Potential Traffic Delays around the Key Bridge and McPherson Square Tonight

Photo by PoPville flickr user thisisbossi

From a DDOT press release:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) would like to advise the public about the possibility of traffic delays during the evening rush hour tomorrow.

Occupy DC has announced that on Thursday, November 17, 2011, between the hours of 2:30 PM and continuing through the evening rush hour, they plan to conduct a demonstration/march between the Key Bridge and McPherson Square.

Because any demonstration within Washington, DC always presents the possibility of causing traffic delays, the Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Police Department urge motorists to be aware of the possibility of heavy pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic between the Key Bridge, McPherson Square, and surrounding areas. We further encourage motorists to avoid the areas described and use alternate methods of transportation if possible. Additionally, motorists and pedestrians traveling in these areas should use extreme caution.”

118 Comment

  • Over the past couple of weeks this movement has lost my support.

    • it never had my support.

    • Funny, it’s gained mine. When it was just a cacophony of loud noises (okay still a good dose of that) it didn’t have my support. But since its coalesced around the idea of income inequality and begun to make people wonder how things got this way, I’m all for it.
      Just curious, but what did you like before that has so changed?

  • Occupy Petworth!

  • Endear the public to your cause by disallowing them from getting home in a reasonable amount of time. That’s an interesting strategy.

    • You know that the protestors are part of “the public,” right?

      • Sure…but they are probably about 1/10th of 1 percent of the public. This is not what democracy looks like. this is what anarchist hostage taking looks like.

        glam cause.

        time to move on.

        • Yeah, nonviolent protests have never helped our democracy. I am glad those anarchist hostage takers crying about “Civil Rights” finally shut up. Don’t even get me started on the women and gays…

          • Those civil rights activists actually protested by breaking the laws they opposed (ie, sit ins at the white-only counter, riding in the front of the bus, etc.) Unless Occupy DC opposes walking on the sidewalk, this is different. If you want people to support your cause, don’t a)be obscure about your demands and b) piss them off.

          • If the Occupy “protesters” ever develop and articulate a concrete and viable cause they are fighting for, like those who fought and continue to fight for racial, gender, and sexual equality, then I will recognize that they are champions of improving our republic. Until then, however, they are indeed nothing more than a “glam cause,” as Realtor put it.

          • They are getting there. Majority seem to be opposing income inequality in this country, whether you are agree or not, they have been sharpening their demands lately.

          • The complaint that they have “no clear demands” or whatever is a total cop out. Just admit that you are rich and just don’t like them. There are various groups of people with many different “demands,” but all the same grievances. Protesters don’t write policies. Right now they are drawing attention to and demanding change from the existing policies that grant corporations more rights than people, that don’t limit the amount that corporations can pour into elections, and that cut taxes for the super rich while leading to mass layoffs for middle and working class people.

          • Please.

            Hippies had “End the Vietnam War”
            African Americans had “End segregation”
            Women had “Equal rights for women outside of the home”

            Occupy movement has “End Capitalism.” Ok.

          • In addition to articulating clear demands, which have not been forthcoming from this group, they must also have a clear plan that they will follow in to implement their grievances. And blocking traffic doesn’t count.

          • Meg, just because you say something doesn’t mean it’s true. Some of the people involved are communists or socialists, but not all of them and that’s not what the movement is about. The grievances are about deregulation allowing capitalism to go out of control and allowing the vast majority of the power/capital to end up in the hands of very very few. Furthermore, you brush off “end capitalism” like it would be ridiculous or not worthy of being voiced. It is not.

          • I have heard:

            “End corporate greed”
            “Legalize marijuana”
            “End capitalism”
            “Give more jobs”

            I mean really, pick one and go with it. The fact that they don’t even really know what they want (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45260610/ns/us_news-life/) or at least don’t want to share it says that they’re a lost cause.

          • Nice ad homimen attack there, Anonymous. I assure you as a single man who supports his father who lost his job and carries a significant student loan debt, I am far from rich.

            Nor do I “dislike” the protesters. I agree that the system currently hammers the middle class and lower class disproportionately. And if the Occupy movement made this point, along with others, peacefully and with some well-articulated and realisitc ideas on how to solve it, I would applaud them.

            But what I see is a movement that is not entirely peaceful, that defiles public land paid for by taxpayers like me, and lacks any clear, plausible solution to the litany of grievences it airs. All of which were lacking from the successful movements of the 1910s and 1960s.

