News & Politics

The National Park Service Wants Your Opinion: Who Should Use Beach Drive?

The debate is whether to keep the road limited to pedestrians and bikes, or reopen it to traffic.

Boulder Bridge at Rock Creek Park. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

A northern section of Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park has been closed to traffic since April 2020 to allow more recreational space during the pandemic. Now, the National Park Service wants your opinion about whether it should reopen the road—a route that connects DC and Maryland—to cars.

Comments can be submitted online or sent in the mail, but all must be recorded by Aug. 22.

Two competing petitions are circulating. The People’s Alliance for Rock Creek has nearly 5,800 signatures to keep the area limited to bicycle and pedestrian use, and an opposing petition with about 1,300 signatures calls for the road to reopen to automobiles.

NPS staff presented a list of potential alternatives at a July 8 meeting. After collecting public feedback, the list of alternatives will be refined and presented at a meeting in the fall. The road will remain closed throughout the process.