Post letters: An Excess of Inaccessibility

Dear Coalition Friends:

This story has legs. Today’s Washington Post has a cartoon by Tom Toles and two letters to the editor on the security/fear/public lack of access issue at our monuments. The cartoon, unfortunately, is not available on the Post’s website. It shows a family arriving at the Jefferson, having surmounted the “bollard obstacle course” and so on. Finding the statue’s pedestal empty, the father asks, “Now, where’s Jefferson.” The wild-eyed Jefferson cowers behind the pedestal.

Here are the letters:

An Excess of Inaccessibility

Wednesday, January 5, 2005; Page A16

On a visit to the Library of Congress last week with out-of-town guests, it took 25 minutes to get through security at the Jefferson Building. Only one entrance was open, with one metal detector and X-ray machine. People were taken one at a time, and some were wanded. Several of those in line for the final day of a library exhibit ultimately gave up.

But most of the crowd waited patiently, which is more than a terrorist bent on destruction would have done.

I support security steps, but it seemed that no one cared about expediting the entrance of holiday visitors.


* * *

Vikki Keys, Mall area superintendent of the National Park Service, says that the goal of new traffic and parking restrictions is to get visitors out of their cars to reduce congestion [“Park Service Plan to Add Mall Security Hits Resistance,” front page, Jan. 1].

That’s fine, but she didn’t mention how else to get there. There is not much to offer on the Mall west of 14th Street. This was especially brought home not long ago when special arrangements had to be made to transport veterans to the opening of the National World War II Memorial.

I live downtown, and I would love to be able to take public transportation to the Jefferson, Korean, Lincoln and Roosevelt memorials, but I’ve not found any available. Does Ms. Keys have any suggestions?


© 2005 The Washington Post Company


Tags: , ,


More Posts in 2005 Archive