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Alert: Traffic Snarls Downtown Streets

Update - 8:49 p.m.: The Secret Service has advised travelers that the area near tomorrow's ceremony and the parade will be blocked off by 4 a.m.; however, the blockades are beginning to appear now in preparation for tomorrow's event. Downtown is still in gridlock and travelers should expect normal commutes on and around Pennsylvania Avenue to take one or more hours.

From Inauguration Watch: Traffic is a mess downtown, including near the Verizon Center, site of tonight's Kid's Inaugural Concert. A Post reporter who came from Capitol Hill to the Washington Post building at 15th and L Streets reports sitting in traffic for 1 1/2 hours--after detouring well north.

Original Alert:
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is advising motorists to detour away from the downtown area this evening. At this hour, there is traffic congestion and even gridlock at many intersections, particularly around 7th and H Streets, NW near the Verizon Center, due to the large volume of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. In addition, barriers are being put in place in advance of road closures for the Presidential Inauguration and driving in the downtown area is expected to become even more difficult tonight.

-- Lena Sun, David Nakamura, John Lisle

By Mike McPhate  |  January 19, 2009; 7:07 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Driving , Inauguration  
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I'm 1200 miles away and very happy about that.

Posted by: brewstercounty | January 19, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

It is good times being held prisoner by the glorious hordes of people descending on the city in which I pay taxes. As a host, a ticket to a ball or the inauguration itself would have been nice.....

Posted by: mjwies11 | January 19, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: blasmaic | January 19, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

What a pleasure to be in Virginia not being bothered by all those people. My cars are garaged and I am watching "World at War" on DVD.

Tomorrow I won't worry about traffic and crowds as I will watch the whole plot play out on my HD television. The jumbo screens on the mall aren't HD. The wind chill in my house will be 73 with an actual temperature of 73.

Posted by: mortified469 | January 19, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Verizon Center/Chinatown is a great place to be and party. The solution tonight? Simply take the Metro. Metro is running great .. on a rush hour schedule. Take advantage!

Don't let all the jerks who regularly post to these forums disuade your from having fun tonight or going to the show tomorrow.

The Washington Circle area is clear tonight. A lot of folks heading down to the Lincoln Memorial on foot. Metro (and the restautants) are open late tonight.

Come on down and celebrate.

Posted by: tslats | January 19, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Is it pedestrians or the jersey barriers that are popping up that is behind all the problems?

Posted by: idiparker | January 19, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

The fun will only continue into tomorrow.....It will be an exciting time and a wonderful event...we're having a party here for the entire warmth and with friends, watching on TV. I really feel sorry for people from out of town and being there with the masses.This will also be part of their story and being a part of history. Hope they stay warm tomorrow.

Posted by: vamom2 | January 19, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

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