Washington, DC – In the remaining weeks before the 56th presidential inaugural, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) will be issuing a series of advisories to help people who plan to attend the swearing-in ceremony. The following is a special alert for those people who will have tickets to the swearing-in, but may have questions about getting to and from the event that morning. Because of the large crowds and the potential for inclement weather, those people with special needs are advised to pay careful attention to these details.
While the actual swearing-in will take place shortly before noon, the formal program begins at 11:30 AM and the musical prelude and seating will begin much earlier. Security checkpoints will open for ticketed guests at 8:00 AM, and the committee advises arriving no later than 9:00 AM to ensure that you are through the checkpoints by the time the program begins. Screening will end when the program begins at 11:30 AM and late arrivals will not be able to enter the grounds.
GETTING TO THE SWEARING-IN
Getting to the swearing-in ceremonies that morning will be very difficult because of the large crowds. In addition to the 240,000 ticketed guests, a million or more people are expected to view the inauguration from the National Mall between 4th Street and the Lincoln Memorial, along with hundreds of thousands of others who plan on watching the Inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.
We recommend planning ahead, but also caution that any plans made in advance should be double-checked in the days and hours prior to the event in case of changes to transportation schedules, street and other closures, and other factors that may impact your travel plans. We also recommend developing back-up plans in case your original travel plans need to be changed at the last minute.
The District of Columbia’s inaugural website will have the most up-to-date information on road closures and other travel alerts. We recommend that guests bookmark the site, http://www.inauguration.dc.gov/index.asp, and check it frequently for changing information.
A security perimeter will be established around the U.S. Capitol and the parade route on or before January 20, 2009. Subway stations, bus stops, and streets within that perimeter will be closed. Street closures throughout Washington, D.C., will make traveling by car or taxi very difficult. Bridges from Virginia crossing the Potomac River into Washington, D.C., as well as major roadways from Maryland into Washington, D.C., may be closed to all but bus traffic.
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