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Government shutdown 2013: Gravelly Point still busy through shutdown

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ARLINGTON (WJLA) - Arlington's Gravelly Point is beloved for its quick access to the Mount Vernon trail, picturesque views of the Capitol and of course feeling the breathtaking power of planes passing overhead.

The park, closed  by the government shutdown along with the rest of the public spaces administered by the National Park Service, was teeming with families Sunday night. Cyclists, fishermen and folks just looking to wind down the weekend filled the park even though it isn't technically open to the public.

"I think this is the best kind of salute back to the guys on Capitol Hill," said Andrew Holt, who came to the park Sunday evening to fish. "Telling them how everybody feels about it."

Gravelly Point's popularity has created some safety hazards as park-goers improvise parking spots instead of leaving their cars in the parking lot, which has been barricaded by park police during the shutdown. Park-goers have parked their cars on the shoulder of the road near the park and even on the grass.

Putting cars in such close quarters with the joggers and cyclists who frequent the park and paths around it has made some nervous that an accident is only a matter of time.

"It's a little dodgy coming through here," Holt said. "People coming through are recognizing that, but it is getting to that time of night where it's kind of tough to see people so it is dangerous. It makes more sense if they would just let you park."

The National Park Service, which oversees the park, was unavailable for comment because its spokesperson has been furloughed.

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