Dear PoPville – What’s Up with Rock Creek Parkway Construction?

“Dear PoP,

Can you get the scoop on the construction on Rock Creek Parkway? My normally hellish commute has become twice as hellish because of the construction on the south bond Rock Creek Parkway during the morning rush hour. What in the hell is the Park Service thinking doing construction during rush hour? Why not in the middle of the afternoon? Or at least way early in the morning? It seems that they do the construction between 8am and 10am during the week (correct me if I’m wrong but I only notice when I’m on it, which is every morning and evening and sometimes on the weekend).

Please find out. I called the park service and they said that the construction would go on for 18-20 more months. I don’t know what I’m going to do.

I enter Rock Creek parkway from 17th St NW in Mt Pleasant. They have been closing the right lane starting on Calvert St, causing a gigantic backup.

When I talked to someone at the Park service, (the superintendent maybe?) he stated that that they were replacing pipes and then installing handrails. (I don’t remember much of the conversation). He stated that in about a 18-20 months, Rock Creek will look “really really nice.”

In any case, I understand that they are just doing their job. But I just don’t understand why they have to do it during the morning rush hour commute, when closing that lane will cause the most headaches to people.

Why can’t they do this construction work when it’s not rush hour?”

Anyone know why construction has to take place during rush hour? Is it because it would be too difficult to remove/cover the areas under construction? Anyone else experience this back up?

160 Comment

  • Poor thing, it’s so hard driving downtown during rush hour. Looks like you’re going to have to slum it with the masses on Metro. My heart goes out to you.

    • Uh, everybody’s destination isn’t necessarily near a metro.

      • Seriously, most residential and work places in this area are not easily accessible via public transit.

        If I wanted to take public transit from my old place it would involve a bus, two metro lines, and a shuttle. Driving was the lesser of two evils, since it was faster, cheaper, and less of a hassle. Once I saved up enough money I moved to a place that’s a 30-minute walk from work, but not everyone has the luxury of structuring their life in such a convenient way.

      • and some of us have to go out to the sticks of northern VA, getting to which from NW is fastest via rock creek. well, it *was* fastest. total cluster – and this is the second time they’ve done such a project in the last few years.

        • +1. Anonymous @234p, there’s nothing in the original complaint about commuting to downtown. I used to take this route to Tysons and it’s now impassable after 8am.

          On the other hand it’s not so bad at 7:30. I guess that’s true of a lot of routes. But if you have to use it, a slight time shift may work out for you.

          Personally, although I’m all for “really nice” looking hand rails, I would prefer them to do the following:
          1. Fix the intersection of Beach and Rock Creek Parkway, possibly with some kind of roundabout, or anything that would improve the bottle neck.
          2. Definitely make a roundabout at Piney Branch and Beach Drive
          3. Consider closing the zoo to through traffic.

    • I knew I should have bet the under on when the first wanker would say you should take Metro. The avid cyclists will chime in by the time I hit submit. As someone who used to commute from Adams-Morgan to Rosslyn, I am a big fan of self-righteous morons who think I should spend 45 minutes walking/Metroing to work, or 30 minutes dodging cabs and rain on my bike as opposed to ten minutes driving. Feel free to use your same sweet arguments for why I should also Metro or take the bus to Silver Spring instead of driving 15 minutes up 16th street.

      • My old commute was either an hour and a half by public transit or 30 minutes of driving. I’m sorry, but I just don’t have the time to spend 3 hours commuting every day!

      • It’s a perfectly reasonable question–“What’s going on with the construction on Rock Creek Parkway?”

        I think this commenter took issue, and I’m inclined to agree, with the OP whining that the commute is “normally hellish”. It’s obviously not that hellish if the person continues to drive rather than metro/bus/bike to work.

        Hell is a packed bus trundling downtown in bumper to bumper commuter traffic on a hot rainy morning.

        • So you and 2:34 Anonymous know where the OP works?

        • “Hell is a packed bus trundling downtown in bumper to bumper commuter traffic on a hot rainy morning.”


