Who let the animals in? More fences, gates within National Zoo proposed

Good fences make good neighbors, and Smithsonian’s National Zoo is hoping to continue making the place a neighborly place to visit by adding more fences throughout the zoo to increase visitor safety.

New fencing and gates are being proposed at the National Zoo, specifically to fill the gaps where the current fence separates North Road from the pedestrian area of the zoo.

Zoo officials will return to the National Capital Planning Commission with the revised perimeter fencing plan on Thursday.

In a late February news release, Smithsonian said it has no plans for permanent, year-round visitor screening but hopes “limiting the number of ways people enter the Zoo will enhance the security and safety year-round.”

The Zoo plans to make the following changes at the following entry points:

  • Consolidate the four pathways from Lot B into one.
  • Consolidate two pathways from Lot A into one.
  • No changes proposed to the Lot C entrance.
  • Service entrances near Amazonia will be made only accessible to staff. (The closure of these entrances will not impact the Rock Creek bike path through the Zoo.)
  • One entrance to the Visitor Center currently accessible to pedestrians will be made only accessible to staff.

The following three main entrances used by most visitors will be unchanged:

  • Connecticut Avenue
  • Lower Zoo (Harvard Street)
  • Bus parking area near the giant panda habitat, though there will be a new visitor gate.

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