By Drew Wheatley - 04/10/10 11:27 PM EDT
As dozens of foreign heads of state travel to Washington next week for
the two-day nuclear security summit, city and federal officials will
roll out a series of security restrictions expected to lengthen the
travel time of downtown commuters.
Road closures, parking restrictions and Metrobus detours are all included in the procedure to secure the area around the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the site of the summit. Measures will go into effect Sunday evening and will not be completely removed until Wednesday morning.
Those living and working within the restricted area will be required to show government-issued identification in order to gain access to the area. Residents of the McCollough Terrace Apartments on 7th Street will need the IDs to get into their homes.
Parking restrictions, some extending several blocks beyond the road closures, will be in effect as well. All newspaper bins and trash cans will be removed from these streets.
Metro rail commuters who normally exit at the Mount Vernon Square/7th Street-Convention Center stop will have to find a new station from which to depart. Trains will bypass the station, which is located directly beneath the Convention Center on the Green and Yellow lines.
Metrobus will detour 13 lines and the DC Circulator's Georgetown-Union Station route will be divided in two.
Although the restrictions are concentrated in the area surrounding the Convention Center, closures are also expected around area hotels and embassies as foreign leaders leave their hotels to travel to the summit. The Coast Guard and FAA are implementing security plans in area waterways and airspace also.
In order to counter the road closures, city officials are asking commuters to leave home early and be understanding of the situation.
"For these two days, folks need to pack their patience and be ready for some delays," Lt. Nicholas Breul of the Metropolitan Police Department said. He insisted the restrictions had been carefully planned out to minimize traffic gridlock.
"We're pretty good at handling this stuff," Breul said, citing Metro police success in easing traffic congestion during President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration and Pope Benedict's visit to the city in 2008.