Washington, DC

From the office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton:

“Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a letter requesting that the National Park Service permanently close to motor vehicles the portion of Beach Drive NW in the District of Columbia that has been closed to motor vehicles during the coronavirus pandemic. The portion has been closed during the pandemic to provide more space for pedestrians, bicyclists and recreation. Thousands of people now use Beach Drive to walk, run, bike and play.

“As we shift to post-pandemic life, there is much we have learned about our values as a community,” Norton said. “One of those lessons is the benefit of spending time outdoors. We want to take advantage of the opportunity the temporary closure of Beach Drive provided to prioritize health, outdoor recreation and other forms of transportation by making the closure permanent.”

The letter follows.

May 26, 2021

Shawn Benge
Acting Director
National Park Service
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Acting Director Benge:

I request that the National Park Service (NPS) permanently close to motor vehicles the portion of Beach Drive NW in the District of Columbia that has been closed to motor vehicles during the coronavirus pandemic. NPS closed this portion to motor vehicles during the pandemic to provide more space for pedestrians, bicyclists and recreation. Thousands of people have used Beach Drive over the last year to walk, run, bike and play.

As we shift into post-pandemic life, there is much we have learned about our values as a community. One of those lessons is the benefit of spending time outdoors. We should take advantage of the opportunity the temporary closure of Beach Drive provided to prioritize health, outdoor recreation and other forms of transportation by making the closure permanent.

I ask that you respond to this letter in writing by June 11, 2021.”

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