If you have ever felt overwhelmed by overcrowding on the otherwise beautiful High Line, you might agree with Stephen A. Hansen’s June 30 Local Opinions essay, “Don’t ‘High Line’ Georgetown’s C&O Canal.” Unfortunately, the call to “rethink this proposal from scratch” is based on mischaracterizations.
The assumption that the plan to save the canal would produce another High Line is just guilt by association. Landscape architect James Corner Field Operations has extensive experience balancing nature and urban environments on unique projects.
Not “masterminded by the Georgetown Business Improvement District,” this rehabilitation plan has been a multiyear effort led by the National Park Service and Georgetown Heritage, a nonprofit group consisting almost entirely of Georgetown residents. We have included preservationists, historians, archaeologists, educators and cultural resource specialists.
Accessibility is a civil right, not a privilege. Georgetown Heritage is using the U.S. interior secretary’s Standards for Rehabilitation in our quest for the least intrusive ways to open this national park to a disabled veteran or a parent with a stroller. Materials have not been evaluated or proposed.
The Georgetown section of the C&O Canal is a treasure, and the plan seeks to keep it that way. We aim to provide opportunities for people to learn its stories and enjoy its beauty. The canal is not being turned into a “tot lot.”
Jennifer Romm, Washington
The writer is chair of Georgetown Heritage, an NPS Friends Group coordinating the revitalization planning for the Georgetown section of the C&O Canal.