Monday, January 12, 2009

Inauguration Week on AndresFlava


Street Closings

On Inauguration Day, there will be a secure zone covering roughly 1.5 miles from K Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW on the north to Independence Avenue NE & NW on the south, and 2nd Street NE on the east to 23rd Street NW on the west. Vehicular traffic will be restricted to law enforcement, permitted buses and residents living within the security zone.
Closures are expected to begin as early as 3:00 pm on Monday, January 19, and remain in place through 7:00 am on Wednesday, January 21. So far, plans call for the following vehicular checkpoints, all on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue :
6th Street & Indiana Avenue
8th & F Streets
13th & I Streets
At this time, the pedestrian checkpoints are as follows::
3rd & C Streets
6th & C Streets
Indiana, between 6th & 7th Streets
7th & D Streets
7th Street & Constitution Avenue
Constitution, between 6th & 7th Streets
10th & E Streets
10th, between Pennsylvania & Constitution Avenues
12th & E Streets
12th, between Constitution & Pennsylvania Avenues
13th & E Streets
14th & E Streets
Given security concerns, the US Secret Service stresses that all information is subject to change. Additional information and maps detailing street closings and pedestrian checkpoints will be available through the DC government's website,, or from the US Secret Service at
The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington is telling members that the Secret Service can cut off access to the Inaugural ceremonies at any time that day if it feels safety will be compromised by a crush of people. In addition, cell phones might not work due to an expected cell phone traffic gridlock.
Local businesses can also expect, and plan for, delays in deliveries. Weeks ago, the Hotel Association of Washington, DC, notified members within the Inaugural security area to have food delivered by Sunday, January 18. Some streets along and near Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed on Monday, January 19. Several hotels already have made plans to bring in extra freezers to store food. Employees may need to start their commutes earlier than normal to beat the crowds and clear security checkpoints. At this time, the Secret Service plans to close the buffer area along the Inaugural Parade route to all pedestrian and vehicular traffic—including delivery trucks—from 5:00 am to 8:00 am on January 20.
In consideration of public safety, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) says property managers must suspend all non-emergency work in the streets and on sidewalks within the Inaugural boundary. This means all construction materials, including but not limited to equipment and tools—such as traffic signs, cones and barrels—materials, debris and hazardous materials, should be removed safely by 2:00 pm on Friday, January 16, through 7:00 am on Wednesday, January 21. Questions can be directed to the Public Space Management Branch at 202.442.4670.
Security Measures for Residents Residents who live within the secure area will be required to show a DC Driver's License that displays their address when entering at vehicular checkpoints.
The Secret Service will have counter snipers positioned on rooftops throughout the area. Residents planning rooftop Inauguration Day parties should contact their property managers and be prepared to provide the names and Social Security numbers of all who plan to attend.
Transit SchedulesTraveling to and around Downtown on Inauguration Day, January 20, will be a challenge, to say the least. Downtown workers can expect to encounter massive crowds and long delays and should avoid driving. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) says Metrorail riders can expect to wait more than 30 minutes to board a train after the parade, when most people will leave the downtown area.
Metrobus service will operate on a “modified” Saturday schedule from 4:00 am to 9:00 pm. Expect some detours because of street closures around the National Mall, Pennsylvania Avenue and near the US Capitol. Riders should check Metro’s website,, to see whether bus routes will be diverted because of last-minute street closures. However, the best transportation option may be your feet. Metro is advising people who live within two to three miles of the Mall to walk.
WMATA will extend Metrorail service hours from 4:00 am on Tuesday, January 20, to 2:00 am on Wednesday, January 21, to accommodate people traveling to the swearing-in, parade and Inaugural balls. This schedule is a one-time privilege only. The transit authority will run regular service throughout the Inaugural festivities, closing at midnight on weekdays and 3:00 am on Friday and Saturday. However, in light of the huge crowds, it will also run unprecedented rush-hour service for 17 consecutive hours on Inauguration Day, from 4:00 am until 9:00 pm. Expect to pay rush-hour fares.
Speaking of fares, WMATA is offering commemorative fare cards that feature President-elect Barack Obama’s photo. The special One-Day Pass is available online for $10 and at Metro sales offices and fare vending machines for $7.80. The cost of the paper passes, which offer unlimited rides, will be $10 at all sales locations on Inauguration Day. Metro is encouraging local residents to purchase them in advance to save money and avoid long lines later. The commemorative SmarTrip cards can also be purchased in advance for $10 each without fare value, or for $20, which includes a $10 fare value loaded onto the card. They work just like the regular SmartTrip cards; they do not offer special fare discounts or unlimited rides. For more information on the commemorative fare cards, visit

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