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Questions About Inauguration Day? What is Open and How to Get Around

Presidential Inauguration 2013 . Flag-waving spectators throng the Washington Mall near the capital.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to visit the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to attend the 58th Presidential Inauguration and related events. The City of Alexandria is providing the following information so residents and visitors know how these events will affect local government offices, facilities, roadways and transit around Alexandria and in Washington.

Residents planning to participate in special events should carefully review all transportation and security information from the event organizer prior to attending and should be prepared for extremely large crowds and significant travel delays. City of Alexandria Schedule of Services for Inauguration Day, January 20

All Alexandria City government offices will be closed on Friday, January 20.

Animal Shelter: The Vola Lawson Animal Shelter will be open on January 20.

Health Facilities: The Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.) and the Flora Krause Casey Health Center (1200 N. Howard St.) will be closed on January 20. The Teen Wellness Center (3330 King St.) will be closed on January 20.

Historic Alexandria: On January 20, the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Lyceum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The Alexandria Black History Museum, Alexandria Archaeology Museum, Friendship Firehouse Museum, Fort Ward Museum, and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum will be closed. For more information, visit or call 703.746.4554.

Hotlines:  All emergency hotlines operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including the child protective services hotline at 703.746.5800; the domestic violence hotline at 703.746.4911; the emergency services for mental health or substance abuse crisis hotline at 703.746.3401; the adult protective services hotline at 1.888.832.3858; and the sexual assault hotline at 703.683.7273.

Libraries: All Alexandria Library branches will be closed on January 20.  The Alexandria Law Library (520 King St.) will be closed on January 20.

Parking: All normal parking rules will be in effect on January 20.

Recreation and Art Centers: The Chinquapin Park Recreation Center will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the Charles Houston Recreation Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on January 20.  All other recreation centers will be closed on January 20. The Torpedo Factory Art Center will be open on January 20.

Resource Recovery: Due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday on January 16, all residential refuse and recycling collection this week has been delayed by one day. Residents who would normally receive collection services on January 19 will have their refuse and recycling collected on January 20.

Schools: All Alexandria City Public Schools and administrative offices will be closed on January 20.

State Offices: The Circuit Court, Clerk of Circuit Court, General District Court, and Juvenile Court and Domestic Relations District Court (520 King St.) will be closed on January 20. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Office (2681 Mill Rd.) will be open on January 20.

Transit: On January 20, the Alexandria Transit Company’s DASH bus service will operate on a Saturday schedule. The free King Street Trolley will run during its regular operating hours, every 10 to 15 minutes, between the King Street Metro Station and the Waterfront, from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Know Before You Go: Planning Your Travel

The City urges all residents — whether they are planning to attend events in D.C., go to work or travel within Alexandria — to make a plan, be prepared, and stay informed.

Road Closures and Vehicle Restrictions

Road and bridge closures and security restrictions around the U.S. Capitol and the Inaugural Parade route will restrict car travel from Northern Virginia to Washington D.C., as early as 3 a.m. on Thursday, January 19. Restrictions that may directly affect Alexandria include:

  • The Arlington Memorial Bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic at 5 a.m. on January 19, and will remain accessible to pedestrians and authorized vehicles through January 20.
  • The HOV lanes on I-395 will close in both directions at 3 a.m. on January 20, and will reopen as southbound lanes upon the conclusion of the Inaugural Address.  The main lanes of I-395 will be open to all traffic at all times.
  • There will no be closures on the George Washington Memorial Parkway, I-66, or the bridges between Virginia and Washington, D.C., other than the Arlington Memorial Bridge.  However, the 14th Street Bridge into the District will divert to I-395 only, and the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge into the District will divert to the Potomac Freeway only.

For a full list of road closures and restrictions, visit

Getting to Inauguration Events

On Foot

With hundreds of thousands of visitors attending the Inaugural events in Washington, D.C., walking is the best mode of transportation for those who are able.

People who wish to walk to the District from Alexandria have a number of options, including the Mount Vernon Trail. For trail access information, visit the City’s Bikeways Network page for a bike trails map. Additionally, the District of Columbia has provided an Inauguration Day Walking Map.

By Bicycle

Those who choose to bike to the District may consider the following options:

  • The City of Alexandria offers a bike trails map, and maps from neighboring jurisdictions, on the Bikeways Network page.
  • Capital Bikeshareriders will have access to Capital Bikeshare corrals at 1) 17th Street and K Street NW, and 2) 4th and E Streets SW. Riders will be guaranteed a place to drop off their Capital Bikeshare bike; however, bikes cannot be guaranteed for everyone for return trips.
  • Capital Bikeshare stations in the National Mall area will be closed on January 19 and January 20.  Do not leave a bike at station marked closed.
  • There will be free bike parking at 16th Street and I Street NW for personal bikes only (no Capital Bikeshare bikes).  Bike owners are responsible for parking and locking their own bikes, and availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • For more information, visit Capital Bikeshareor the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

By Rail


To plan your Metrobus or Metrorail trip, use Metro’s Trip Planner at To stay informed, text POTUS to 90360 to get Inauguration Day service info and alerts. (Standard text message rates apply).

  • Metrorail will open at 4 a.m. on January 20 and 5 a.m. on January 21, and will close at midnight on both days.  Trains will operate with rush-hour frequency and peak fares for most of the day on January 20.
  • Five Metro stations – Archives-Navy Memorial, Mt Vernon Square, Federal Triangle, Smithsonian and Pentagon –  will be closed on January 20 due to enhanced security measures.
  • Be prepared! Riders are encouraged to purchase a SmarTrip card in advanceto avoid long lines on Inauguration Day. Each rider age 5 or older needs a SmarTrip card to enter and exit the system.  A commemorative Inaugural SmarTrip card can be purchased through January 19 while supplies last, at the CVS/Pharmacy at 503 King St. in Alexandria.  The card costs $10 and includes an all-day pass good for January 20 only.  The card may be used for future travel if additional fare is be added at any SmarTrip machine in a Metrorail station.
  • Metro recommends that riders plan their trip to the National Mall without transferring between lines. There is a station near the National Mall on each Metro line.

By Bus


Many routes departing from Alexandria into Arlington and the District will be changed on January 19 and 20.  Routes that normally cross the National Mall will turn around at special locations outside the secured area, so riders are encouraged to use Metrorail instead. Expect delays and allow additional time. Visit for additional information.


For bus travel within Alexandria, visit the Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) web site for route information. In Old Town, the free King Street Trolley, which runs from the Metrorail King Street Station to the City’s Waterfront, will operate on its regular hours, from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Important Transit Links

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