        • + a million,,realtor!

          • Shocking that “Realtor” would oppose creating income equality. – a million

            And now I hate myself just a bit more for engaging with this pissing contest.

      • I think technically we’re all part of “the public” right? By definition.

      • yeah,1 % of the public,indeed.

    • its called anarchy.

      • No, it’s not.

        • Meg: I saw multiple people on the camp grounds yesterday wearing clothing with big spray painted A’s with a circle around them. That stands for anarchy, I believe.

          These occupy people, by and large, are serial protestors. This is what they choose to do with their time.

          As I said before, this is the latest glam cause.

          Sorry, but it is time to move on. The real 99% are getting tired of seeing our parks turned into tent cities and our tax dollars being spent on police supervision and DPW clean up.

          • There is a difference between members of anarchist groups supporting occupy and the movement being/calling for anarchy. I’ve also seen people down there with Gap T-shirts, but I don’t think the movement is on behalf of Gap, Inc.

          • True, possibly. BUT their presence suggests that serial protestors are being attracted to the camp out.

          • It’s fun to paint others with really broad strokes as you can turn them into anything you want and then dismiss them based on your own assumptions! Let me try!

            It is not surprising to see you are a Realtor™, they are all crooks who provide no real service to society beyond shuffling paperwork. Why listen to someone with an education that required nothing more than 3 weeks of night classes.

            WWWWWEEEEEeeeeeeeee! This is fun.

          • Dear hmm,

            Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it.



          • Serial Protestors must be kind of like Serial Bloggers/complainers…


          • Dear Realtor™

            Try and understand something before you dismiss it based on your own ignorance. Matt Taibbi wrote a decent peace about OWS recently which you can read. Or better yet, check out Naked Capitalism (one of the top financial blogs out there). You’re obviously not busy.



    • Gotta get back to the suburbs!

  • Free camping gear, food, books, and laptops in Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square today starting at 2:30pm!

  • yeah I think that DC convention center debacle was the turning point for me. They were being downright aggressive and looking to pick a fight that night, IMO. And using your toddlers has human barricades, seriously?
    I just wonder how different it would be if instead of middle class young protesters camping out and pitching tents, it was actual homeless people setting up a tent city at McPherson square. I think the park police would have cleared the place a long time ago.

    • I feel sorry for the ducks of McPherson square and that pretty green grass. I hope the ducks have found a new, cleaner home.

  • Any support I had for their right to protest (which I support) is withdrawn the minute that their “right to free speech” impinges upon the quality of life for others living and working in our city. We are supposed to be sharing this space, not making it difficult for each other.

    The very fact that they want people to sit in traffic in order to get their message tells me that they do not give a damn about those around them.

    • What about the “quality of life” of people on the bottom of the ever-increasing wealth gap? Can’t blame them for not caring that someone might have to spend 5 extra minutes in their Lexus tonight after work. Jesus.

      • And all the minimum age employees who work at the retail and restaurants in that area…

      • If you want people to rally around you, you bring cookies. You don’t take a dump on them.

      • Actually, I can blame them for not caring. It’s so incredibly short sighted and self-centered to think this is only going to affect rich people in luxury vehicles.

        Stunts like this affect everyone, down to those of us who don’t make a lot and have other obligations – like getting to a second job or picking up their child from day-care. A small business owner has already posted on the Occupy website that the march will have a negative affect on her business.

      • for real right? Why should they care about the woman on the bus stuck in traffic who is just getting of her first job cleaning rooms at the hotel to go work at her second job cleaning hospital rooms. Yeah, she can wait too while these “protesters” do their thing…

        • I will guarantee you they care about that woman on the bus a fuck of a lot more than anyone else

          • Good, so then she can get fired from her job because of them? I’m sure she’ll appreciate it.

          • I’m sure she’ll remember that when she gets fired for being unable to get to work. But it’s OK! What’s an extra few hours in traffic for “JUSTICE!!!!!”?

            Oh. Right.

          • That cleaning woman you are so worried about is far more likely to get fired for taking a sick day than for being late because she was unable to get to work as a result of protests shutting down traffic.

            Personally, I think these protests are getting old and going nowhere without some formal political agenda. But the idea that protesting should be done in a way that doesn’t inconvenience anyone is just stupid.

