safetrack, photo courtesy of MetroWMATA will shutter rail service between some of its stations starting June 4 as part of its “SafeTrack” initiative, the agency announced in its final plan today.

The plan includes 15 “safety surges” that would shut down portions of several lines for days or even weeks at a time. The plan will also close all Metro stations at midnight every day of the week.

In the Capitol Hill area, “SafeTrack” will stop service between Eastern Market and Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road from June. 18 to July 3 and between NoMa and Ft. Totten from Oct. 10 to Nov. 1.

Each surge period “will result in either around-the-clock single tracking or shutdowns of selected track segments and will have a significant impact on rush-hour commutes,” Metro said. The surges are also expected to “severely reduce the frequency of trains, resulting in crowding and extended wait times.”

The complete schedule of Safety Surges can be viewed here. Read the full press release below:

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Your daily commute might be affected at some point over the next year as Metro embarks on a massive effort to rehabilitate its aging rail system.

Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld today announced its “SafeTrack” plan to “improve Metrorail safety and restore service reliability.” The plan includes 15 “safety surges” over the next year that will include closing stations at midnight all week and reducing service on many of its lines at various times, according to a press release.

“Metrorail riders will be encouraged to consider using alternate travel options while safety surge work is in effect on their line,” the press release cautions. At a press conference held this morning, Wiedefeld said “the level of service will go down during these surge periods.”

Orange, Blue and Silver riders can expect a shutdown between Eastern Market and Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road from Aug. 20 to Sept. 6, according to Metro. On the Red Line, the agency will shut down service between NoMa and Ft. Totten between Oct. 9 and Nov. 2. Shuttle buses will replace service at stations affected by shutdowns, according to Metro.

The transit agency will also put in place a moratorium on early openings and late closings, and the system will close at midnight seven days a week beginning Friday, June 3, it announced.

Read the full press release below:

Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld today released SafeTrack, an expanded track work plan to improve Metrorail safety and restore service reliability.

Wiedefeld’s SafeTrack plan includes 15 “safety surges” over the next year that will accelerate maintenance on Metro’s rail system from the ballast up. By closing the system at midnight on weekends and expanding weekday maintenance opportunities, the plan addresses FTA and NTSB safety recommendations and deferred maintenance backlogs while restoring track infrastructure to good health.

SafeTrack accomplishes in one year, work that otherwise would take about three years to complete.

Fifteen “safety surges” are planned that will allow track crews to exponentially increase productivity and achieve safety results for customers faster. These long-duration track outages use either around-the-clock single tracking or line-segment shutdowns that will impact rush hour commutes. Metrorail riders will be encouraged to consider using alternate travel options while safety surge work is in effect on their line.


(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Metro will close its rail system to riders for a full 24 hours starting tonight at midnight. The transit agency announced the news at a press conference this afternoon.

More information from a Metro press release:

Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, with support from the Authority’s Board of Directors, today announced the full closure of the Metrorail system on Wednesday, March 16, for emergency inspections of the system’s third-rail power cables following an early morning tunnel fire yesterday.

The inspections of approximately 600 “jumper cables” will occur along all tunnel segments on the Metrorail system. At the conclusion of the inspection process, there may be a need for additional rail service outages. Any further service impacts will be announced to the public as soon as they are known.

News of the shutdown also appeared to crash the WMATA website:

The move comes just one day after an early morning cable fire caused massive delays on Metro’s Blue and Orange lines.


2016 Rock n Roll marathon course

Come Saturday at 7:30 a.m., 25,000 runners will race across the District as part of the annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.

Though those runners will likely bring with them cheering fans and tiny paper cups filled with sports drinks, they’ll also bring road closures, schedule adjustments and altered parking enforcement to the Capitol Hill area.

According to Metro:

When the race begins, buses north of the course will turn back at a point near a rail station, if possible, resuming their regular routes into Downtown D.C. as streets reopen.

There will be no regular service [south of the course] from the start of the race until the runners clear the Downtown area. Service south of Constitution Avenue will be restored as streets become available. Other Southeast locations will return to regular service after the race ends.

Metrobus riders should expect delays. The event will have a significant impact on the following Metrobus routes: 30N,30S, 31, 32, 34, 36, 38B, 42, 52, 54, 64, 70, 74, 79, 80, 90, 92, 96, A42, A46, A48, B2, D4, D6, D8, G2, H2, H4, L2, M6, N6, P6, S2, S4,U5, U6, X2 and X8.

Road closures take effect at 6 a.m. Click here to view a full chart of closures related to the race.

Photo via

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The ice is starting to melt, and Metro says buses have resumed normal service today.

Though the transit agency previously estimated some of its lines would run on detours this morning, Metro reported that all buses were running normally as of 7:20 a.m. today.

Metro previously enacted its “severe snow plan” due to yesterday’s winter weather, and the agency suspended service at 10 p.m. last night.

