Wanna See the Boss, Beyoncé, et al? Get There Early.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Do you want to see the Boss, Beyoncé, Bono and President-elect Barack Obama later today at the Lincoln Memorial? Get up early, put on some warm clothes and make a personal transportation plan.
The free concert, "We Are One: Opening Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial," starts at 2:30 p.m., but members of the public will be allowed to stand in the cold beginning at 8 a.m.
Yes, it will be chilly, but not as cold as yesterday. The National Weather Service said temperatures could rise as high as 39 degrees under cloudy skies. Winds could make it feel colder, and there is a chance of snow tonight.
Security officials have banned vehicles and pedestrians from the Arlington Memorial Bridge, west of the Lincoln Memorial, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and banned District-bound traffic from the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge during the same hours. Traffic headed into the District will be rerouted onto the 14th Street bridge. The pedestrian and bike path will be open on the Roosevelt Bridge, as will the Virginia-bound lanes.
Also, HOV-2 restrictions will be in effect for eastbound traffic on Interstate 66, restricting the left lane outside the Capital Beltway and both lanes inside it to vehicles carrying at least two people.
Officials also are placing tight security restrictions on concert attendees, barring coolers, backpacks, bicycles, pets and bags exceeding 6-by-4-by-8 inches, among other items. Signs or placards must be made of cardboard, poster board or cloth and be no wider taller than three feet, no longer than 20 feet and no thicker than a quarter-inch.
From 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, a large swath of downtown west of the White House will be open only to residents of that zone. The area extends from 23rd Street NW to 17th Street NW and from K Street NW to Constitution Avenue NW.
D.C. Department of Transportation officials recommend taking Metro to Farragut North or Metro Center on the Red Line; Foggy Bottom, Farragut West, Federal Triangle or Smithsonian on the Blue and Orange lines; and L'Enfant Plaza or Archives on the Green and Yellow lines.
Concert-goers can walk down 23rd Street NW from the Foggy Bottom station or down 17th Street NW from the Metro stations around Farragut Square.
Public entrances will be at Constitution Avenue NW at 19th Street NW; Constitution Avenue NW at Virginia Avenue NW: 17th Street at North Elm Walk; 17th Street NW at South Elm Walk; and Independence Avenue SW at the D.C. War Memorial.
The Reflecting Pool area, JFK Hockey Fields and Constitution Gardens will be open on a first-come, first-served basis.
There will also be parking and shuttle service available at RFK Stadium. The shuttles will depart from Lot 8 and drop off and pick up at Independence Avenue between Seventh and Ninth streets SW.