Efforts to halt Klingle Valley hiking and biking trail plans shut down by D.C. federal court

Efforts to halt Klingle Valley hiking and biking trail plans shut down by D.C. federal court

Klingle Road — closed to motor vehicles since 1991 — is one step closer to becoming the hiking and biking trail approved by the D.C. Council in 2008 and supported by Friends of the Earth

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday the U.S. District Court in D.C. dismissed a lawsuit that sought to compel the reconstruction of Klingle Road. The closed road runs through Klingle Valley in Rock Creek Park.

Friends of the Earth, along with the Sierra Club, successfully intervened in the lawsuit to support the D.C. Council’s 2008 decision to construct a hiking and biking trail through the park on the former Klingle Road path. Yesterday’s decision dismisses the lawsuit demanding the road be rebuilt, which removes one of the final barriers to re-opening the area for hikers and bikers.

“This is a great victory for the residents of Ward 3 and the District of Columbia,” said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth. “By affirming the D.C. council’s decision, the court has given the green light to a recreational area that improves our environment and can be enjoyed by all D.C. residents.”

Klingle Road is situated on the north boundary of the National Zoo and forms the western boundary of Rock Creek Park. Klingle Road, paved in the 1950s, was destroyed by a rainstorm in 1991 and has been closed to motor vehicle traffic ever since.

Environmental groups have been fighting proposals to reconstruct the road for the past 20 years because rebuilding the road to accommodate motor vehicle traffic would worsen traffic congestion, adversely impact adjacent neighborhoods, impose exorbitant costs on taxpayers and create negative environmental and safety impacts. The latest road reconstruction plan was rejected by the D.C. Council four years ago and a hiking and biking trail was approved in its place.

The decision by the court is available here.
Friends of the Earth’s 2003 D.C. Green Scissors report discussing Klingle Road is available here.

Rebecca Connors, Friends of the Earth, 202-222-0744, [email protected]


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