The Concert For Valor Info (Metro, Road Closures, prohibited items, etc.)



“Veterans Day, Tuesday November 11, a major concert will be held on the National Mall that could draw up to 800,000 attendees — larger than July 4 and many Presidential Inaugurations. In order to safely and efficiently provide rail service for as many riders as possible, Metro will make several service adjustments to maximize train capacity.

Here are five things to know for those taking Metro to the event:

1. All stations will be open except Smithsonian. Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. and close at midnight. Nine stations near the National Mall will remain open past midnight if necessary to accommodate concertgoers after the event (you must be in line by midnight). Arlington Cemetery will be served by rail shuttle trains from the south, as well as free buses from Rosslyn and Pentagon stations.

2. Additional Yellow Line trains will replace Blue Line service between Franconia-Springfield and Greenbelt. Because Yellow Line trains get Virginia riders to the concert 12 minutes faster than Blue Line trains, this service change will allow Metro to run trains more frequently and maximize space for other riders. Trains will run as frequently as every three minutes before and after the event. Riders who normally use Blue Line trains can use Yellow and Silver/Orange trains instead (transfer at L’Enfant Plaza), or take advantage of free shuttle bus service between Pentagon and Rosslyn from 5 a.m. until closing.

3. Know what not to bring. Bicycles and large coolers will be prohibited on Metrorail all day to maximize space for all riders. Prohibited items at the concert include alcohol, bicycles, explosives/fireworks, glass containers, coolers, animals (except service animals), weapons, and more. Be sure to check the event website for a complete list. If in doubt about whether an item will be permitted, it is best to leave it home. In addition, for security reasons, all Metrorail restrooms will be closed on Veterans Day.

4. Travel without transferring. Metro recommends planning your trip so that you do not have to transfer between rail lines. Choose a station near the National Mall on the same line as where you begin your trip, and then return to the same station after the concert.

5. Pre-load your SmarTrip card.”

The Concert For Valor Map (PDF)

From MPD:

“The National Park Service and the United States Park Police in cooperation with local, state and federal law enforcement, public safety and transportation agencies, have developed security, logistics and access plans for HBO’s permitted Concert for Valor. The concert will take place on Tuesday, November 11 from 7-10 p.m. on the National Mall.

Road Closures

The following roads will be closed and off-limits to vehicles starting at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, November 11:

· Constitution Avenue NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to 18th Street NW
· Madison Drive NW from 3rd Street NW to 15th Street NW
· Jefferson Drive SW from 3rd Street SW to 15th Street SW
· Independence Avenue SW from 3rd Street SW to 17th Street SW
· Maryland Avenue SW from Independence Avenue SW to 7th Street SW
· 3rd Street from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street SW
· 4th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to C Street SW
· 6th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Constitution Avenue NW
· 6th Street SW from Independence Avenue SW to C Street SW
· 7th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to C Street SW
· 10th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
· 12th Street ramp from I-395 to Pennsylvania Avenue NW
· 14th Street from E Street NW to C Street SW
· 15th Street from E Street NW to Maine Avenue SW
· 17th Street from C Street NW to Independence Avenue SW

Additional closures will be in place in advance of the concert to allow for setup of the venue. These include:

· 4th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to C Street SW will be closed from 12:01 a.m.Monday, November 3 through Wednesday, November 12 at 10 a.m.

· Madison Drive NW from 3rd Street NW to 4th Street NW will be closed from 6 a.m. on November 10 through 10 a.m. on November 12.

Prohibited Items

The following items will be prohibited at the concert:

· Alcohol
· Ammunition
· Animals other than helper/guide dogs
· Balloons
· Bicycles
· Hard shelled coolers
· Explosives/fireworks
· Glass containers
· Illegal firearms
· Laser pointers
· Mace/pepper spray
· Folding tables, tents, chairs (and other items that could be considered “structures”)
· Weapons
· Unmanned aerial systems
· Any other items determined to be a potential safety hazard

Public Access

The following public entry points will open at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, and will remain open until the concert venue can no longer accommodate additional people.

· 4th Street NW and Madison Drive NW (credentialed media, ticketed and VIP guests ONLY)
· 4th Street SW and Jefferson Drive SW (credentialed media, ticketed and VIP guests ONLY)
· 7th Street NW and Madison Drive SW
· 7th Street SW and Independence Avenue SW
· 12th Street NW and Madison Drive NW
· 12th Street SW and Independence Avenue SW
· 14th Street NW and Madison Drive NW
· 15th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW

The following public entry points will open at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, and will remain open until the concert venue can no longer accommodate additional people.

· 15th Street SW and Independence Avenue SW
· 17th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW

Security Screenings

All attendees, including general public and ticketed guests, are subject to a thorough security screening before entering the concert venue. Please allow additional time for the security screening, as it is expected that lines may be long.”

