Irving Street Sign Closer to Replacement

The neighborhood gateway sign at Irving and Georgia Avenue dates to ca. 2006

The hard work and dedication of the Irving Street residents appears to have paid off in their efforts to replace the Irving Street gateway sign with a new, wrought-iron version that will say: “Welcome to Park View.” At the September 14, 2011, ANC 1A meeting the Commissioners voted five to three in favor of the their request.

For the past few years, the residents of the 400-600 blocks of Irving Street, NW, have been working hard to beautify and improve their community. They have been getting together to pick up trash on Saturdays and have been working with the City to get graffiti removed. They have even adopted a name, the Park View Beautification Crew.

One of the more ambitious projects that they have undertaken is to replace the neighborhood gateway sign located on the southeast corner of Irving Street and Georgia Avenue. The current sign has seen better days, having been a repeated victim of vandalism and abuse.  While most will agree that replacing it is a good thing, not everyone has agreed on what to replace it with — whether it be design or wording.

After progressing to a stage where approval from DDOT was needed, members of the community came before ANC 1A during their June meeting — at DDOT’s suggestion — to seek support for putting a new sign on public space. This was a last minute addition to the agenda and the discussion devolved into a less than constructive one that centered around appropriate wording for the sign and concern for an appropriately noticed public meeting. The outcome of the June meeting — and an expectation by most of the participants — was that Commissioner Lenwood Johnson (1A11) would host a public meeting with the community as the sign is located in his Single Member District.

The Irving Street community, after repeated attempts to coordinate a meeting with Commissioner Johnson, ultimately decided to move forward and scheduled a follow-up community meeting on August 1. All ANC 1A commissioners were invited to come. At that meeting it was decided that the design of the sign would remain the same but that the wording would be changed to “Welcome to Park View” since the sign welcomes eastbound drivers, or, drivers entering Park View and driving away from Columbia Heights and Pleasant Plains (the other two neighborhoods represented on the current sign).

Despite coming before the ANC for a second time, the discussion of the sign was no less contentious. Commissioner Johnson continued to be critical of the sign. He was of a firm opinion that the issue should not have been considered by the ANC because there was no public space application of file with DDOT. That the issue had even come before the ANC at DDOT’s urging held no weight with him.

With the vote over and this hurdle behind them, the residents will next have to coordinate the construction and installation of the sign.


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One Comment on “Irving Street Sign Closer to Replacement”

  1. […] ANC 1A last June, but due to confusion on neighborhood borders and identities it did not receive ANC approval until September 2011. This confusion was caused both by the inclusion of Columbia Heights, Park View, and Pleasant […]

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