The District of Columbia will celebrate Emancipation Day Monday, and this could lead to some changes—mostly positive—for commuters heading into the city.

City workers will have the day off, so we can expect fewer people on the roads and riding rails and buses.

Parking restrictions will be lifted throughout the city, and there will be a suspension of roadwork and street sweeping.

Commuters should also note that there will be no reversible lane operations on some streets, which could lead to more congested conditions. The impacted roads include:

  • Connecticut Avenue NW, between Legation Street and Woodley Road
  • 16th Street NW, between Arkansas Avenue and Irving Street

There will be reversible lane operations on these streets:

  • Canal Road between Chain Bridge and Foxhall Road NW
  • Independence Avenue between 4th Street SW, and 2nd Street SE
  • Rock Creek Parkway (controlled by the National Park Service)

For those who are new to the area, Emancipation Day is celebrated only in Washington, D.C. to honor the date in 1862 when Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, a precursor to the broader Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves in rebelling southern states.

The DC Emancipation Day celebration will be Saturday from 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Freedom Plaza.

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