Would Kiosks Aid in Keeping the Community Informed?

Mock up of information Kiosk at the Georgia Ave. Metro

Something I’ve struggled with over the past few years is how to effectively communicate with the community. While there are a good number of neighborhood listservs and blogs available, not everyone reads them. Moreover, there is still a significant digital divide in the community.

One solution I’ve adopted is a monthly newsletter that gets delivered to each household in single member district ANC1A08. The biggest drawbacks to this approach are the time required to deliver it and its inability to get the word out when something important comes up that needs immediate distribution.

The reworked streetscape on the east side of Georgia at Otis Place has a large sidewalk are that could support kiosk

While talking to a neighbor about this problem as it related to posting events at the Park View Recreation Center, it dawned on me that many universities addressed this question long ago by strategically placing kiosks around their campuses for flyers and announcements.

I got to wondering if such a solution could work here. I freely admit that there would need to be a plan to remove dated material from time to time. However, by providing a series of kiosks along a major corridor (such as Georgia) two benefits come to mind.

  • Community members would have centralized places to go if they wanted to check on area happenings; and,
  • Fewer posters or announcements would be pasted to street lights and utility boxes.

Kiosks certainly wouldn’t ensure that items posted on them are read. Nor is any approach to bridging the digital divide perfect. But judging by the number of posters, flyers, and announcements that are frequently pasted on anything and everything along Georgia Avenue, it seems to me that there must be a better and more attractive solution.

I’d love to hear what you think, especially if you have alternative ideas.


Explore posts in the same categories: Community Involvement, streetscape

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5 Comments on “Would Kiosks Aid in Keeping the Community Informed?”

  1. Great question. This would also fill a hole in newer and higher density neighborhoods like mine where access to mailboxes and front doors is very limited.

  2. FYI this post just inspired a now-serious discussion of bringing a similar concept to Navy Yard. Thanks!

  3. Caro Says:

    Personally, I think they are eyesores.

  4. Tom Gallo Says:

    I can picture the litter around them already

  5. JS Says:

    The traffic control box (if that’s what it is) at the south end of the NH Ave entrance to the Petworth metro is an ungodly eyesore that really interrupts the flow of the new streetscape. If you could construct a better-looking kiosk around that hides it, I think it’d work wondefully.

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