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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bored Activists Take on National Mall

It seems some bored activists have decided to make the National Mall their most important priority. (As for the homeless people that are frequently seen there, well, they don't have time to be bothered with that) However, having just spent a good two days on the National Mall in Washington DC I'm wondering what it is these people are talking about.

According to CNN, the National Mall is in dire need of about $258 million dollars worth of repairs including reinforcing the sinking seawall at the Jefferson Memorial and rehabing the World War I Memorial. However, the collapse into the Potomac Basin of the Jefferson Memorial isn't what's bothering these fired up activists. It's the restroom situation.

"If you are in here and Johnny has to go to the potty you are in trouble ... there is no place to go," said Chip Akridge, who heads the Trust for the National Mall, which is raising private money to fix up the mall.

Restrooms, parking and transportation are all desperately needed, along with places to eat, activists said.

Akridge points to one snack tent, calling it Washington's "Tavern on the Green."

"This is America's front yard. You wouldn't have this in your front yard. ... No American wants it in this front yard," he said.

Have these people actually been down to the mall? Have they no idea of what a trip to a National PARK is like?

First, you go into any museum and you will find restrooms, a cafeteria and a cool place to sit. Heck, you might even find a stand selling ice cream (if you're able to read signs that point to "food"). Second, if you're just doing the "outdoor" attractions like the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, etc. think ahead! There are restrooms at certain locations, they are as nice as any other restroom I've ever been in at a park (and they even had a family restroom that was clean so you could change your child's diaper and have peace of mind) and they are handicap accessible. Third, you don't need parking! What moron wants to try and drive through DC so they can search for parking so they can walk farther than they would've had they just taken the damn subway and walked over to the mall? By the way, the subway dumps you, conveniently, right onto the Mall. You don't even have to cross the street.

I'm not saying it couldn't use a good dousing with water, but give me a break. For as many people as go through there every year I think they're doing pretty well. It's the Nation's front yard and while it may be cluttered it's still an open, welcoming space and that, after all, is the point. Get over it, and pick up your trash.

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