Bridge Rules Eased for Non-Driving Virginians
Security and transportation officials today eased rules on pedestrians walking over bridges from Virginia on Inauguration Day.
The Virginia State Police announced the “clarifications and additions” to the original plan this afternoon. Pedestrians will now be able to use all bridges to cross the Potomac, a change from an earlier policy that pedestrians could use the Memorial and Chain bridges. People will now be able to walk, bike, run or Segway across the Key, 14th Street and Roosevelt bridges, provided they keep to sidewalks and walk/bike paths.
A state police spokeswoman said that for safety, pedestrians will have to keep off the roadway, especially on the 14th Street Bridge.
“It’s not on the roadway, but the walking-biking path,” spokeswoman Corrine Geller said.
Security and transportation officials took a public shellacking yesterday after Secret Service and area transportation officials announced Wednesday that they would close all Virginia bridges across the Potomac into the District and Interstates 395 and 66 inside the Beltway to personal vehicles. The plans also cordon off a large swath of downtown Washington to help manage the unprecedented crowds expected. Maryland, in contrast, has no planned road closures.
Some members of congress, including U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D-Alexandria), U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Fairfax) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), said it was important to better balance access and security.
In a letter today to the U.S. Secret Service, Moran and Connolly called for a re-examination of the policies.
“Common sense, not fear, should be guiding our transportation policies on Inauguration Day,” Moran said.
“I urge them to explore ways to provide transportation choices for Northern Virginians wishing to attend the inauguration and for key medical personnel traveling to the District, “ Connolly said.
Norton issued a statement today that said she was expressing her concern about the traffic control plan in the District to inaugural officials.
— Eric M. Weiss.
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