Preparing for the 59th Presidential Inauguration

Following is a letter to Board of Trade members and friends from our President and CEO, Jack McDougle:

Washington, DC will host the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2021 under extraordinary circumstances that none of us could have imagined. As during past Inaugurations and even more so this year, we are in close contact with the Secret Service, FBI, DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and other agencies to monitor security procedures and other issues. As you might imagine, the situation is constantly evolving, and officials are striving to adjust as needed. Over the next week, we encourage everyone to err on the side of caution across the region, especially in downtown DC.

Please stay close to your preferred news sources and, if you have not already, visit or text INAUG2021 to 888-777 for real-time updates from the DC government on public safety, street closures, weather alerts, transit updates, and more. 

A few updates:

  • Beginning at 6:00 am this Friday, January 15, all parking garages in restricted zones will be inaccessible. Any vehicle still in a garage or loading zone after this time must remain there until after the Inauguration. Restricted zones include the White House Zone (19th to 14th Streets NW and K Street to Constitution Ave). More street closures and restricted zones will be announced later. Visit for the latest.
  • Metro will close 13 stations (11 beginning Friday and an additional two on Saturday) in downtown DC through the Inauguration. Read the announcement for more details. 
  • Mayor Bowser, Governor Northam, and Governor Hogan are asking people not to attend the Inauguration or travel to downtown DC. Most events have been canceled or will be held virtually.
  • Federal assistance has been approved to supplement DC’s response efforts due to the emergency conditions through January 24, 2021. More than 15,000 National Guard troops are expected.
  • DC non-essential businesses are required to telework to the maximum extent possible as per COVID-19 restrictions.

This will continue to be a fluid and dynamic situation. Please stay informed and have a plan for unexpected curfews, street closures, and transit disruptions.

After a year of upheaval with the COVID-19 pandemic, economic duress, long overdue attention to racial and economic inequality, and last week’s reprehensible attack on the U.S. Capitol, we are tired, frustrated, stressed, annoyed, and the list goes on. Yet, over the long term, our region will prevail and emerge stronger.

In the meantime, and I know you are, please take care and stay safe. And let us never forget to appreciate everyone who continues to work tirelessly on the frontlines for our benefit—nurses and doctors, firefighters and police officers, transit and utility workers, and many more. We owe them so much.

Please contact me if you have questions or concerns.

Yours very truly,

Jack McDougle
President & CEO, Greater Washington Board of Trade