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Stalled Traffic Kept Ambulance From Call

Two weeks ago, a NW Current reader responded to my December 11 letter, "Repairing Klingle Would Benefit City."  As it appeared, my letter mentioned that with Klingle Road restored, perhaps we could avoid an ambulance responding to an emergency being trapped in traffic at Connecticut Avenue and Porter Street.
To clarify, my original letter described an actual incident, but it was shortened prior to publication. 
A fatal choking incident occurred in August 2002 in a restaurant on Connecticut Avenue. Traffic was so congested that fire fighters from the nearby station could not exit vehicles from the firehouse and were forced to respond on foot.  An ambulance carrying DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services paramedic Ken Lyons was trapped in traffic at Connecticut Avenue and Porter Street, unable to respond in time to save the victim's life.
Peter McGee
Mt. Pleasant
Reopening Klingle Road Means Safer Access
I would like to go on record to strongly appeal for the reopening of Klingle Road.  My reason is that it is so difficult to get from the area I live, near American University, across Rock Creek Park to Columbia Heights.  I am a founding member of a team of volunteers who have created a public-private partnership to build new public schools at the corner of 16th and Irving Streets, NW.  We want to provide decent educational facilities for the children of thousands of recent immigrants who live in Columbia Heights.
Being involved in this partnership requires frequent trips from my home to Columbia Heights.  At the present time, the only access is by way of Porter Street.  Thus, I have to cross the dangerous and extremely slow intersection at Porter Street and Connecticut Avenue.

Porter Street runs between Wisconsin and Connecticut avenues.  When Porter Street reaches Connecticut Avenue, there are several obstacles that slow traffic:  (1) People make either left or right turns on Connecticut Avenue; (2) There are Metrobus stops on Porter Street at that intersection; (3) Once one crosses Connecticut Avenue going eastward, there is further confusion by an immediate left turn for motorist going to the Broadmoor Apartments or going to the very busy Adas Israel Congregation.  I should state that when either left- or right-hand turns are made, or when a bus stops to drop off or pick up passengers, traffic is limited to only one congested lane going east on Porter Street.
I hate to see the east and west sections of Northwest Washington so severely divided by both the presence of Rock Creek Park and the limitation of just one way of crossing the park.  Therefore, I think it will benefit the genera public to reopen Klingle Road to 2-way vehicular traffic and to improve the roadbed so that access is safe and rapid.

Richard England

copyright NW Current, February 12, 2003

For additional information, please email support@repairklingleroad.org