60 Comment

  • Everything about this sounds miserable.

  • Aglets

    I didn’t really think about the closing of the blue line until a friend (and veteran) pointed out that closing the blue line on Tuesday effectively cuts off metro access to Arlington Cemetery. I know Metro is running bus shuttles out there, but isn’t kind of a dick move for metro to do that. regardless of the ‘faster transport’ of the yellow lines. It just looks rude.

  • what time does the event start?

  • “So a few hundred thousand people will be heading to the mall for a major event! I have an idea: let’s close its Metro station!!!”

  • Smithsonian station is not opened – This is the biggest station to serve the Mall. Looking at the map the concert is up by the capitol not right there? Is the station closed for construction or something. This alone sounds like a really bad idea. Is there some plan to spread out the visitors and not overwhelm that one station?

    • They always have Smithsonian closed for large mall events (inaugurations, etc.). It’s a security thing.

    • I am usually very critical of Metro’s decisions and mismanagement, but closing the Smithsonian station is actually a good idea, and for multiple reason.
      First, it is within the “secured area”, meaning you will have to go through security before getting to the station entrance. You can not imagine having security screening inside the station.
      Second, it will avoid crowd forming at this station, and prevent that bottleneck effect that created the Smithsonian escalator incident after the rally to Restore Sanity in 2010.
      Third, it will allow a spread of the crowd between the different station around the Mall (Federal Triangle, L’Enfant, Federal Center). None of these stations are far from the Mall… Honestly, if you can’t walk from the Mall to one of these, you should clearly not go to that kind of event.

      • I don’t care if the people going to this event are slightly inconvenienced. I’m more concerned about the impact on these stations, which even on a normal Tuesday evening are very crowded. If you don’t think adding 800,000 people to already crowded stations isn’t going to create a bottleneck you’re crazy.

        • Most Feds have the day off tomorrow, so that will significantly cut down the number of commuters using those stations – it’s not a normal Tuesday with a concert thrown in, it’s a federal holiday off with a concert instead.

          • Sure, but a lot of people that aren’t Feds take the metro to work. And those that normally would drive might do metro instead because of the road closures.

          • In my experience the metro is just as crowded on the lesser holidays that non-Feds generally don’t get off for.

  • Informal poll, is there a single person who thinks Metro can get this right tomorrow?

  • Was walking by here yesterday and was wondering how many people they truly expect–800,000 seems incredibly optimistic. First off, it’s a weekday, and one that not everyone has a day off on. Second, are people really going to go to an event that will likely go late (and from which they’ll have to somehow get home) when they have to work the next day? Where are all these people coming from?

    • It doesn’t start until 7, so a lot of people who are already downtown for work might stick around.

    • That’s what I was thinking. Even in the city close in, you’re not getting home until 11 at the earliest. I don’t understand why they didn’t do this mid-day, like 11-3 to avoid rush hours.

      • It’s sponsored by HBO — no doubt the schedule is meant to maximize viewership of the live broadcast (which sounds far more pleasant than the event)

        • justinbc

          There are also a lot of big name artists who will be performing for free. If you’ve ever seen the way people in DC line up for free stuff then it’s totally feasible that that attendance number would be obtainable.

          • They are not really playing for free. They will just take the amount that they would normally make from a concert appearance and write it off their taxes. I am pretty cynical about that, but it will still be a nice concert to watch from home.

          • I think Justin was looking at it as “free” from the concertgoer’s point of view.

          • austindc

            Well I plan to take the amount I would normally spend on a concert ticket and write it off on my taxes too. . . I don’t know how taxes work.

          • justinbc

            Uhh, yeah, I thought that was obvious.

          • So did I, but it seems Noonan was determined to find a “glass half empty” way to look at it.

          • Noonan–FYI, they can’t deduct the value of services as a charitable contribution, just any expenses they incur like transportation.

    • I agree completely. I’m guessing half of that. Maybe. I doubt people are going to come in from outside of the DC area for this (unlike the Inauguration or 4th of July), and a lot of the locals have work. And it’s going to be cold and dark.

  • For anybody who thinks this metro area should bid for the Olympics, you should head to one of the downtown stations for tomorrow’s afternoon rush-hour-meets-concert to the see the epic clusterf***. I just don’t think our public transportation network is equipped. to handle rush-hour crowds plus big events.

    • justinbc

      Have you ever been to any of the Olympics? No matter what the city the public transportation is always overcrowded.

    • Given most of metro’s weekday riders are feds (who should all or large majority be off work), there is really not going to be a huge amount of usual rush hour travelers. Now if tomorrow is bad with a significant portion of people being off work, then yea, Olympics are going to suck.

    • Except I won’t be here for the Olympics. I’ll rent my house out and use the money on an epic vacation someplace as far away as possible.

  • First, this sucks.

    Second, FWIW, Madison Drive was already closed from 3rd street this morning. So much for road closures beginning tomorrow at 6 am. Made my bike commute a pain in the ass. Tomorrow it will be nearly impossible.

  • Can anyone please explain how you actually go to this concert? what time do you arrive and what do you do? twiddle your thumbs? how do you stay warm being outside all day long? what do you eat since you can’t bring in a cooler? how do you charge your phone after sitting outside with it all day, running down the battery playing candy crush saga all day? do you have kids?? good luck bringing them. i just find this whole thing totally UNdoable. and i run on the mall everyday. they’ve been setting this thing up for a WEEK. i’ll watch from home (one mile away).

    • I imagine you’d prepare for it the same way you’d prepare for a hike with Bear Grylls. Invest in a phone solar charger, strap protein bars to your body and ration water. We eat the weak first.

    • I know – I think it is excellent to shine a light on our veterans. But to have a large concert on a week day seems like the organizers did not take anyone into consideration — people who work who want to attend, people who work and have no interest in attending, people with children… I think everyone would be much more excited about a Concert for Valor on a Saturday….

      • This is first and foremost for the veterans, thus why on Veterans Day. Stop complaining and enjoy the opportunity that has been made available others who are not veterans who would like to go.

        Also, why be so dependent on your phone? Why not enjoy the company of those around you?

    • 1. Take the bus or Metro and walk from the nearest stop. 2. Your arrival time will vary depending on how close you want to be to the stage and/or a warm spot to hover. 3. Bring a friend! You can twiddle your thumbs together! 4. Polartec. Cuddle with your friend. 5. Protein bars, cause you probably want to avoid the portopotties. You probably can bring a cooler — just not the hardsided ones. WholeFoods has their own branded ones for very reasonable prices if you don’t have time to stop at Target. 6. What? You don’t have one of those little phone charger thingies? Hope your remembered to bring a friend. (see #3) 7. Candy crush is played out dude. 8. No. I don’t. And if I did, this would not be an event that I’d take them to. But if they were old enough to go on their own, I would encourage them to go for multiple reasons. I’d also remind them to take friends, wear polartec, and charge their phones. 9. Most of the people there will be watching the screens — so if you’re not into the collective bonding experience, it does sound like you might be better served by watching from home. But then you won’t have the chance to breathe the same air as Springsteen, Rhianna, or the members of Metallica — unless you get really, really, lucky.
      I won’t be going — but I think it’s a great event, I hope everyone stays safe, and I appreciate the cops and Metro workers who will be among those working to ensure that things go smoothly.

      • “But then you won’t have the chance to breathe the same air as Springsteen, Rhianna, or the members of Metallica — unless you get really, really, lucky.”

        Unless you start lining up at 7 AM tomorrow, very very distant air. Maybe 1 in a trillion oxygen molecules.

  • I would rather wait in line at the DMV to receive a root canal from a city employee with an Ebola-contaminated drill. It really looks like Times Square on New Year’s level fun–meaning utter suck.
    Fortunately, it is being streamed for free online, as well as HBO is allowing providers to unlock the signal (although I haven’t figured out if any local ones are). I’ll probably DVR it and start watching around 8:30 with lots of fast forwarding.

  • Nothing like a free event to bring out the popville haters…….

  • justinbc

    This is the worst idea ever. I can’t believe they’re inconveniencing me by an extra 30 minutes just to give something free to lots of other people as a way to say thank you to veterans. What’s wrong with this city!!!!!

    • Hey, some of us have a serious fear of crowds (but have to metro through this in order to get home from work tomorrow). I guess I could take an expensive Uber from VA instead, but that’s not ideal.

    • As someone who spent 8 hours getting home during the Commuteageddon a few years ago, I’m wary of an event (natural or otherwise) that puts an added burden on our strained transit systems during rush hour.

  • I don’t know if this is relevant, but as I used Metro this weekend, I was startled by multiple large groups of young people toting suitcases. It took a few noisy, unusually packed trains for me to remember that Veteran’s Day is Tuesday, and that might be a prime school trip weekend, and/or Veteran’s Day events might include things like parades with representation from states across the country. So it’s possible that the concert and other events really will pull large numbers of people from beyond the DC metropolitan area.

    • There were a huge number of school trips last week in town last week. Maybe some type of youth conference? My office is in Woodley Park and there were hundreds and hundreds of teenagers around the Marriott and Omni Shoreham on Thursday and Friday. I try not to eat any of the fast food in the area, but my business partner was pretty much shut out of all his usual choices. Today wasn’t as bad, so I’m wondering if they’ve left town.

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