Although the roads immediately around Capital Hill are closed as a security measure for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, traffic into the city is basically non-existent.
Commuter traffic is dramatically decreased from what it normally is, so even people who work in Washington DC are avoiding having to go near the big sideshow at the National Mall today. In 2008, President Barack Obama’s first inauguration brought between 1.1 and 1.8 million, but so far, Trump’s swearing in looks to be a whole lot more empty than that. It makes sense, as only 37 percent of Americans approve of the President-elect, and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won over 90% of the vote in the District of Columbia in the 2016 election.
Looking at the traffic patterns on Google maps you can see the immediate closings around the ceremony. These are all the standard closings that you would expect for an inauguration.
But when you zoom out a little more you can see that the roads are totally free and clear around the city.
Now commuter traffic around Washington DC usually is pretty bad. This is what it looked like yesterday around 10 a.m.
That is not even peak rush hour in Washington DC. Yesterday at 9 a.m. it took almost an hour to drive from Bethesda onto Capitol Hill. Today you could do it in 26 minutes — if you wanted to.
So we have a city that is basically empty of not only all the people who are normally there, but there is clearly not a rush of people coming in to see the inauguration. That’s too bad, because they’re clearly going to miss a great speech. Maybe more people will show up in 2020.