Gray to unveil Fort Totten Metro crash memorial plaque but no park decision

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Local,DC,Transportation,Kytja Weir

D.C. officials will dedicate a plaque to the victims of the 2009 Metro crash on Friday, the third anniversary of the deadly train crash that killed nine people and injured dozens more.

But a planned memorial park remains unresolved after neighbors near the crash site raised concerns, including the fear that the park would attract teens having sex.

Mayor Vincent Gray had pledged at the second anniversary to help make things right after victims' families had complained that a memorial Metro had installed at the Fort Totten Metro stop was insensitive. The families sought a park where victims' children could visit.

But Gray is not slated to make any announcements on Friday about the park that family members had sought, city administrator spokesman Tony Robinson said.

"We haven't made any decision about the park. We have a locally preferred alternative and that's it," Robinson said.

Due to the forecast of hot weather, the city also will not be announcing the finalist chosen in an art/design competition for the park, he said.

But on Friday, Gray is slated to be joined by National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman and victims' families as he unveils the permanent plaque at 11 a.m. on the New Hampshire Avenue bridge overlooking the tracks where one train slammed into the back of a stopped train on June 22, 2009. Currently a makeshfit memorial is maintained there by the families.

kweir@washingtonexaminer.com

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Kytja Weir

Staff Writer - Transportation
The Washington Examiner