Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Inauguration Mayhem

Well lets see, the dry run didn't go off without a hitch - - seems SOMEONE forgot to tell people the roads would be closed for the dry run. Seems that law enforcement, military, secret service and the other intel agencies haven't quite gotten the whole communication amongst themselves down yet. Well, actually - - they all knew the roads would be closed for the dry run, they just failed to inform the public. Which really makes me wonder, if the government isn't telling me the little things I need to know - - what BIG things aren't they telling me.

Oh gosh, maybe aliens do exist!

But anyway back to the inauguration mayhem. Unknown to the millions of estimated visitors, the rules keep changing. For some reason they do keep telling us locals the rule changes as they go. Granted, the people that really need to know about the rule changes are the outsiders coming in for this event. Oh, well, that will just add to our entertainment.

First, four metro parking lots were going to be closed for parking - - one was going to be reserved for metro employees, one for charter buses and the other two for I don't remember what. Well the charter bus lot - -- they've re-opened that to public parking because only 22 charter buses reserved spots. I'm wondering how many charters KNEW about the lot and KNEW they needed to make reservations before January 1st.

Then they announced last week that EVERY bridge from northern Virginia going into the District was going to be closed to motorized traffic. Gee, are they worried about the Confederacy rising again and us Virginians invading? Needless to say No.Va politicians complained and I think they changed the rules to now allow shuttle buses, taxis and limos over the bridges and into DC.

There is a driving perimeter and a pedestrian perimeter, or so I've heard. The driving perimeter is a mile or so away from the check points to get into the parade route and the National Mall. Personal vehicles are not permitted into the driving perimeter, only shuttle buses, taxi cabs and limos. So, the irony here is, the only people able to drive into the DC driving perimeter are foreign born, muslim men.

That quip was made by a morning DJ and relayed to me by one of my co-workers who thought it was the funniest, politically incorrect thing she had heard.

But in all seriousness, most of the 'for hire' drivers in the DC area are foreign born and muslim - - and often times they try to convert you during the cab ride. Or in my case they try to convert me but tell me in their culture, I'd be an old maid. And they wonder why I don't end up tipping them.

This morning, I then heard that the Secret Service was putting a cap on the number of people allowed through the check points. Apparently, the parade route can really only accommodate maybe 200,000 to 300,000 people. That will be interesting because they are estimating that between 2 to 4 MILLION people will be trying to get into DC to see the inauguration. So only about 10 percent of those people will be able to get positions on the parade route. The rest will be directed to the National Mall.

I heard some limit on the space on the National Mall at something like 2 million people - - o.k. that still leaves about 1 million people trying to get in to DC for a 'glimpse'. I'm thinking there are going to be some REALLY angry people. This will be very interesting.

BTW, there will be Jumbo-trons set-up all along the National Mall so that those who fit on that space will be able to see the parade and inauguration.

The estimated number of people coming for the event, should they all come, would be the largest number of people coming to DC for a single event in the history of our nation. The number of news media that are in DC to cover the event is the largest number of news media to ever cover a single event in DC in the history of our nation.

Honestly, everything seems to change on a daily basis so I'm pretty sure something I've written above isn't correct. But you know what, it doesn't really matter, because I won't be going into DC this whole weekend.

Should you be interested in the details. Here is a link to the Washington Post's Inauguration FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

No comments: