Gray Outlines District Events, Plans for MLK Weekend

WI Web Staff Report | 8/16/2011, 3:56 p.m.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and officials from public safety and transportation agencies today outlined their efforts to coordinate logistical planning to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected for the events surrounding the Aug. 28 dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial enjoy a safe and pleasant experience in the nation's capital.

"The District is sponsoring three major public events to celebrate the dedication of the Memorial and issue a call to action to realize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream of full democracy and freedom for our residents," said Mayor Gray. "Tuesday, August 23, is D.C. Residents Day at the Memorial. Thursday, August 25, we will celebrate with a street-naming ceremony and Saturday, August 27, we will host the D.C. Full Democracy Freedom March."

Gray joined Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles and other transportation, public safety and public health officials to outline plans and answer questions about the events.

"The dedication of a new monument on the National Mall is an historic occasion," said Sarles. "We are going to do everything in our power to ensure a safe, comfortable, convenient travel experience for our guests."

Sarles announced that Metrorail will open two hours early for the massive dedication ceremony on Sun., Aug. 28, with enhanced rail service on all lines to provide extra capacity. In addition, Metro will suspend track work systemwide over the dedication weekend to provide attendees with a faster, more convenient travel experience.