All dressed up and no place to go - the inauguration

Interesting note from Washington radio station WTOP:

1 toilet for every 6,849 people on Inauguration Day
When you gotta go, you gotta go.

But will there be enough places to "go" on Inauguration Day?

Crowd estimates for Jan. 20 range between 1 and 5 million people.

Metro is planning to carry upwards of 1 million riders itself on Inauguration Day, but the transit agency says it will shut down all of its public restrooms due to security concerns.

Instead, 146 portable restrooms will be set up outside of selected rail stations.

Even if the transit agency carries 1 million people on Jan. 20 -- and that could be a conservative estimate -- that means there would be one bathroom for every 6,849 customers.

And it's not just the Metro transit that is running a bit short. From the Washington Post:

No. 1 Priority: Porta-Potties on Mall
5,000 Toilets Will Be Available for Inaugural Crowds

Here's the number everyone has been waiting for: There will be 5,000 porta-potties available on the Mall and along the parade route on Inauguration Day.

If officials ordered the portable restrooms based on how many people they expect that day, then figure on crowds of 500,000 to 1.5 million people. That's a wide range based on whose toilet-to-bladder recommendation is used. Don's Johns recommends one unit for every 100 people. The National Park Service recommends one toilet for every 300, according to spokesman Bill Line, who points out that each event is different because of weather and time of year.

Officials with the Presidential Inaugural Committee aren't saying how many people they expect.

The model that Don's Johns provided for the Fourth of July celebration on the Mall this year has a 70-gallon holding tank and capacity for 125 to 150 uses between cleanings. Each unit comes with deluxe hand sanitizer and at least four rolls of toilet paper. That comes to 20,000 rolls of toilet paper, according to Bernadette Felice, sales manager for the Chantilly-based company, which is seeking to win the inaugural toilet contract.

5000*300=1.5M so they should be covered if they use the National Park number. A while ago I was involved with a large group and these kinds of logistical problems are crucial to an events success. Fun that the major media would be picking up on a story like this.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on December 20, 2008 7:59 PM.

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