ALEXANDRIA, VA – The City of Alexandria continues to prepare for Metro’s Platform Improvement Project, which will close all Metrorail stations south of the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Station for critical station platform changes to HOV lanes, restoration from May 25 through September 2. To view the closing schedule, click here. The City’s mitigation strategies also include extensive support for alternatives to Metrorail such as regular and express buses, carpool and vanpool, rideshare, bicycling, walking, and teleworking.
On April 9, Alexandria City Council approved a temporary change to HOV restrictions on Washington Street beginning the week before the start of the platform work. To optimize traffic flow and help buses move through major arteries while Alexandria Metrorail stations are closed, HOV requirements on Washington Street will increase from HOV-2 (two or more vehicle occupants) to HOV-3 (three or more vehicle occupants), during both morning and afternoon rush-hour periods.
The change also increases the hours of HOV restrictions, which will be in effect from 6 a.m. o 10 a.m. during morning rush-hour traffic and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. during evening hours for the duration of the Platform Improvement Project. The Alexandria Police Department will enforce these temporary restrictions.
Residents may also notice Metro beginning preparations related to the summer platform work in the coming weeks, including closures of bus loops and Kiss & Ride areas at Alexandria Metrorail stations. On May 4 and 5, Metro will close the Braddock Rd, King St-Old Town, Eisenhower Ave, Van Dorn St, Franconia-Springfield and Huntington Metrorail stations for preparations related to the summer project. For complete details about this work, visit wmata.com/platforms.
In March, the City requested input from residents, businesses, and commuters on its draft mitigation plan to address the station closures. The current version of the mitigation plan is available on the City’s Platform Improvement Project web page. On April 23, City Council will be asked to approve a grant application to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation that includes the City’s mitigation package.
Alexandria is also implementing traffic engineering improvements in advance of the summer work. A recently completed Transit Signal Priority (TSP) project along the Metroway, the dedicated bus-only lanes along Route 1 near Potomac Yard, will help keep buses on schedule along that corridor as they transport riders between Metrorail stations affected by the closure. TSP helps keep buses on schedule by allowing smart buses to wirelessly contact traffic signals and request them to either keep lights green or end red lights early, to help the bus catch up.
The City has also activated its first wave of Blynscy sensors, which collect travel data on City streets and provide real-time performance metrics on travel times and routes. During the station closures, this technology will specifically help shuttles running between Metrorail stations operate at peak efficiency.
In addition to the Metrorail trip planner, the City of Alexandria offers travel planning assistance to residents through GO Alex, Alexandria’s resource for transportation alternatives.
For more information about steps the City of Alexandria is taking to prepare for the Metro Platform Improvement Project, visit alexandriava.gov/GOAlex.