Thinking of driving into the District on January 20 for the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States? If so, you're probably also wondering where you can, or should, park.
Short answer: don’t do it. Don't drive into the District. Don't try to park your car.
"We are strongly encouraging people to use public transportation Inauguration Day," said Terry Owens, with DDOT.
For months, city officials have been warning visitors not to drive in D.C. as many roads will be closed for the Inauguration Parade and events. Metro is probably your best bet – it’s even offering extended hours from 4 a.m. to midnight – though a few stations will be closed.
“Driving and parking in Washington, DC during Inauguration Week will be challenging. Leave your vehicle at home,” the D.C. Department of Transportation website said.
Metro offered a limited edition SmarTrip® card commemorating the inauguration. The $10 card will come pre-loaded with a one-day pass valid for unlimited Metrorail and Metrobus rides on Inauguration Day.
Opting for ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft is another option to get around. But there will be a geofence around the perimeter of Inauguration events, so the apps won’t work inside it. Once you leave the secure area, the app will allow for pick-up.
And while there are bound to be plenty of taxis around the city, if you’ve ever tried to hail a cab during rush hour, you know it’s not easy. Download the D.C. Taxi app to order a taxi like you would an Uber or Lyft.
Now, if you MUST drive your car into District lines at any point during the weekend, try using Parking Panda. The app allows you to search and pre-pay for a parking spot at various garages around the city.
And, because Inauguration Day is a “legal and public holiday,” parking meters around the District on Friday will be free.
But please, just don’t drive in.
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