Submit your comments by August 11 to support a continued car-free Upper Beach Drive during the summer (proposed) but also make it year around too!
For two years, Upper Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park has been closed to vehicle traffic, and open to people who have been enjoying walking, running, biking, rolling, and strolling without the noise, air pollution, and danger of cars. Now the National Park Service (NPS) has proposed to limit the closure to car traffic to just the summer months.
On July 11, 2022, the NPS released its preferred alternative for the future of Upper Beach Drive: closure each summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For the other 9 months of the year, commuter traffic would be permitted on weekdays.
We support the Upper Beach Drive summer car-free proposal but we need to urge the National Park Service to make this year around, not just for summer months.
Voice your support for a year round car-free Upper Beach Drive for Rock Creek Park. Comment period closes Aug 11, 2022.
Submit comments here.
Here’s some language we suggest for comments:
I support the proposal to close the upper portion of Beach Drive NW to motorized vehicles from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day every year. However, I urge you to make this closure to motorized vehicles year round, not just during summer.
During the pandemic, the car-free recreation zone on Upper Beach Drive has been hugely popular. All kinds of people, from young to old, have taken advantage of this new recreation zone seven days a week. The four-mile stretch of road for people to enjoy walking, running and rolling offers a unique and treasured uncrowded recreational zone. Upper Beach Drive is narrow and not safe for people walking or biking to share with cars. Even with a 25 mph speed limit, it was dangerous for non-motorized users.
I’ve enjoyed [walking/biking/strolling/running] on Upper Beach Drive during the pandemic and hope to continue to enjoy using this distinctive regional recreational resource throughout the year.
I urge you to expand the summer closure to motorized traffic to year around.
Thank you for your consideration.
You can learn more about the People’s Alliance for Rock Creek (PARC). You can read the NPS’ decision here.
Photo credit: C. Cort