wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 5:15 pm
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Road closures in effect between 3 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21:
Capitol Hill road closures beginning at 3 a.m. Jan. 21. Streets will open again at about 5 p.m.:
Virginia major road closures:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.)
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.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press and WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)