Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Prepping for Inauguration Weekend

The presidential inauguration is nearly upon us and as such, the city is making preparations for large crowds to descend on the National Mall to see President Obama take the oath of office for his second term and the inaugural parade. A representative from DDOT briefed the community on the city's plans at Monday's ANC 6D meeting. While crowds are expected to be much smaller this time around than the estimated 1.8 million who visited the city back in 2009, between 500,000 and 800,000 people are anticipated to attend inaugural events this year. Above is a map of the pedestrian routes that will be used to access the National Mall and the parade route along Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. In Southwest, the main pedestrian routes will be along South Capitol Street, I Street, 4th Street, 7th Street, 15th Street, 17th Street, and Independence Avenue. Secret Service checkpoints in Southwest will be set up along Independence Avenue at 7th Street and 12th Street. For those who do not have tickets for the inauguration, the area of the National Mall from 4th Street to 12th Street will be available for viewing the ceremony on jumbotron screens. Parking restrictions will be in place on Inauguration Day along Maine Avenue and M Street from the Maine Avenue Fish Market to New Jersey Avenue, SE. Buses won't be parked on the streets as they were in 2009 - buses will need to park at RFK Stadium or a pay parking lot - ones that will be used in Southwest include 1st & V Streets in Buzzard Point and 14th & D Streets. There will be a maximum of 2,500 buses permitted in the city and about 300 of them are expected to park in Southwest.  None of these buses will be allowed to use local streets and National Guard personnel will be stationed at key intersections to enforce the ban. A taxi stand will be located long E Street from 4th to 6th Streets.  In addition, a water taxi will operate from Alexandria and will drop off passengers at the Gangplank Marina.  Metro will open on Monday at 4am and will stay open until 2am with rush hour and peak fare until 9pm, but the Smithsonian, Archives/Navy Memorial, and Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center stations will be closed. Metrobus will operate on a normal weekday morning rush hour schedule followed by an early afternoon rush hour schedule. Some routes will be diverted that usually traverse the National Mall. Another way to get around is Capital Bikeshare, which will have a bike corral on Inauguration Day at 12th Street and Independence Avenue; however, two stations along Jefferson Drive at 12th & 14th Streets will be closed that day.

Pedestrians on 7th Street during the 2009 Inauguration
Local schools, including Amidon-Bowen Elementary and Jefferson Academy will be used as warming areas and a large 100' x 100' tent will be erected in Lansburgh Park for additional inaugural activities. DCPS buses will be stationed in various locations to serve as warming stations, including a couple at Lansburgh Park.  For more information about the inauguration, check out the website set up by the city.

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