Archive for the ‘streetscape’ category

DDOT Replacing Sidewalks on Otis Place, Fails to Consider Street Trees

July 2, 2015
State of sidewalk work on Otis Place, evening of June 30, 2015.

State of sidewalk work on Otis Place, evening of June 30, 2015.

Readers of this blog will now that I’ve been a strong advocate for trees and improved streetscapes for several years. Sadly, despite walking the streets of the neighborhood with the Urban Forestry Administration and getting a good sense of which treeless streets could support street trees, I discovered at the beginning of the week that DDOT began a project to replace the sidewalk on the north side of Otis Place — along the Park View Recreation Center — exactly as they found it. In short, the treeless block of Otis between Warder Street and 6th Street will remain treeless.

I contend that the one way street is wide enough to accommodate a slight narrowing to make room for trees. Additionally, no parking is allowed on the north side during school hours.

Upon learning of the sidewalk project which also included a complete replacement of the curb and some of the road, I contacted DDOT immediately and was told by the end of June 30th by a DDOT representative that “I confirmed with the team that the work can stop after today and investigate the cost and feasibility of adding tree boxes.” This sounded like good news, as at that stage only half of the new curbing had been installed and none of the sidewalk had been poured.

Sadly, DDOT did not honor their word. The following day the rest of the curbs were poured along with most of the sidewalks. To my knowledge, there was no investigation regarding cost  or feasibility. Furthermore, the stretch of street where this occurred contains no storm water catch basins. This should have been the easiest win/win for both DDOT and the community.

State of sidewalk work on Otis Place, evening of July 1, 2015.

State of sidewalk work on Otis Place, evening of July 1, 2015.

I feel strongly that it is critical that the long term goals of the community not be ignored when real opportunities present themselves, such as this sidewalk on Otis Place. I also feel it is important that the voice of the community — your voices — not be silenced because DDOT and others choose to work around their ANCs who I can assure you receive many, many emails with suggestions, concerns, and ideas on how to make our neighborhoods great.

Moving forward, I have written and will introduce a resolution at the July 8th meeting of ANC1A urging that the ANC law be amended such that DDOT be required to provide notice when significant streetscape & sidewalk replacement projects are undertaken. DDOT already does this for curb cuts, public space permits, and handicapped parking requests. Significant streetscape work should be no different.

I will continue to press DDOT on this issue, both specifically on Otis and more broadly on our other treeless streets. As for Otis Place, I’ve reached out to the Mayor’s Office, Councilmember Nadeau, and others to bring light to this epic fail.

Tonight’s Park View UNC Meeting Focuses on Streets/DDOT

June 3, 2015

DDOTI know that there are a good number of people in the neighborhood who care about sidewalks, street configuration, bike lanes, trees, and traffic. I’ve definitely been among them by advocating for a reconfiguration for Park Place, looking for ways to add more trees to treeless blocks, and asking DDOT for a long-term plan to address a number of challenges that can’t be accomplished quickly, such as the tree desert we have in the heart of the neighborhood.

Tonight, the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition has organized a meeting that will include DDOT representatives where these issues and more can be discussed. The meeting will be held at the Park View Recreation Center and begins at 7 pm.

Below is the announcement from from the Park View listserv:

This coming Wednesday, June 3rd, the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition (UNC) has invited speakers from DDOT and the Great Streets program to talk about long-term street planning in our area.

We had initially hoped these speakers could discuss 1) a streetscape plan for Park View that would include widening sidewalks, installing tree boxes, placement of bike lanes, and safety features, as well as 2) past and future opportunities created by the Great Streets program.

Unfortunately, we have learned that contrary to last year’s assertions by DDOT officials, there is no current work being done on a streetscape plan for Park View. The Great Streets program is also not doing work in Park View in the near future (this was less of a surprise to us).

This news makes it all the more important for neighbors to come together at this meeting to talk with city officials about the future of our streets and sidewalks. Representatives from the Mayor’s Office and Councilmember Nadeau will also be present at this meeting, which can help move the discussion forward.

In addition, I would like to note that a representative from the Mayor’s constituent services office will attend to take input from neighbors about alleys and streets in need of repair or resurfacing. If your block needs attention, I suggest you attend!

Sherman Avenue Reconstruction is Officially Over — Mayor Gray Ribbon Cutting Scheduled for Tomorrow

July 8, 2013

Sherman Ribbon cuttingThe reconstruction of Sherman Avenue is finally over. A ribbon cutting has been scheduled to celebrate its completion for Tuesday July 9th at 10:00 a.m. According to the flyer (click image to right), the ceremony will be held on the southeast corner of Sherman Avenue and Morton Street and will include Mayor Gray and members of DDOT.

Councilmember Graham originally announced the reworking of Sherman Avenue on October 8, 2010 with construction set to begin on October 18th of that year. During the ensuring two and a half years, the street has been resurfaced; new curbs, gutters, and storm drains have been installed; new streetlights have been installed; and a median with new trees, shrubs, and other plantings has been created. The sidewalk areas along the east and west side have also been re-worked to include more trees.

