Driving and parking for the Women's March
January 8, 2017 1:00 PM   Subscribe

We'll be driving to the Women's March from the vicinity of BWI the morning of January 21. Should we reserve parking on Parking Panda, park at a Metro station, or?

Parking Panda currently shows a bunch of parking options for the 21st within walking distance of the March, in the general area between New York & Pennsylvania Ave. This is tempting if it's real -- and I don't think there are vehicle restrictions for the 21st.

I can imagine that area being impossible to navigate that morning -- but on the other hand I'm not sure what parking will be like at Metro stations either. Crystal ball from DC residents?
posted by john hadron collider to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (16 answers total)
 
Is driving a requirement? Assuming you're flying into BWI, you can easily take a MARC Train into DC right to Union Station. You'd save a significant amount of money and headache of dealing with a car.
posted by Karaage at 1:10 PM on January 8, 2017 [8 favorites]


If you can get reserved parking, do so. Things fill up quick around stuff like this.
posted by Etrigan at 1:22 PM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


My two cents: oh god, if you can get to a MARC train to Union Station, you will be a lot happier. Even if you get your car close to the Mall during the march, it just means you'll have to get your car all the way out of town after the march, when you're likely to be cold and tired and not in the mood to maybe fight car and pedestrian traffic for hours. I believe you can buy tickets in advance, but double check.

If you can't make MARC work, then yeah, I'd try to get my car to one of the outlying stations (I don't mean Dupont Circle, I mean like Greenbelt) and train in. You'll still have crowds to deal with, but at least somebody else will be doing most of the driving. FYI, there's also a major road closed in Rock Creek Park unrelated to the inauguration, which mucks up one major north-south route quite a bit.
posted by jameaterblues at 1:46 PM on January 8, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm going to the March from a BWI hotel, and planning on taking the MARC, but I'm worried about the MARC being super full from Baltimore by the time it gets to BWI, so I'll be watching this thread avidly.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 2:18 PM on January 8, 2017


I went to the last inauguration. Parking at Greenbelt was absolutely not a problem. It was crowded, sure, but it's a huge lot and I've walked farther to catch a tram at Disney World. That Metro ride is going to be so relaxing at the end of the day, compared to trying to drive out of DC, which is not fun under regular conditions.
posted by Ruki at 2:42 PM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't drive in DC on a good day. I would either drive to Greenbelt Station and take the Green line into DC, or take the B30 Metro Bus to Greenbelt Station from BWI. I'm not familiar with MARC, but taking MARC to Union Station in DC as suggested above also seems like a good idea.
posted by Rob Rockets at 3:09 PM on January 8, 2017


Parking Panda currently shows a bunch of parking options for the 21st within walking distance of the March, in the general area between New York & Pennsylvania Ave. This is tempting if it's real -- and I don't think there are vehicle restrictions for the 21st.

One of us is not interpreting the restrictions correctly. The way I'm reading this:
Red Zone – Street Closures
Vehicle traffic restricted to authorized vehicles only with proper vehicle placard.
Parking Restrictions (Posted Emergency No Parking with Ticketing & Towing Enforcement)
o Start – 12:00 pm, Wednesday, January 18th
o End – 1:00 am, Monday, January 23rd
Encompasses large bits of territory bounded by New York Ave NW and Pennsylvania Ave NW, including
 H St NW from 18th St NW to 12th St NW
 H St NW from 5th St NW to 3rd St NW
 Pennsylvania Ave NW from 18th St to 15th St NW
 New York Ave NW from 15th St NW to 12th St NW
 G St NW from 18th St NW to 17th St NW
 G St NW from 15th St NW to 12th St NW
 G St NW from 6th St NW to 3rd St NW
 G Pl NW from 5th St NW to 4th St NW
 F St NW from 18th St NW to 17th St NW
 F St NW from 15th St NW to 3rd St NW
 E St NW from 18th St NW/E St Expy to 17th St NW
 Pennsylvania Ave NW/E St NW from 15th St NW to 3rd St NW
Park outside the city and Metro in, or take MARC from Baltimore.
posted by rtha at 3:10 PM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


Sorry - this isn't car related but it is transportation related. This thread inspired me to check to see if Amtrak had added some extra train service for this event and they have. I just managed to snag three seats to DC and back from Baltimore on the 21st. Leaving Baltimore at 8:23 am and DC at 4:45 pm. If you move quickly and Amtrak is desirable for you - they've added at least one train in each direction.

I had arranged for car service at huge expense and we were still worried about traffic. Relieved to be taking the train.
posted by rdnnyc at 3:18 PM on January 8, 2017


Take MARC or Metro. Driving and parking in DC can be kind of Hunger Games-esque on normal days. Metro's no treat either, so leave yourself plenty of extra time, but I promise you that you will be much, much happier not fighting event traffic when you're ready to leave.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 3:30 PM on January 8, 2017


Thanks for the answers so far! It sounds like Metro (or MARC if there's room?) is the best plan -- Amtrak appears to be sold out again, if I'm looking at the right thing. I'm glad to hear that parking at the Greenbelt Metro station is likely to be OK.

I'm worried about the MARC being super full from Baltimore by the time it gets to BWI, so I'll be watching this thread avidly.

This is why we planned to drive -- we figured if Amtrak was sold out, MARC might be full as well. Does anyone have experience with that?

One of us is not interpreting the restrictions correctly.

Thanks, I missed the separate start and end times for the red zone. My updated probably-still-wrong interpretation is that the green zone in this PDF is closed just on Friday, but the red zone is closed through the weekend.
posted by john hadron collider at 5:17 PM on January 8, 2017


If you really have problems with Amtrak and MARC being full (never experienced this) you can take a taxi (90 bucks) Uber/Lyft (30-60 bucks) or metro to Greenbelt and grab an Uber/Lyft from there.
posted by Karaage at 6:04 PM on January 8, 2017


I have no experience with MARC but would not want to fuss with worrying whether I'll make my train back, if you're planning on going back that night.

I would drive to Greenbelt and metro. I have had plenty of experience with metro being overloaded during a big event, but if you are starting at the end of the line at Greenbelt, getting in should not be super difficult. Getting out could be pretty crowded but should be doable.

You could also drive all the way, but leave super early and come back late. You'd pre-rent a parking space close in but outside security-restricted areas. You might expect to walk some distance from there. Driving is not as impossible as people make it sound, but it may not save you energy either.
posted by zennie at 6:36 PM on January 8, 2017


I went to the Inauguration last time.

If you order your Metro cards for the Metro ahead of time, it'll save you a lot of lines and headaches on Protest Day.

https://smartrip.wmata.com/storefront.
posted by spinifex23 at 6:50 PM on January 8, 2017


From my reading of rtha's Inauguration vehicle restrictions link, all listed restrictions seem to end by 6am January 21st. But this doesn't mean everything will be open; check on that if you choose driving. Some routes will be de facto closed because they won't have dismantled everything from the inauguration.
posted by zennie at 6:56 PM on January 8, 2017


MARC's saturday schedule is pretty limited, there are only two trains that would get you there before the march. Also:
Please note that all MARC Trains are unreserved, which means that they operate on a first-come, first-served basis and seating is not guaranteed. When trains reach a safe capacity, boarding will be stopped and passengers will be required to wait for the next train.
posted by peeedro at 4:25 PM on January 9, 2017


MARC also says, fwiw, that they're adding cars to the normally scheduled trains that day, even though they're not increasing the frequency.
posted by lakeroon at 9:23 PM on January 9, 2017


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