Cherry blossoms to bring large crowds, traffic congestion

Park Service working to ease traffic during cherry blossom rush

The mild weather, combined with cherry blossoms and large crowds, could be slowing down drivers around the National Mall. The National Park Service is already making some changes to help the flow of traffic for the next month.

This year, Terry and Christine Thomas hit the road early to see the cherry blossoms, worried about the notorious D.C. traffic.

“This the first year we've gotten up early, just with all the advertisements and everything. Just to see the cherry blossoms. It's beautiful,” said Christine Thomas of Beltsville, Md.

Dan Blake, who lives most of the year in Myrtle Beach, but keeps an apartment in Alexandria, Va. said “this is probably the best I've ever seen them."

“We tried to come down last week, and we couldn't even get in here,” Blake said.

To lighten the load, the National Park Service is redirecting traffic. All four lanes of Ohio Drive are now running northbound only—there is also no access to West Potomac Drive from Independence Ave. or 23rd street.

"You take your time, drive around the city. That's probably the best thing to do," said Charlie McGarvey, of Rockville, Md.

The Thomas' say even if the traffic was brutal, they would still come out to see the blossoms.

“It's just such a blessing to have this so local, so how could you not take advantage of it? So yea, we would definitely come out,” they said.