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Face on Klingle.
DC Watch 
March 27, 2003 - Copyright DC Watch

Evacuation or Recreation?
Bill Bradley

I read in the Washington Post that the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board has invested many years and millions of dollars in "visioning" and other exercises designed to try to change the way people travel and live, but almost no time or money on addressing how people actually choose to travel and live. A recent regional publication advises that if area officials order an evacuation, people should "avoid heavily congested arteries and use alternate routes." Thousands of residents choose to travel and include Klingle Road in their lives. It is inconceivable that we are debating rebuilding Klingle Road and not letting cars use it. To hear these people who want to take a road away from this city for a dog walk is purely selfish. The park is hardly utilized in the first place.

While our country is at war, our urban life continues to adjust. We saw intense gridlock from one guy on a tractor. We need our roads. We're going to rebuild Klingle Road -- let's make it a road for all of us to use.


Klingle Beach
Marie Nelson

Council members Cropp, Schwartz, Fenty, and Graham gave an outstanding performance at the Klingle Road hearing. They were well prepared, had their facts straight, and were still going strong when the government witnesses arrived in the early evening. The National Park Service, after numerous questions from Ms. Cropp and Ms. Schwartz, was absolutely satisfied that whatever DC decided, whatever road was built, that all environmental concerns would be addressed.

While Washington may be a target -- one man on a tractor managed complete gridlock in our city for days -- how could we ever think to build a road and not allow cars to use it? Rock Creek Park is already a quiet sanctuary -- the trails and bike paths both underutilized. These very people who want to close Klingle Road now want to close Beach Drive seven days a week and make Rock Creek Park a "car-free" zone. Surely in these ever-changing times, we aren't seriously entertaining these ideas? Keep our options open.

Keep Klingle and Beach open.

Klingle Road
James Treworgy

I had the pleasure of jogging from my home in Mount Pleasant to Silver Spring through Rock Creek Park on Saturday. It was an absolutely perfect day to be in the park. What blew me away was how few people seemed to agree with me. I passed no more than two dozen groups of people on the entire five-mile length of Beach Drive. Much of the time I was alone in the park. What does this have to do with Klingle Road? Quite simply, we don't need more park. Rock Creek Park is the largest inner-city park in the country. It's beautiful, it's underutilized, and it serves those few who choose to enjoy it very well in its current incarnation. On a gorgeous day on the weekend, large stretches of its most accessible areas were vacant. How would adding a tiny new section of nearly inaccessible land that is Klingle Road -- it's steep, it has no parking, and it's not particularly useful compared to the extensive network of trails that already exist -- serve the needs of the majority of citizens? The answer is, it doesn't.

All I can think when I hear the rallying cries of the so-called environmentalists is "selfish." They want to add another acre to their empire, which is already a vast sanctuary, barely used by most people in the city. I hear they want to close Beach Drive all day during the week as well, further restricting enjoyment of the park apparently to people who don't work during the week and might otherwise be able to drive through it, which I presently do every day. The park is already a jewel in the middle of a big city, truly a treasure that is unmatched in any other city to the few people who choose to enjoy it. Yet that isn't enough. The very same people who are able to get the most benefit from it, those who live closest or have the time and/or physical ability to walk or run or bike through the park anytime they want, want to take more, close doors, further restricting access. This is not fair, it is wrong, and it does not suit the needs most residents of Washington, DC.


Klingle Road Hearing
William H. Carroll

On March 13, the District of Columbia Council held a hearing on two Klingle Road bills. The bill sponsored by City Council Chair Linda Cropp; Chair of the Public Works Committee, Carol Schwartz, and several other Councilmembers requires the DC Government to fully repair Klingle Road, NW. A bill introduced on behalf of the city's Mayor seeks authority to partially repair the road for use as a "hike/bike trail." Both plans rely upon federal funding.

Chairman Cropp elicited testimony from the Federal Highway Administration that, whichever bill is passed, the FHA will defer to local interests. She obtained National Park Service agreement that, as long as there is no additional taking of national park land, NPS will respect the bill which is passed by our DC government. Bolstered by a legal opinion from the City Council's legal counsel, Councilmembers Adrian Fenty and Schwartz demonstrated that the Mayor's plan constitutes a "road closing," that can only be authorized by the Council under applicable law. Councilmembers Cropp and Schwartz also exposed assumptions underlying the Mayor's cost projections that can only be described, charitably, as reckless disregard of reality. In sum, the Council's examination of federal and DC government witnesses was a splendid and significant exercise of our limited form of home-rule government.

Prior to examining government witnesses, the Council patiently and respectfully accepted six and one-half hours of testimony from over one hundred DC residents, much of which was passionately delivered. Rightly so, from the perspective of this supporter of the Cropp/Schwartz bill. From 1885 until its partial collapse due to city government neglect in 1991, Klingle Road functioned as part of the DC infrastructure. Pushing non-Klingle Road agenda, such as closing Rock Creek to all automobiles and preventing residential development in Cleveland Park, hike/bike path supporters are attempting to exploit the District Government's mendacious neglect of its responsibility to maintain and repair this infrastructure component. All DC citizens should rally to support the City Council's responsible, deliberate and professional effort to rectify the Mayor's abdication of responsibility.



For additional information, please email support@repairklingleroad.org