Secret Service closes popular sidewalk outside White House


It may become a bit more difficult to snap a perfect selfie of yourself on the southern sidewalk near the White House.

The U.S. Secret Service said it is ending public access to the sidewalk along the south fence of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Reuters reported.

The decision to close the sidewalk comes after an incident in March where a man scaled a fence and was on White House property for 16 minutes before being detained, among other recent incidents.

Currently, the sidewalk is closed from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m.

The goal of the closure will “lessen the possibility of individuals illegally accessing the White House grounds” and “create a clear visual break to enable Secret Service officers to identify and respond to potential hazards including individuals attempting to scale the fence,” Cathy Milhoan, a Secret Service spokeswoman, said in a statement to media outlets.

The blocking of the sidewalk will not obstruct the public’s ability to view the White House and no additional “physical” barriers will be installed, according to the Reuters report.

So, if you really want to get that selfie, you can try taking it across E Street by the Ellipse—just a bit farther than would have been possible under the old rules.

The U.S. Secret Service has similar restrictions on the northern fence at the White House, the agency told Reuters.

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today,, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).