Although patches of ice remain scattered across the area, the Capital Weather Gang says warmer temperatures and possibly heavy rainfall will thaw roads throughout the morning and afternoon.

But all that extra moisture could be too much of a good thing, according to the National Weather Service. The area is under a flood watch until 11 p.m.


Yards Park in Navy Yard

Just as the final piles of snow around the area are beginning to melt, meteorologists are warning about another potential snow storm at the beginning of next week. Before then, though, we’re slated to have a weekend of sunny weather and above-freezing temperatures in the Capitol Hill area.

Though the Super Bowl may keep most people indoors on Sunday afternoon, this weekend will be perfect to enjoy the outdoors in the area. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of this sunny weekend in the Capitol Hill area:

If you don’t have Super Bowl plans yet, check out our guide to viewing parties around the area.


Haitian Art and Handcraft Sale
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (301 A St. SE)
Friday 6-9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Over 200 original Haitian paintings and unique handcrafts will be for sale at the church this weekend to raise money for sustainable development in Haiti. 

Pisco Sour Day
Ocopa (1324 H St. NE)
All Day

Peruvian restaurant Ocopa is celebrating the South American cocktail for Pisco Day. In Peru, the first Saturday of February is National Pisco Day.

First Citizen – A Staged Reading
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (545 7th St. SE)
Saturday 8 p.m.

The Taffety Punk Generator, a workshop focused on new works, will present a reading of First Citizen. First Citizen is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus told from the perspective of the common citizens of Rome. The reading is free and open to the public.


Construction will take place on all six Metro lines this weekend:

  • Green Line trains will run every 24 minutes
  • Yellow Line trains will operate on a normal weekend schedule between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square only
  • Silver Line trains will run every 10 minutes between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston only
  • Shuttle buses will replace Metro service between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly & Benning Road on the Orange and Blue lines
  • Red Line trains will run every 9-20 minutes

Between 3 and 7 a.m. Sunday, Metro will be performing maintenance to the SmarTrip system and passengers will not be able to use credit or debit cards to reload their SmarTrips.


Morning Rundown

Houses on G Street SE

Metro Transit Police Investigating Thursday Attack on Red Line Metro Train — Metro is investigating after a man reported that he was attacked by a group of teenagers on a Red Line Metro train Thursday afternoon. The group of teens reportedly boarded the train at the NoMa-Gallaudet University station about 4:30 p.m. and harassed several passengers. [Washington Post, Washington City Paper]

Southwest Residents Raise Concerns About Buzzard Point Development — As development brings more people to Buzzard Point, residents want to make sure that the area is prepared with transit options and public spaces. [Hill Rag]

Monthly Capitol Hill Area ANC Meeting Roundup — Hill Rag takes a look at what happened last month with Capitol Hill area ANCs, including 6A6B6C and 6D. [Hill Rag]


Morning Rundown

Snow being cleared at the Library of Congress (Flickr pool photo by OZinOH)

(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) Metro to Offer Limited, Free Service Today — Metrorail opened this morning at 7 a.m. with limited service. Trains on the Red, Orange and Green lines are running every 20-25 minutes. At 11 a.m., Metro will extend service on all three lines to include some above-ground service:

  • Orange Line is running between Ballston and New Carrollton
  • Red Line will run between Medical Center and Glenmont
  • Green Line will run between Fort Totten and Branch Avenue

Some Metro bus lines will also operate between noon and 5 p.m. today. Buses on the following routed will operate in D.C.: 32, 33, 36, 53, 70, 90, A6, A8, S4, U8, V4, X2. [WMATA]

Despite School Closures, Eastern High School and Jefferson Middle School Will Serve Breakfast, Lunch Today — D.C. Public Schools and charter schools are closed today as the District works to clear snow-covered roads, but schools throughout the District, including Eastern High School at 1700 East Capitol St. NE and Jefferson Middle School Academy at 801 7th St. SW, will still serve breakfast and lunch for students and their families today. D.C. Public Schools is asking for volunteers to help put together meals between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. [WTOP]


Water Main Break Causes Overnight Water Outages on Capitol Hill — Houses near the intersection of A and 6th streets SE lost water for most of last night as DC Water repaired a broken water main near the intersection. [DC Water]

Trash Collection Cancelled for Monday, Tuesday — The District Department of Public Works announced that it will not be able to complete trash pickup today or tomorrow and is currently assessing its ability to collect trash for the rest of the week.


Capitol South Metro StationNeither Metro buses nor trains will run this weekend, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority CEO Paul Wiedefeld said at a press conference this afternoon.

Metro trains on all lines will shut down at 11 p.m. on Friday and not reopen until Monday morning. Buses will also not run over the weekend.

MetroAccess will suspend service at 6 p.m. tomorrow.


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Union Station Metro station (Photo via Wikimedia/thisisbossi)A 17-year-old boy was arrested in connection with an assault aboard a Red Line Metro train that left one man with a concussion and a broken jaw.

