The two main problems with the Kennedy Center are its separation from the surrounding neighborhoods by roadways and the traffic jams and parking problems that occur on nights of multiple performances.

But instead of adding a pedestrian plaza that would be integrated with the neighborhoods and provide a beautiful environment for the Kennedy Center, the planned expansion ["Kennedy Center Picks Architect for Expansion," front page; "A Welcome Sign," Style, Jan. 23] involves a huge new isolated road. And the traffic and parking problems are not even mentioned in the articles.

I hope the final result of this expansion is more than just an expressway between downtown and the Kennedy Center.




Spend more than $650 million to build a glorious entrance to the Kennedy Center so that arriving by car, taxi or limousine would be a splendid way to begin a night at the opera? You've got to be kidding.

What's wrong with going to the Kennedy Center the way we do now?

What is to become of all the nearby historic buildings? Are they to be demolished? The D.C. and U.S. governments just spent two years and millions of dollars to retrofit the bridges on 23rd Street at Virginia Avenue and E Street, and the State Department has spent millions renovating three buildings. What will happen to these structures?

This plan is too expensive and is not needed. The existing access to the Kennedy Center is fine.




All those working at the Kennedy Center who are involved in the expansion decisions should go over to Rosslyn and try walking back to their offices. Once they get to the east side of the Roosevelt Bridge, they'll discover there's no way to return without sliding down grass embankments and attempting a hazardous run across lanes of fast-moving traffic.

Pedestrian and bicycle access must be considered -- and how about some access from the center's western plaza to the Potomac?




As a onetime opera buff who always walked to the Kennedy Center, I am shocked by the proposed walkway across the streets and freeway. Getting to the center on foot always seemed like part of the opera -- especially when the fare was Wagner.

How easy to empathize with Siegfried after almost being run over by commuters speeding to Virginia.

One suggested amendment to the new plan: a few dragons lurking in the promenade.


Thousand Island Park, N.Y.


Something is missing from the new Kennedy Center design: open or green space.

How about a small park in the middle of these giant buildings -- a place to sit, eat lunch and admire the architecture?


Las Vegas