if they can,” said Terry Bellamy, the director of the District Department of Transportation. “And even if you’re not attending the game, you need a game plan to ensure you don’t get caught in the traffic.”

The morning rush hour may also be impacted as the gates and parking lots at the stadium will open at 10:30 a.m.

DDOT will have dozens of traffic control officers on hand to help the flow of traffic around the stadium.

For people traveling to the park, some alternative methods of travel are:

  • Metro – the most common option for Nats fans aside from driving. Navy Yard empties passengers directly in front of Nats Park, while the Waterfront stop is a lower-volume alternative just a few blocks away. Also read this.
  • Capital Bikeshare – Alta Bicycle Share will provide a corral at N and 1st Street, SE, right next to the stadium. Extra staff will be on hand to help check in bikes in a timely manner. Bikes will be available after the game as well.
  • There will be a litany of pre-game activities near the park to encourage fans to arrive early. For more information on transportation options and routes, click here.

Fans driving to the game can avoid the worst of the congestion by delaying their trip home after the game by checking out local businesses. The area surrounding Nats Park is rapidly changing, and it might be worth a click to check out what’s new.

Road Operations Patrol units will also be on standby to clear disabled vehicles, and engineers will monitor traffic and remotely adjust the signal timing to mitigate delays.

D.C. police are 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

Alternative routes leading to points east of the Anacostia River include Pennsylvania Avenue, Benning Road and New York Avenue.

Commuters who travel past the stadium each day may want to consider varying their work schedule Wednesday, or teleworking if their employer provides the option.


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