According to DDOT’s project Website, the project’s goals were to:

  • Make Sherman Avenue feel more residential rather than a commuter route by reducing vehicular lanes to one in each direction.
  • Improve pedestrian safety by widening the sidewalks to make them ADA compliant, and upgrading the wheelchair ramps and crosswalk markings.
  • Make Sherman Avenue more attractive by planting trees and shrubs along the corridor, upgrading street lights and upgrading traffic signals.

The $13 million project was funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The completed Sherman Avenue streetscape, looking north from Street.

The completed Sherman Avenue streetscape project, looking north from Columbia Road.

Sidewalk, Bus Stop Improvements at Georgia and Park Road Completed

April 4, 2013

In reviewing the intersection of Georgia and Park Road, the new cross walk ramps, brick sidewalk, and north bound bus stop improvements appear to be done. The section of brick sidewalk that was replaced is north of Park Road on the east side of Georgia. Below are a few images of the improvements.

New bus stop pad located on north bound Georgia just south of Park Road.

New bus stop pad located on north bound Georgia just south of Park Road.

The brick sidewalk just north of Park Road has been replaced.

The brick sidewalk just north of Park Road has been replaced.

One of the several cross walk ramps installed at Georgia and Park Road.

One of the several cross walk ramps installed at Georgia and Park Road.

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Dedicated Bus/Bike Lanes Coming to Lower Georgia Avenue

October 10, 2012

If you drive, ride, or commute along southern Georgia Avenue, here’s something that should be of interest. I’m sure this will be particularly true of the many area bikers. DDOT is proposing exclusive bus lanes on Georgia Avenue between Barry Place and Florida Avenue. To assist them in designing the bus lanes and streetscape, they want community input in this process.

DDOT will be presenting two options.  The first is for exclusive shared bus and bike lanes north and southbound, with a left turn lane northbound at Barry and a left turn lane southbound at Bryant.  The second proposal includes the first, but makes Barry one way westbound and provides flashing yellow lights 24 hour northbound on Georgia at Barry and southbound at Georgia at Bryant.

According to information shared by Sylvia Robinson on the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force e-mail blast, meetings have been scheduled for the following dates and times:

The following meetings will be held with DDOT to discuss these options:

Monday October 15th from 5-7 p.m. at the DC Housing Finance Auditorium – 815 Florida Ave. NW (click on flyer above for details)

Wednesday October 24th at 7 p.m. (GA Ave Community Development Task Force Meeting) at ECAC – 733 Euclid St. NW (accessible entrance in the rear – call (202) 462-2285 if assistance is needed)

For questions on this proposal contact:
Wendy Peckham
Phone: 202-671-4581
Email: wendy.peckham (at) dc.gov

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Construction Continues at the Fisherman of Men Church

September 17, 2012

Alterations to the building’s main entrance on Georgia Avenue

The Fisherman of Men Church, located at 3641 Georgia Avenue in the former York Theater, is continuing its building remodeling project. At present, the church is working on the main entrance to the building.

I’ve been scratching my head on this project for a while as there has been very little information shared with me by the church and I wasn’t entirely sure about their vision. I now have a much better idea due to a postcard that was found on the ground while walking the community (below). Aesthetically, it doesn’t appear that there are any plans to significantly alter the exterior of the church, which I appreciate. Although, the design rendering also appears to remove the upper roof (probably not something that will actually be done) and to add a giant video screen to the roof.

From a practical standpoint, however, I still have a significant concern with the work being done at the entrance of the building mostly due to the serious crack in the brick and bow to the wall that exists between the entrance and the first arch. Structurally, this should have been addressed and stabilized prior to the concrete board, foam, and stucco that is being applied over it. Failure to do this prior to the new work in front of it will just lead to a larger problem in the future.

This postcard provides an idea of what the updated Fisherman of Men church could look like

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Would Kiosks Aid in Keeping the Community Informed?

August 1, 2012

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.

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Beautification Continues on Irving Street

June 11, 2012

After stopping by to check on the new Park View Welcome sign that I reported on last Monday, I’m happy to report that the new sign was not the end of beautifying the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Irving, but the beginning. On Sunday morning I had the pleasure to speak with three of the residents who were watering newly planted knockout roses and a boxwood. I understand that there are still more plants coming and that the pictures below do not represent a completed garden just yet.


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Pavement Restoration on Irving Street

May 2, 2012

A Pavement Restoration project [Contract#DCKA-2011-C-0059] began April 30th on Irving Street between Georgia Avenue and Warder Street. Per the posted ‘No Parking’ signs, contact: Jamal Anwar (202-497-9044) with questions. The south side of Irving Street is the focus for Monday – Wednesday; north side for Wednesday – Friday.

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Dangerous Pothole/Depression on Irving Street

February 3, 2012

For those that travel on Irving Street east of Georgia Avenue, beware of the pothole — or road slab depression — that is wreaking havoc on the 500 block of the street. Vehicles have been observed veering into the next lane as they approach this severe depression in the roadway. Based on the paint markings, this looks like a failed repair from earlier this year.

500 block of Irving Street, NW

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