The PJ Tatler

Capitol Grinches Shooing Away Sledders Asked to Stop

D.C. delegate to Congress is upset that Capitol Police have been shooing sledders away from Capitol Hill during the recent snow dumps.

“Sledding on U.S. Capitol Grounds is one of the oldest traditions in the nation’s capital,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) wrote yesterday to Senate Sergeant at Arms Frank J. Larkin. “Although I understand that sledding has been banned for years, what I do not understand is why the U.S. Capitol Police have recently decided to enforce this Scrooge-like ban.”

“Because the Capitol Police Board issues the regulations, I am reaching out directly to the Board to request that sledding be permitted on U.S. Capitol Grounds,” she said.

“The District of Columbia received enough snowfall to bring out sledding children and their parents last week. Left to enforce the ban for no good reason, some U.S. Capitol Police turned away families invoking security. Because of high-residential density, there are few places to sled in the city, and the grounds of the U.S. Capitol – the Hill – provide a perfect sledding venue. The sledding ban appears to be arbitrary.”

Norton pointed out that “there is so little snow here that there will not be frequent sledding and, therefore, no significant damage to Capitol Grounds.”

“Moreover, the public is not barred from walking or playing games on the grounds. I understand that there may be reasonable limits placed on sledding, but an absolute ban on sledding in the little snow the District has on the grounds of the People’s House and the Senate is unseemly and unnecessary,” she added.

“Americans should be able to sled on ‘America’s front lawn.’ I am asking that the Capitol Police Board remove the ban on sledding from Capitol Police Regulations.”

Norton asked for a response within 30 days.