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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Inauguration Logistics by peripatetically on 8 January 2009 11:54pm
I decided to start another thread about the inauguration in Washington on Jan 20. Let's just say that logistics matter a whole lot regarding not wishing to be in attendance. A news article recently mentioned a few facts that would change minds of anybody who understands numbers and believes in math.

Only 5000 porta-potties will be available to the public on the mall and parade route. With very very conservative estimations of 2 million people converging on the city, that means 400 people to each potty. Now don't forget, the potties are only good for 150 uses, so imagine the problems when they need to be emptied. YUCK. Also, that's a CONSERVATIVE estimate and more people will more than likely show up in D.C., expecting a good show of about 5 million at this point. Of course, nobody can be certain.

This event is being compared to Woodstock in that the numbers of people will overwhelm the facilities. Now Woodstock was a pure dirty mess, nobody can honestly dispute that. Also, there will be massive gridlock and mass transit overload. If anyone from Maryland or Virginia is considering going, regardless of where they live, they are being advised to walk or ride a bicycle. Bridges and roadways will be closed to everything except the 10,000 charter buses that are expected.

Let's continue---

More than 700 vendor licenses have been issued. BUT, they can make more money selling overpriced souvenirs than hotdogs and bottled water. Try getting something to eat. Hundreds of thousands of hungry and thirsty people who can't go to the bathroom will be a nasty thing to see. Top that with them not being able to get home later.

One thing that D.C. has allowed is that bars will be allowed to remain open much later than usual, until 4 a.m.. That's how long afterwards the authorities expect people will be stranded in Washington with no place to go when the ceremony is over. People will need shelter. Imagine the subways.

The last time anything came close to this was the Million Man March and this will surpass that. Lyndon Johnson had the biggest crowd for an inauguration in 1965 at about 1.2 million.

Officials point out there is no dress rehearsal for this event. It's new to everybody.

We haven't figured in the weather yet. It could be raining, cold, icy, sleet,snow, windy or a combination or all of the above. Considering the crowds, weather conditions and many other factors, there is great concern about emergency vehicles reaching those who need help of any kind. And where will they go? Already, hospitals as far as downtown Baltimore(40+ miles away) and surrounding cites elsewhere in Virginia and Maryland are being put on alert if patients can in fact make it that far.

So no, I wouldn't venture over there (30 miles from my house). TV is just fine and dandy. I'll see more of EVERYTHING, be warm and cozy with a full stomach and have bathroom accommodations.

The day over there will be historically chaotic to say the least. I love parades and crowds of happy cheering people, fireworks and the like, but not this. Anyone planning to attend this event can't begin to predict the scope of the problems. I predict that the news will carry stories of people who merely were trying to relieve themselves, find food and find their way back home when the time comes.

Does anybody know anyone personally is who planning the trip? I probably live closer than anybody here and I' wouldn't consider it for a second. The best we can do is hope for a relatively warm day for this time of year.

Re: Inauguration Logistics by tucsonmike on 8 January 2009 11:57pm
I have not found anything about which law enforcement agencies and protective services will be there. Five million?! Oh lord have mercy, that's gonna be a mess!
Re: Inauguration Logistics by peripatetically on 9 January 2009 12:05am
I'm hoping that maybe a lot of people will change their minds. NO?
Re: Inauguration Logistics by Lounge Trekker on 9 January 2009 12:16am
It will be much more enjoyable on TV. My suggestions might sound out to lunch, but a crowd over 2 million, in a city, miles from home is not a pretty thought. It will be like a third world country in the middle of that crowd after a few hours.

The mall water (sorry, I don't know the official name) could be drained and the mucky area used for outhouse purposes. Helicopters could drop food on the crowd, like hotdogs wrapped in foil pouches, or bags of popped corn. 'Space' blankets, the foil survival sheets, could also be dropped by chopper. Police on horseback are necessary. How about disposable 'pottie bags' c/w privacy screen, also dropped from choppers?

If I were stuck in a crowd like that I would avoid eating but a guy needs water and I'd rather make a puddle where I am than a pile.

The expense is worth it for sanitary and public health and safety in the most civilized country on earth!
Television Trekker
Re: Inauguration Logistics by peripatetically on 9 January 2009 12:18am
Mike, good question. I would predict not just D.C officials and agencies. On the other hand, wouldn't you think the inauguration budget would be somewhat conservative due to our economy? Nothing has been said about how much money the federal govt. is spending for this particular inauguration. I bet it sets a record for the most.
Re: Inauguration Logistics by peripatetically on 9 January 2009 12:21am
Pete, you're very inventive. Not bad ideas really. But the expense .... OMG!

People just really need to use their brains. The government can't be responsible for 'numpties" who insist on going there KNOWING the risks !
Re: Inauguration Logistics by mrsthing on 9 January 2009 6:58pm
I hate crowds. I hate noise. I especially hate confusing, being hungry, and having to pee. But I'd be there in a heartbeat if I could. The latest prediction I've heard is for bone-chilling cold on the 20th, but that may just be to deter people like me who would go down unannounced. You can't predict the weather that far in advance.
Re: Inauguration Logistics by sighthound on 9 January 2009 10:11pm
I'd be there, too, if I could. I'll see more on television but I won't have the memories to pass along to new generations that I would have if I was there. History is in the telling.
Re: Inauguration Logistics by peripatetically on 10 January 2009 12:01am
I suspect only a tiny percentage of the crowd will see anything at all other than the back of other people's heads! HAHAHAHAHA. And maybe their private parts if things get desperate! HAHAHA
Re: Inauguration Logistics by kazzzz on 10 January 2009 12:05am
I deffo wouldn't be there ( If I was American I mean) for safety issues. It's awful to think buy the guy is a prime target, and all those people all together at once in the same place. It's scary.
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