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Red Line Packed; Checkpoint Crowds Form

Red Line trains already reported packed.

At 3:45 a.m., clots of people were forming at checkpoints. Lots groups walking block after block, getting coflicting information from visiting police. "He didn't even know where Capitol Hill is," groused one woman after getting no help from an officer on E St. near Verizon Center.

Meanwhile, traffic was crawling into the parking at the Vienna Metro station. At Shady Grove, by the time workers threw back the gates the line of riders stretched almost the full length of the cavernous parking garage. A man sold hand warmers at $5 a pair.

Some had waited since 2 a.m. Dave Holdsworth, 21, was at the front with his girlfriend, Cari Barath, 27, and her son Jude, 8. They had left Cleveland, Ohio, at 8 pm, their iPod keeping them awake. They expected traffic but hit none till the entrance of the Metro station.

Their plan: "Get in, get out, get home," Holdsworth said. They had no tickets and only a vague idea what to do once they arrived at Metro Center. They will return home tonight.
"We really weren't expecting to get very close," he said.

-- Daniel DeVise, Steve Hendrix, Keith Alexander

By Washington Post staff  |  January 20, 2009; 4:18 AM ET
Previous: Traffic Alert: Avoid Downtown | Next: Crowds Hit the Mall

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