National Park Service to hold public meeting on future of Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park

The National Park Service will hold a virtual public meeting next month to hear from the public on the future management of the part of Beach Drive that goes from Broad Branch Road Northwest to the Maryland border.

“We recognize that making any long-term change to the way we manage this part of Beach Drive would affect people who use, enjoy and care about Rock Creek Park – the oldest urban park in the National Park System,” Rock Creek Park Superintendent Julia Washburn said.

In a news release, NPS said it will offer to the public a range of “alternatives for potential changes” to northern Beach Drive. This will include an option for no changes to the area.

After hearing public commentary, NPS said it will “refine” the options, and present the revised choices to the public for more feedback in the fall.

NPS will also complete an environmental assessment of the potential changes.

Access to this area of Beach Drive will continue to be limited. NPS limited access to the area in April 2020 to allow for social distancing.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton asked NPS in May to permanently close part of Beach Drive in Northwest to traffic.

“If anything, I believe it will save the Park Service money because they won’t have to keep the roads in good condition,” Norton told WTOP on May 27.

The virtual public meeting will be held July 8 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The public can submit comments from July 8 through Aug. 22.

WTOP’s Julie Gallagher contributed to this report. 

Hannah Parker

Hannah Parker is a writer and editor for WTOP. She is most interested in covering social issues in the D.C. area and is always looking for news tips and story ideas.

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