I am always pleased by recognition given to the redesign of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House ["We Don't Have to Live in a Fortress of Fear," Close to Home, Aug. 29]. As the lead designer on this project, however, I couldn't help but notice that no mention was made of the two federal agencies that are doing so much to make this happen.
The success of this project is due, in large measure, to the initial vision of the National Capital Planning Commission. Through the commission's remarkable efforts, the proj- ect gained broad-based nonpartisan support, turning vision into reality. The Federal Highway Administration should also be recognized for its leadership of the rapid construction of the project.
So often the work of agencies such as these is taken for granted. In this particular instance, their collective efforts give life to an old adage, "Great things happen in terrible times."
The threat of terrorism weighs heavily on each of us every day, and the renewal of the avenue into a democratic space that is both secure and welcoming is significantly the result of the combined efforts of NCPC and FHA.
MICHAEL VAN VALKENBURGH
The writer was the lead designer and landscape architect of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.