          Add in somebody farting and perpetuity. Pretty much is my imagination of hell.

      • I’m willing to bet most of the self-righteous morons are single people with no kids who are willing to blow most of their income on rent so they can live near a metro station and happen to work downtown where it’s convenient to take the metro and insane to try to do anything else. When they decide to take a better job, or buy a house, or get married, their tune will surely change.

        • No one forced you to breed. Life is harder with baby baggage but we are the morons?

          • I don’t have kids. All I’m saying is, you’re living in a bubble if you honestly believe that everyone can and should arrange all the pieces of their life in such a way that they don’t have to drive to work. Typically as one’s responsibilites increase their ability to do this plummets.

          • It’s not all about babies, either. I have no kids, but I’d love to metro to work if I could and would do it without (too much) whining, but my work is nowhere near a metro. That’s it. Not possible. Let’s move on.

            I’d actually like to hear some answers to the actual question that was asked!

        • saf

          Um. OK, I don’t think I”m a self-righteous moron, and I am not one of the posters above. But…

          I am married, and have been for a while now. And I own a house.

          And we own one car and both commute by public transportation.

          (I work downtown, he’s out in VA. I ride the bus, he rides the train.)

          • The point is there’s not a one-size-fits all solution for everyone. I’m essentially married, my partner takes the metro downtown, and I walk to work. But in order to buy our place we had to save money by living in the suburbs, and there was really no sensible way to get to work from there other than driving.

          • saf

            OK, and my point was that those broad brushes don’t really cover well.

        • @ 2:59 Anonymous: You sound nice.

          • I was quoting the previous commenter. I don’t actually think you guys are morons (but self-righteous, certainly).

          • Fair enough on the quote. But your characterization is still way off base. You honestly don’t think there are married, professional homeowners living near Metro stations?

          • Yes and I am one of them. But like I said above, not eveyone can get all the pieces of the puzzle to fit perfectly into place.

      • You forgot the “If you don’t like it, move back to Ohio!” replies. 🙂

    • HA! Some of us WISH we could slum it with the masses on the Metro, but the Metro doesn’t go to where we work. In my field it’s tough finding a job that’s even in the District.

    • Chill dude, srsly.

    • Not everyone is an intern. Some of us have *real* jobs.

    • Some of us are forced to work way out in VA too.

      Agreed. It took me 40 mins to get out of the District this AM. Insane.

      • Agreed +1. I work in Crystal City and it took me 45 minutes to get to work on my bike because the wind was blowing really hard along the river.

  • I drive this route in the A.M. as well (getting on at the Zoo, jumping on Rt 66, then onto Rt 50 West) — just wanted to add that construction starts at approximately 7 am, earlier than the 8 am listed in the OP’s extremely justified email.

    This construction BLOWS.

  • ah

    Here’s the details on the construction site:

    Looks like the lane is closed all the time this week. It’s probably because moving all the cones and barriers and covering up the work temporarily is terribly inefficient.

    I lived through this on Ohio Drive last year. It becomes bearable as people change their routes. FWIW, I encounter no real added traffic south of Mass Ave.

    • Thanks for sharing that link! It says: “This work is expected to be complete by mid-May.”

      Maybe 18-20 months is an outdated/exaggerated timeframe?

      • I think that’s just the Phase 1/Phase 2 work on Cathedral and Shoreham Dr. The whole project is going to take 18-20 months (which probably means more like 2 years in reality).

    • I was going to post that link, too.

      The right lane was closed for, what, two weeks? And now they have the left lane closed, so I figure it’ll be for two weeks, too, and then things will mostly be back to normal. Cathedral and Shoreham Drive are supposed to switch sides pretty soon, but will both keep their current opening hours and directions, but it doesn’t sound like that is affecting the OP too much.

