NPS Public Meeting: “National Mall Plan” and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

Dear Coalition Friends:

The National Park Service will hold a public meeting this Thursday evening, February 18th, to discuss the Park Service “National Mall Plan” and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The deadline for public comments on the Plan is March 18th.  See the release below.

There has been confusion about what this “National Mall Plan” covers, and what topics are open to public comment.  Does this plan, in the tradition of the historic L’Enfant and McMillan Plans, provide comprehensive, long-range visionary planning for the 21st century? Does it address the entire Mall — including the Capitol grounds and White House, all the monuments, Smithsonian museums, National Gallery of Art, US Department of Agriculture, and open space — and all constituencies including the District and the American public? Does it include Mall-wide circulation, recycling, educational and cultural programming? Or is it more narrowly a Park Service maintenance and management plan only for Park Service jurisdiction?

Recent statements by the National Park Service now clarify that the focus of the National Mall Plan is solely on NPS lands and priorities:

“The NPS National Mall Plan is a long-term plan to guide resource conservation and management and operations on portions of the National Mall under NPS jurisdiction as well as individual monuments and operations on portions of the National Mall under NPS jurisdiction.

The National Mall Plan, the associated environmental impact statement (EIS), and the Section 106 process address issues related to landscape maintenance, facilities, and visitor use.”

All the alternatives evaluated in the EIS include “an expanded interpretive visitor transportation system to serve more destinations and offer more frequent service.” [expansion of the existing Tourmobile sightseeing concession that costs $27 per person] (Description of the NPS Mall Plan from the new Environmental Assessment for the Rehabilitation of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, 1-13, downloadable here.)

In short, the new NPS Mall Plan is a jurisdiction plan, not a comprehensive vision for the entire Mall. Mall-wide circulation and recycling systems are not covered. Public comment is welcome by NPS on management and maintenance concerns, as well as on its proposal for new facilities including restrooms and two new visitors centers at the Washington Monument and the Capitol Reflecting Pool (Union Square), as well as redesign of Union Square to better serve public uses.

Now more than ever, with release of the long-awaited NPS Mall Plan, it should be clear to the President and Congress that fragmented management leads to fragmented, piecemeal planning. Only a comprehensive, long-range, visionary plan that supports the needs of all constituencies can guide coherent development of the National Mall in the 21st century. The National Coalition to Save Our Mall continues to believe this is the job for an independent, 18-month National Mall Commission of prominent Americans.


For Immediate Release
National Park Service
Bill Line, Toni Braxton 202 619-7400

National Park Service to Hold Public Meeting to Discuss the National Mall Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Thursday, February 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Washington, D.C. – The National Park Service (NPS) invites the general public to a meeting to discuss the National Mall Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (NMP-DEIS).    The NPS has issued the draft plan in December 2009 for a 90-day public comment period that extends until March 18, 2010.

Time/Date:   5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, February 18, 2010.
Location:   Old Post Office Tower Building, Room M09.   This room may be accessed from the south side of the building along 12th Street, across 12th Street from the Federal Triangle Metro station on the Orange and Blue lines.
Proceed through building security and go upstairs to the mezzanine level following meeting signs.

The meeting will begin with a brief presentation of key plan concepts, and then begin a discussion of: a schedule to complete the plan, offer an opportunity for the general public to obtain answers regarding any questions about any aspect of the NMP-DEIS, how the general public may submit a written comment to the NPS regarding the NMP-DEIS.   The NMP-DEIS is available on-line at or by requesting a CD of the document now or by picking one up at the public meeting.  The draft plan is a lengthy document (600 pages) because it analyzes and compares five (5) different alternatives.  NPS has prepared some  brief fact sheets that are available on-line and at the meeting. The plan begins with a guide and short summary.   A companion photo album on the CD and the website as well as many maps in the DEIS can be used as a reminder about locations and existing conditions.

The NPS encourages all Americans to provide substantive written comment and that anyone wishing to provide such written comment(s) is requested to submit them on-line at the website Substantive public comment will be used to make changes to the document and prepare a final plan.  The NPS intends to issue the Final National Mall Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) before summer 2010.




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