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Inauguration Day survival guide: Road closures, parking, Metro

Monday - 1/21/2013, 8:09am  ET

AP: 82799dc3-0933-4863-a039-b234e580f1db
This Jan. 20, 2009 file photo shows people with purple tickets in line in the 3rd Street tunnel in Washington, arriving for the inauguration of President Barack Obama at the Capitol. While Washington won't likely see the record-setting turnout from the last inauguration, officials are planning for a bigger-than-average crowd making plans for a second chance to see a president's swearing in. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Staying warm in the frigid temperatures

WTOP's Kristi King

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  • What's the Inauguration Day forecast?
  • How should I dress on Inauguration Day?
  • What do I need to know about Metro?
  • What roads will be closed?
  • How do I get into the swearing-in ceremony?
  • What do I need to know about the parade?
  • Can I ride my bike?
  • Pedestrian map
  • Vehicle restrictions map

  • WASHINGTON - Whether you're going to the swearing-in ceremony, the inaugural parade, one of the many balls or just downtown to work, there is plenty you need to know before you leave home Monday, Jan. 21.

    District of Columbia officials have pieced together early data projecting 500,00 to 700,000 will crowd onto the National Mall on Inauguration Day. That's based on past attendance and data including hotel and restaurant reservations and chartered buses.

    The inauguration is the biggest event every four years in the nation's capital, followed by July 4 celebrations. The 2009 inaugural drew 1.8 million.

    Weather

    The forecast for Inauguration Day calls for the day to start out sunny, and then turn cloudy. Overall, the day will be mild.

    Highs Monday will be 44 to 48. It becomes breezy Monday evening with a sprinkle or flurry. An arctic cold front arrives late Monday night. Overnight, lows of 15 to 25. Tuesday will bring passing flurries and highs only of 23 to 27.

    Dress warmly

    If you are going to any of the events, make sure you dress warmly and in layers. Don't forget hats, scarves, water-resistant coats, extra scarves, gloves or mittens. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers will hold more heat than cotton.

    Metro

    Inauguration organizers are asking attendees to use public transportation and in turn, the Metro system has responded with an increase to its normal schedule.

    Metrorail will operate rush-hour service for 17 consecutive hours on Jan. 21, from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m., and will operate on a non-rush-hour schedule until 2 a.m.

    Expect some rail stations near the National Mall to have access points designated exclusively as entry or exit only.

    During the rush-hour service, Metro will charge peak fares.

    If riders sign up to receive them, Metro will send real time text and email alerts with information about service changes and other updates including parking lots information, delays and closures. Click here to sign up.

    Stations closed on Inauguration Day:

    • Archives
    • Smithsonian
    • Mt. Vernon Square

    Hopefully, you purchased your farecards, one-day passes or SmarTrip cards in advance of Inauguration Day to avoid lines that day.

    If you use paper farecard have to add an extra $1 surcharge each way when you purchase the card.

    Metro's interactive tool called "What's My Best Route?" helps pedestrians find the best station to use near the National Mall.

    Recommended Metro exits for individuals with tickets include Capitol South, Eastern Market, Union Station, NoMa-Gallaudet U (New York Ave.), Judiciary Square, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Federal Center SW or L'Enfant Plaza.

    Metro's commemorative one-day pass with a special inauguration design have sold out. They were sold for $15.

    WTOP is following traffic and transit events as they occur.

    Metrobus

    On Inauguration Day, Metrobus will operate on a weekday schedule with normal rush-hour service in the morning, followed by an early rush hour in the afternoon. However, with street closures around the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue for the parade, all Metrobus routes near the National Mall will be subject to detours and delays.

    MetroAccess

    During inauguration weekend, MetroAccess will operate identical hours to rail and bus schedules. MetroAccess customers are encouraged to plan extra time to travel due to increased traffic throughout the service area. Street closures around the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue for the inauguration and parade on Inauguration Day will mean that MetroAccess vehicles will only be able to drop off customers several blocks from the inauguration and parade route.

    MetroAccess vehicles will not be permitted access to streets that are closed. All MetroAccess users should be prepared for detours. MetroAccess customers must reserve their trips by 4:30 p.m. the day prior to travel.

    Road closures

    The one thing that will have an impact on most people will be road closures. Rolling road closures will last until Tuesday morning.

