Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 18-21: blogging from the bus

A few days ago, on the 7th, a friend in Cincinnati proposed sending out a blogger call for a road trip in conjunction with the inauguration. The response was pretty positive. Today, we have the resources lined up and the plan partially fleshed out. Tomorrow, we start pounding the phones for money.

To this point, we have a bus reserved for 4 days. It carries 55 and has two drivers. It will start in Cleveland late on the 18th, stop in Akron, and hit Columbus at midnight. From there, it will proceed to Cincinnati, where there is an event at 3 PM, after which it will go on to DC, where it will arrive sometime early in the morning of the 20th and disgorge its load at the end of a T1 line, where the load will proceed to live blog and tweet and stuff for the entire day. We have made arrangements for clearance papers--I guess it involves the metropolitan police and the Secret Service. Then, on the 21st, it's back home. Coming and going, there will be photo ops and other media events.

We have lodging arranged for the only night when a bed will be possible, between the 20th and the 21st. A few other people and I are getting the money together for the bus, for food and lodging, and for a modest amount of walking-around money for each participant. Gloria and I can't go due to her recent retrofit, but we can certainly get vicarious. The bus will populate itself, we think, with three generations--it's a great opportunity for recording oral histories and the varied perspectives of the past 50 years.

Tomorrow, in addition to sponsorship, we'll be trying to get in-kind participation, as in air cards and wireless services. If we could blog and tweet all the way from Cleveland to Akron to Columbus to Cincinnati to DC and back, wouldn't that be a marvelous advertisement for a new wired America? The bus trip is a story in itself, and there are lots of other stories within that story.


  1. How much more proud could you be? You are amazing. I wish you and Gloria the very best. GOBAMA!

  2. Tim,
    So, you really were able to put this together, huh?
    You are amazing..
    Joel Libava

  3. You are an inspiration to young whipper snappers every where!

  4. Update: the bus is still a 55-passenger bus, but the organizers have decided to limit seating to 40, and the two drivers, to leave room for equipment and moving around.

    This production now has a PayPal account and checks will be made out to "Cincinnati Change."

  5. I thought we were to arrive on Monday... I might need to get to Steve LaTourette's office to pick up inaugural tickets... how early will we arrive on Tuesday?

    Will K. -- collisionbend.com

  6. Will, my best-efforts guess, my approximate time, is around dawn on the 20th.

  7. On the 19th, we will have the MLK ceremonies in Cinci to complete, before finishing the leg of the trip from Cinci to DC

  8. Here's one of our Cleveland/Akron contingent on the bus:

    Hi Jill, Tim,

    Yes, that's me. Since bios may be needed at some point - here's mine in blurb form :)

    Brian Layman

    I am the senior Software Engineer at b5media, Inc. http://www.b5media.com/ - venture capital based blogging network with 300+ blogs in 9 vertical markets. My business cards have my title as "Code Ninja" as I maintain much of the behind-the-scenes technology that makes b5media work. I'm a new media enthusiast, experimenting with the new technologies that are shaping how we now percieve the world. For this trip, I will be blogging from http://www.TheDCTraveler.com, one of b5media's properties* and providing any technical assistance that may be needed along the way.

    *The DC Traveler - A Washington DC insider’s travel guide that’s full of area information for both tourists and residents. Covers area attractions, activities, events, nightlife, memorials and monuments, historic sites, museums, the Smithsonian, site seeing, restaurants and more.

    Brian Layman
    b5media, Inc.
    b5media.com / TheCodeCave.com / Rhettandlink.com
    Skype: BrianLayman
    Cell: (330) 858-3446
    Fax: (416) 849-0347
    TF: 866-652-7189

  9. 56th Presidential Inaugural

    The United States Secret Service, under the leadership of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and in cooperation with its local, state and federal security and public safety partners, has developed an overall security plan for the 56th Presidential Inaugural on Tuesday, January 20.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has designated the Inaugural as a National Special Security Event (NSSE). When an event is designated an NSSE, the Secret Service assumes its role as the lead federal agency for the design and implementation of the operational security plan.

    The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the U.S. Capitol Police and the U.S. Park Police as well as a number of other federal and local agencies will play an active role in securing this event and resources will be deployed to maintain the level of security needed for the designated events.

    The following security measures will be in place for the 56th Presidential Inauguration:

    * Downtown Area Road Closures: Downtown Area Road Closures: A map detailing specific road closures is attached. Beginning at 3 p.m. on Monday, January 19, through 7 a.m. on Wednesday, January 21, vehicle restricted zones will be put in place in downtown. All vehicular road closures in Washington, D.C. will be coordinated by District Department of Transportation (DDOT). Inquiries pertaining to road closures should be directed to DDOT at 202-671-3490. Details will also be available online at www.inauguration.dc.gov and at www.secretservice.gov. A detailed transportation plan will be released listing additional road closures for Inauguration day.

