Capitol Police deny request to allow sledding, citing security concerns and Covid-19

A man pulls his son up the hill as people sled on the west side of the US Capitol on January 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. By Colin McCullough and Alanne Orjoux, CNN

(CNN) -- The US Capitol Police have denied a request to allow sledding on the west side of the complex ahead of an expected snowstorm in the area.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton issued a statement Saturday asking the Capitol Police to allow sledding Sunday and next week, saying the snowfall expected Sunday "may be the only snowstorm D.C. gets this winter."

"The west side of the Capitol is well known as perhaps the best place for sledding in D.C.'s high-density urban environment. Annually, I get a provision included in the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill directing the Capitol Police to allow sledding on Capitol grounds," Holmes Norton wrote.

"While the Capitol complex has been closed since the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, sledding can be done safely by allowing only children and adults accompanied by children with sleds or other sled-like devices to use the Capitol grounds for sledding."

Security has been heightened and fences erected around the Capitol complex after a mob of Trump supporters broke through security barriers and entered the Capitol as Congress met to certify Joe Biden's win in the 2020 presidential election.

"Children across America have endured an extremely challenging year, and D.C. children in particular have not only endured the coronavirus pandemic but now the militarization of their city, with the hostile symbols of fences and barbed wire. Sledding is a simple, childhood thrill. It is the least we can allow for our resilient children this winter season," Holmes Norton said in her statement.

The Capitol Police said in a statement they look forward to "welcoming sledders back in the future," but could not permit it at this time.

"Unfortunately, due to the current security posture, COVID-19 restrictions, and the deconstruction of the Inaugural platform, we cannot permit sledding on the Capitol Complex at this time," the statement said.

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