The street is mostly empty, and the sidewalks are full
of tourists and government workers. It is truly beautiful to see
and hear the peacefulness that the closure has accomplished. Let's
MICHAEL S. GOLDSTEIN
Once again, The Post has repeated that canard about Pennsylvania
Avenue in front of the White House being "sealed off"
to traffic, which The Post deems "an affront to open democracy"
[editorial, May 21]. The street is not closed to trafficonly
to motor vehicles. Other forms of traffic, including bicyclists,
rollerbladers, pedestrians, tourists and the usual assortment
of people wishing to present grievances are all welcome. I rode
my bicycle there just the bother day and found it a pleasant,
quiet plaza where I coasted in lazy circles, some thing that could
have cost me my life back when it was nothing more than an urban
expressway. If The Post's real complaint is traffic jams on nearby
streets, then you may have a point, but please stop trying to
sell the notion that enjoyment of democratic processes can be
had only from an automobile. It's the White Housenot White
I don't recall The Post raising such a fuss over the "affront
to democracy" that occurred when E Street below the White
House was closed to westbound motor traffic, or over the closure
that occurs each weekend on sections of Rock Creek Parkway.
JEFFREY A. SACKS
I would like to add my voice to those opposing the continued
closure of Pennsylvania Avenue.
The terrorists are winning. Look around Washington
at the barricades that have been erected near the State Department,
Pentagon, White House Old Executive Office Building, the Capitol,
the House and Senate office buildings, etc. Look at our
airports, office buildings, schools, post offices, even some retail
establishments. All of the physical barriers in the world will
not make a difference if a terrorist wants to become a martyr.
We need to rethink our physical security arrangements and start
to act like an open, reasonable society again.
The most effective security on Pennsylvania Avenue in front
of the White House would be D.C. police and uniformed Secret Service
officers on foot, patrolling both sides of the street. The security
officers could restrict the traffic to autos only and could
prohibit any vehicle from stop. ping along that portion of the
avenue. The patrolling officers would ask any stopped vehicle
to move along or risk a fine. Officers on foot watching the people
and the vehicles on the avenue would be in a position to act quickly
to deter or apprehend any lawbreakers.
Lastly, one of the most senseless and unsightly
uses of concrete barriers can be found around Hamilton Place
along 15th Street near the Treasury Building. What could
we possibly be protecting there? Those barriers are particularly
ugly and unnecessary.
GREGORY H. BRADFORD