Daily Archives: January 21, 2009

I skipped the inauguration

I did not attend the inauguration mainly due to unpredictable travel times and child care issues. But I followed it via web stream and news sites and wanted to write an update about the crowd estimates and logistical issues that I wrote about last week.

The crowd estimates were predictably less than the prediction of about 2 million people. The Washington Post reported that the total crowd size was approximately 1.8 million (including people attending the parade) and 1 million people on the Mall. Expert Clark McPhail estimated the crowd size to be 1 million on the Mall. He said, “It was sparser than I thought… There were lots of open spaces.” The Numbers guy reports the estimates that many networks were using and how they got them.

It seems like there were enough bathrooms. There are some reports of long bathroom lines, but in the end, the wait seemed doable. I was unable to find any articles about a major bathroom problem or the lack of toilet paper. Hooray!

Miraculously, the traffic going to and from DC was reported to not be too bad.  All bridges connecting Virginia to DC were shut down before the Inauguration, so I expected the worst.  It sounds like heavy congestion was limited to Metro stations.  Originally, traffic on I95 was predicted to back up all the way to Richmond (about 100 miles south of the bridges to DC) but there was absolutely no traffic in Richmond.

If you attended any of the inaugural events, please comment about your experience and the logistics.