The Inauguration Transportation Plan as Demonstration Project
many as four million people are expected to descend on the National
Mall today for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th
President. Contending with that mass of humanity has left officials
with no choice but to implement temporary policies to get people in and
out of the city as efficiently as possible. All of which has been great
fodder for DC’s thriving livable streets blog scene. Some are hoping
today will prove to be what Obama might call a teachable moment, showing residents what downtown Washington feels like with fewer cars and more freedom for pedestrians, cyclists, and buses.
The discussion online has covered chokepoints in the Metro system, proper pricing of park-and-ride spots, and the advantages of banning private auto traffic on Virginia-DC bridges. And bike valet parking and the utility of pedicabs. Predictably, AAA came out strong
against the restrictions on car traffic, apparently contending that the
optimal "mobility" solution would be to let streets completely clog up
with private motorists.
This weekend I spoke to a relative
of mine in the DC area who predicted carmaggeddon on the Maryland side
of the district, as drivers attempt to bypass the ban. I suppose we’ll
know soon enough whether Virginians are that attached to their cars.