Back when he was running for President, candidate Barack Obama said, "Everyone benefits if we can leave our cars, and walk, bicycle, and access other transportation alternatives..." While these words ring true any day of the year, January 20, 2009, is one day when going car-free is not just a choice, but a necessity for those of us in the Washington capital area.
And as the region gears up for Inauguration Day, walking is quickly rising to the top of the short list of preferred "transportation alternatives" for anyone who plans to witness history, whether on the National Mall or along the Inaugural parade route. In fact, Metro recommends walking for people within 2-3 miles of the Capitol because, as we've all heard by now, trains are expected to fill up long before they reach stops within a 2-3 mile radius of the Mall.
Even though the choice may be clear for those of us coming from Arlington and DC, there are still many restrictions and caveats to consider. And things are changing by the day. That's why WALKArlington has been busy trying to keep track of all the Inaugural developments that affect pedestrians.
With today's release of the Secret Service Security Plan for the Inauguration, we now have a handy Inauguration Transportation Map, which details pedestrian access points along with other much-anticipated logistical information.
Metro has also put together a Walking Map/Commemorative Inauguration Guide (click on pdf in lower right-hand corner of page) to help walkers make their way from select Metro stops.
Other resources to help pedestrians figure out their options for walking to the Inauguration from Arlington and DC:
- Washington, D.C. 2009 Presidential Inauguration Website (scroll down to Walkable Routes)
Keep in mind that plans for the Inauguration are fluid and may change at any time. As the date approaches, keep checking the following official Inauguration websites for updates:
There are still plenty of unresolved questions, from whether pedestrians will be allowed on 14th Street and Roosevelt Bridge sidepaths to whether strollers will be allowed in the perimeter. Rest assured, WALKArlington will continue to monitor updates that affect pedestrians and share what we learn, so if you're planning on walking to the Inauguration, stay tuned for more!
Lauren Hassel is Coordinator of Outreach and Promotions for WALKArlington, part of Arlington County Commuter Services in the Department of Environmental Services.