          • That’s ridiculous. There a million things that back up traffic. Should we assume that Obama doesn’t care about the woman on the bus because his motorcade backs up traffic? Or the marines because their marathon closes roads and causes detours? Or bikers who slow down the right lane and block the bus from the bust stop? Or any parade?

        • As long as we are making up stuff that could happen, I say because of the protests, she walks home, stops to buy a soda and a lottery ticket. She wins! Wow. This is fun. I can make up fake situations to support myself too.

          You do know that the protestors are fighting for that make-believe woman, right? The reason she has to work two jobs is the growing income inequality in this country where the average salary has been stagnant if not declining. The average salary increase last year was like 0.5%. Below inflation. While the average CEOs salary increased 23%.

          Please read:


          • We were merely making the point that this sort of behavior does not only affect the wealthy, and to think that is the case is short sighted.

            To place one agenda on top of others is unbearably self-righteous.

            DELIBERATELY doing something to block traffic in the HOPES that it will create havoc is the problem.

          • agree Trixie.

            I understand what they’re fighting for and agree with it. Heck, I even supported them at first. But as the days go by my support for them is slowly waning.
            These traffic stopping hi-jinks or dropping a deuce on a cop car will not get the sympathy of the majority of the 99%. I guarantee you this hypothetical cleaning lady on the bus will not be saying “thank you OWS for looking out for me”, she’ll most likely be thinking that these idiots are going to make me be late for work…

          • The agenda of OWS has been by and large that they are tired of the status quo, which means several different things to each of the voices that make up the protest as a whole. By and large, however, a consensus has been forming that is focusing on economic inequality (hence the “We are 99%”). All you have to do is look it up on Wikipedia to see what they are about.
            And I find it unbearably self-righteous to make up a story about a poor woman that works two jobs and will get fired because the protests don’t care (but you do!) when the protestors are actually fighting the kind of inequality that she faces.
            The rate of inequality and corruption has been increasing drastically in my (and your) life time. If we as a society continue on this path than protests that cause traffic jams will be the least of our problems.

          • How is the act of walking to the Key Bridge at rush hour fighting the “inequality” that she faces?

          • I’m certainly not trying to silence anyone – I just don’t understand why it has to be done in a manner that inconveniences the greater population of the city when they already have an audience and a base front and center in McPherson Square.

          • Trixie, at what point has anyone said they are “deliberately” blocking traffic?

          • Nowhere in their press releases where they stating that they wanted to block traffic, in fact they declared that they would not do that by staying on the pedestrian sidewalk and being off the bridge by 6. They do not have HOPES that it will create havoc.

            And I was wrong about the main purpose behind the walk, it was to bring attention to the need for infrastructure spending.

          • Any time someone plans a march through Georgetown at rush hour, it is very clear that they are intending to make a spectacle. Anytime there is a spectacle in DC, traffic is a nightmare. Ergo – planning a march from downtown to Georgetown at rush hour = a plan to block traffic and wreak havoc.

          • Well apparently they did leave the bridge by 4:25 without incident:


            So they were not trying to destroy the quality of your life and the poor lady can now get to her second job to clean toilets. Or was that her first job? And speaking of her, why did you put inequality in quotes? You don’t think it exists? And now that they are not a major inconvenience to you, are you going to go back supporting them?

          • “Inequality” was in quotes because I was – duh – quoting you.

          • Right, and by quoting him rather than just using the word you imply that you don’t believe it.

          • I quoted “inequality” because I wasn’t discussing the inequality. I was, however, saying that not everyone has the luxury of time, and it’s presumptuous to assume that they do.

          • Albeit, a simple answer to my question would have also been helpful, instead of the whining about quotes.

          • Well I did answer in that the protest on the bridge was more the need to update infrastructure then a direct call to the inequality. But they are part of the same theme.

            Walking across a bridge that is a major artery (so much so that that the mere possibility of it being backed up pissed a lot of people off) is a great way to drive the point that our roads/ bridges and other transportation services could be updated. Investing in infrastructure is asking the gov’t to create jobs (and improve our quality of life) directly rather than what their failed policy of bailing out the large investments banks (that caused the financial crisis) while also providing tax loopholes to corporations in hopes that that spurs employment.

            Instead these companies have just sat on the money that was given to them at super low rates with no strings attached or regulations to stop another crisis down the road all while increasing the upper managements pay 23% last year vs the meager bump in salary the average person saw.

            But you know, they almost caused you to get home late, so screw them. I really can’t believe that you supported them until you heard that they might back up traffic. You’re all for a cause as long as you don’t have to inconvenienced.

