A Numbers Crunch in the Tunnel of Doom

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I accepted the invitation from the unnamed local official quoted in your Metro article on Inauguration Day problems to "do the math" on the Purple Tunnel of Doom ["Inaugural Missteps and Miscalculations; Authorities Rejected Offers of Aid, Allegedly, and Underestimated Ticket Holder Turnout," Jan. 25]. The results were astounding.

Accepting that the 24 magnetometers could each process 400 people an hour (an unbelievable seven per minute), this totals 9,600 admissions an hour. The gates opened four hours before the noon swearing-in, allowing a total of 38,400 ticketholders to make it through. But 52,000 purple tickets were issued. What on earth were the planners thinking?

For Inauguration Day in 2013, planning should be left to a class of third-graders who have mastered the art of multiplication.


Chevy Chase

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