Inaugural WTF?- Military Presence

National Guard Q and NJ
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

Maybe you have or have not noticed small bands of National Guardsmen wandering around the street of Truxton Circle and the rest of Shaw. If the vague signage surprise wasn’t enough, the National Guard gets deployed. Some have been hanging out on street corners or the Dunkin Donuts, or the 7-11.
So the only time we’re actually going to have regular foot patrols in the neighborhood is when the Federal government invades?
I hate to be such a downer, because I know a lot of you are just psyched about the whole inaugural weekend with the entertainment, the swearing in, the parades and the balls. However, this other stuff going on, with what looks to be an access restriction on the 200-400 blocks of R Street and the erroneous parking restrictions (now corrected) of the 100-200 blocks of Bates Street NW, seriously concerns me. This is a bad precedent. For one, residential blocks of New Jersey Avenue appear deemed to have charter buses parked outside of peoples homes. Yeah, the city said they wouldn’t do that. As of Monday 1/19 those No Parking signs were still up. Secondly, there has been no warning or information about the restrictions (as far as I can guess) on the 200-400 and 600 blocks of R Street NW. As far as I can tell nothing has been relayed to residents who live in the vicinity, except the placement of the big red and white signs. Now I’d pretty much expect that these signs would be ignored, but with the random groups of National Guardsmen walking or jogging around as far north as LeDroit Park, I guess they would be the enforcers.
The far reaching nature of the security concerns me and I think sets a bad precedent for future inaugurations. It is reaching into residential areas, taking away parking and possibly (we’ll see tomorrow) access. I feel for residents of Capitol Hill who have to deal with this mess more often than we do.

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One thought on “Inaugural WTF?- Military Presence”

  1. As you likely noticed, the National Guard, MPs, and Secret Service were out in front on inauguration day. From what I could see (and I was all over the place) the National Guard did a pretty good job of keeping the downtown neighborhood streets free and clear for traffic, including pedestrian traffic. And they did let people who lived in the downtown neighborhoods come and go largely unimpeded, except for some “hard” security zones, like the convention center. It generally seems to have worked out pretty well.
    Mark B.

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