The attack happened between Union Station and the NoMa-Gallaudet University Metro station on a rush-hour Red Line train on Dec. 21. About 5:30 p.m., a group of youths attacked a man on the train after he refused to give them his bag.

Metro Transit Police said in a press release yesterday that a 17-year-old Southeast, D.C. resident was arrested earlier this month. The boy was stopped at the Gallery Place-Chinatown station on Jan. 9. At the time of his arrest, the boy was carrying a BB gun.

Transit Police did not release the name of the suspect because he is not yet 18. Earlier this month, Transit Police released photos of six youths they believed were connected to the assault.



Navy Yard Metro stationThe connector between two cars on a Green Line Metro train broke near Navy Yard this morning, causing the train to decouple and backing up service on the Green Line.

The separation happened just before 8:15 this morning, the Washington Post reported. The train stopped in the tunnel while the cars were recoupled. Once the train reached the Navy Yard station, it was emptied and passengers were placed on another train.

The malfunction caused brief delays on the Green Line, but service has returned to normal, according to a tweet from Metro.


M Street NE

New Year’s Eve celebrations have already begun around the Capitol Hill area and there’s no shortage of parties to choose from tonight. When the confetti clears, though, it’s shaping up to be a quiet first weekend of 2016 in the area, with few events planned for Saturday and Sunday.

Temperatures are expected to cool down gradually over the weekend, with temperatures in the low 50s today but remaining in the 40s for most of the weekend. We’ll be taking tomorrow off and will be back on Monday. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know to make the most of this New Year’s weekend in the Capitol Hill area.

How to Get Around Tonight

  • Between midnight and 3 a.m., all Metro trains and buses will be free for those with a SmarTrip card courtesy of a sponsorship with Miller Lite. Passengers can use their SmarTrip to enter and exit Metro stations, but will not be charged for the trip. On buses, riders can show their SmarTrip to the driver to board for free.
  • The Washington Regional Alcohol Program will pay for a free ride home (up to $30) from 10 p.m. tonight to 6 a.m. tomorrow. Those needing a ride can call 1-800-200-TAXI
  • The DC Circulator will run extended service until 2 a.m. tonight


Road Closures

Several roads will be closed Friday morning for the Fresh Start 5K walk/ run near Eastern High School:

  • East Capitol Street between 17th and 19th streets will be closed from 7:30-9:30 a.m.
  • East Capitol Street between 19th and 22nd streets will be closed from 8:45-10 a.m.
  • 19th Street SE between Independence Avenue SE to East Capitol Street will be closed from 8:45-9:30 a.m.
  • 22nd Street between C Street NE and Independence Avenue SE will be closed from 8:45-10 a.m.


  • On Friday, Metro trains will run from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. on a Sunday schedule
  • On Saturday from 6 p.m. until closing, Orange, Silver and Blue line trains will run every 24 minutes due to track work between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory stations
  • On Saturday and Sunday, Red Line trains will run between Shady Grove and Glenmont every 24 minutes and between Shady Grove and Silver Spring every 12 minutes from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.


  • Parking meters, residential parking and rush-hour lane restrictions will not be enforced on Friday, Jan. 1

Trash Collection

  • Friday trash collection will be pushed back to Saturday

Eastern Market Metro stationThe Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority announced today that it will soon begin work to replace all three escalators at the Waterfront Metro station in Southwest.

Construction will start at the station Jan. 18, according to a statement released today. The three elevators at the station’s entrance will be replaced one at a time and Metro expects the repairs to take slightly longer than two years.


Union Station Metro station (Photo via Wikimedia/thisisbossi)A man suffered a concussion and a broken jaw after being attacked by a group of youth while riding a Red Line Metro train between Union Station and NoMa-Gallaudet University, the Washington Post reported.

The attack happened about 5:30 p.m. as the train was between the station. According to witness accounts, a group of youth attacked the man on the train after he refused to give them his bag. The youth were able to evade police at the NoMa-Gallaudet Metro station and Metro police are currently investigating to track down the suspects.

According to another passenger who spoke to the Washington Post, the youth punched the man for about 30 seconds before he passed out. The victim’s wife said he received a concussion and a broken jaw in the attack.


Morning Rundown


Man Pleads Guilty to Making False Threats Against Metro — Jerez Nehemiah Stone-Coleman, also known as Kidd Cole, pleaded guilty on Friday to making bomb threats against Metro trains and buses from Dec. 2014 to May 2015, including threats that forced bus evacuations near the Potomac Avenue Metro station. [DCist]

Sally’s Middle Name Releases Tentative Designs for Second Floor, Patio — H Street Eatery Sally’s Middle Name has released tentative designs for a second-floor dining room and a patio that it plans to add. [District Cuisine]

Department of Public Works to Hold Live Chat Today on Winter Preparedness — Those unsure if their car or home is ready for winter can get answers to their questions during the D.C. Department of Public Works live online chat today from 12-1 p.m. [WJLA]


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