Record crowds are expected in the National Mall of Washington, DC on January 20, 2009, as Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, and a record number of bicyclists are expected as well, which may cause some two-wheeled congestion problems without prior planning.
"Cyclists will be able to bike to the inauguration," Henry Mesias, Program Assistant for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), told BikeRadar Thursday. "There will be a security perimeter set up that bicycles will not be allowed through. That security perimeter will have all metal detectors that everyone will have to go through. WABA is working with local authorities, including the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to provide bike valet parking areas for those that wish to bike to the event, but the decision to have a bike valet is not official yet."
According to Mesias, there will probably be three bicycle valet stations, north and south, that folks will be able to choose from. He added WABA will do its best to post suggested bike routes, and information regarding biking to the inauguration as soon as everything is finalized.
"January 20th will be the perfect opportunity for cyclists to take advantage of off-street trails that exist in DC, Maryland, and Virginia that lead into the city and the 30 miles worth of bike lanes that currently exist in DC," Mesias added.
"WABA has all sorts of bike map PDFs and links on our webpage and we encourage anyone considering biking to the event to take a look at the maps and plan a route that best works for them. We also suggest that everyone keep an eye on our webpage and the DC government inauguration page for updates on what streets will be closed and where all the security check points will be."