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Government Shutdown Could Paint A Strange Scene On D.C. Streets

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Washington's Smithsonian museums would close during a government shutdown, leaving many tourists in search of alternatives.
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Washington's Smithsonian museums would close during a government shutdown, leaving many tourists in search of alternatives.

The first thing you might notice is cars everywhere. Cars double parked, others camping out in the wrong zones -- it could be a mess. That’s because parking ticket officers, like many other city government officers, will be off during the shutdown.

D.C. Metro police will still be able to issue tickets, though, as Washington Business Journal's Michael Neibauer pointed out yesterday. So the chances of getting a parking ticket during a government shutdown, while slim, aren't completely null.

You might also see, or unfortunately smell, garbage. Trash pickup will be suspended for a week during a prolonged shutdown. Other quality of life services, like pot-hole filling, will be halted as well.

Outside of the city's residential areas, the streets could also be filled with visitors looking for somewhere to go. That's because D.C.'s famous attractions, including all of the Smithsonian museums, would go dark in the event of a government closure. Even the the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials were chained off during the last shutdown in 1995.

One group that may do well during a shutdown will be the restaurants and bars. All those furloughed federal workers will need something to do.

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