    * Security Screenings: All attendees, including general public and ticketed guests, are subject to a thorough security screening before entering the Inaugural parade route, the White House reviewing stand and the Inaugural balls. Please allow for additional time for this security screening, as it is expected that lines may be long.

    * Prohibited Items: As a security precaution, the following items will be prohibited from the Inaugural parade route, the White House reviewing stand and the Inaugural balls: firearms, ammunition, explosives, weapons of any kind, aerosols, supports for signs and placards, packages, coolers, thermal or glass containers, backpacks, bags exceeding size restrictions (8"x6"x4"), laser pointers, animals other than helper/guide dogs, structures, bicycles and any other items determined to be a potential safety hazard. With respect to signs and placards, items must be made of cardboard, poster board or cloth and have dimensions no greater than three (3) feet in width, 20 feet in length and one-quarter (1/4) inch in thickness. Surrendered items will not be returned, nor available for pick-up.

    * Parade Route Entry Points: The following 13 public entry points will open at 7:00 a.m. on January 20, 2009 and will remain open until the parade route can no longer accommodate additional people.

    o - 2nd Street NW and C Street NW
    o - 3rd Street NW and C Street NW
    o - Indiana Avenue NW between 6th St NW and 7th St NW
    o - 7th Street NW and D Street NW
    o - 10th Street NW and E Street NW
    o - 12th Street NW and E Street NW
    o - E Street NW just east of 13th Street NW
    o - 13th Street NW just North of E Street NW
    o - 14th Street NW just North of E Street NW
    o - 12th Street NW between Constitution Avenue. and Pennsylvania Avenue
    o - 10th Street NW between Constitution Avenue. and Pennsylvania Avenue
    o - 7th Street NW between Constitution Avenue. and Pennsylvania Avenue
    o - Constitution Avenue between 6th Street NW and 7th Street NW

    NOTE: Access to the parade route from south of Pennsylvania Avenue, including the National Mall area, will only be available via 14th Street NW or 12th Street NW at Constitution Avenue.

    All parade route security screening entry points will be able to accommodate persons with disabilities. There are additional screening entry points for the ticketed seating at the U.S. Capitol and the White House viewing areas. Details for the swearing-in at the Capitol are available at www.inaugural.senate.gov.

    Individuals attending the Inaugural parade may enter at any of the designated entry points on the north or south side of Pennsylvania Avenue. Between 7 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., the following intersections will be open to the general public as crossover points:
    o - 3rd Street between Constitution Ave and Pennsylvania Ave
    o - Pennsylvania Ave between 6th Street NW and 7th Street NW
    o - Pennsylvania Ave between 11th Street NW and 12th Street NW

  10. So... wait a minute... we're going to leave Saturday night, make a Cincinnati event on Sunday at 3pm, and then take TWO DAYS to get to DC?


    What's going on in between? Can we have a *reasonably* hard schedule that we can plan on???

    Or am I missing something? One of the issues here has been the fogginess of the planning... C'mon!

  11. I had the initial impression that we were to leave Cleveland Saturday night... OK... fine... with a Sunday gig in Cincinnati at 3pm on Sunday... OK... fine... so how do we end up getting to DC on Tuesday? What happened to Monday (only 7 hours from Cleveland to DC)? I'm so totally confused...

  12. I have read, re-read, and re-read the itinerary, and I am still confused... can you *please* clarify this?

    Your desire to include "imbedded media" depends on a relative answer.. and without something concrete, we (my embedded wife and I) are out of the situation...

    Please remember that companies generally like to know when their employees are going to be out of the office..

  13. If I can "embed" journalists, I'll try to do so--we're looking for maximum participation and also coverage on this--I think it would be good to have a chronicler of the event overall.

    The itinerary has us leaving Cleveland late Sunday the 18th, going through Akron, hitting Columbus around midnight between the 18th and the 19th, moving on to Cincinnati for MLK events on the 19th, departing early evening of the 19th for DC, and arriving in DC early the next morning. We have two drivers and don't need to stop. All day the 20th is involved in the inauguration. Accommodations overnight the 20th to the 21st are in a bed in a hotel and/or houses someplace. The homeward trip occurs on the 21st.

  14. Here's the program for the bus of bloggers once we get to Cincinnati, in our participatory democracy road trip:


  15. We will travel to Cincinnati for the 34th Annual Civil Rights March
    sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition of Cincinnati

    Schedule on MLK Day 19th Jan. 2009 Commemorative March and Celebration Schedule
    National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, March Kick-Off

    * 8:00 a.m., 34th Annual Civil Rights March Breakfast Sponsored by Cincinnati Change at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

    * 9:30 a.m. Tour the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

    * 10:30 a.m., National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, March Kick-Off

    * 11:00 a.m., Fountain Square, Interfaith Prayer Service

    * 12:00 p.m., Music Hall, MLK Commemorative Celebration featuring the Voices of Freedom Choir

    * 3:oo p.m. Get on the Bus for DC at Washington Park

    * Leave Cincinnati so as to get to Washington DC No Later than 3:00 a.m.