A story I wrote about the latest developments in the long-running saga of Klingle Road NW ran on Sunday, and it prompted several readers to e-mail me with a question/complaint: Where, exactly, is Klingle Road?
If you aren’t someone who relied on it for travel when it was open 22 years ago, or live in tonier parts of Woodley Park, or are a frequent recreational user of Rock Creek Park and its environs, or are intimately familiar with inane neighborhood politics, you probably don’t know where it is.
We didn’t have room in the story for a locator map, so allow me to help you figure out where the 0.7-mile severed road connection lies. The Klingle corridor runs west from Beach Drive where it intersects Porter Street NW, cutting under Connecticut Avenue before dumping out in a residential area near Woodley Road and 32nd Street NW.
[UPDATE, 6:45 P.M.: Allow me to clarify: There are non-closed portions of Klingle, too — west to 34th Street and east to Park Road NW.]
Pedestrians are not supposed to be on the old road, but at least parts are passable, if you’d like to have a look. The east side is accessible near the Rock Creek footbridge under Porter Street — approaching from the south, cross the bridge and follow the pavement to the left rather than following the trail to the right. The west end is accessible near Cortland Place NW. And if you want a birdseye view, stand on the Connecticut Avenue bridge just north of the Kennedy-Warren apartments.
Looking at the map above you’ll notice it undermines one common pro-road argument: That closing Klingle severs a major east-west travel route across Rock Creek Park.
That’s only half true. The eastern end of the Klingle crossing is shared with Porter Street. Now Porter is certainly less convenient for traffic going west of Connecticut Avenue than Klingle was, as it intersects the artery rather than swoop under it. But it also isn’t exactly a serious detour geographically speaking — crossing at Porter takes you only a half-mile further north. Certain trips are significantly more convenient with an intact Klingle Road — Crestwood to Georgetown, for instance. But for most travelers, it offers little advantage over Porter, Tilden or Calvert streets. That’s one man’s sure-to-be-challenged opinion, anyway.
Rest assured, I will be bookmarking this blog item so when I am writing Klingle Road stories 22 years from now, I won’t have to explain this again.
The western portal:
The eastern portal: