- (Photo: flickr/elvertbarnes)
Exercise caution on your commute home today, D.C., especially if you had plans to drive through downtown. Traffic is never pretty during rush hour, but today faces a double headache of rainy weather and closed roads. Occupy D.C. has been in the midst of several protests throughout central D.C. this afternoon, which, for whatever the virtues politically, can affect transportation.
The city has requested that people capable of using Metro and biking or walking home to consider doing so. The District Department of Transportation reported closures on sections of K Street, 14th Street, and Vermont Ave near Thomas Circle around mid-afternoon. Around 2:40 p.m., D.C. Metro Police said that traffic was able to flow south on 14th but noted that police continued to operate in the area. The Post's Tim Craig referred to the scene as a "showdown" between police and Occupy protesters that resulted in what he imagines could be dozens from the number laying down. He also noted recently that new marches are planned for around 5 p.m. around the White House and Supreme Court. An MPD release from early afternoon warned of "heavy pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic. We further encourage motorists to avoid the areas described and use alternative methods of transportation if possible. Additionally, motorists and pedestrians traveling in theses areas should use extreme caution." Follow DDOT and MPD on Twitter for more updates about road closures and traffic.
How have your experiences been downtown this afternoon? To what forces at play would you attribute the traffic delays? Did the road closures even affect how you could get around D.C.? Is the police presence appropriate or overkill? How about the protesters' behavior? On Nov. 18, WTOP reported that the Occupy protesters had cost the city close to a million dollars.