Access to the Tidal Basin in D.C.'s East and West Potomac Parks will be limited during the cherry blossoms' peak blooming period due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the National Park Service (NPS) announced Tuesday.
The limited access will apply to people on foot as well as those in vehicles.
While the start and end dates will depend on arrival of the blossoms' peak bloom, the restrictions are currently projected to fall between about March 26 and April 12. Peak bloom is predicted for early April.
Closed roads and areas are expected to include:
- Ohio Drive SW from Buckeye Drive SW (Washington Channel side) to Independence Avenue SW
- East Basin Drive SW east of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to Ohio Drive SW
- West Basin Drive SW from Ohio Drive SW to Independence Avenue SW
- the Tidal Basin walking trail
- Northbound I-395 ramp to Potomac Park (Exit 2)
- Southbound I-395 ramp to Potomac Park (Exit 2)
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial
- Tidal Basin paddle boats
- All curbside parking and parking lots within the closure area
The NPS said it is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and D.C.'s health department and in consultation with its own Office of Public Health.
"The public is reminded that cherry blossom trees can be viewed at sites and parks throughout Washington, DC and are encouraged to virtually experience the trees at the Tidal Basin this year through a variety of online opportunities," the NPS said in its press release Tuesday.
You can also watch the online BloomCam, which will provide a live, real-time look at the Tidal Basin starting Wednesday.
All the Neighborhood Cherry Blossom Trees in the District
Cherry trees on non-federal land in D.C., color-coded by type of tree and sized according to the tree's diameter. Click on the magnifying glass at the bottom of the map to search for your address.
Source: D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) Street Spatial Database (SSD)
Credit: Anisa Holmes / NBC Washington