Arlington, VA

The pope has brought joy, love and ridiculously light traffic to the Washington area.

During this morning’s rush hour, major commuter highways like I-395 and I-66 had about as much traffic as they might at 4 a.m. on a Sunday. Those who commute to D.C. from Virginia apparently decided to just stay home while large swaths of the District are closed for Pope Francis’ visit.

It was a similar situation on Metro: even the perpetually critical @unsuckdcmetro Twitter account couldn’t find anything to fault this morning, retweeting the following.

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Traffic Wednesday morning during pope's visit

Fears of a traffic apocalypse as a result of Pope Francis’ visit were apparently unfounded.

Traffic on all highways in Arlington is flowing freely, with the possible exception of accident-related backups on westbound I-66.

The pope’s visit has closed a large swath of streets in downtown D.C., leading many to commute via Metro or telework.

Arlington County Police have warned of possible road closures in Rosslyn and Pentagon City if pedestrian traffic leaving the papal parade gets out of hand.

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Pope Francis (photo via Facebook)The Arlington County Police Department is warning that it may have to close down some busy streets and highways in the event of a major pedestrian exodus from D.C. during Pope Francis’ visit this week.

“The Arlington County Police Department may be closing several streets near the Rosslyn and Pentagon City Metro stations on Wednesday, September 23 and Thursday, September 24… as a result of the papal visit,” police said. “Road closures may be in effect from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on September 23 and 24, and will ONLY take place in the event of a large pedestrian walkout from Washington, D.C.”

The closures would be put in place on the following roads in Rosslyn:

  • N. 19th Street @ N. Lynn Street
  • N. 19th Street @ Ft. Myer Drive
  • N. Moore Street @ Lee Hwy
  • Wilson Boulevard @ Ft. Myer Drive
  • Wilson Boulevard @ N. Lynn Street
  • Ft. Myer Drive @ N. 17th Street and Fairfax Drive

Also, the following road closures are possible in Pentagon City:

  • Army Navy Drive @ S. Eads Street
  • Army Navy Drive @ S. Joyce Street
  • 1200 S. Hayes Street @ Entrance to mall
  • S. 15th Street @ S. Hayes Street
  • S. 12th Street @ S. Fern Street

ACPD also says it may divert traffic from eastbound I-66, approaching the Roosevelt Bridge, onto southbound Route 110, and may divert eastbound Route 50 before the bridge onto the southbound GW Parkway.

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