The principle entrance to Union Station in Northeast Washington was principally empty about 9:30 a.m., with solely a handful of vacationers strolling into the entrance doorways to catch the few trains operating.
Situated proper on the sting of the inexperienced zone, a close-by police checkpoint blocked automobiles from getting into Columbus Circle. Some automobiles and a few half-dozen cabs managed to drive as much as the doorway, wrapping round from the north facet of the station. However most pedestrians walked from blocks away, rolling their suitcases behind them.
Dennis Abigoe, 56, waited within the principally abandoned circle in his parked crimson cab.
“No person is right here,” the cabdriver from Bowie, Md., mentioned. “The entire place is empty.”
He had been on this identical spot Jan. 6, utterly unaware of the mob storming the U.S. Capitol only a few blocks away. He didn’t hear the extent of what occurred till he received dwelling and watched the information later that day.
“That is the nation that the entire world is taking a look at,” mentioned Abigoe, an immigrant from Ghana. “To see the entire place tousled like that, it’s a shame.”
He was relieved to see the legislation enforcement presence throughout town, even when it meant fewer clients and extra logistical hassles.
“Proper now we aren’t speaking about cash, we’re speaking about safety,” he mentioned.
Rick DiBella, 67, wore a masks as he rolled his suitcase into Union Station after being dropped off by an Uber automobile blocks away.
DiBella, a land developer in the true property trade, was on his option to catch an Amtrak prepare for a enterprise journey.
“I haven’t seen it like this since 9/11,” he mentioned.
He remembered operating round downtown Washington the Sunday after the assault on the dual towers in New York Metropolis, and never seeing a single different particular person on the Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol.
“No less than then you may navigate the streets,” DiBella mentioned. “It appeared extra like a present of power than it was.”
Whereas the roads aren’t fairly as empty as that day, the legislation enforcement foot visitors Sunday appears even larger, he mentioned.
The navy vehicles and police checkpoints served as a relentless reminder of the violent mob from Jan. 6. “How unhappy is it we introduced this upon ourselves?” DiBella mentioned, describing himself as a lifelong Republican who was disturbed by the course of his political occasion.