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Pedestrians Cross Memorial Bridge

Thousands of pedestrians were crossing the bridge, along with a few cyclists willing to move at a pedestrian pace.

Many of the walkers came from the Arlington Cemetery Station on Metro's Blue Line, but many others had hiked there from Arlington neighborhoods or come down along the Mount Vernon Trail.

The river crossing took about 10 minutes, and seemed shorter with so many volunteers along the sidelines shouting, "Welcome to Washington!"

This crowd was heading to the Lincoln Memorial or the Reflecting Pool, or they were advancing toward the Capitol to see how close they could get before the swearing-in ceremony began.

Many had crossed the river just to reach the Lincoln Memorial steps. Although the Capitol from there looks like a postage stamp, the view of the throng ahead was breathtaking.

Memorial Bridge is the one Potomac crossing dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists heading in for the inauguration. You can walk or pedal across the other bridges, but only on the walkways. The views from all the bridges are great, but Memorial Bridge is particularly inspiring for those heading in because of the view of the Lincoln Memorial.

Normally, this is a major commuter route for cars traveling in and out of Washington, and at peak periods, there's a lot of traffic congestion on the bridge and around Lincoln Circle on the D.C. side.

Here's a map of the area.

View Larger Map

By Robert Thomson  |  January 20, 2009; 10:06 AM ET
Categories:  Inauguration  
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