PROVEN MOTOR VEHICLE TRANSPORTATION REQUIREMENT
Klingle Road has connected D. C. neighborhoods
east and west of Rock Creek for over 100 years, by motor vehicle
since the 1930s.
Transportation studies supporting the Klingle Road reopening
legislation, D.C Law 15-39, have been confirmed by further analysis
and findings contained in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement
released by FHWA and DDOT on June 28, 2005.
NO TRANSPORTATION OR RECREATION NEED FOR A BICYCLE TRAIL
A bicycle trail over the Klingle Road route would
not connect to a bicycle trail at either its eastern or western
terminus and its steep grade would limit use to very few bicyclists.
In addition, since 2003, DDOT has narrowed automobile lanes
on nearby Tilden Street for new bicycle lanes connecting Connecticut
Avenue to Rock Creek Parkway and its adjacent bicycle trail.
NO HIKING PATH NEED
There are existing hiking trails on the 13 acres
of the historic Tregaron Estate abutting Klingle that are open to
the public, in perpetuity.
Nearby, the Melvin Hazen trail connects the Klingle Bridge
sidewalk to Klingle Valley and the Soapstone Creek trail at
Connecticut and Albemarle Street leads into Rock Creek Park and its
THREATENS DISTRICTS LAND OWNERSHIP RIGHT
In 1885, private owners conveyed the land on which
Klingle Road is built for use as a public highway, forever.
Closing the road to use as a bicycle/hiking path violates
terms of this conveyance and gives rise to possible claims of
ownership by the federal government and other abutting landowners.
FEDERAL FUNDING UNCERTAINTY
FHWA regulations state that, under certain
Transportation Equity Act legislation (ISTEA/ SAAFETEA), funds may
be available for bicycle transportation trails but not for
recreational bicycle trails.
In addition, it is not clear whether TEA bicycle trail funds
are managed by FHWA or the Federal Transit Agency.
Throwing out the notion of a bicycle trail and hiking paths
for Klingle Road does not provide enough factual grounds for the
D.C. Government to be assured that such a trail would qualify for
Failure to adequately research and confirm federal funding could
result in no federal funds for Klingle Road, foisting the cleanup
and sewer repair expense on D.C. taxpayers.
COSTS ELEMENTS WILL BE SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR
In addition to servicing motor vehicle traffic,
Klingle Road supports the WASA sewer system, as well as gas and
Failure to maintain the road since 1991 has caused sections of the
roadbed to collapse, damaging the sewer system.
The 2003 legislation requires DDOT to develop and implement a
storm water management plan in order to prevent the non-maintenance
of drains that caused road collapse in the first place.
Costs to reconstruct a supporting foundation for either a
motor vehicle road or bicycle path and hiking trails will have to be
incurred as will costs to repair the damaged sewer system, protect
utilities and construct and maintain the storm water management
REBUILDING KLINGLE ROAD FOR MOTOR VEHICLE TRAFFIC IS
SUPPORTED BY DETAILED, MULTI-DIMENSIONAL DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
In March, 2004, FHWA and DDOT initiated the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment of the
environmental impacts of implementing the Councils 2003 Klingle
Road reopening legislation.
Supported by a nationally recognized
environmental/transportation contractor, the agencies released a
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on June 28, 2005.
The study analyzed land use and zoning, topography, geology
and soils, water resources, biological resources, transportation
needs, air quality, infrastructure, socio-economic factors, public
safety and other
environmental impacts. Based
on all of this detailed professional analysis, the EIS recommends
building a two-lane road for vehicular traffic, with two shoulders,
as the preferred environmental alternative.
UNSUPPORTED CLAIMS OF UNIQUE ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY
The middle segment of Klingle Road collapsed
because the Government failed to maintain storm drains not because
of Mother Nature.
Claims that Klingle Road is too steep or too environmentally
sensitive for motor vehicle traffic are not supported by any
Sherrill Drive, connecting 16th Street to Rock Creek
Parkway, is a very steep incline.
