Letter to the Editor: Klingle trail reflects misplaced priorities

The new trail replaces a long-closed section of Klingle Road NW through Rock Creek Park. (Brian Kapur/The Current/June 2017)

The Current’s June 28 article “Long in the works Klingle trail crosses the finish line” is tragically short on perspective. For over 150 years District of Columbia residents living on the east and west sides of Rock Creek used Klingle Road NW as an efficient connector.

The impetus to prevent the D.C. government from rebuilding Klingle Road was a campaign initiated by residents living along the western terminus of that portion of the road, which was rendered inoperable by government neglect.

The principal purpose of that campaign was to preclude D.C. residents living on the eastern side of the city from continuing to use the road to reach schools and churches and other facilities located in the northwest side of the city. In more recent years that campaign gained the fig-leaf invention of the added desire for a hike-bike trail.

While there may be occasional use of the so-called trail for bicycling and walking, in reality taxpayers at a cost of $6.6 million plus unreported millions for adjacent stormwater management have funded a completely unnecessary park for the west-terminus neighbors. While the article refers to the eastern and western borders of Klingle Road, it fails to report that the Tregaron estate’s 13 acres of trails and gardens open to the public constitutes the northern edge of this newly constructed park. There is no environmental need for closing Klingle Road for what is essentially a second and very expensive neighborhood park. There is ample space for a reopened two-lane road with an adjacent hike-bike trail.

Closing Klingle Road has done nothing to decrease car culture. It has simply increased traffic congestion on D.C. streets that connect the west and east sides of Rock Creek, including Calvert and Porter streets.

William Carroll, North Cleveland Park