    There shouldn't be any impact on Tuesday morning rush hour, but expect lots of traffic jams on Monday, particularly around the Capitol and the White House.


    View inauguration_gmap.kml in a larger map

    Limited access to the city on Jan. 21:

    • 14th Street Bridge to 14th Street - All traffic will be diverted by MPD onto the Southeast/Southwest Freeway beginning at 5:30 a.m.
    • Roosevelt Bridge - Traffic coming across the Roosevelt Bridge will be diverted into northbound Potomac River Expressway to Pennsylvania Avenue or Whitehurst Freeway/K Street.
    • Memorial Bridge - Restricted to pedestrians and authorized vehicles only
    • Key Bridge - Open to all traffic
    • Chain Bridge - Open to all traffic
    • South Capitol Street Bridge - Open to all traffic
    • Southeast/Southwest Freeway - Open to all traffic
    • Rock Creek Parkway - Open to traffic (holiday traffic schedule in effect throughout the park)
    • Clara Barton Parkway operating under holiday schedule (two-way traffic all day)
    • 11th Street Bridges - Open to all traffic
    • Sousa Bridge - Open to all traffic from east of the river to security checkpoint at Capitol Hill
    • East Capitol Street - Open to all traffic. Roadways near RFK Stadium are primary routes for charter tour bus operators.
    • Benning Road - Open to all traffic
    • New York Avenue - Open to all traffic
    • 3rd Street Tunnel - Closed to all vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic
    • Woodrow Wilson Bridge - Open to all traffic

    Emergency No Parking areas:

    The following areas may be enforced as Emergency No Parking beginning 7 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, through 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22. From 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, many of these areas will be posted by law enforcement personnel and vehicular traffic will be limited.

    • South of K Street NW from Washington Circle to 11th Street NW
    • Washington Circle from K Street NW to 23rd Street NW
    • Pennsylvania Avenue NW from Washington Circle to the U.S. Capitol
    • I Street NW from 23rd Street NW to 11th Street NW
    • H Street NW from 23rd Street NW to 3rd Street NW
    • G Street NW from 23rd Street NW to 3rd Street NW
    • F Street NW from 23rd Street NW to 3rd Street NW
    • E Street NW from 23rd Street NW to 3rd Street NW
    • Virginia Avenue from 23rd Street NW to 2nd Street SW
    • C Street NW from 23rd Street NW to 3rd Street NW
    • Constitution Avenue from 23rd Street NW to 2nd Street NE
    • Madison Drive NW from 15th Street NW to 3rd Street NW
    • Jefferson Drive SW from 15th Street SW to 3rd Street SW
    • Independence Avenue from 23rd Street SW to 2nd Street SE
    • C Street SW from 7th Street SW to 2nd Street SW
    • D Street SW from 7th Street SW to 2nd Street SW
    • E Street SW from 7th Street SW to 2nd Street SW
    • Maryland Avenue SW from 7th Street SW to the U.S. Capitol
    • 23rd Street from Washington Circle NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • 22nd Street NW from K Street NW to Constitution Avenue NW
    • 21st Street NW from K Street NW to Constitution Avenue NW
    • 20th Street NW from K Street NW to Constitution Avenue NW
    • 19th Street NW from K Street NW to Constitution Avenue NW
    • 18th Street NW from K Street NW to Constitution Avenue NW
    • 17th Street from K Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • Connecticut Avenue NW from K Street NW to H Street NW
    • 16th Street NW from K Street NW to H Street NW
    • Vermont Avenue NW from K Street NW to H Street NW
    • 15th Street from K Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • 14th Street from K Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • New York Avenue NW from 18th Street NW to 11th Street NW
    • 13th Street NW from K Street NW to Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    • 12th Street from K Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • 11th Street NW from K Street NW to Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    • 10th Street NW from H Street NW to Constitution Avenue NW
    • 9th Street from H Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • 8th Street NW from H Street NW to D Street NW
    • 7th Street from H Street NW to E Street SW
    • 6th Street from H Street NW to E Street SW
    • 5th Street from H Street NW to D Street NW
    • 4th Street from H Street NW to E Street SW
    • 3rd Street from Massachusetts Avenue NW to E Street SW
    • Henry Bacon Drive NW from the Lincoln Memorial to Constitution Avenue NW
    • Daniel French Drive SW from the Lincoln Memorial to Independence Avenue SW

    Road closures in effect between 3 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21:

    • Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 18th Street NW to the U.S. Capitol
    • I Street NW from 18th Street NW to 12th Street NW
    • H Street NW from 18th Street NW to 12th Street NW
    • G Street NW from 18th Street NW to 12th Street NW
    • F Street NW from 18th Street NW to 12th Street NW
    • E Street NW from 18th Street NW to 6th Street NW
    • D Street NW from 18th Street NW to 6th Street NW
    • C Street from 18th Street NW to 2nd Street NE
    • Constitution Avenue from 17th Street NW to 2nd Street NE
    • Madison Drive NW from 15th Street NW to 3rd Street NW
    • Jefferson Drive SW from 15th Street SW to 3rd Street SW
    • Independence Avenue from 14th Street SW to 2nd Street NE
    • Maryland Avenue SW from 6th Street SW to the U S Capitol
    • 17th Street from I Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • Connecticut Avenue NW from I Street NW to H Street NW
    • 16th Street NW from I Street NW to H Street NW
    • Vermont Avenue NW from I Street NW to H Street NW
    • 15th Street from I Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • 14th Street from I Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • New York Avenue NW from 18th Street NW to 12th Street NW
    • 13th Street NW from I Street NW to Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    • 12th Street from F Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • 11th Street NW from F Street NW to Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    • 10th Street NW from F Street NW to Constitution Avenue NW
    • 9th Street from F Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • 8th Street NW from F Street NW to D Street NW
    • 7th Street from F Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • 6th Street from F Street NW to Maryland Avenue SW
    • 5th Street from D Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • 4th Street from D Street NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • 3rd Street from D Street NW to Independence Avenue SW

    Capitol Hill road closures beginning at 3 a.m. Jan. 21. Streets will open again at about 5 p.m.:

    • Louisiana Avenue NE between Columbus Circle and Constitution Avenue NW
    • Delaware Avenue NE between Columbus Circle and D Street NE
    • 1st Street between Columbus Circle and D Street SE
    • North Capitol Street between E Street NW and Louisiana Avenue NE
    • New Jersey Avenue NW between D Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW
    • D Street between New Jersey Avenue NW and 2nd Street NE
    • 1st Street between D Street NW and Washington Avenue SW
    • C Street NW between 2nd Street NW and New Jersey Avenue NW
    • 2nd Street NW between C Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW
    • 2nd Street NE between Massachusetts Avenue NE and C Street SE
    • C Street SE between 2nd Street SE and 1st Street SW
    • D Street between 1st Street SE and Washington Avenue SW
    • Washington Avenue SW between South Capitol Street and Independence Avenue SW
    • Independence Avenue between 2nd Street SE and 3rd Street SW
    • 3rd Street between E Street SW and D Street NW
    • Constitution Avenue between 2nd Street NE and 3rd Street NW
    • Maryland Avenue NE between 1st Street NE and 2nd Street NE
    • East Capitol Street between 1st Street NE and 2nd Street NE
    • 2nd Street SW between Washington Avenue SW and E Street SW
    • C Street SW between 3rd Street SW and Washington Avenue SW
    • D Street SW between 3rd Street SW and 2nd Street SW
    • South Capitol Street between E Street SW and D Street SW
    • I-295 South on-ramp from Washington Avenue SW
    • I-395 North off-ramp onto Washington Avenue SW
    • I-395 North off-ramp onto C Street NW
    • I-395 South on-ramp from 2nd Street SW
    • I-395 South off-ramp onto 2nd Street SW
    • I-395 North on-ramp from Washington Avenue SW
    • I-295 North off-ramp onto Washington Avenue SW

    Virginia major road closures:

    • Interstate 395 HOV northbound lanes will close at 9 a.m. on Jan. 21. HOV lanes on I-395 will reopen southbound upon the conclusion of the inaugural address.
    • I-395 main lanes and I-66 will be open to all traffic.
    • Memorial Bridge will be open to pedestrian traffic and authorized vehicle traffic only.
    • Key Bridge, Chain Bridge, Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the American Legion Bridge will be open to all traffic.
    • North Washington Street at Montgomery Street (City of Alexandria) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport will be open.

    Maryland transportation information:

    While there are no anticipated road closures or restrictions in Maryland, officials are discouraging individuals from driving into the District and encouraging the use of mass transit.

    U.S. Park Police closures:

    • The George Washington Memorial Parkway will be open in both directions.
    • Traffic will be allowed to exit at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport onto northbound or southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway.

