This is a big problem for D.C., since NPS owns the National Mall, Rock Creek Park, most of the circles and squares, and a ton of other properties in the city, almost all of which are mismanaged given their urban context. Corner plazas that should be open all the time close at dusk. Statues that were built for people to sit on are fenced off. The Arboretum thinks too many people visit. Rock Creek Park is under programmed compared to other large city parks like Central Park or Golden Gate Park. The only mode of transportation access allowed on the National Mall is expensive tourist trams. Park Police stomp out any expressions of freedom at the monument for the country’s most libertarian president. And, most recently, we’re told that NPS thinks bikes would “destroy the nature” of the National Mall.
Since the NPS (and in the case of the Arboretum, the Department of Agriculture) is a federal agency, neither the city nor its residents can do much of anything to argue in favor of the position that city parks should be available for use by city people. But there is one person who might be in a position to make a difference: DC’s non-voting Congressional representative Eleanor Holmes Norton.
[Continue reading Dan Malouff’s post at BeyondDC.]
Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at BeyondDC.com. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.