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Tangherlini Says City Dealing Well With Crowds

City administrator Dan Tangherlini said authorities were dealing well with an expected challenge of thousands leaving the mall immediately after the ceremony. He said officials had anticipated a "more staggered exit."

"People were just getting out because they were cold," he said.

-- Clarence Williams

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 20, 2009; 3:42 PM ET  | Category:  Crowds
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Mr. Tangherlini is absolutely correct. The District did a stellar job of informing, and handling all of the crowds. Unfortunately, the Capitol Police and Secret Service (at both ends of the mall) were not up to the task. Congrats to both the District, and Metro (we had a great experience, despite their tribulations this morning) for doing a fantastic job, and I hope they get the credit they deserve.

Posted by: vtavgjoe | January 20, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't disagree with Mr. Tangherlini more. It's an absolute logistical disaster. No one knows what's going on (and that includes DC police), and they're doing stupid things to impede pedestrian traffic. For example, we got caught for 30 minutes on 18th Street as they let about 50 buses passes while tens of thousands of people were queuing up. I understand a few buses, but not 50.

Posted by: nashpaul | January 20, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The way they handled the massive crowds leaving the mall was deplorable. There was little police presence and the ones I did see had no information on subway closings. Federal Triangle was supposed to be open but it was closed and hundreds waited for it to open. The cops there had no information on what other one to try and gave out misinformation so people went from one closed station to another. These were not stations listed previously as ones which would be closed. I used Navy Yard metro-no cops there at all. no crowd control. I lived in NYC for 10 years, and have been to many large crowd events and I can say that the DC police force did a lousy job. They had no information to direct people. Everyone knew it would be a chore to get out after the ceremony, but when metro stations close down with no notice, and the cops have no info. on which one to go to, and they're not even in or around the stations helping to control the crowds, that's just inexcusable.
Oh, and security? NONE walking onto the mall. We just walked right in-no bag check, no person search, NOTHING. Anyone could have walked on that mall with explosives strapped to them and nothing would have stopped it. There were no incidents thank God, but it was due to luck, not because of the "security" measures. who were they kidding? Hundreds of us just streamed in through the south entrances near 14th st at about 5am-nobody there except for National Guard people gathering for the day's work. Someone needs to do a story on the facade the cops are trying to pull off. The mall was an open target for anyone who wanted to bring guns or explosives. The cops did nothing to ensure that people attending were going to be safe. I was there. I saw what was going on. They're lying if they say they did their job. Someone really needs to look into this-for all the PR they put out about security, it was all bluster. They couldn't handle it.

Posted by: kasalexis | January 21, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

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