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D.C. Chief Gives Advice on Crowds

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier urged people today to regularly check Web sites for the latest news about inaugural events, saying that information could be changing right up until the activities take place. Lanier said officials are doing their best to keep people up to date, but that plans must remain fluid to ensure public safety.

Asked to predict how many people officials expect for Tuesday's swearing-in and parade, Lanier said during an interview on WTOP that she has no crystal ball, but that it would easily be "one to two million."

And she had this warning for people who think that, because they have a ticket to the parade, they can show up later than anyone else. Once authorities determine that the crowd has reached capacity along the Pennsylvania Avenue route, no one will be admitted, regardless of whether they have a ticket. She gave no prediction for when that might happen but urged people to keep checking the Web sites.

By Bill Miller

By David A Nakamura  |  January 15, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  | Category:  Crowds , Security
Previous: Upcoming Discussions: Event Planning, Transportation | Next: Souvenir Watch: Obama Ball Caps

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okay that is fine that she is saying that if they reach capacity they won't ANYONE in regardless of ticket. Buttt..... what if they reach capacity like at 9am? the parade doesn't start till 2:30pm. There needs to be an orderly spot where ticket holders can easily get to their seats.

other than that, it is not fair to ticket holders.

Posted by: zaria25 | January 15, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Ummm. What exactly is the point of the tickets then? I'm thinking that if the bleachers are metal, the blessing of a place to sit down might end up being a curse by the end. Especially if Ms. Lanier is implying that ticket holders ought to be in place by 7 AM to wait 7 1/2 hours for the parade. Will there be staffers on standby with warm water to forcibly separate 5000 pairs of frozen buttocks from the bleachers once the parade is done?

Posted by: bug451 | January 15, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I purchased bleacher tickets with the caveat from Ticketmaster that we had to be in our seats no later than 1:00 PM. With our four-year-old in tow it will be bad enough to have to wait up to two hours for the parade to start. Now they are telling us we'll have to be there at the same time as standing-room-only folks? Why does the police chief think it will it be so hard to get 5000 people to the stands between 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM?

Posted by: Wichitagirl | January 15, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

This seems to contradict what other people have said (e.g. Marc Fisher chat:

Washington, D.C.: I have tickets to the Newseum for Inauguration Day. I plan to arrive before the 10 a.m. opening. But, if the Secret Service reaches their 250-300K person parade route cutoff before I get to the closest checkpoint, can I still get thru with my Inauguration Day Newseum Ticket (since I will be in the Newseum and not on the sidewalk)? Thanks
Marc Fisher: The cops say ticketed folks will be able to get in.

as well as what is written on the ticket. If this is in fact the case, it needs to be publicized much better. People have paid money for these tickets and deserve to be able to use them.

Posted by: bjackrian | January 15, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

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