      If you’re coming from Mt. P, I would actually take Adams Mill into Adams Morgan, then Calvert across Connecticut, and left down Shoreham Dr. You just have to do this before about 9:30am, when they close Shoreham Dr southbound for the day. I took that route once last week and it was comparatively easy and stress-free. I checked for an identifiable car from the light at Adams Mill and Harvard and was about 6 cars ahead of it merging onto Rock Creek Parkway from Shoreham.

      • Thanks for the suggestion–I may start doing that. I’ve also been having a bitch of a time on Rock Creek Parkway. The NPS and the Zoo really are terrible neighbors when it comes to announcing and scheduling closures. The Zoo I can understand, but I really wish they’d put a sign outside the entrance saying “NO ACCESS TO ROCK CREEK PARKWAY” when they’re making all traffic turn right at the entrance as they were on Easter.

        • Sorry that the death and resurrection of Jesus inconveniences you.

        • John, when that zoo parking attendant tries to make you turn right after the bridge into the zoo, just ignore him and turn left anyway! That’s what I did. They don’t seem to get that even if all the parking spaces to the left are taken, many of us are simply trying to get through to Beach Drive. You’d think it would be obvious, but no…

          • Instead of ignoring them, you can also lower your window and say, “I’m heading to Rock Creek.” They’ll understand. Blowing by them and ignoring their gestures is just an asshat move.

  • It has impacts all the way up Beach Drive and up the branches that feed onto Beach Drive. I live on Arkansas Avenue, right where Piney Branch Parkway meets Arkansas. Prior to this year, traffic down Piney Branch and onto Beach Drive was bad for maybe 10-20 minutes at the height of the rush hour. This year, it backs up all the way to Arkansas Avenue often for 2 whole hours.

    • I agree. I live in the same area and what was once a 20 minute commute downtown is now around 40 minutes. Started happening towards the end of 2010 and has gotten progressively worse this year. It’s so bad, we are considering moving to the burbs. If we have to have a burb commute, might as well get good schools and lower taxes.

      • Yeah, but what was once a 40 minute commute downtown from the burbs is now an 80 minute commute. You’re screwed no matter what.

  • The daytime is the easiest time to do construction because there is sunlight.

  • For the last week they’ve been replacing the curb along rock creek. Fortunately I only take RCP home in the afternoon rush hour and can beat the 5pm-6:30pm rush hour traffic.

  • I am just trying to figure out what the OP is driving…so far I am thinking previous generation WRX…anyone? That intercooler scoop looks a little too narrow for a WRX…

  • By the way it is a PARKway run by the PARK service. It was never meant to be a major commuting route. Get over it and find another route.

    • If it wasn’t meant to be a major commuter route, they wouldn’t reverse the lanes during rush hour. And they’ve been doing this for a long time.

      Another way to bypass the worst of the construction mess is to get on via Waterside Drive, off Mass. Avenue.

    • parkways cannot be used for commuting?

    • “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

      In other words, before you get all snarky you might want to look at examples of parkways that are designed for high-speed travel and commuting, like the Taconic, Sprain Brook, or any of the roads designed during the Robert Moses era.

    • Guess you’ve never never heard of GW Parkway or BW Parkway either. Hahaha this is hilarious.

  • This is exactly why the Natl Park Service should not be in the business of owning or operating major roads, or at the very least, not be responsible for their repair/upkeep. DDOT should be doing this work on behalf of NPS.

    The natl park service does some things incredibly well, managing complicated infrastructure projects is not one of them. As someone who has worked with the NPS, their problem is that they don’t have anyone on staff with experience in things like this. They simply think you hire a road crew one day to start paving the next. They don’t think ahead, and don’t structure these projects by the critical path, meaning if there is a process that takes 12 months to complete (NEPA)before you can start digging into the groud, you don’t start it on the day you want the work to start, you start it 12 months before which in my experience, completely confused them.

    Maintenance of traffic, phasing…all of these concepts which any heavy highway or construction company would understand. They’ve been doing stormwater improvements now for almost 2 years. This latest “phase” of the work started last Nov and was supposed to last 18 months. If they are telling you it is supposed to last another 18-20 months from now, then they are really falling behind already.

