WASHINGTON (CNN) – Federal and local officials are bracing for an expected massive turnout for the January inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, but say predictions of 4 or 5 million visitors to Washington are too high.
However, authorities from several law enforcement and transportation agencies declined to offer an alternative estimate for the January 20 swearing-in and parade.
"We continue to check on expected planes and buses and hotel rooms, and I can say there's just nothing to suggest 4 million. But if it happens we'll be prepared to deal with that," said Malcolm Wiley, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service.
For crowd control, the Metropolitan Washington Police Department has arranged for 4,000 police from departments outside Washington to match the 4,000 Washington police officers assigned exclusively to the inauguration.
Planners are looking for parking for an expected 10,000 tour buses from outside the Washington area. That's about 10 times the number of tour buses that flood the nation's capital annually for the Cherry Blossom Festival. So far, officials have found about 75 percent of needed bus parking, but space is becoming precious. Shuttle arrangements to sports stadium locations in Maryland are under consideration.