The Need


Over 25 million visitors come to the National Mall each year to explore America’s history and heritage and take part in cultural and civic events. But the experience can be difficult and frustrating. The lack of parking for cars and tour buses is a hardship especially for older visitors and families with small children. Tour buses roam city streets, polluting the air and marring views of our national monuments. Restrooms are scarce. Good food is hard to find. In addition, flooding and drought are serious problems. The 2006 flood that inundated the Mall area is the most recent in a long history of devastating, costly floods. Federal and District of Columbia agencies, in a 2011 study, proposed constructing a large storm water cistern beneath the Mall. Collecting rainwater and groundwater for use in irrigation would increase the Mall’s sustainability and resiliency.