- The Washington Times - Monday, September 18, 2000

Transportation officials don't expect the 80,000 fans heading to tonight's Washington Redskins game to cause undue traffic delays and backups during rush hour.
Metro, which is encouraging fans to use trains to get to the stadium in Landover, will run shuttles from three stops to FedEx Field and will extend its services to run until after the "Monday Night Football" game ends after midnight, a spokeswoman said.
Maryland police will post signs on the traffic situation along the Capital Beltway in preparation for the 9 p.m. kickoff. A Prince George's police spokeswoman said fans should have a "smooth ride" to the stadium "if they follow the signs."
She added that she did not expect traffic to be "any worse than at any other Redskins game" not even one against the Dallas Cowboys and ruled out a chance of the mess seen at last year's opener.
Last September, a record crowd of 79,237 fans showed up for the opening game and thousands had no room to park their cars. Hundreds circled the stadium roads looking for parking well into the second quarter of the game.
Officials attributed the backups to late-arriving crowds and Redskins stadium employees directing cars to lots that were already full. Under a revised plan, thousands of vehicles were directed off the Beltway at Exit 17A at Landover Road and Exit 15A at Central Avenue, toward US Airways Arena.
Cash parking lots were closed and only patrons with permits were allowed to park at the stadium. Drivers seeking cash lots were directed to the arena, about a mile away. Only customers with parking permits were allowed to use the stadium's three access roads.
The Redskins provided free shuttle service from the cash parking lots at US Airways Arena. The same plan, deployed Sept. 3 when the Redskins played the Carolina Panthers in the 2000 season opener, ensured that fans were in their seats in time for the kickoff.
Tonight, Metro will run shuttles from US Airways Arena starting at 3 p.m., and from the Addison Road, Landover and Cheverly stations on the Blue and Orange lines to the stadium starting at 5 p.m, Metro spokeswoman Cheryl Johnson said.
Although the hours will coincide with rush hour, Mrs. Johnson said, officials expect to have no problems accommodating the extra passengers.
With estimates from last year's numbers, Metro trains should have about 9,000 extra passengers, she said. But since FedEx Field recently increased its seating, "there could be more people traveling this year."
Mrs. Johnson said trains will run until past midnight, when Metro usually shuts down. After midnight, the Landover, Cheverly and Addison Road Metro stops will be open until the game crowds clear, but the other stops will be open only for exiting.

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