As the big holiday weekend approaches, District officials announced Thursday that they’ll be cracking down on unauthorized large gatherings in public spaces, illegal parking and ATV operators riding through the streets.
Preparations are now underway for Monday's fireworks on the National Mall. Those fireworks, plus happy crowds enjoying all that the District has to offer, are what Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Robert Contee hope will be the headlines after the holiday, rather than murders and violence we’ve seen in recent weekends.
"Unsafe and illegal behaviors will not be tolerated," Contee said Thursday. "Public safety is not a spectator sport, and we all have a role to play."
The District plans to hit the streets this weekend with what Bowser is calling go-teams: "The go-teams are made up of non-law enforcement partners like our credible messengers and violence interrupters," she said.
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Those teams will be in neighborhoods between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m., setting up tents where residents, particularly young people, can learn about services and opportunities in their communities.
There will also be an enforcement side to this weekend's security plan, with a new nightlife task force made up of police and other regulatory agencies ensuring businesses and residents comply with the laws, especially parking laws.
Contee said the task force teams will focus on three areas this weekend: the H Street corridor, the Connecticut Avenue corridor and the U Street corridor.
"Every weekend this summer, you’ll see the whole of government in these areas," Contee said.
He warned that police will be cracking down and confiscating ATVs that have been seen riding in large groups downtown and along the National Mall. He also warned against illegal fireworks, as 17 people were reported injured last year.
People should also be prepared for the heat and stay hydrated.
As with every Fourth of July, you should expect road closures, especially down near the National Mall. And expect delays on Metro: The transit agency is warning of long lines and up to 60-minute wait times for trains on July Fourth.
Still, Bowser wants people to leave their cars at home.
"I know for a fact that Metro is still your best option, given that there are going to be a lot of street closures. And if you try to park, you will probably be walking long distances," Bowser said.
Fourth of July Road Closures:
Earlier this week, the National Park Service announced the following Fourth of July road closures:
Closed July Fourth from 6 a.m. until about 10 p.m.:
- Arlington Memorial Bridge and Arlington Memorial Circle on the Virginia end, to and including Lincoln Memorial Circle in the District
- Rock Creek Parkway south of Virginia Avenue NW to Lincoln Memorial Circle, including all approaches and ramps
- Parkway Drive from Rock Creek Parkway to Lincoln Memorial Circle
- Henry Bacon Drive NW
- Daniel Chester French Drive SW
- Lincoln Memorial Circle and all approaches and ramps into and out of Lincoln Memorial Circle, including Henry Bacon Drive N, Daniel Chester French Drive SW, 23rd Street NW and 23rd Street SW
- Ramp from Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge to Constitution Avenue NW and Independence Avenue SW and Ohio Drive SW; all inbound traffic from the bridge will be directed to the E Street Expressway
- Constitution Avenue NW from 23rd Street NW to 14th Street NW
- 7th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
- 4th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
- 15th Street NW from E Street NW south to Raoul Wallenberg Place SW
- 17th Street NW from E Street NW south to Independence Avenue SW
- 18th Street NW between Constitution Avenue NW and Virginia Avenue NW
- 19th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
- 20th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
- 21st Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
- 22nd Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
- Virginia Avenue NW from Constitution Avenue NW to 18th Street NW
- C Street NW from 17th Street NW to 18th Streets NW
- D Street NW from 17th Street NW to 18th Street NW
- Raoul Wallenberg Place SW to Maine Avenue SW
- Independence Avenue SW from 14th Street SW to 23rd Street SW, including merge with Rock Creek Parkway
- Madison Drive NW from 15th Street NW to 3rd Street NW
- Jefferson Drive SW from 15th Street SW to 3rd Street SW
- Ohio Drive SW from the Inlet Bridge to Independence Avenue SW
- West Basin Drive SW from Ohio Drive SW to Independence Avenue SW
- East Basin Drive SW east of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to Ohio Drive SW
- Ramp from southbound and northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway to Memorial Avenue /Circle
- Ramp from northbound Virginia Route 110 to Memorial Avenue/Circle
- Ramp from Virginia Route 27 to Memorial Avenue/Circle
- The right lane of northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway from the 14th Street Bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island
Closed July Fourth from 11 a.m. until about 10 p.m.:
- 3rd Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Maryland Avenue SW
- Constitution Avenue NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to 14th Street NW
- 14th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
Closed July Fourth from 3 p.m. until about 12 a.m., July 5:
- Eastbound U.S. Route 50 ramps to George Washington Memorial Parkway and roads in the immediate area of U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
- Southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway ramp to 14th Street Bridge (9 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. as necessary)
- Northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway ramp to 14th Street Bridge (9 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. as necessary)