District braces for road chaos

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Mr. Evans, who represents much of the area affected by the security measures, said he understands why the bridges will be closed to private vehicles, but he thinks it is important that authorities move people out of the city as smoothly as possible. He said the planning “started with the Secret Service saying, ‘This is the way things are going to be done.’”

Mr. Evans’ remarks echoed those of Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, who said last week that preparations “will continue to change rapidly between now and up to Inauguration Day.”

The chief also said that is “the Secret Service’s job to move the president around the city. It’s my job to move the city around the president.”

The security planning included coordination with dozens of federal, state and local entities, with the Secret Service in the lead role. Law enforcers were involved in 13 mock scenarios - ranging from “white powder” threats to nuclear and cyberattacks.

But D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray complained in an interview this week that there is no go-to person, agency or Web site consolidating information about the inaugural plans and making it readily available to the public.

All kinds of key information, including alternative routes into and out of the city, and what inaugural attendees can expect once they get here, is being lost to the average person, he said.

The inconveniences extend beyond traffic and transportation. The Secret Service measures mean there will be no mail pickup or delivery in some areas on Tuesday, and in other areas it will be curtailed.

The ZIP codes 20001, 20002, 20003, 20006, 20024 and 20037 may experience partial or no delivery, and there will be no delivery to 20004 and 20006. Some curbside drop boxes will be taped shut or removed entirely.

Newspapers are impacted, too. The Times will be removing an estimated 400 single-sale boxes.

About the Author
Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...

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