Crowd Control


As several friends of mine can verify, Saturday night I was expressing some skepticism about the idea that seventy-gillion people were really all going to schlep down to DC to stand outside in January amidst a giant crowd. Among other things, the crowd estimate sizes seemed to have been pulled out of thin air. Now I read:

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.

Duly noted. What’s more, let me say that despite widespread rumors of people reaping windfalls by renting out their houses for Inauguration Week, I have yet to encounter real hard evidence of any such thing happening.