Rose Park Pathway Reconstruction to Start
By March 29, 2021 0 560•
“It’s happening at last! The stakes are up!” exulted Friends of Rose Park President Gail Daubert in a March 29 phone conversation with The Georgetowner. The narrow, muddy, crumbling pathway — variously fenced and unfenced, part asphalt and part dirt — between M and P Streets NW along the park’s western edge, sloping sharply down to Rock Creek Parkway, is now being prepared for a complete reconstruction.
The pathway will be closed on or about March 31, depending on weather, according to the District Department of Transportation. “I was told it could wrap up in two months,” said Daubert. “Give it another month and it could be open by July.”
Colored stakes defining the construction area indicate a pathway widened to eight feet, the standard for two-way paths, according to Daubert. “It will be covered along its entirety by a new product that is crack-resistant, soft and very durable,” she said.
Exactly what type of fencing would edge the path along the western slope, which drops down to the Rock Creek Park trail and parkway, was unclear. There are many options. Currently, a solid metal fence protects the edge along the northern portion, while a rickety fence of wood slats offers partial protection along the middle portion. That disappears along most of the pathway’s southern portion, which has no barrier at all.
Now, with the beginning of spring, the slope is a mass of flowers, but by summer it will transform into thick, green undergrowth. Maintenance is the responsibility of the National Park Service. Much of the south park, including the playgrounds and recreation center west of the pathway, belongs to the District and is managed by the Department of Parks and Recreation.
“The pathway has been considered dangerous, an accident ready to happen and a priority for major repair for way over a decade,” said David Dunning, past president of Friends of Rose Park. “Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, plans were made and confirmed by Rock Creek National Park Service Superintendent Julia Washburn to undergo the repairs. But then other emergency priorities took over. Now, at last, the pathway is back on the schedule. I have already received some 50 ‘yippee, attaway, good going, at last’ emails from happy Rose Park users.”
According to Daubert, Friends of Rose Park is entering into an official partner relationship with DPR. That will help in coordinating events in the park throughout the year.
More information about this and other Rock Creek Park trail renewal projects is available HERE.