Archive for the ‘streetscape’ category

Images from DDOT’s Library & Archives

September 1, 2017

A friend recently reminded me about the photos on the DDOT Library and Archives tumblr page. Overall, I found many of the images interesting, but only found a few from our area. DDOT has other photo pages as well, including DDOT Back in Time which may be of interest.

Park Road view west toward 14th Street, dated March 20, 1967.

14th Street just north of Park Road with view toward south, dated March 20, 1967.

Park View Fire Call Box Harps Get Spruced Up

May 15, 2017

(Top of fire call box harp at Warder and Otis)

Recently, the three remaining fire call box harps in the neighborhood were spruced up. Each of them was painted black with gold accents. I especially like how the neighborhood name was added to the top of each.

While there are only three of these in the neighborhood presently, there were at least twelve fire call stations in Park View at one time. Over the past decade, I know of two harps that were taken out by cars, and the call box harp at Princeton and Georgia was nearly lost in 2011 when DDOT removed it during street construction. I successfully advocated for the harp’s return specifically with the idea that it could be part of an art project along with the other harps.

The recent improvements to the call boxes really enhance the streetscape where they are located. Perhaps, eventually, we’ll be able to incorporate some small art or images where the call boxes were once located as well.

(The call box harp at Warder and Otis is one of three in the neighborhood that have recently been repainted.)

Crosswalk Improvements Coming to Irving by Hospital Center

April 17, 2017

After a lot of advocacy, it looks like a controlled crosswalk is finally being installed at Irving and Hobart streets to permit pedestrians to safely cross to the Washington Hospital Center. I know that a lot of people let DDOT know that this was a priority during the Crosstown Multimodal Study workshops. Below are a few photos showing progress so far.

Could Bioretention Bulbouts Increase Safety and Parking at Park Place and Quebec?

February 8, 2017

Recently I began thinking about how to improve safe access to the small triangle park at Rock Creek Church Rd. and Park Place after a neighbor asked if it would be possible to close the street or add speed bumps to the small section of Park Place that directly abuts the neighborhood on the west of the park. After giving it much though, I think the best solution would be to add a few bioretention bulbouts to the area. However, it would require buy-in from the neighbors and a lot of sustained advocacy from the community. Below is a quick and dirty illustration that conveys the idea.

park-place-bump-outs(Areas outlined in green could be reconfigured as bioretention bulbouts, adding additional green infrastructure and calming traffic.)

The main problem with Park Place minor as it is configured today is that cars using this street take little heed for pedestrians and others as they travel from Rock Creek Church Road to Park Place major. The street is necessarily wide, and the crosswalk and stop sign at the southern end are set back, so as that anyone stopping at the stop sign is too far back from the road to see traffic on  Park Place major. Driver that do stop have to creep to the end of the street to see oncoming traffic — both cars and cyclists in the bike lanes — and this is if they stop at all. Frequently, drivers on this small stretch fail to stop at the stop sign and do a rolling stop as they turn to head south.

Closing the street doesn’t seem to be a good solution either, as the residents who live on the street would lose three parking spaces and it would make it necessarily difficult for delivery vehicles, moving vans, fire trucks, and ambulances to serve the these houses.

Strategic placement of bioretention bulbouts could narrow the entrance and exit of the street to a single lane. The benefit of this is that is would calm traffic and make the crosswalks shorter (and safer) to cross. A bulbout on the southern end of the triangle park would remove one parking space, increasing viability and safety for drivers and cyclists … and the bulbout on the southern end could be configured to add street parking by one to three spaces depending upon configuration.

The only significant down side I see is cost, so there would need to be both consensus among the neighbors most impacted and a sustained advocacy.

Perhaps the way to “sell” this to DDOT, DOEE,& the Council would be to bundle a number of these smaller projecting into a pilot program.

DDOT to Sod Tree Space Areas on 600 Block of Princeton

September 22, 2016

img_1485The 600 block of Princeton Place had a lot of sidewalk work done back in May that also tore up the tree space areas. Now, according to signs posted earlier this week, DDOT is prepared to undertake sodding of the tree spaces on Princeton.

In looking at the area between the sidewalk and the curbs on the block, the current state is dirt and weeds, so I’m pleased that DDOT will be restoring the area to what it was prior to their sidewalk replacement work.

img_1484(Section of 600 block of Princeton Place showing the weed-filled tree area.)

Public Space Plan Proposed for 3701 New Hampshire Project

July 14, 2016

Last night ANC 4C considered the public space application for the proposed streetscape changes that could occur as part of the redevelopment of 3701 New Hampshire Avenue (the former Sweet Mango property). While the overall plan is fairly basic (see below), I was happy to see that the Rock Creek Church Road frontage of the development will remove the curb cut/loading zone and will replace it with two new trees and permeable pavers. This should also increase street parking by one or two spaces.

I don’t yet know ANC4C’s feedback but expect we’ll find out shortly. The public space hearing is scheduled for August.

3701 streetscape(Site plan page from Rooney Properties public space submission.)

What’s DDOT Doing Around the Neighborhood?

June 23, 2016
New sidewalk on Warder between Manor and Newton.

New sidewalk on Warder between Manor and Newton.

Last night I too a brief walk around part of the neighborhood to check on all the work DDOT is doing in the community. I continue to see large areas of sidewalk that have been replaced and a large number of crosswalks. Far beyond any notification I’d  received from DDOT. For the most part, these are good improvements.

I’ve observed new crosswalks installed up and down Warder and Park Place. I’ve also observed smaller sections of sidewalk replaced abutting the new crosswalks. What I find interesting for many of these crosswalks is that in addition to the red textured area many of them slightly slope down to a level surface on grade with the street prior to meeting the street.

IMG_0877(New crosswalk on ne corner of Warder and Newton).

However, not all of the work strikes me as as quality work. Below are two photos of an area of new sidewalk on Park Place between Otis and Newton Place where the sidewalk takes an odd slope down to the curb. Personally, I question the safety of this and will be questioning DDOT about it.

IMG_0868

IMG_0866(Above: a section of new sidewalk on Park Place between Otis and Newton Place. As it approaches the street it suddenly slopes downward.)

Tree to be removed on Quebec Place

Tree to be removed on Quebec Place

In addition to sidewalk improvements, I was sad to see one of the large trees on the 600 block of Quebec Place marked and ready to be cut down. That said, in looking at its trunk near the base it appears that it may be hollow inside and leaving it alone likely poses a safety hazard. The photo below shows an opening in the trunk providing an idea of its hollow interior.

I’ve been working with a group of neighbors in the central section of the neighborhood to tree up streets like Luray and Manor places as those streets have no tree box areas for new trees. Fortunately for Quebec Place, there is tree box space so, even though this tree is coming down, we can get a replacement in the fall.

IMG_0880


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