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Opinion Rock Creek Park’s Beach Drive was closed for covid. Should it reopen?

A section of Beach Drive running through Rock Creek Park was closed to traffic in April 2020. The park service planned to reopen the road in June 2021, but pressure from residents and officials made it reconsider. The People’s Alliance for Rock Creek and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association have collected more than 6,000 signatures to keep the road closed. Some park neighbors and commuters say the prolonged shutdown has resulted in more cars cutting — and speeding — through their neighborhoods and has worsened traffic congestion on parallel routes. Critics of a permanent shutdown wonder why the federal government completed in 2019 a $35.3 million rehabilitation of the road if it wasn’t going to be used.