Friday, June 8, 2007

Beep Beep

Tunnel under the National Zoo, Beach Drive/Rock Creek Parkway

I was testing the video feature of my Canon A630 camera and was able to capture this image while driving at 9:30 at night through the tunnel that runs under the National Zoo on Beach Drive.

If you live in the city for a long time, you learn how to bypass the majority of congestion and legions of traffic lights by taking roads like North Capitol Street, Missouri Avenue/Military Road, and Rock Creek Parkway.(1) The parkway commences just to south of the The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and takes you past the Watergate and Georgetown, through the center of the city without hitting a single stop light until you either peel off to the left for Connecticut Avenue or you peel off to the right and onto Beach Drive. Even then, you're not going to hit a light or stop sign until you get to the split for Piney Branch and Beach Drive.

Rock Creek Parkway(2) is a great way to get from the National Mall in the south end of the city all the way up into Maryland on the north end. (Beach Drive actually hooks a left at Stoneybrook Drive, which is where the Mormon Temple is in Kensington, Maryland, and continues through Maryland into Rockville.)

On the weekends, the National Park Service--the agency that has jurisdiction for Rock Creek Parkway--closes a stretch of the parkway from Blagden Avenue in D.C. all the way to the Maryland line so bikers and runners can engage in their physical activity without the risk of being run down by a car. The rest of the week, it's a major commute thoroughfare that includes one-way lane changes during rush hour with all lanes going south in the morning and then reversing in the evening and going north. As soon as my camera comes back from the shop, I'll take and post better pictures of this sanity-saving segue.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential (Janet M. Kincaid, 06/07)

1. Link to National Park Service site.
2. Link to Wikipedia.

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