D.C. Cherry blossoms, warm weather draw record-setting weekend crowds

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The cherry blossoms always draw big crowds to downtown Washington, but this year seems to be especially crowded.

One piece of evidence comes from bike-renting service Capital Bikeshare. It says it broke its all time record for rides on Friday when 11,551 were taken.

But that record not only was broken the next day, it was obliterated -- on Saturday Capital Bikeshare reported there were 15,746 rides.

The past few days seem to have been a perfect storm for drawing people to the Tidal Basin area.

The start of spring break for many students, the warm weather, the cherry blossom parade, and the blooming of the blossoms themselves all came together to draw huge crowds.

On Sunday roads leading into downtown DC were again jammed, Metro trains were crowded, and pedestrian and bicycle traffic was incredibly heavy.

"Today, I think, is the most crowded I've seen it in 25 years," said DC resident Michelle Zador, who has made a tradition out of bringing her daughter Danielle to see the cherry blossoms.

"The lines have been long, it's been frantic here, we had to walk about half a mile just to find a place to get water," Zador said.

But both she and Danielle said fighting the crowds was worth it to see the cherry blossoms.

Downtown Washington will likely continue to be crowded through next weekend, as many tourists and teens on spring break visit the area.