    Warning…the NPS is also the manager of the Constitution Ave road reconstruction that just started. They said it would take 12 months, but I have a C note on a minimum of 18.

    My recommendation, either drive a different way or start going to work earlier to avoid the traffic.

    • Given how long it took to complete the humpback bridge, I’d consider a new job or a new house.

    • Or they could gate it like skyway drive and charge everyone who uses it to keep up the cost of work. It is a National Park true it is unique because it is in the middle of a city but it is a park nonetheless. If you want these projects to get done faster than tell your representatives to fund the park service so they are able to hire people to work on these projects. Rock Creek is severely underfunded for all the territory they cover (they are also responsible for smaller parks such as X, Bunker Hill, etc).

  • Anything that slows traffic on the RCP is fine with me.

    Rock Creep is a National Park, not a commuter through-way. In my opinion, it should be car-free all the time. I actually commute on it sometimes, and find it wildly convenient, but I really do wish it could become fully car-free north of the zoo, and not just on weekends at Beach and Broad Branch.

    • Oh, get over yourself. It was built (verbatim from its description in the National Charter)and is the best-preserved examples of the earliest stage of motor parkway development.

      Get it…MOTOR parkway development. What…did you think they would go to the expense back in the 1930’s to build a 4 lane road for horse drawn carriages and dog walkers?

      If all of you chronic car haters want to be technical about it, it wasn’t built with bikes in mind at all, yet I doubt any of you will agree to keep off it will you? Didn’t think so.

      • I’m actually generally fine with cars being on it during rush hour. I just go nuts when people use it as a motor speedway in the middle of the day or on weekends. It depresses me when I’m hiking or bird-watching on a Sunday morning, and some douche from Maryland without mufflers goes blazing by at 45mph, blasting music, honking at people driving the speed limit and enjoying the sounds of the stream.

        The real issue, though, is that DC’s commuter roads are woefully inadequate, as is the Metro.

        • Rock Creek Park is almost 3,000 acres in size. Perhaps you should do your nature watching more than 100 yards away from the one road (happens to be 4 lanes)that runs through half of it.

          If it was built for half blind Sunday drivers to occasionally meander on, it would have been two lanes with a 15 mph speed limit. It wasn’t.

          • Perhaps you should move.

            I will continue to meander in front of you at 5mph while I take pictures of the eagles and woodpeckers.

          • Thats fine..There are 4 lanes. I’ll just pass you and laugh at the guy driving 5 mph down a 4 lane road “nature” watching because he thinks taking pics from the middle of a 4 lane rd that carries 29K vehicles per day is “nature” watching.

            Let me guess…you think pitching a tent in your backyard 10′ from your house is “camping”?

        • First you say it should be car-free, then you say cars are OK, you just don’t like the fast ones. From Maryland. Playing loud music. On Sundays.

          You sound like you’re trying to play both sides of the fence.

        • …would the loud mufflers bother you less if they were on a car from Ontario? or Washington DC? Just wondering. I’m from maryland originally, and one thing I cant stand are recent transplants from DC telling me how they are somehow more entitled to drive on DC streets than I am.

        • When you’re hiking or bird watching? Try moving out of the city if you don’t want to share.

      • Get it…MOTOR parkway development. What…did you think they would go to the expense back in the 1930′s to build a 4 lane road for horse drawn carriages and dog walkers?

        Exactly the point. It was built for 1930s volume traffic.

    • What a wonderful idea. Why don’t you pitch it to the thousands of people who live in the neighborhoods that border the park? I’m sure they’d love your suggestion that their neighborhoods can handle the massive, neighborhood-killing influx of traffic your idea would create.

    • bob is a douche

    • ah

      Whatever it may have been conceived of, it’s not any longer.

      If someone had insisted it be kept as some sort of meandering national parks road then you would have had an alternative built to take the traffic.