    Inauguration ceremony

    For those planning to watch the swearing-in, you'll need a ticket for the good spots on the Capitol lawn, but no ticket is needed to watch from the National Mall. There are restrictions on what you can bring to each location as well as where you can enter those sites.

    Attendees can access the National Mall from these points: Constitution Avenue NW at 7th Street NW, 9th Street NW and 12th Street NW. On Independence Avenue SW, access points are at 7th Street SW and 12th Street SW.

    Viewing the inauguration ceremonies from the U.S. Capitol grounds requires a ticket issued by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

    Viewing the inaugural ceremonies from the National Mall does not require tickets. The non-ticketed area of the National Mall begins at 4th Street NW and extends towards the Washington Monument.

    Prohibited items at the Capitol:

    • Aerosol sprays
    • Air horns
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Animals (other than service animals)
    • Backpacks
    • Coolers
    • Duffel bags
    • Explosives of any kind (including fireworks)
    • Firearms and ammunition (either real or simulated)
    • Glass containers
    • Knives, blades or sharp objects (of any length)
    • Large bags
    • Laser pointers
    • Mace and/or pepper spray
    • Packages
    • Pocket or hand tools
    • Portable chairs (other than those for disabled persons)
    • Posters
    • Signs
    • Sticks or poles
    • Strollers
    • Suitcases
    • Thermoses
    • Umbrellas
    • Other items that may pose a threat to the security of the event as determined by and at the discretion of the security screener.

    Parade

    If waving to the president as he walks down Pennsylvania Avenue in the parade is your goal, you'll have to get downtown early. The gates to the reviewing areas will open to the public at 6:30 a.m. Monday, and they will close once each location reaches capacity.

    Parade route entry points:

    These entry points open at 6:30 a.m. Jan. 21 and will remain open until the route fills to capacity:

    • 2nd Street NW and C Street NW
    • John Marshall Park at C Street NW
    • Indiana Avenue NW between 6th Street NW and 7th Street NW
    • 7th Street NW and D Street NW
    • 10th Street NW and E Street NW
    • 12th Street NW and E Street NW
    • 13th Street NW and E Street NW
    • 14th Street NW and E Street NW
    • 12th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW
    • 10th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW
    • 7th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW
    • Constitution Avenue NW between 6th Street NW and 7th Street NW

    As with the swearing-in ceremony, there are lots of restrictions on what you can bring to the parade route including signs.

    Prohibited items at the parade route:

    • Aerosols
    • Ammunition
    • Animals other than helper/guide dogs
    • Backpacks
    • Bags and signs exceeding size restrictions (8"x6"x4")
    • Bicycles
    • Balloons
    • Coolers
    • Explosives
    • Firearms
    • Glass or thermal containers
    • Laser pointers
    • Mace / Pepper spray
    • Packages
    • Structures
    • Supports for signs and placards
    • Weapons of any kind
    • Any other items determined to be potential safety hazards

    Signs and placards must only be made of cardboard, poster board or cloth. Their dimensions cannot be bigger than 3 feet wide, 20 feet high and one-quarter inch thick.

    Inaugural balls

    Security measures and road closures won't end with the parade. Inaugural balls will be held all over town and security will be tight there as well.

    There will be two official inaugural balls hosted at the Washington Convention Center. Emergency No Parking zones and some road closures will be in effect near this site.

    Bike parking, Capital Bikeshare information

    The D.C. Department of Transportation and goDCgo will establish a bike parking area at 16th and I streets NW with space available for hundreds of bikes.

    Owners will be responsible for parking and locking their own bikes and availability will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Capital Bikeshare will establish two corrals on Inauguration Day to serve members attending the inauguration and inaugural parade. The corrals - which are only for Capital Bikeshare bikes - will be located at 17th and K streets NW (Farragut Square) and 12th Street and Independence Avenue SW (U.S. Department of Agriculture.)

    Air and waterway security

    A key change for pilots is that unlike normal procedures, even those pilots 25 miles or more away from the Capitol need to file flight plans.

    Pilots who stray could be forced down by fighter jets. The Coast Guard will be heavily armed and very active on waterways. On land, do not leave vehicles left unattended in restricted areas.

    WTOP's JJ Green and Mark Segraves contributed to this report. Follow @JJGreenWTOP, @SegravesWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

    (Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press and WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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