[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/25/art.capitol.gi.jpg caption="Preparations are non-stop for the January 20 event."](CNN) - Big sections in the heart of Washington, D.C. will be converted into giant parking lots next month, with District officials are now planning to allow as many as 10,000 charter buses - carrying an estimated 200,000 passengers - to park in the city itself for the presidential inauguration, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
The move - which represents a dramatic shift from earlier plans that would have placed most of these buses at sites outside Washington - comes amid concerns the Metro system would be overwhelmed by the massive wave of visitors, and thousands stranded in parking lots miles from the city.
Nearly all curbside parking in a massive chunk of the downtown area, and near Union Station, will be reserved for city and charter buses and official vehicles, with the exception of some residential areas. Most of the blocks between 11th and 21st streets, and from K through P streets, will be affected. Cars parked in the area without permission after midnight on January 20 will be towed.
Another 1,200 charter buses will be parked at half a dozen Metro stations in the Virginia and Maryland suburbs.