  • I also drive this route to work everyday. Like one of the posters, I take RCP because I save tons of time. My drive is 20 minutes. Were I to take the metro, the commute would be 60 minutes. The construction on RCP has been a HUGE pain. About five years ago, they did some work closer to the P Street exit, and that was equally as hellish. I think a perfectly reasonable question is why, in the mornings, don’t they open the two lanes that are normally northbound in between the Conn Ave exit and the Mass Ave exit? If you make one of those lanes a southband, and have all the traffic coming off beach drive just go straight and let all the Shoreham Drive take the normal southbound lane, it would do wonders…

  • I hate to give away my secret, but I go down this way from Cleveland Park every day and I’ve just started getting on the parkway at mass ave instead of porter. Completely bypasses all the construction and it only adds maybe 5 minutes (at the most) to my commute.

    And also, as was stated by another commenter, almost anyone in engineering/science gets stuck working in Tysons Corner or Reston. Taking public transit out there is probably the least fun thing I’ve ever attempted.

    • There is a science/engineering employer IN DC that employs thousands.

      • There are 100,000’s of thousands of engineers and scientists in the area.

      • Yeah, and employs tens of thousands more outside the district…so what was your point again?

        • “almost anyone in engineering/science gets stuck working in Tysons Corner or Reston”

          • SouthwestDC

            I was lucky to get a job supporting the Navy in SE DC, but it was literally the only one out of of hundreds I applied for that wasn’t in Virginia or Maryland.

            That said, engineers do seem to have a penchant for wanting to live in the suburbs (all my coworkers and fellow grad students do) so I guess it makes sense that that’s where the jobs are.

          • that has nothing to do with it. it’s more that engineering firms often need space for labs, production facilities, test facilities, etc. real estate for that in city confines isn’t usually very affordable, so they set up shop somewhere where real estate is plentiful and cheap. it just so happens that the sprawling DC burbs have built up around those spots now.

          • You applied for HUNDREDS of jobs? You must have a great resume.

          • I work with dozens of scientists and engineers in DC. Of course we are picky about who we hire.

          • SouthwestDC

            Most engineering jobs in the DC area are more service-oriented so they don’t require things like test facilities and labs– you just need a room full of cubes.

            And yes, I did apply for hundreds of jobs. Even with an engineering degree the job market’s tough.

      • I would love if my employer was in DC, but unfortunately it’s not and I like my job… so I’m stuck driving until the silver line is done.

  • I’m the original poster. My work is in Dulles. If I take public transportation, it would take me at least three hours to get to work.

    You holier than thou cyclists can go to hell.

    • I don’t think I’ve seen a single cyclist post on here; it seems to mostly be Metro enthusiasts.

      It sounds like it takes you 2 hours to get to work in your car, and 3 hours by mass transit. Maybe you should move? Sounds pretty miserable, and it’s obviously making you into a bitter, sad person.

      • it takes about 35 minutes of relatively traffic-less driving to get to Tysons Corner from many parts of DC at rush hour, so I would guess it probably takes in the 50 minute range to Dulles. Definitely nowhere near 2 hours.

      • no, I’m actually quite happy.

        I’m only pissed off at all the assholes here on PoP who are so judgmental about other people’s lifestyles. Sorry, you don’t know me and you will likely never know me. You have no absolutely no right to tell me what I do with my life. If you care to be helpful, be helpful. If not, then shut the hell up.

        It’s a 45 minute commute normally by car, and over 3 hours by mass transit because to get to Dulles by public transportation takes the following:
        a. bus to metro
        b. metro to bus
        c. bus to dulles
        d. another bus to wherever I work

        Yeah, that’s over 3 hours. Believe me, I’ve done it when I’ve lent my car to people or my car broke down.

        I can’t exactly move because I bought my house, with RCP in my mind.

        • wow, I was remarkably close on the estimated commute time!

        • I stand by my assessment that you sound like a miserable person, and I am glad that I will never meet you.

          I could have told you that buying a house with the idea of driving daily through Rock Creek would have been a terrible terrible terrible idea. Just look at the bridge collapse near Davenport. That’s not getting fixed for at least a year.

