On Inauguration Day Pedal Power Will Prevail
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
And if you're trying to get to the festivities surrounding next Tuesday's inauguration, take heed: Getting around Washington, D.C., will not be easy. Most bridges connecting Northern Virginia and Washington will be closed to private vehicles. So, too, will be a number of city streets. Washington's subway system is warning of, quote, "crush level crowds," as nobody knows how many people are really coming, but talk is of a million to several million people expected to turn out to see Barack Obama take the oath of office. Still, there is another option.
Mr. ERIC GILLILAND (Executive Director, Washington Area Bicyclist Association): It really could be a fantastic environment to ride around in.
MONTAGNE: Eric Gilliland is the executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. And yes, by ride around he means on a good, old-fashioned two wheeler.
Mr. GILLILAND: It's just going to be the easiest way to get around that day.
MONTAGNE: But tight security means you won't be able to park your bike just anywhere. So, Eric Gilliland and his group are setting up two bike valet stations around the city.
Mr. GILLILAND: We have volunteers that will park it for you. You go and enjoy the festivities, and when you come back, you show us your claim check, and we give you your bike, and you're off.
MONTAGNE: And he swears your bike will be perfectly safe.
Mr. GILLILAND: Totally safe, we've - we haven't lost a bike yet.
MONTAGNE: So far, the group has some 60 volunteers to work the stations. Each will be dressed in appropriate valet attire, complete with vest and bow tie. Whether you plan to join the throngs in Washington for the inauguration or watch it on TV, you can share your experience online. Head to npr.org/inaugurationreport, and become part of our coverage.
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MONTAGNE: From NPR News this is Morning Edition, directed by Van Williamson and Nicole Beemsterboer. The production staff includes John Vince Pearson, Claudette Lindsay-Habermann, Asma Khalid, Steve Munro, Emily Ochsenschlager, Leah Scarpelli, Kimberly Adams(ph), Julia Bailey, Lindsay Totty, and Ben Bergman and Melissa Jaeger-Miller at NPR West. Our director of morning programming is Ellen McDonnell. Morning Edition's theme music was written BJ Liederman and arranged by Jim Pugh. I'm Renee Montagne.
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