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Bikes are the hot ticket at Obama inauguration

Posted by on January 8th, 2009 at 10:23 am

Congressional Reception -12.jpg

Eric Gilliland, seen here at the 2008
National Bike Summit in D.C., is
executive director of WABA.
(Photo © J. Maus)

With hundreds of thousands of people expected to flock to the National Mall for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama later this month, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) wants to make it as easy as possible for people to get there by bike.

Yesterday, they officially announced that they’ll staff several free bike valet stations during the event.

Reached via email this morning, Gilliland said that bikes will still not be allowed in the hard security perimeter but, “everything will be fine outside of that.”

To further sweeten the deal, WABA — with sponsorship help from America Bikes and Dero Bike Racks — will give everyone who takes advantage of the bike valets a commemorative claim check and spoke card.

Thousands of people rode bikes
to Waterfront Park when
Obama visited Portland.
(Photo: Bob Crispin)

Gilliland said he’s excited that, “a huge part of D.C. outside of the hard security perimeter (including most bridges) will be restricted to residents, authorized vehicles and bikes and pedestrians.”

A press release about the bike valets, said WABA is prepared to park “well over 1000 bikes”. That might not be enough capacity if Obama’s visit to Portland is a reliable comparison.

Back in May, when Obama addressed a crowd of 70,000 at Waterfront Park, there were an estimated 7-8,000 bikes parked near the event.

For more on the free bike valet service at the inaugural, check out WABA’s website.

Any readers out there plan on biking to the inaugural?

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  • bahueh January 8, 2009 at 11:17 am

    DC is fairly bike popular….those valets are going to be extremely overwhelmed I’d guess…especially if the weather is cooperative..

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  • Elly Blue January 8, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    This almost makes me wish I were sticking around for the inauguration, just to take photos of the bike parking.

    But I’m skipping the circus and will be on the train instead. See you all in the Obama era…

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