          • RCP is probably the most reliable commuter route in DC and it dumps into the reverse commute directions of most of the highways into NOVA. On an average day it moves pretty quickly with very little backup. My commute from DC to tysons is way quicker than most people that work further into Loudon, county (for example) even though it’s a slightly further distance.

          • What would be a more reliable commuter route then? By your logic, I don’t think there is a single area in the metro region that would fit the bill. RCP was about as reliable as it gets- at least for the past 5 years for me- until a few months ago.

        • By the way, can you post your home address and destination address, so some of us helpful posters can hand deliver some alternate route suggestions?

        • “no, I’m actually quite happy.

          I’m only pissed off at all the assholes ”

          So you write to PoP, but you don’t want us to suggest anything?

          Sounds like you are Bi – Winning too…

        • You do come across as a very angry person in this and your earlier post.

          And we do have the right to tell you how to live your life. Just as you have the right to ignore us. Welcome to America baby!

    • “You holier than thou cyclists can go to hell.”

      I am one of these cyclists, and I loved this comment.

  • The construction is killing my commute too. I wish they could do it after rush hour.

  • I take the bus to work & I’m very grateful that I can do so fairly easily. Most of the people I know who drive do so because the transit options are at least 2x the hassle and time. But if the options were more reasonable, they would prefer to take transit and not have to deal with traffic stress, be able to read during the commute, or grab a beer after work. I actually feel like it’s something of a luxury to have good transit options for commuting, not the other way around.

    As an aside, I think this is one of the negative effects of the Height Limit – that jobs are pushed out to Tysons when many people would prefer to work in the District.

    • I’m sure the middle managers also love working at Dulles since they can “only” drive in 30 minutes from their $400K McMansion in Loudon County. These are the same people who haven’t been to DC since 1985.

  • Here’s the scoop:

    Shouldn’t last too much longer.

  • Here’s the scoop:

    Shouldn’t last much longer into May.

  • I suffer from the same deal.. I end up driving to Dupont and then entering the parkway from P St., saves me the hassle of being stuck in the construction traffic.

    And yes, people here on this website are way too judgemental. They work at low paying jobs, many times as interns, barely make ends meet, yet spend all their money at bars and sometimes on drugs, then ask stupid questions about what to do during furlough. Threaten people with cars that they will scratch them, disrespect people with family or ones who own cars. And its perfectly fine for them to yell and scream loudly when drunk, but when a sober black woman screams about something, that becomes totally unacceptable to them and they call them animals.

    • Comment of the year!

    • I must have missed something… screaming black women?

    • +100 – Well done.

    • I think we can agree people screaming their head off in the city– whether it’s the LNS douchebag, the overly PBR’d hipster, or the “sober black woman” screaming threats at her kids– are all acting like animals and should STFU.

      • Including out of control children (babies are ok only because they don’t know any better).

        The world would be better off without unnecessary screaming (also, it would help us identify when someone is being attacked).

    • I like how you criticize and say, “people here on this website are way too judgemental.”

      ….then proceed to judge the hell out of everybody.


      • Man, Another guy named Chris is just KILLIN it on this thread. You got 2 chuckles out of me so far. Keep up the good work.

    • +100. Love this post. Are there actually any interns who read POP? I have a hard time imagining some hard-up sophomore from Stanford being curious about the zoning regulations on roof decks, street sweeping, whether the Safeway will be renovated in the next ten years, and all the other crap real residents love to gripe about but nobody else cares about.

    • Gee, you sound pretty judgemental yourself.

  • My understanding is that once the construction is finished they will convert all of the Parkway to hike and bike lanes – SWEET!! No more cars in the park!

  • Though it may be inconvenient for commuters, road construction tends to start early morning… all over the country. No amount of complaining will change the fact that the construction starts early, best to figure out a different route to work for the duration.

    • Yes, but often the construction will be paused during rush hour to allow commuters to pass through. I work near the 11th Street bridge and they don’t start up the construction until 9:30am.

