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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How I'm Getting to the Inauguration

Hopefully I'll be over my cold by then, but I do plan on attending the Inauguration, which is now only a week away. But with massive transportation issues that day and estimates as high as 5 million people coming to town, getting there seems to be a scary proposition.

I'll have two out of town visitors that I'm putting up at my home in Laurel. My usual stations of choice are Greenbelt, College Park, Cheverly, and New Carrollton. But considering that the Green and Orange Lines are located on the Beltway, I think I'm going to try a different approach.

I'll be heading to Silver Spring Metro station. Here's why: first of all, the other stations on that end of the Red Line (Forest Glen, Wheaton, and Glenmont) will certainly see a great deal of volume, but I do not believe that the gobs of out-of-towners will be flooding them the way they will at Shady Grove, New Carrollton, and Greenbelt, considering the much more "ideal" locations of those stations being at major highway junctions. Forest Glen is right off the Beltway, but it is a tiny station, and it is not marked on the Beltway the way other stations are.

Second, Silver Spring has plenty of stuff to do. If for some reason I make it down there and there is good reason not to go into the city, there are dozens of places to go and watch history unfold on TV. I plan on catching dinner there after the festivities, and showing the area off to my cousin and his friend.

Third, ample parking. As a car-oriented person, I have to take this into account. Hopefully you won't have to do so. Silver Spring has ample garages, and there ought to be enough folks getting off work to make parking there a viable option. Also, I don't believe that tour buses will be flooding this station in the same manner that they will be flooding other outer stations.

My the first reason is my primary reason. I figure people coming from points south will flood the VA stations. From the northeast, they'll all head towards Greenbelt. From the northwest, Shady Grove, and from the east, New Carrollton. Perhaps Huntington and Branch Avenue might be decent options by that logic. Does anyone else have any good plan for getting down there? Are there major flaws in my logic? How are you getting down there?


Cavan said...

How about Wheaton? Lots of parking, including in county lots. It will be a Federal Holiday so the lots that are county-owned will be free.

There will be a huge crush in Glenmont but not as bad as Greenbelt because as you observed it's not as close to a highway. Wheaton will probably be lighter because it's not the end of the line.

fourthandeye said...

I'm glad I only have to walk 6 blocks. My plan is actually just to walk around downtown with my camera and take in the energy/chaos surrounding the event rather than mash myself in with the herd for 6+ hours of jockeying for position. My TiVo will get a better view of the parade and speech than I could hope to get anyway.

-Paul S

Froggie said...

If they can halfways read a map, they'll be flooding Huntington as well. And Branch Ave is marked from the Beltway.

Here's my plan: skip town. Only problem there is I work the next day and will have to fight the post-parade crowd to get home.

Dave Murphy said...

I didn't know Branch Av was marked off of the Beltway... I guess the eastern Red line really is the safest bet.

Beltway Progressive said...

Thanks for the link to my little blog in Silver Spring. I enjoyed checking yours out, too.