Below are the daily summaries, as well as a Week 1 roundup, of statistics and travel information related to Metro's closure of Metrorail stations in Alexandria as part of Metro's Platform Improvement Project.
Week 1 Summary
Traffic Information: Travel times were collected during morning and evening commute periods each day last week and compared to travel times earlier in April and May. Travel times varied greatly last week with some commute periods with lower than average travel times and some substantially higher. Traffic, as usual, was impacted by weather, crashes and power outages. The most significant delays were typically due to one of these factors. Generally, in the morning, travel times on the City’s main north-south corridors (Route 1, Washington Street and North Van Dorn Street) was between 15% and 30% higher than usual. Evening travel times varied between 30% lower than normal to 30% higher than normal peak hour traffic. With the variation in traffic patterns, it was difficult to determine the impact of the WMATA PiP in the first week. The City is collecting vehicle volumes on Route 1 and Washington Street and will have that data by the beginning of next week.
Metrorail Station and Shuttles: By Commute Day 2, the Van Dorn and Eisenhower Metrorail stations were operating smoothly with moderate wait times and little to no crowding. While there was general congestion surrounding the King Street Metrorail station, by the end of the week pedestrians were finding their way to the correct bus boarding locations. City staff worked with the Alexandria Police Department to help people safely navigate the area. The Braddock Road Metrorail station had the most issues with bus bunching and long lines throughout the week, and adjustments are being made this week to improve operations at this location. At all stations, WMATA staff were reported to be extremely helpful in directing people to the appropriate locations.
By the Numbers
On Tuesday afternoon, DASH had over 100 buses running in service either on the Blue Line Shuttle or regular DASH service. This is the first time in the agency’s 35-year history that this milestone has been achieved.
- The stop in Old Town at the intersection of King Street/Washington Street is drawing a daily average of more than 200 boardings per day.
- Biking on the Potomac Avenue Trail increased by more than 80% since the same time last year, and biking on the Metro Linear Trail more than doubled from the week before the WMTA PiP.
- The City secured a total of 400 parking spaces to be used for commuters and issued parking permits for all of them, of which an average of 40% have been utilized each day.
- The City’s online service request team handled 11 informational requests and 3 complaints related to the project
- The Alexandria Police Department wrote 25 HOV parking citations to keep the lanes open for traffic, and they wrote 160 parking citations related the Metro station closures.
- During the morning and evening commute periods of the first week of the WMATA PiP, nearly 2,275 people rode the Water Taxi between Alexandria and The Wharf
City Staff Efforts
- The EOC was operational from 6-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. every weekday.
- The Traffic Management Center was operational from 7-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. every weekday.
- T&ES Staff and APD staff monitored each Metrorail station during the AM and PM peak hours.
- T&ES provided two reports daily on traffic conditions, Metrorail station and shuttle bus updates, reported issues and other data that was provided.
- T&ES Construction and Inspection Team was fully deployed every day.
- The T&ES Fast Action Response Team was available to immediately manage incidents
- T&ES had a signal crew on call to respond to any signal issues or needs
First Week Construction Progress
- Construction is currently on schedule
- In the first days of the Platform Improvement Project, Metro employees and contractors have gone straight to work. With pre-construction staging completed before the shutdown started, they have been able to move in heavy equipment, begin demolition of station platforms, and immediately start to repair track infrastructure.
May 31, Evening Report: Travel Times across the City were lower than usual across the City as Friday vehicle volumes are usually lower and peak earlier but traffic on Washington Street backed up in Old Town around 5:30 p.m. due to a DASH bus crash. Shuttles at all Alexandria Metrorail stations were relatively on schedule and people volumes seemed lower. There were no reported issues with long lines or waits, and people were generally accommodated on the first bus that arrived.
May 31, Morning Report: Traffic was lighter than normal on King Street, North Van Dorn Street and Seminary Road. Northbound travel times on the main north south corridors on the east side of the city –Route 1 and GW Parkway - were approximately 18% higher than previous weeks in May during the morning commute period, and delays experienced on Duke Street were approximately 25% higher than normal in the westbound direction and 17% higher than normal in the eastbound direction. Shuttles at the Metrorail stations are operating smoothly with the greatest delays and longest lines experienced at Braddock Road. More than twice as many people rode a bike on the Metro Linear Trail during yesterday's evening peak period compared to the same times prior to the Metro shutdown.
May 30, Evening Report: Southbound travel times on the main north south corridors on the east side of the city –Route 1 and GW Parkway - were approximately 83% higher than previous weeks in May during the evening commute period significant delays on Route 1 – approximately double the average travel time along that corridor. Travel times across the City were approximately 26% higher than previous weeks in May, and delays experienced on Duke Street and King Street were typical or better than usual.
May 30, Morning Report: Travel times across the City were approximately 13% higher than previous weeks in May. Northbound travel times on the main north south corridors – North Van Dorn Street, Route 1 and GW Parkway - were approximately 41% higher than previous weeks in May during the morning commute period with the greatest delays on the Parkway. Loading at the Metrorail stations is going well, but there are reports of long lines and bus bunching at Braddock Road. More than twice as many people rode a bike on the Potomac Yard Trail during yesterday’s commute hours than during the same times in 2018.
May 29, Evening Report: Travel times across the City were approximately 10% higher than previous weeks in May with fairly consistent delays between 5:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. with typical delays were experienced on eastbound King Street, southbound Van Dorn Street and eastbound Duke Street. Southbound travel times on the main north south corridors on the east side of the City, Route 1 and Washington Street, were approximately 30% higher than previous weeks in May during the evening commute period. Delays on Route 1 were caused caused by a power outage in Old Town that impacted the traffic signal at Henry and Madison Streets. Shuttles were functioning well at all Metrorail Stations and passengers were generally accommodated on the first arriving bus.
May 29, Morning Report: Travel times across the City were approximately 12% higher than previous weeks in May with fairly consistent delays between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Northbound travel times on the main north south corridors - Route 1, Washington Street and North Van Dorn Street were approximately 25% higher than previous weeks in May during the morning peak hour. Staff continues to note that the holiday week (and Congress being out of session) may be contributing to lower than normal volumes and that afternoon storms could impact travel times during the PM peak. Shuttles generally operated smoothly and on time with the exception at Braddock Road during the AM peak hour when some passengers were not able to board the first arriving shuttle. The Water Taxi had a 32% increase in ridership from yesterday. Capital Bikeshare is operating two corrals - one at Crystal City and one at the King and Patrick Street station.
May 28, Evening Report: Traffic moved well throughout the area for the evening commute with lower than average travel times on southbound Van Dorn Street, Washington Street and Route 1. Bus loading at the Metrorail stations has been relatively smooth with passengers generally able to board the first bus that arrives. However, there have been reports of buses delayed in traffic that has created longer than anticipated wait times and long lines for the shuttles at times.
May 28, Morning Report: Traffic moved relatively well throughout the area for the morning commute, although with 20 to 30 percent longer travel times on northbound Van Dorn Street, Washington Street and Route 1. Weather and a crash on the 14th Street Bridge contributed to traffic backups, and the Braddock Road stop experienced bunching of shuttle buses at times.