Inauguration Puts D.C. in Crowd Control Mode

The city of Washington D.C. is trying to get ready for the Presidential Inauguration -- likely to be the largest gathering of people in U.S. history.

1 minute read

January 6, 2009, 10:00 AM PST

By Nate Berg


"Nobody knows for sure how many people will descend on Washington, D.C., this month to witness Barack Obama's presidential inauguration. Mayor Adrian Fenty has put the number between 3 and 5 million. Others say it will be closer to the 1.2 million who came for Lyndon B. Johnson's inaugural in 1964. What is clear is that January 20, and perhaps the three-day weekend preceding it, will bring a crush of humanity into the capital city. If the numbers turn out on the high end of the range, it may represent the largest single gathering of people in American history."

"Even for a city that is accustomed to handling big marches and events, this is a bit much. The local infrastructure and services are likely to be stretched past their limits. For example, Metro, the local subway system, has never carried more than 855,000 passengers in a single day. That record is certain to be shattered. Metro plans to put every functioning rail car into service, and to run trains at rush-hour frequencies all day long. Still, officials are imploring anyone coming to the festivities from within a two-mile radius to plan on getting there by foot."

Thursday, January 1, 2009 in Governing

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