January 20th, 2009

10 Jan

Inauguration Day is quickly approaching in the nation’s capital and while it is very fun to be in the center of all the excitement- we have realized that it will be like having a major snowstorm in the area without the snow and whole lot more people. We have no plans to leave our little neighborhood that weekend and know that we must do all our grocery shopping several days before. Bridges will be closed, offices closed, major roadways closed, major delays on the Metro system, hotel rooms are sold out in every direction and forecasts of ‘millions’ of visitors. If you are attending the event- you can’t bring bags, backpacks, camera bags, umbrellas, chairs, strollers, bicycles, coolers or tripods. Since my office is right near the Capitol building and within a zone of streets that will not be accessible, we are closed. Also, my doctor offered a note just in case to excuse me from being at work that day (we have joked that this has been the first use of the very official ‘pregnancy card’). Kerry will be working out in Ashburn, Virginia for part of the weekend and Inauguration Day. Most likely, I will be watching the festivities from the comfort of our living room.

All the bridges from Virginia into the District will be closed and there have been so funny ‘conspiracy theories’ about keeping Virginians out of the party, an old battle of the North and South and just general annoyance since they are being blocked. Funny article here from the Washington Post. Even if the bridges were open, I just wonder where people think they would park or go?

Here are a few photos of the preparation going on around the Capitol:

inaug0902

inaug09And, they are expecting people to be jammed into from the Capitol Building to the Washington Monument (fun fact: 1.1 miles in length and around 400 feet in width) and also along the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route.

Here is a view from the Capitol to the Washington Monument on a very quiet afternoon:

inaug0901

WTOP has an article that talks about the Inauguration by the numbers and we found these the most interesting since the the crowd estimate is around 2 million people:

Metro trains can carry 120,000 passengers per hour on Inauguration Day.

10,000 charter buses expected to descend on the city.

4,100 is the minimum number of portable toilets available to the public. (GROSS!)

– There are 58 law-enforcement and other agencies working on security.

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