    • In my experience, road construction is normally done at times that pose the least inconvenience to people. Say 4am-6am, not 7am-9am, or sometimes even late at night.

  • Forget about public transit vs. driving. What about the nonsensical belief that they only do construction during rush hour? Or that they can simply pack up everything at night and roll it all back out in the morning? It’s a ROAD. It takes weeks-to-months to rehab one. Deal with it.

    • you never drive RCP.

      They DO pack up everything at night and put it away. All the heavy machinery goes away, and the workers move the cones off the road.

      Also, they have not been doing construction during the weekends.

  • Hello – Ever hear of a little thing called OT!

    Pick another route. Commuter over the years have wreaked RCP.

    Its time to fix your mess.

  • Alternate ways to get to VA-

    1. Take the inner roads and cross the chain bridge to get to Mclean/Tysons – Takes about the same time with the current construction going on. Beware of the traffic cop sitting on Arizona Ave.

    2. P St. Entrance to the Rock Creek parkway through Dupont

    3. Avoid Rock Creek Parkway altogether and just go straight on to GW via Key Bridge (Gtown traffic sucks, so this is probably worse than the construction traffic)

  • As someone who leaves adjacent to RCP, all I can say is too f’ing bad. The park was never intended to be a commuting artery. It’s deplorable that the Park Service widened the Parkway south of Cathedral years ago. Yes, it sucks to drive from NW through the city to NoVa during rush hour. Guess what, you live in NW, and there are tradeoffs. Deal with it or move to Ballston.

    • I will deal with it. I guess I can instead drive through your neighborhood. I don’t normally blast music, but for you, I’ll make an exception.

    • Actually according to Historic American Buildings Survey “By the time the parkway was completed, the rising popularity of the automobile and rapid suburban growth transformed it into a major commuter route.” That means that since 1936 the Parkway has been a commuting artery.

      • When the Parkway was completed the METRO area population was 575,000. So really how traveled was it???

    • Tradeoffs for other people but not for you? Have YOU thought about moving?

  • bicycle, bicycle, BICYCLE!

    ok i’m done.

  • Who cares? What’s your point? How traveled was any other street in DC in the 30s

  • Construction is noisy, and at night requires big lights. And noisy generators for those lights. I’m sure that, as a result, this work is limited to daylight hours, given that it’s in the middle of a park, complete with wildlife.

    For the OP, I recommend a book on CD, some zen music, NPR or maybe even some poetry? This is the prettiest place in DC to get stuck in traffic, so leave early, exhale and count it towards meditation time. You are surrounded by a beautiful spring unfolding, no point in raising your blood pressure.

    • Haha, I think you need to share whatever you’re taking with the rest of the people on this thread. You sound like the most relaxed person in this town full of stressed-out, uptight people.

    • I think one of the things that sucks for most people stuck in traffic is the inability to feel like you’re doing anything constructive. At least on mass transit, you can read. If you cycle to work, at least you feel like you’re getting some exercise in.

      Driving is just a huge time sink. Maybe you can get in some necessary phone calls or listen to a book on tape, but it always feels sad and isolating. I think this is why some people actually enjoy car-pooling for the human interaction.

      But, whenever I have to drive for work and get stuck in my car for more than 30 minutes, I think about how fat and depressed people must get if it’s what they do every day for 20-40 years.

      I had a friend in LA who always got stuck in traffic for 45+ minutes each way, and he would recline the seat and do sit ups the whole time.

      • Man, if did situps everytime I got stuck in traffic I’d have abs of steel! I’ve definitely seen people try to read or knit while sitting there. I just make sure to have some interesting podcasts lined up (unfortunately I always run out by Wednesday).

        • I’ve definitely made use of the local library, checking out tons of books on CD. Unfortunately, many of them are so boring to listen to.

          Also totally worth paying for XM or Sirius to have better listening options.