          • What I said was (look! quotes! because I’m quoting!):

            “Any support I had for their right to protest (which I support) is withdrawn the minute that their “right to free speech” impinges upon the quality of life for others living and working in our city.”

            That is NOT the same thing as I supported the movement until now – in the future, it would behoove you to like, read for comprehension. I only said that I supported their RIGHT to protest.

            Please, if you’re going to try to have a discussion, please focus on what was actually said and not the things that you imagine were said.

          • Fine. You only “supported” their right until it potentially inconvenienced you, which it didn’t and that wasn’t their goal. So I suggest you take your own advice focus on what was actually said by the protesters rather than accuse them of “DELIBERATELY doing something to block traffic in the HOPES that it will create havoc”

            That was a complete misrepresentation that was imagined up by you.

            It really just amazes me that people were more upset about a potential traffic jam (that all in all would probably have been no worse than a fender bender had it occurred) then they are about high unemployment, a huge gap in inequality, corporations lobbying for tax loopholes, a under-regulated financial sector that drove the economy over the edge got bailed out and hasn’t stopped taking the kind of risky bets that caused the crisis, and a tone-deaf government.

          • “So I suggest you take your own advice focus on what was actually said by the protesters rather than accuse them of “DELIBERATELY doing something to block traffic in the HOPES that it will create havoc”

            Well, that’s exactly what they did, no? A spade is a spade. That wasn’t a misrepresentation or my imagination, it’s the simple fact that any time you create a spectacle on the streets of Washington, it makes a mess out of traffic. If you’ve lived here for more than 24 hours, that is pretty obvious.

            I support their right to protest until it gets in the way of other people’s rights to live and work here. I have no idea why that is so completely upsetting for you, but I think I’ve been fairly clear. In regards to their cause, I’ve seen better messages stated much more eloquently and I am not obligated to agree with them or to listen – and before you start whining about that, and how I should and how it’s my civic duty or some other nonsense, I assure you, I have done my due-dilligence.

            Also? How do you know it didn’t inconvenience me? ARE YOU SPYING ON ME?


          • Although I will say that press releases full of run on sentences in an attempt to REFUTE!!!! do make for some fun light reading.

          • Again, their goal, or “HOPES,” were not to cause havoc (just like the goal of runners are not to cause havoc to Sunday shoppers and church goers when they run the Marine Corps Marathon). All news reports last night and this morning stated that it was peaceful, caused no interruptions and they were of the sidewalks of the bridge by 4:30. And yes, it bothers me that people care more about a potential and temporary traffic jam than about the long term effects of the current socio-economic situation. I have doubts you have spent an equal amount of time online arguing over “inequality” than you have here about the non-existent traffic jam.

            And I would never spy on you, this has been more energy than I care to put towards someone that uses the word “behoove.”

          • Yet, you’re still sitting here, posting.


            “And yes, it bothers me that people care more about a potential and temporary traffic jam than about the long term effects of the current socio-economic situation. I have doubts you have spent an equal amount of time online arguing over “inequality” than you have here about the non-existent traffic jam.”

            is more hyperbolic assumptions. There are plenty of folks that care about the current socio-economic situation who don’t like the protests. Some of us are even working to enact change through forums other than signs, marching or having a camp out.

            It is entirely possible to disagree with their methods and still have an thoughtful opinion on the situation. This is not an EITHER/OR scenario.

            And again, unless you’re spying on me, you have no idea what I do or don’t do. It’s getting kind of creepy.

  • Good for them. I’m all for the delicious schadenfreude that occurs every night when I leave my office and see all of these hapless people stuck in traffic honking their horns and blocking the boxes and crosswalks to get back to the burbs and sleep before they have to get back up to get stuck in more traffic.

    • I never feel bad for people stuck in DC traffic. One reason is that I’ve almost been hit several times on my walk to or from work because many drivers find that shortening their drive time by 3 1/2 minutes and driving recklessly is more important than my life.

      Another reason is that despite everyone’s complaints, DC has an incredible public transit system. I’m not going to feel bad for you sitting in traffic when you could be on the metro or on a bus.

      Or, I don’t know, you could live in the city.

      • Right. Because no one lives in Georgetown, and certainly no one walks from Gtown to Rosslyn. Ever.

