LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) – D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is outraged over the United States Secret Service’s decision to close streets that created severe traffic problems in the nation’s capital.
WNEW Senior Correspondent Mark Segraves obtained a copy of a letter Gray sent to USSS Director Julia Pierson on Tuesday after the mayor learned the southbound lanes of 14th Street NW had been closed for several blocks. The roadway is considered one of the busiest in the city.
“These actions create gridlock in and around this area that will cause tremendous inconvenience to tens of thousands of District workers and visitors especially during rush hour,” the letter reads. “To treat the District with such disrespect is simply unacceptable.”
Tuesday’s closure marked the second time in a year USSS officials closed streets around the Willard Hotel due to visiting dignitaries. Such VIPs typically stay at Blair House which is currently closed for renovations.
Gray states in the letter that he does not understand why the USSS insists on dignitaries staying in a location that results in a significant portion of downtown being “paralyzed by traffic.”
The mayor requested city officials meet with USSS to review planning protocols and ensure similar situations do not occur in the future.
D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has also been made aware of the situation, according to the mayor.
The USSS declined to comment on the letter and gridlock surrounding the street closures.
Download: Gray’s Letter To Secret Service
WNEW Senior Correspondent Mark Segraves contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter.
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