The topography of Fulton Street, connecting 34th
Street, NW, to Normanstone Drive and Normanstone Drive to Rock Creek
Drive is essentially similar to Klingle Road steep grade, winding
roads, adjacent to a stream. Sherrill
Drive, Fulton Street and Normanstone Drive have been maintained
Blaming the environment is a disguise for anti-automobile ideology
and not in my private park opposition.
Each of these constituencies presented argumentation under
the public comment phase of the NEPA review.
This argumentation has been addressed and refuted by
responsible FHWA and DDOT officials and their scientifically
knowledgeable support contracting staff.
FACT-BASED COST ESTIMATE VS. SCARE TACTIC NUMBERS
Claims that a Klingle Road bike/hike trail can be
built for much less than a road for motor vehicles are exaggerated
and misleading. The
FHWA/DDOT DEIS, $7.18 million cost estimate for the two-lane public
road is based on facts and analysis.
Opposition sensationalist claims of $11 to $20 million have
been pulled from the air.
FAILURE TO BUILD ROAD WILL JEOPARDIZE THE 2007 TREGARON
PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENT AND PUBLIC BENEFIT AGREEMENT
In 2006, after 20 years of negotiation, an
agreement was reached under which an abutting landowner, the
Tregaron Conservancy, has agreed to sell land on Tregaron for
development of eight single family dwellings five of which face the
closed section of Klingle Road.
This agreement was reached in reliance on Klingle Road being
repaired and reopened in accordance with the Councils 2003
legislation. Under the
Agreement, the Conservancy has gained funding for 13 acres for open
public green space, gardens and additional hiking trails.
The Agreement has been approved by the District of Columbia
Historic Preservation Review Board.
On May 8, 2008, the Conservancy, through Counsel, informed
the Committee on Public Works and the Environments public meeting
of this Agreement.
Failure of the D.C. Council to consider this information before
reversing the 2003 legislation could expose the District Government
to litigation costs and possible damages liability.
EVEN IF ALLOWED AS A LEGAL TECHNICALITY, CLOSING HISTORIC
KLINGLE ROAD UNDER A BUDGET BILL IS DANGEROUS PUBLIC POLICY
The Klingle Road 2003 legislation was crafted by
the Council Chair and then Chair of the Committee on Public Works
and the Environment, two legislators widely recognized for their
legislative, political and governmental experience and leadership.
None of the transportation or environmental circumstances
which they considered has changed for the better.
Undoing the hard work of these legislators out of disgruntled
petulance would be an insult to their legacies.
While the Street and Alley Closing Act of 1982 is
written as a restraint on the office of Mayor, the Council has
historically followed its polices and procedures of public notice to
ANCs, abutting landowners, and other members of the public for
Council initiated closings. Closing
an alley can have wide effect on abutting landowners.
Closing long-travelled, historic Klingle Road will have
profound effects, as evidenced by disclosure of the Tregaron
Conservancy agreement on May 8, 2008.
The proposed Klingle closing budget amendments may
override additional, as yet not identified, D.C. legislation.
In any case reliance on Notwithstanding Any Other Law
language to gut major, carefully thought out laws is a very
BUDGET AMENDMENTS FAVOR SPECIAL INTERESTS OVER AFFECTED D.C.
At least one-half of Klingle Road lies in Ward 1.
It is also readily accessible and historically used by residents of
Ward 4. Many residents
of Ward 3 use Klingle Road to connect with Mount Pleasant, Adams
Morgan and other important destinations east of Connecticut Avenue.
Other than a few adjacent homeowners, not located in Ward 1,
leaders of the opposition to the repair and reopening of Klingle
Road are national and regional groups pursuing an anti-automobile
agenda. The struggle
for Home Rule was not meant to result in a D.C .Council that favors
nationally based special interest groups over the transportation
needs of D.C. residents
OPEN KLINGLE ROAD