      • SouthwestDC

        I avoid driving whenever I can… however… I have classes out at George Mason twice a week. In order to get to class on time via public transit I would have to leave work at 2:30, which just isn’t possible.

        Sure, I could have chosen to not further my education, or chosen a school in DC even though I didn’t like their Master’s program as much, but I think that’s besides the point. Depending on where you’re coming from and going to, and what your constraints are, driving is often the only viable option.

      • Buses get stuck in traffic too. This may screw with the 30 bus routes, maybe the G8 and some other buses I don’t care about ’cause I don’t take those routes.
        Pity all the slugs too, but at least they aren’t getting crushed in their seat by a 300 lb guy reeking of ciggy smoke. That’s a long bus ride, just made longer by your friendly #OccupyDC.

    • I mean, god forbid they wanted a better life for their families in the suburbs. God forbid.

      • Yes, the only way you can have a quality life is if you live in the suburbs and have a 45 minute commute to work every day. If you live in the city, gang members lurk in the shadows and mug you and try to kill you on a daily basis.

      • Is wasting hours away in traffic ever year – a situation proven to raise the risk of heart attack and other stress-induced health problems – really a better life? But hey, at least there aren’t any scary minorities in the gated subdivisions, right?

      • God forbid someone gets a new job in the suburbs, at some point in their life, and can’t take public transit to get to work.

      • God forbid a person and their spouse don’t work in the same part of the DC metropolitan area and therefore can’t both live within non-driving distance from work.

      • we are a generation of people that was raised that way.
        it’s not better.

  • andy

    Brought to you by the annoying part of the 99 percent.

  • the fact that you and many many others are even talking about the OWS people means they have succeeded. love ’em or hate ’em or something in between, the conversation needs to be on what to do about income inequality and an economy only working for the 1 percent. and while the occupiers may not have any solutions (yet), neither does anyone else as far as i can tell! at least the occupiers have the conversation on where it needs to be and not on American Idol or the clowns running or re-running for President. For that, they have succeeded.

  • You want real protesters with a real cause? Look at the 2007 “Saffron Revolution” in Burma. Peaceful protesters were beaten and tortured and 2000 are still in jail.

    Want to do something?


    • Just because other people have more difficult hardships doesn’t mean others’ hardships aren’t real. Should we stop complaining about being cheated by a system that benefits the super rich at the growing expense of the middle and lower classes because “at least they don’t beat us, too”? That’s ridiculous. There are a lot of just causes and they don’t cancel each other out.

      • And yes, in fact we should “stop complaining about being cheated by a system-” and instead work to actually change that system.

        • That’s what they are trying to do, by raising awareness, opening up conversations, demanding attention from press/leaders/policymakers/companies/etc, and refusing to keep quiet about what is going on.

          How do you suggest they work to change it?

          • And for whom can they vote? Candidates whose campaigns have been funded by corporations with no limit on how much they can donate. It only took one step to get back where we started.

          • Maybe if they actually researched their candidates and supported the ones whose messages they actually believed, vs. the ones that had the most money funded for their smiling face on the billboards, we’d have better results.

            It’s America’s fault for becoming complacent and allowing the corporations to forcefeed them what they think they want. Don’t blame the tiger that mauled a whole bunch of people, when we were the ones that let it out of the cage.

          • What are you even talking about????

  • I never said anyone’s hardships aren’t real, or that causes must “cancel each other out.” I’m sorry you think that way. I only offered a place for those who, having clearly expressed passion about protests in this thread, might want to do something real and immediate for a very clear and urgent cause.

  • So, as was planned and executed…no street blocking, no suburban commuter was inconvenienced. I am sure all of you will now support the movement, right? Also, from the signs at the rally: No cuts, tax corporations. Simple enough for you?

    We have a message. We need to invest in our country and can get the money to do that by making corporations pay their fair share. We are trying to draw attention to our crumbling infrastructure and how we could be investing in it which would lead to jobs.

    • OK. So how will you go about accomplishing this?

      • 1. Get rid of corporate loopholes in the tax code.
        2. Collect taxes from the rich and corporations–at the tax rate from the Clinton years.
        3. Hire people on public works programs to fix bridges, roads and other infrastructure programs.
        4. Buy a union-made beer, drink and celebrate.

        For more information, please see the New Deal.

        • Really, what got the US out of the depression was the New Deal plus a huge war that everyone worked for.

          So yes, after we do all this, who should we declare war on to put Americans to work? Mexico is giving us the stink eye…

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