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Traffic Advisory: Nationals Fans Encouraged to Come Early, Stay Late and Take Transit

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Wednesday Playoff Game Expected to End During Evening Rush Hour

The Washington Nationals will host their first postseason game at 1:07 pm on Wednesday, which means fans and commuters trying to reach home can expect a crowd following the game.

“We encourage fans to come early, stay late, and take transit if they can,” said Terry Bellamy, 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 Nationals Park parking lots and 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

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

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 Other nearby options include Barracks Row and Capitol Hill.

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.