Questions about Riding Metro and Bikes to the Inauguration and what you can and can't bring where,

Special Inauguration Ask Liz: 1/16/09 & 1/19/2009

Riding Metro To The Inauguration
Metro officials expect extremely crowded conditions on Inauguration day so keep this tips in mind. MetroRail will operate on rush hour service from 4 AM to 9 PM and stay open until 2AM. A One-Day Pass for $7.80. Keep in mind that some Metro entrances will be designated as exit-only or entry-only. And MetroRail station restrooms will be closed.

Riding a Bike to the Inauguration
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association will be providing free valet-bike parking services. The bike valets will be located on the south side of the Jefferson Memorial and on sixteenth Street, North-West between Eye Street and K streets North West. Just ride your bike up to the valet and get a claim ticket...a volunteer will attach one half of a claim ticket to your bike and give you the other half. The bike valets are prepared to park more than a thousand bikes.

Security --- Parade Route and Ticketed Swearing-In Ceremony
Security screening will be set up along the parade route and ticketed areas for the swearing-in ceremony and the following items are prohibited in these secured areas.

No weapons, fireworks, sharp objects, mace, tools, coolers, thermoses, strollers, umbrellas, bicycles, silly string or pets, alcohol, backpacks or packages.

The Secret Service says the 8 by 6 by 4 rules along the parade route and ticketed areas applies to purses so leave your large designer bag at home.

Security -- General Viewing Areas on the National Mall
West of 4th street, you'll still have to go through security checkpoints but you can bring items like backpacks, strollers however you still can't bring firearms, fireworks, laser pointers and alcoholic beverages.

Cell Phones
What should spectators know about using cell phones in and around the Mall?

Just as restaurants, trains and highways have maximun capacity limits, wireless networks have limitations too. The Wireless Association says on Inauguration day residents and visitors should be prepared for delays when using wireless devices. Wireless carriers are working to boost capacity around the Capitol grounds, parade route, and the National Mall but there's only so much they can to with the spectrum and sites available.

So if you are heading to the festivites, text, don't talk on your phone. Snap, Save and the send photos after you leave the area. And have a back up plan before you get downtown.

Open and Closed
So you and a couple of million other people are on the Mall what's open and what's closed in the area?  If you're along the parade route, the Newseum is open but Inauguration Day tickets are sold out ...its website says some walk-up tickets may be available at the door.

The following are closed on Tuesday, the Washington Monument, Library of Congress, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, The Corcoran Gallery, The Museum for Women in the Arts, The National Gallery of Art, The Renwick Gallery.

The following are open, all Smithsonian museums including the Museum of the American Indian, American History and the Museum of Natural History, the National Archives.

The Reagan International Trade Center and the Old Post Office Pavillion along the parade route

Medial Assistance
And finally, if a consumer needs medical assistance on Inauguration day...what should they keep in mind.

The American Red Cross is preparing to handle any emergency on Inauguration day.  The Red Cross says its top concern is cold-weather related problems like hypothermia. It plans to use three hundred fifty to five hundred volunteers to staff fifty two aid stations along the parade route and the National Mall.  And in case of an emergency, city officials are encouraging everyone to sign-up for emergency alerts through the D-C Homeland Security Agency.

This system is designed to send text messages, even when cell phone signals are low, to your email and cell phone. You'll get special announcements regarding inaugural-related transportation and the weather. For more informatiion, go to and enter Alert in the search box

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