Should I Drive?

Are you crazy? There's not enough parking for the locals let alone visitors. Save yourself a headache and use public transportation. Buses, cabs, and Metro rail are available and are a lot more satisfying than circling the block all night waiting for a space to magically appear. Make no mistake, public transportation is the easiest way of getting to, around, and out of, the Connecticut Avenue corridor.


The L1 and L4 buses run up and down the avenue from Dupont Circle to Chevy Chase Circle. The L2 also runs between the two circles but after leaving Dupont Circle the L2 leaves Connecticut Avenue and takes New Hampshire Avenue, 18th Street, and Calvert Street before meeting up once again with Connecticut Avenue at Woodley Park. The entire trip takes about 25 minutes and costs $1.25, 60 cents if you're a senior. You have to have the exact change. The last bus leaves either end at about 3:00 a.m. every day except Monday. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Web site has the latest information.


D.C. taxis used to work on a zone system. If you got in and out of a cab within one zone the fare was something like $6.50. If you crossed into another zone before getting out, well, the fare went up. How much it went up was supposed to be cast in stone but, unfortunately, there was the occasional cabby that would try to bilk the unsuspecting rider -- and if you guessed unsuspecting rider equals tourist you wouldn't be far wrong, but it was also tried on locals, and that led to many a confrontation -- so something had to give. Eventually, the D.C. government decided to make D.C. a metered taxi area like much of the rest of the country's cities and that's where we stand today. The first mile is $4.25 and additional miles are $1.50 each. Extra passengers also add $1.50 each to the bill. If you have more than one bag then you'll be charged 50 cents for each piece and if you tote around a footlocker then that will cost $2.00 extra.


The Metro's Red Line runs alongside much of Connecticut Avenue and is an easy, cheap way to get around. There are five Metro stations on the avenue. Beginning in the south and heading north there's Farragut North, Dupont Circle, Woodley Park, Cleveland Park and Van Ness before the Red Line makes a westward turn towards Wisconsin Avenue. Trains begin running from Metro Center on the weekend at about 7:30 a.m. and the last one leaves Metro Center at about 3 a.m. It costs $1.35 to go from Farragut North to Van Ness, 65 cents for seniors and the trip takes about 6 minutes. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Web site has the latest information.