Traffic concerns at Amtrak in Henrico ahead of D.C. rallies

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Comedian and talk show host, Jon Stewart, is headed to Washington this weekend and many Central Virginians are following him there! The "Rally To Restore Sanity" is set for Saturday and many are hopping a train to be a part of it. That's expected to cause traffic concerns at Amtrak on Staples Mill Road.

Three D.C. bound trains leave Richmond early Saturday morning with more than one hundred passengers already booked on each one. Now with about two hundred parking spaces at Amtrak, Amtrak officials say plan ahead.

Maeble Lewis is one step ahead of the game. She hopped a train to D.C., two days before the Daily Show's big "Rally To Restore Sanity" on the National Mall.

"I want to be there I want to be there early. I want to be there so I can have a voice," said Lewis, who's from Martinsville.

By leaving early, Lewis may be avoiding a headache.

Amtrak expects heavy crowds Saturday morning at the Staples Mill Road station, similar to what was seen in January 2009, when people traveled to Washington to witness President Obama's inauguration.

Parking is limited to 200 spaces. Three trains will leave Richmond Saturday, starting bright and early at 6:30 a.m. causing traffic delays at least through 9:00 a.m. Most passengers booked online. Amtrak urges people to arrive early to get your tickets.

"You don't have to park. You can have somebody drop you off. You can carpool. We need to be environmentally conscience anyway," said Lewis.

Advice echoed by Amtrak.

"It's worth having a little bit of inconvenience and waiting a little while and I hope this station is mobbed," said Lewis.

Amtrak also recommends a Park and Ride not to far from the station. They say it's just a ten minute walk. Saturday morning they'll have extra staff on duty directing people in the parking lot.

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