          Makes me think of Sly Stallone’s workouts in his trck in “Over the Top”:

  • Also, this used to be my commute. I miss it. 🙂

  • Ok, having looked quickly at this, here is my summary:

    – Some people like to drive on RCP to/from work, and some people think you shouldn’t be allowed to drive on RCP.
    – RCP used to be a faster way to travel in the 1930s when it was built for 1930s traffic. Now, being the 21st century, it is woefully inadequate.
    – Some people enjoy walking and cycling in RCP and don’t understand the fuss.
    – Some people work in NOVA and for some idiotic reason, live in NW DC or Maryland and use RCP to get to work faster because mass transit takes too long. Again, the fact that they purchased a home so far from work is moronic, but so be it.
    – RCP is a National Park, and thus, it is maintained by people who don’t understand traffic flow and rush hour needs.
    – The OP is obviously an idiot.

    Did I miss anything?

    • I was with you until this line:

      “Again, the fact that they purchased a home so far from work is moronic, but so be it.”

      There are many reasonable explanations why someone may not live very close to work: children/schools, job change, spouse employer location, job site change, etc.

      Or maybe just a single thirtysomething with a real job in VA trying to hang on to their twenties by living a block from wonderland.

  • Wow, there are some really mean, nasty, judgmental a-holes here! Some of you make me want to move back to Ohio, and I’ve lived my whole life in DC!!!

    • How can you move “back” to Ohio if you’ve been in DC your whole life? Do you mean your life > 22 years? Is “Ohio” a euphemism for pre-DC life, like some sort of Midwestern Xanadu?

      • … yes, because generally when someone complains about something in DC, helpful PoP commentators like to tell them to go back to Ohio or Nebraska. Clearly an excellent way to address and solve problems.

      • Snack attack- you are an idiot. Ever hear of irony? The poster was being what is generally known as facetious. Look it up.

  • “Some people work in NOVA and for some idiotic reason, live in NW DC or Maryland and use RCP to get to work faster because mass transit takes too long. Again, the fact that they purchased a home so far from work is moronic, but so be it.”

    Again, as has already been pointed out, not everyone in the DC metro region is a footloose and fancy-free single intern. A lot of people have a spouse/partner, who also works, and whose workplace is nowhere near their workplace. Like one person works in Tysons and the other works in Dupont. Or Montgomery County. So they compromise and live near one workplace or somewhere in between.

    • I also forgot to mention the whole intern/non-intern sub-thread in my summary.

      Apparently, there is a huge subset of interns in DC that have no money buy buy lots of drugs. And, then there are all of the people, who feel that they have important jobs and may or may not have children. These professionals also feel that driving around a lot means they’re important.

      I really need to put together a Venn diagram for this whole thread, but the relationship generally seems to be:

      hipster <= PBR-drinker <= unpaid intern <= paid intern <= cyclist <= nature enthusiast <= parents <= engineer <= Maryland drivers <= mass transit enthusiasts <= professionals <= people stuck in traffic on RCP

      This is likely wrong, but I really need to draw some bubbles and fill it in. Of course, this would mean taking time from my super-important research job, for which I need a PhD because like so many posters here, I have an inflated sense of self-importance. Unlike others, though, it doesn't take me 3 hours to get to work, despite being a parent.

    • Or they could have changed jobs. It isn’t always possible to change houses every time you change jobs, but apparently all the commentators on here are majik.

    • WTF is a footloose? Are you eleventy-seven years old?

  • Why does a simple question about what’s going on in the city always end up being a referendum on people’s choices. Honestly, I don’t know if this is a DC thing or an internet thing (both?), but it’s childish and stupid. There I said it.

  • You should driving in on 50/New York Avenue. That would shut up all the RCP construction complaints.

    There are people worse off then you.

  • I take the parkway because I live in upper NW not near a metro and work in another area of NW not near a metro. The bus is OK, but my bus only runs during rush hour. The commute is normally 10 minutes, 20-30 in normal rush hour traffic, and now upwards of over an hour. For people who have to be at work at a normal hour, but can’t take the bus home during rush hour, it’s been a real, real problem. I hope they resolve this soon!

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