Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Inauguration Closures

Here's some information I received on the inauguration plans:
This year’s Presidential Inauguration is sure to be historical in nature and turnout. Many sources report upwards of four million attendees, enhanced security and long lines at Metro or access to the secured parade route.

Metro will provide rush hour service from 4AM well into the evening on Tuesday, January 20. Anticipate pedestrian inspection centers. Vehicles are likely to be prohibited up to four blocks from the White House, Capitol and the parade route itself. Certain roads shall have restrictions as well. Turns that require crossing over an on-coming stream of traffic, such as left turns, shall be restricted on certain streets, such as I Street from 14th Street continuing through 18th Street. These sorts of restrictions could commence on the evening of the 19th and continue through late evening on the 20th.

The Inauguration parade route, which is open to the public, runs from 14th Street, NW, to 1st Street, NW. Authorities may choose (and it is likely) to stop admittance into the secured areas should the crowd grow too large or for social disturbances. If you plan to try to enter the secured area surrounding the parade, be prepared to arrive early. There will likely be enhanced security measures such as bag inspections - plan to pass through a metal detectors.

Authorities will likely conduct visual and canine inspections of properties, garages, and exteriors located within four blocks of the White House in the early morning hours on Tuesday (20th). Garages around the White House and parade route will be required to close Monday (19th) afternoon around 5 PM. Autos remaining in these garages shall not be released until late on Tuesday (20th). Traffic is sure to be at a standstill - or prohibited altogether in some areas. One example, traffic shall be prohibited south of I Street–to–Constitution Avenue and from 14th Street continuing to 18th Street. These restrictions shall commence at 5 PM on Monday (19th) and finish late afternoon on Tuesday (20th).

The above map area that will be barricaded-off to all vehicular traffic (except emergency vehicles and placarded official vehicles) is bounded by:
  • I (Eye) Street to the north between 12th and 18th.
  • 12th Street to the east then along F Street east to Union Station and 2nd Street, NE.
  • 18th Street to the west - the area west of 18th Street will experience some traffic restrictions, as well.
  • Independence Ave to the south.

*This area may be expanded as they deem necessary. There will be a vehicular entry point at 13th and I Streets for official vehicles that have been pre-registered and swept for explosives. Several other access points to the east and west of this site are expected. Vehicles will not be permitted into the secured areas, unless credentialed by the USSS and authorized before December 15th.

Concrete ‘jersey’ barricades will begin to be set across intersections early as 3PM on Monday, January 19, 2009. As noted above, vehicles parked in private garages may be allowed to leave the area, but this will cease early in the evening on the 19th.

Pedestrian access will not be restricted until a block (or two) of the parade route. Again, magnetometers will be set up at various locations. Backpacks and bags will not be permitted along the parade route.

As a note, many, actually most, of the law enforcement officers at the checkpoints and along the parade route will NOT be DC/MPD officers.

An area for protestors has been designated on Freedom Plaza -- 1300 block of Pennsylvania Ave: in 2005, this is where chemical munitions were used, an area to avoid and to prepare your engineers in the event they have to shut down their HVAC system.

Metro will be overwhelmed, but is still considered the best option of movement. Again, Metro will open at 4AM on Tuesday (20th) and close at 2AM (21st).

The Inauguration is anticipated to begin around 2PM, and the Inauguration parade will step-off at 2:35PM and is scheduled to end at 5:30PM, but could end as late as 6PM on Tuesday. Barricades will begin to be removed later Tuesday evening. Pennsylvania Avenue and several north-south streets may not reopen until early morning on the 21st (Wednesday).

Police rest/warming site: The DC agency is looking to identify such locations and say only several officers at a time would be in the site at any one time.

As for the Chinatown, Gallery Place and Verizon Center area, on Monday (19th), ‘jersey’ barriers are planned to be arranged by 3PM with street closures to traffic. Monthly parkers will be able to get out of their buildings after 3PM on Monday (19th) in most buildings; however to reenter the area, parkers will have to go through a security checkpoint and will have to be on the checkpoint's list through Tuesday (20th). Drivers may be required to submit their name, date of birth, and social security to their respective property management group. Please check with your respective property management team for further detailed instructions as guidelines could vary building to building (across the City as well).

On Tuesday (20th), security checkpoints for vehicles and pedestrians open on 8th and F Streets, USSS has suggested that people arrive before 7AM in anticipation of very long lines accessing designated checkpoints. The only way to access most of this area will be through the aforementioned security checkpoint.

Archives Navy Memorial Metro Station and Smithsonian Metro Station will be closed all day Tuesday. Therefore, plan for the Gallery Place Verizon Metro Station to be extremely overcrowded. And, the areas around this station to be very busy.

The average high for January 20th, provided by the Washington Post, is 37 degrees. President Ronald Reagan holds the record for both the coldest and warmest Inauguration Ceremonies: 7 degrees (1985) and 55 degrees (1981). Here is a chart of weather conditions during the Inaugurations. The DC Government also provides information on the Inauguration.


cheng said...

Thanks for the info about road closures. Do you know if the roads will be openned at night to allow traffic, or will they be closed for the entire Inauguration. Also, do you have a larger map of the closures?

Cary Silverman said...

Cheng, unfortunately, I do not have more details. There's a Washington Post map here that may (or may not) be helpful:

frankoanderson said...

I have a question about the security checkpoint on 8th and F Streets. Is this the intersection to go through if you are walking to Pennsylvania Ave. on the 20th? Is that how far out the security perimeter will be from the parade route?
Also, where did you get the map from? -Thanks

Cary Silverman said...

I've posted more information on the inauguration transportation plan, including road closures and parking restrictions, here: