Inaug. Organizers Try to Avoid Past Problems

Inaug. Organizers Try to Avoid Past Problems
January 15, 2013, 7:20 am
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Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to head downtown for President Barack Obama's second inauguration, and lawmakers in charge are working to avoid the problems from the past.

The hope is that the whole day goes much smoother than four years ago, when record crowds made getting around a challenge.

Mustafa Omar had a ticket to Obama's first inauguration but called it worthless. Crowd control was “nonexistent,” he said.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who heads the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, wants to avoid stories like that.

Volunteers will check tickets of people waiting in line to make sure they are in the proper line.

About 250,000 expected to get tickets to watch the inauguration up close, but none will be in purple seating. Last time, coordination and planning for people who had purple tickets was later considered poor. Some had to walk and wait for a long time in the frigid 3rd Street Tunnel -- nicknamed the Purple Tunnel of Doom.

“I can’t promise you it will be perfect, but certainly we hope it will be better than last time,” Schumer said.

And this time a mobile app is available for those going to the event. They'll be able to find out about problem spots as they happen and see which Metro station to use to get to seating. More cell towers have been added on the National Mall to make sure everyone can get on their phones and get the information they need.

Photo Credit: Getty Images