Here are some routes from stations to the Mall for the swearing-in:
It’s about 1.5 miles to the Mall viewing areas, but it’s something to consider if you hate crowds and love views — and aren’t averse to exercise. Start by walking across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial, about 0.7 mile from the station. Go by the left side of the memorial and pick up Constitution Avenue. Or you could swing right of the Lincoln Memorial, on the Independence Avenue side, and walk through the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which wasn’t there for the 2009 inauguration.
Don’t be put off by the busted-up look of the station’s ceiling. It’s looked like that for several years and hasn’t fallen on us yet. Walk south to K Street NW, then turn right on K to reach 18th Street. Turn left on 18th and continue to Constitution Avenue. Turn left toward the Capitol.
At the K Street exit, you will find a Starbucks and an inauguration memorabilia vendor. You might be inclined to buy a hot drink for the mile-long walk and a T-shirt to commemorate the day. There are two ATMs along the route. As you walk along 18th Street, you will pass a variety of eateries and cafes. Be sure to stock up on food and drinks before you reach Pennsylvania Avenue, because at that point you’ve reached a no man’s land of office buildings with not a coffee shop in sight. The sidewalks also start to get dicey past Pennsylvania Avenue due to construction. Once you reach Constitution Avenue, there are multiple benches to rest and regroup before you continue to the Mall.
The walk to the Mall is nearly a mile. Head south on 17th Street NW toward I (Eye) Street, turn right on I, then go left on 18th Street and continue to Constitution Avenue. Turn left toward the Capitol.
It’s closer to the Potomac River than Farragut West but about the same distance to the Mall. Foggy Bottom station has new escalators but only one exit, so it can be crowded at peak periods. Turn right onto 23rd Street NW and walk south 0.3 mile. Turn left at Virginia Avenue and walk 0.6 mile to Constitution Avenue.
It’s about 1.2 miles to the Mall from McPherson Square station. Walk west on I (Eye) Street NW, then left on 18th Street NW. That will get you past the Pennsylvania Avenue parade barrier. Continue south to Constitution Avenue NW. Turn left toward the Capitol.
Though Metro Center is convenient for the parade route, it’s a more difficult starting point for the swearing-in ceremony. For the 1.7-mile walk to the Mall, go west on F or G streets NW, turn right at 14th Street NW, turn left at I (Eye) Street NW, turn left at 18th Street NW and continue south to Constitution. Turn left toward the Capitol. The advantage of taking this longer route is the resources along the way. You’ll be traveling through the heart of downtown, so you can’t walk 10 feet without encountering a cafe, restaurant or convenience store. Macy’s connects to the Metro Center stop, so if you forget gloves or need an umbrella, you’re in the right place. Still, for most, the nearly two-mile walk won’t be worth it.
This is one of the most convenient stations for approaching the Mall, just a fifth of a mile away, and thousands know it. So expect L’Enfant Plaza to be very crowded in the hours before the swearing-in. Walk north on Seventh Street SW to Independence Avenue SW.
A Green Line rider from the District or Prince George’s County who doesn’t want to face the crowd at L’Enfant Plaza and is up for a mile walk to the Mall could get off at Waterfront station and walk north on Fourth Street SW, turn left on I (Eye) Street SW, turn right on Seventh Street SW and walk north to the Mall.
To see photos from the inaugural walking path, go to PostLocal’s Facebook page at http://bit.ly/inaugwalk.