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Ticket Holders Urged to Walk or Take Metro

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By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The committee overseeing the Jan. 20 presidential swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol issued its first formal advice yesterday to ticketed guests, emphasizing the desirability of walking or using Metro.

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Addressing itself particularly to those with special needs, the committee asked them to ponder their ability to stand in the cold in a big crowd for as long as six hours.

The program starts at 11:30 a.m., and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies advised arriving no later than 9.

No matter the weather, the committee said, umbrellas are banned from ticketed areas. The advisory also suggested that reaching those areas "will be very difficult" because of the large crowds expected.

In addition to 240,000 ticketed guests, the committee said a million or more people are expected to watch from the Mall.

Walking will be the most reliable way of reaching the Capitol for those within two miles of it, the committee said. Otherwise, the group advised, use public transit to get as close as possible and then walk.

Reaching designated drop-off points for the disabled might be difficult, and it will then be necessary to negotiate grass, bumpy surfaces and possibly ice, the committee said.

Metrorail users should be ready for long waits amid crowds of several thousand riders.

The joint committee plans and executes all inaugural activities at the Capitol.

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