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Inaugural officials planning greater crowd control

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NEDRA PICKLER | December 19, 2012 01:46 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — Inaugural officials are planning more staff, signs and metal detectors to prevent the pedestrian jams that clogged the National Mall last time President Barack Obama was sworn in.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is chairing the committee in charge of next month's swearing in ceremony, said Wednesday one of the panel's first priorities was to prevent the obstacles that many ticketholders faced in 2009.

The Third Street tunnel, where thousands of ticketholders were trapped in what became known as "the purple tunnel of doom," is going to be closed.

Schumer announced other crowd control plans, including more magnetometers to speed security lines and an increase in signs and personnel directing attendees. Committee staff also plans to monitor social media to detect log jams so officials on the ground can help.