HomeRegister Your Support!
  Latest News

Press Releases
Keep up to date with current press releases.


See our support through news articles written about Klingle.

Hear our debates.

Enjoy our gallery of pictures.

Open Klingle For All
Copyright DC Watch, March 6, 2003
By Peter McGee

Klingle Road served thousands daily before 1991, when the city blocked the road temporarily pending its repair after a summer deluge. Repairs were interrupted, however, by the local Sierra Club. As a result, DC needlessly has wasted many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on environmental and traffic studies, and travelers waste time and money every day idling in Cleveland Park traffic congestion . . . and this is only the beginning. Now Mayor Williams wants to rebuild Klingle Road, but ban the driving public, spending millions on the "Klingle Road Bicycle Facility," a misleading name for an emergency road closed to all but bikers and hikers. Rebuilding Klingle Road so it will support emergency vehicles, and restricting it to bicycles, makes no sense, won't save money, and won't benefit most the taxpaying public who will fund a road they can't use.

Klingle Road was never officially closed, yet this administration is sidestepping its duty to keep our road available for its one official purpose -- a public road. Tax dollars are being wasted to justify caving in to slick political lobbying and the "local community" -- a wealthy enclave that benefits most from turning our historic parkway into a hike/bike trail. Let's stop the shell game. If the Mayor can spend public money to rebuild Klingle Road for motorized vehicles -- large ones, like fire trucks and utility repair vehicles -- the Mayor can let the public drive cars on it. DC had always planned to keep Klingle Road open, anyway. Starting in 1991, the Department of Public Works spent $240K on a reconstruction plan, awarded the contract to a small DC business east of the Anacostia, obtained full approval (4f) from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Department of the Interior, and had federal funds obligated.

Then, private threats by the local Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund brought the Klingle Road restoration project to a standstill. The local Sierra Club claimed that the National Park Service's Environmental Assessment was insufficient and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was required. In fact, an EIS was not required, since Klingle Road is an existing road and predates the Environmental Protection Act. Nevertheless, FHWA gave in and unilaterally de-obligated the road repair funds. Instead of fixing the road, we've been paying for studies ever since. Significantly, no study has uncovered any reason, environmental or otherwise, to compel closure of Klingle. Ironically, due to continuing neglect, Klingle Road today is a human health hazard, and traffic in Cleveland Park only gets worse.

The other proposal to ease the congestion is widen the Porter and Connecticut intersection, an unlikely option with unknown costs and consequences. Those who say "Save Klingle Valley" really want to "Close Klingle Road." Their end game is to make Rock Creek Park a car-free zone. As a result, we've endured years of expensive studies just in the effort to close Klingle. It would cost taxpayers millions to convert this historic parkway, which served thousands every day, into a short, steep, heavy-duty bike trail that few will ever use. Moreover, closing Klingle is divisive, and makes solving the traffic problem in Cleveland Park more difficult and expensive, if not impossible. The politicized process will pave the way to close other parkways in Rock Creek Park, and further compromise our transportation system.

The city's duty to repair and maintain our public roads is fundamental, and must not be undermined by demagoguery and politics. Stop wasteful spending. Repair Klingle Road for all.

For additional information, please email support@repairklingleroad.org