A response is necessary to Nancy Szemraj's article on the GW Hospital [Close to Home, May 23]. We -- the Foggy Bottom Association -- question her opinion that "everyone came out a winner." The owner of a lovely town house, with front yard bursting with flowers for all to appreciate, does not agree. Located just 60 paces away from his front steps will be the doors to the planned 60-foot loading dock.

Ms. Szemraj should try stepping off 60 paces from her front door and imagining food waste (i.e., smelly garbage) and medical trash trucks, 18-wheelers in and out, truck backup signals sounding all day long.

Also, she bemoaned the size of and conditions of the GW emergency room. Any of us who has been there agrees. But why is it so cramped, when a large part of that hospital is and has been empty and unused?

We agree that the hospital has provided "valuable health care to Washington," including to many Foggy Bottom residents. What has not been provided is any serious attempt by the corporation that now runs the hospital to soften or alleviate its effect on its neighbors and on the safety of the pedestrians -- residents, commuters, students and tourists -- who will pass it each day.

Perhaps that's what board of zoning adjustment member Betty King meant when she urged her colleagues to reject the proposal, terming it "ludicrous" to think that this project will have other than a serious, detrimental effect on the area.



The writer is president of the Foggy Bottom Association.