I do not understand how we can allow the core of our nation's capital to become an ugly zone of concrete barriers and chain-link fences. Just look around the White House -- barriers and fences are everywhere. What does this say to visiting Americans and to our international guests?

I propose changing the name of our capital to Jersey City to honor the thousands of Jersey barriers that are the most ubiquitous aspect of our city. Even the new Ronald Reagan Building has these barriers in front of it. Can't we spend just a few of our tax dollars to make the city more livable for residents and visitors alike?

I understand the need for security; perfectly nice bollards are available that can provide security and still look like they are part of a city, not part of a war zone.

One of the worst areas is E Street behind the White House. I support the reopening of Pennsylvania Avenue, but E Street is an even more important link between the east and west sides of the city. It is lined with Jersey barriers, protecting nothing except the extra Old Executive Office Building parking spaces that the closure of the street has provided.

Please return some civility to our streets and pride to the federal zone.

GLENN MacCULLOUGH

Arlington