Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Crowd Estimates Reduced by Half
(Or, it feels good to be right)

Earlier this month, I voiced doubts about the huge crowd predictions for the Inauguration, based on my interviews with New Yorkers about their travel plans. I wrote:

Rather than excitement mounting, I see excitement waning. Though there have been predictions of crowds up to 5 million, I am now wondering whether the numbers will be significantly lower.

Officials in D.C. are now agreeing with me. From the Washington Post:

Officials are casting doubt on an early projection that 4 million to 5 million people could jam downtown Washington on Inauguration Day, saying it is more likely that the crowd will be about half that size.

D.C. authorities said the earlier estimates, provided by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), were based on speculation surrounding the historic nature of the swearing-in of Barack Obama as the nation's first African American president. After weeks of checking with charter bus companies, airlines and other sources, they're reassessing.

It's funny how the prediction itself has become such a news story.

Some random items have popped up in the comments on this blog. One is a fairly practical guide to inaugural rentals, per "marcella." Rates look a bit high to me there. The other is an even more practical guide to bathrooms in D.C., per "jennifer." It is poetically titled "Where to Pee in D.C."

Inauguration Day Crowd Estimate Reduced by Half [Washington Post]

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