Fear Of Capital Beltway Blockage Looms as Trucker Protests Grow Near


Truck stops ahead of the U.S. Capitol Building (Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Brandon Level

Multiple groups of truckers, or “trucker convoys”, are headed to Washington D.C. for Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address this week.


This move comes after the recent protests in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa where hundreds of truckers lined up in the city and gridlocked the roads. Their protest resulted in strict crackdown from the Canadian police, locally, and federally. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, invoked the ‘Emergencies Act’, which effectively temporarily suspends certain rights of Canadian citizens and allows the government to respond more swiftly.


The “Peoples Convoy”, one of the most prominent, left Los Angeles, California this last Wednesday on their trek east to the district. They plan to arrive on the 5th of March.


The convoys haven’t all been smooth sailing. Just Monday, reports emerged that some vehicles from the People’s Convoy were involved in a crash that resulted in injuries of which Oklahoma police did not specify.

Bob Bolus, owner of Bolus Truck Parts and Towing Service, had prepared to lead a convoy to the Capital beltway but it stalled in Scranton Pennsylvania when only “10 to 20” truckers showed up for the rally which Bolus said didn’t “warrant a D.C. beltway protest”.

The Capital Beltway is the Interstate highway that encircles the District of Columbia. The beltway stretches through Fairfax County, in Virginia, as well as Montgomery and Prince George’s County in Marlyand.

Not only did their convoy not receive the turnout it expected, Bolus reported two flat tires at the start of their trek south to the district.


I’ll give you an analogy of that of a giant boa constrictor that basically squeezes you, chokes you, and then swallows you. And that’s what we’re going to do to DC.” Bolus said in a Fox News interview.


Bolus did however note that an emergency lane would be open for city services to move through.


Most of the protests that plan to arrive in and around the district in the coming days all intend on clogging the capital beltway, rather than inside D.C. This would have a more widespread effect as it could halt the shipment of goods, the ability to work, and slow or even stop the traffic throughout the DMV.


The district ramped up security going into Joe Biden’s State of The Union speech on Tuesday ahead of looming protests. An alleged 400 D.C. National Guard members will be met by 300 out-of-state troops to prevent the blocking of traffic, and to make sure the protests stay under control. The troops will be stationed throughout D.C. at various traffic stations throughout March. 


“Layered mitigations measures are being put in place, including some that will be visible to the public and others that are not,” said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser last week, “We appreciate the approval of our DC National Guard traffic support request as we pull together the resources to support our public safety personnel.”, she added.


In a request made by Mayor Bowser, Florida National Guard members were asked to assist in this project but were quickly denied by Florida Governor Ron Desantis.


As these protests grow closer and pick up traction, those in the DMV should prepare for possible food shortages on top of what food shortages currently exist. Long lines, extensive traffic wait times, and an increase in honking along the beltway are all things that could be nearing as we go into next week.


UPDATE – The peoples’ convoy, and others, stopped northwest of DC at the Hagerstown Speedway on March 6. Made up of mostly minivans and other cars, hundreds of vehicles traversed interstate 495, or the capital beltway which encircles Washington D.C. The convoy did not seem to be very organized, and allegations of fraud have risen about the Peoples’ Convoy, but donators have been assured that their money is “in good hands”. The convoy plans to circle the beltway throughout the workweek and drive at minimal speeds so those in the DMV area should plan ahead for delays.