Park service officials say traffic changes around the Tidal Basin are being made earlier this year due to the cherry blossom's earlier bloom.
Traffic patterns around the Tidal Basin are changing to accommodate the upcoming Cherry Blossom Festival. Beginning this weekend, all four lanes of Ohio Drive along the Potomac will be redirected to flow northbound only. There will be no access to West Potomac Park from Independence Avenue and 23rd Street SW.
Park Service officials warn parking is very limited in the area. They urge visitors to take Metro instead and consider walking about three blocks from the Smithsonian Metro station. There is also another alternative this year: two new Capital Bikeshare stations that have been installed at the mall. One is located near the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, and the other is close to the Washington Monument.
These are the first of five Capital Bikeshare stations approved for the National Mall. They're expected to get used often during the Cherry Blossom Festival, and Capital Bikeshare staff will be on hand to assist riders.
A spokesman for the park service says the traffic changes are being made earlier this year because the cherry blossoms are expected to bloom early.