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Opinion Let’s compromise on the Beach Drive closure

Beach Drive just north of Joyce Road in Rock Creek Park. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

I strongly agree with the Aug. 9 editorial “Time to reopen Beach Drive?” that there might be merit to a compromise, balancing recreation opportunities with those of neighborhood traffic impacts that might be felt by the permanent closure of upper Beach Drive. As a retired urban planner and former member and chair of the Chevy Chase DC Advisory Neighborhood Commission, I endorse the National Park Service’s preferred action. It would keep Beach Drive open to vehicular traffic during the workweek, Labor Day to Memorial Day; and it would close Beach Drive during the summer as well as on weekends and holidays, as has long been the case.

I live three-quarters of a mile west of Rock Creek Park. My definite concern with permanent closure is that significant adjacent neighborhood traffic impacts could very well develop. D.C. Department of Transportation ancillary studies in 2021 and 2022 are comprehensive and replete with data indicating the impacts that could occur east and west of Rock Creek Park. My analysis of this data suggests that these impacts would particularly be felt east of Rock Creek Park.

No doubt there are two important and conflicting points of view on this matter. A compromise is needed. I sense, from its July 18 public hearing, that the National Park Service is willing to engage in the same.

Lee Schoenecker, Washington

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