Yes, I know more about the Inauguration is probably repetitive, but living in DC, this is pretty much all you hear about nowadays. It’s a rather fascinating bond everyone has at the moment, being at once excited and absolutely terrified and/or not looking forward to this whole Event.
Given that major highways and all VA to DC bridges are being closed down, I feel the capitalization is deserved. Yes, you read that right. I-395N and I-66E are being closed down in Virginia two miles outside of DC on January 20th. If you are reading this and don’t know, these two highways are basically *the* way to get into DC. Basically, if car is your method of transportation, you’re hosed. Think traffic is going to be bad over the Inauguration/MLK Day Weekend with millions of people? Just wait until Inauguration Day, when there are less roads to deal with more cars.
Of course, this means people will be looking towards alternate forms of transportation. Such as the generally-reliable Metro system. (When I say “generally-reliable”, it’s because most DCers are used to putting up with some amount of annoyingly-timed delays on a regular basis in the Metro Rail System. Don’t even get me started on the Metro Bus System.) So, you are basically going to have literally multiple millions of people riding a metro system that does an okay job with hundreds of thousands of people.
In fact, Metro GM just was quoted as saying, “Something will happen on the 20th. We cannot operate that many trains and not have something happen.” As this article points out, Metro will have a mere two hours to do maintenance the night before millions of unassuming tourists descend on it like a swarm of patriotic bees. When it has five to seven hours to do maintenance, it can’t avoid troubles!
Why am I so bitter about all this? Well, I work at a Virginian shopping mall which is conveniently located both on the Metro and accessible by the major highways mentioned above. Well, usually that’s a convenient location.
Because it won’t be convenient when we are OPEN on Inauguration Day. Driving isn’t an option, even if I had a car. Not only are half the roads in the District proper going to be closed, but remember those pesky bridges/highways from DC to Virginia? Closed. That means I get to brave “unprecedented crowds” in a Metro that is bound to have “something happen” to it, to go to work at a mall that no one will be at. Joy.
In another train of thought, I am going to start carrying a camera around with me to document all this madness.