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Klingle Road Environmental Assessment due out this month | Politics

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Klingle Road Environmental Assessment due out this month
Klingle Road Environmental Assessment due out this month

The final Klingle Road Environmental Assessment (EA) is scheduled to be released this month by DC Department of Transportation (DDOT). The Coalition to Repair and Reopen Klingle Road has been participating in efforts to repair and reopen Klingle Road since the early 1990s. Their dedicated pursuit of repair and reopening the road for motor vehicle traffic has never objected to inclusion of a hike/bike trail adjacent to the road. They hope that the EA would formally identify the Coalition as an interested party in this assessment.

Here are some points that the Coalition hopes are addressed in the final report:

*Councilmember Cheh’s legislation limits the trail to 10’ width with a permeable surface. The EA has a wider and impervious surface alternative. It should add an alternative of restoring and rebuilding Klingle Road.

*Hike/bike supporters told Cheh the trail would cost about $2million. The EA says at least $5 million and $7millon to extend to Rock Creek Park. In 2005, the cost of rebuilding the road to its pre-collapse two-lane configuration was $7.1 million. That’s still in the ballpark in today’s economy.  A road is clearly more bang for the buck.

*A road assures the District’s right to use the Klingle land forever as a public highway. A hike/bike trail does not. The 2003 Road restoration legislation and a supporting preliminary environmental impact statement were in force when the Tregaron land swap deal was negotiated and approved by the Mayor’s agent for Historic Preservation. Closing Klingle Road kills development of at least five high-end residences that would otherwise generate badly needed income and property taxes for the City.

*Permeable surfaces may be useful on flat terrain like a parking lot. Building a permeable surface trail, that cannot catch storm water running down Klingle’s slopes, is a multi-million dollar experiment at the expense of DC taxpayers.

*WASA, WMATA and Washington Gas have used Klingle Road since its collapse in 1991. WASA had the road plowed in February 2010. Multi-ton trucks used the road on the Connecticut Avenue Bridge rebuilding. The Cheh Trail does not provide width or durable surface needed by these vehicles.

Stay tuned!