Final CapitalSpace Plan is now available‏

Earlier today, the National Capitol Planning Commission announced that the final CapitalSpace Plan was available. I encourage everyone who is interested in this subject to read the document for themselves. Folks may recall that back in early January the draft was released for comment. Upon reading the document, I think there are a few areas with relevance to the neighborhood.

Image from the final CapitalSpace document

Perhaps most important, the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) is mentioned in the final document after being completely overlooked in the initial draft. I think everyone who raised their voice in protest to its omission from the draft can be proud of the AFRH’s inclusion.

Though the language is not as strong as it could be, the final document includes the following:

“There are a limited number of sites in the city that offer opportunities to establish significant new parkland or publicly accessible open space as sites redevelop. These include sites located in parts of the city with comparatively less access to parks than other areas. Examples include the Armed Forces Retirement Home, … ” –p. 26. (bold added by me for emphasis).

One thing that I find appalling is how much green space is available to Park View, and Ward 1 in general. The study split the city up into Sections A  through J and evaluated the green space in each. All of Ward 1 with the inclusion of LeDroit Park forms Section E. This Section has the second least amount of available park land, coming in at only 280 acres, or 14%, of the total green space in the city. Worse still, Section E is estimated to have an increase in population of 17% between 2005 and 2025.  Clearly, our neighborhood is under served by park land.

Reservation 321-A at Rock Creek Church Rd & Park Place

There was some encouraging information, however, in the recognition that school grounds, Rec Center facilities, and the city’s many small parks — like Reservation 321-A — have largely not been used as effectively as they could be and have hitherto untapped potential for enhancing the neighborhoods they are located in.

Rock Creek Church and Park Place are listed as possible trail sites

Lastly, the section that presents the idea of connecting the Civil War forts with a trail also identifies Rock Creek Church Road and Park Place as possible Secondary Trails (p. 40)

In looking at the big picture of developing trails along these streets, its logical to presume that a trail along Park Place could not be developed without some use of the AFRH. The only other option would be to narrow Park Place to create the land needed for a trail. In either case the speed issue along Park Place would have to be addressed.

All in all, it’s a very detailed report and it will be interesting to see how it guides the City’s parks for the next few decades.

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2 Comments on “Final CapitalSpace Plan is now available‏”

  1. Lanisa Says:

    I’ve always thought that it would be great to have a nice, small, seasonal farmers market or craft/community fair at Reservation 321-A or at its sister location across the street. Of course, there are a gazillion logistical hurdles to using the space in this fashion. But, the two spots are in FANTASTIC, well-traveled and highly visible locations.

    I’m sure that we’d be able to get more than one of those cars speeding down Park Place to stop for fresh squeezed lemonade, fruit or handicrafts. If a portion of the proceeds, like 10% of all sales, were assessed, then UNC might earn a few peanuts in the process.

    What’s wrong with wishing?

  2. Kent Says:

    I’ve thought it would be nice to use the Rec Center grounds for a flea market on Sundays. No matter what happens, I think anything that makes the open spaces we have more useful for the community would be a step in the right direction.


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