Klingle Trail Hurdles NEPA, But Don’t Expect Action Soon
Could it be coming to an end? Could it possibly?
Well, a part of it, at least. Today, the District Department of Transportation released its National Environmental Policy Act-required Finding of No Significant Impact (affectionately known as a Fonzi) on a plan for the Klingle Trail–the washed-out road that once connected Woodley Park with Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park. The issuance of FONSI means that the proposal won't negatively affect the surrounding environment, and won't have to go through a lengthy environmental impact statement process. The preferred alternative, a 10-foot-wide permeable pathway with bollard lighting, will cost about $6.76 million to complete–more than the concrete road option, but less than what it would have cost to make the gravel pathway 12 feet wide.
Next step for the most contentious road in Washington: Lock down funding in the city's fiscal year 2012 budget to actually engineer the thing. And then get the money needed to construct it, which will be a mix of federal and local dollars. And then, most likely, get the City Council to perform a formal street closing [UPDATE, Thursday March 10: The plan will not require a street closing]. Bottom line: Nothing happens before 2013. Plenty of time to derail this debacle once again!