The south sidewalk has long been a popular spot to take photos.
The U.S. Secret Service announced plans to permanently close the south sidewalk over security concerns Wednesday. Several people have broken into the grounds of the White House, and one man in March wandered the lawn for more than 15 minutes before he was detained. In another incident in 2014, a visitor jumped the fence and was able to get all the way into the White House itself.
The secret service upped security in 2015, closing the sidewalk from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m and installing sharp spikes on the fence that surrounds the property, Reuters reported.
The south sidewalk has long been a popular place to take photos, as it offers a great view of the building’s facade. The secret service insisted that tourists will still have plenty of other locations and opportunities.
The Washington Post editorial board slammed the decision in an op-ed Thursday, saying the change reflected embarrassment on the part of the secret service and was not a necessary security precaution.
“The loss this time is not just of access to a sidewalk that offered a glorious view of the White House but further erosion of the openness that is — or should be — a hallmark of American democracy,” the editorial board wrote.