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I don't think that's a typical scene. All the horseback riders look like cavalry. Maybe a group out of Ft. Myer, which was a cavalry station.

I was hoping this might be an image of the start of the 1919 Motor Transport Convoy, which started at the Ellipse and ended in San Francisco. A young Dwight Eisenhower was part of the convoy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1919_Motor_Transport_Corps_convoy

Eisenhower claimed this experience, that showed the difficulty of getting an army unit across the country, was a main reason why he supported the creation of the Interstate Highway system.

It looks like a procession of some kind, and the people in the two open cars justify some protection. The two cyclists on the left of the cars and another to the right are likely police.

At least that would be my guess. Where did you find this?

Interesting that the traffic in 1919 seemed to be flowing better than 2012

Could this be Woodrow Wilson going to the inauguration parade reviewing stand after taking the oath of office?

You go to Barcelona, all the major streets look like this. A walking promenade is in the middle of the street, cars go on each side. And then our traditional "sidewalks" are for literally, connecting to a side street when your ready to get off the main promenade. The fastest way to go is by bike, which are allowed on the edges of the promenade, inbetween cars and peds.

Are those cyclists helmetless?

Scofflaws.....;)

TB

I got this photo from old-picture.com and freewheel's guess is a good one, since there are a lot of other photos of Wilson's inauguration on there, many of them involve him in a "covertable" car.

Not this one

http://www.old-picture.com/united-states-history-1900s---1930s/Woodrow-Wilson.htm

But maybe this one

http://www.old-picture.com/united-states-history-1900s---1930s/convertible-Philander-Harding-Wilson.htm

But that would put the photo at 1921.

Here's another DC street scene from 1908. I like looking at the old pictures on this site. From about 1890, when photography became common, to 1910 streets are full of horses, street cars , cyclists and pedestrians.

Then, after 1910, in a blink of an eye cars take over and the streets are seemingly abandoned to them!

Gratuitous cycling photo.

Well, notice how all the piles of horse exhaust disappeared too.

I would also say that all the 'preservationists' etc that complain about signage and awnings need to take a look at that 1908 photo.

Well, notice how all the piles of horse exhaust disappeared too.

If you click on the image itself it brings up a comments thread where the piles in the street are identified as material from digging under the street car tracks.

I would also say that all the 'preservationists' etc that complain about signage and awnings need to take a look at that 1908 photo.

Exactly. On a hot Summer day, such as today, the awnings provide welcome shade an encourage pedestrian activity.

Another thing to notice is the complete lack of traffic control signs. What I see is a street that is operating at a human scale and does not need signs for controlling right of way, speed, parking, etc.

Today we have all that traffic control regulation and I bet traffic across town doesn't move much faster.

Today we have all that traffic control regulation and I bet traffic across town doesn't move much faster.

While that might be true, we probably move a far great number of people today across town than in 1908.

After living in several large cities in the developing work that lack most traffic control regulation, and seeing their alarmingly high rates of auto-pedestrian fatalities, I will take traffic control any day

As a professional preservationist for DC, I resemble that remark. But in fairness, canopies are restricted by the building code (they must resist wind shear and be built out of non-flammable materials), and the public space code which dictates minimum and maximum dimensions that make modern canopies virtually a non-starter in this town. And that's all before they get to my desk. I'd sign off on a permit to install piles of road apples, though. Of course.

The portion of the roadway that cyclists are using in this photo was also influenced by the lack of hard paving (bricks in this case) outside of the streetcar tracks. Usually the first portion of modern streets to be paved was the center portion along the tracks (as required by license), so as to keep the tracks clear of mud and level.

So this was a much better place to ride when wet and between trams.

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