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Rock Creek Park Trail (Melvin C Hazen Tributary) Closed Due to Shutdown – Enforceable?

by Prince Of Petworth — October 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm 25 Comments


Thanks to a reader for sending:

“So this is a pretty small thing in relation to what fed workers are going through but the photo is a sign from Melvin C Hazen park in Van Ness. It’s a nice little woods walk that I like to take on my lunch hour. The sign says ‘closed’ but I was still able to walk the trail.”

  • dat

    Similarly, how are they closing national parks? We were supposed to go camping this weekend at a national park that is now “closed” – sure they can close the gates and put up barriers, etc – but does anyone know how (and if) they plan to enforce the closure? What’s the worst they can do, kick people out?

    • Anonymous

      I think it’s more of “Enter at Your Own Risk – we aren’t patrolling the area and it’s going to be a while before we can rescue you” type of notice.
      I imagine that they might also be able to ticket you for trespassing, if you’re caught.

  • Timmy

    I was wondering the same thing about Meridian Hill Park.

    • tonyr

      Any chance that they’ll put up razor wire to keep the citizenry out of Logan Circle?

    • anon

      i know a group of people who just visited – they said it was empty, no one is watching it.

    • Anonymous

      I sidled around the barrier at the entrance to Meridian Hill this morning, and walked through the park as usual. Along with the usual number of dog-walkers, joggers, and folks sleeping on benches.

  • Anonymous

    There is no such thing as a “government”, there’s only people ruling people. Do with that as you will.

    • ok

      then I’ll mock you.

      • Anonymous

        slow clap for you then

  • Joe

    Would you wander into a business that had a closed sign on it? If caught, they will arrest you for trespassing. Just because you don’t see someone standing there, doesn’t mean that someone might not be watching to call the police.

    • Anonymous

      Feeling good about yourself this afternoon Joe?

    • Anonymous

      What if I’m a part-owner of said business?

      • gotryit


        • Anonymous

          The anology is not on point. You are not a part owner of government property, not even a 1/314,000,000 of it. It belongs 100 percent to the government. The governemnt can exlude you from it. Now, whether that will actually be enforced, who knows?

          In fact, een if the analogy held, government could still exclude you. For example, Facebook can exclude you from Facebook headquarters, even if you own many shares of stock in Facebook.

    • kyle-w

      I would be curious who is going to call the police on someone walking through Meridian Hill Park…?

      • Anonymous

        Park police are not furloughed, so they might just be patrolling the park themselves and see someone trespassing.
        Though this seems unlikely, given the activities they typically ignore in the parks.

  • Anonymous

    It’s Public land manged by the Government. It’s yours, It’s mine, It’s everyone’s

    The majority of public lands in the United States are held in trust for the American people by the federal government and managed by them as well. It’s still public

    • worker

      Is that how you feel about the Pentagon?

      I suggest you stop by this afternoon to check on your land being help in trust by the government there.

      • Anonymous

        Oh, is the purpose of the Pentagon to provide outdoor space for the citizenry? Is the Pentagon designed to offer a quiet escape from city life for communing with nature? If so, I should get over there pronto!
        See, all this time I was under the impression that the Pentagon existed to house secrety stuff. That keeping people like me OUT was kind of its job, you know? Silly.

        • Anonymous

          dont feed the worker troll.

    • Anonymous

      By this logic, I should be able to break and enter into the Smithsonian in the middle of the night if I want to check out the Hope Diamond. Even public spaces have limits on their availability. Just more limits now that the government is closed.

  • I just got back from my usual dog-walk on this trail. Lots of people using it as usual, and as ought to be. This is publicly owned – totally unfenced – parkland. The idiotic Republican govt. shut-down just prevents money being spent. Access to our own public land does not require money to be spent.

    The shut down of camp grounds on Assateague and other National Parks is different. They require paid staff for daily operations. Rock Creek Park does not.

    • ah

      You can blame the shut down on Congress, but the decisions as to what part of Executive Branch operations are actually shut down, instead of deemed essential, are ultimately the President’s.

  • Carlton Fish

    I had a fantastic bike ride today in Rock Creek, since virtually all of the roads north of the Mill were shut down. It was better than the weekend riding – even the roads up into the hills were closed. And yes, the gates are down, signs are up, but no, police aren’t arresting people bike riding. Or having a hike on the trails. Or walking in Meridian Hill.

  • mike

    Closing offices is at least understandable. I really don’t get how they think they can close a trail or keep visiting veterans from seeing the WWII memorial! That’s a bit like shutting off the traffic lights and not allowing anyone to drive down the street.


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