New plans aim to prevent Inauguration Day gridlock

Darci Marchese, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Are you heading to this year’s inauguration? There are new plans in place to help deal with crowds.

Some may recall President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, four years ago, when some ticket holders never made it to the swearing in.

Hundreds with purple-coded tickets were stuck for hours in the Third Street tunnel.

This time around, the Third Street tunnel will be shut down to vehicles and pedestrians.

The Joint Congressional Inaugural Committee says crowd control is a main goal for 2013.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is chairing the committee, said Wednesday one of the panel’s first priorities was to prevent the obstacles that many ticket holders faced four years ago.

There will be more metal detectors, better signage for ticket holders, more volunteers. And, for the first time, there will be a social media hub.

The committee says specific staff will be logged onto Twitter and other social media sites. If they detect a large number of tweets regarding a log-jam or slow moving areas, officials will be able to get to the areas of concern as they happen.

This year’s inaugural events will be held Jan. 19 through Jan. 21.

The Inaugural Committee is looking for volunteers to help out during the swearing in, the parade and the Inaugural Ball.

Learn how to sign up to volunteer here.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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