The DC Department of Transportation (DDoT) is hosting a community meeting this evening on the 17th Streetscape project. Time is 6:30 to 8 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 1772 Church Street NW.
Following is a quick Q&A with Commissioner Jack Jacobson, ANC 2B04; he is co-chair of the 17th Street working group, along with Paul Williams, executive director of Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets.
At the bottom of this posting are earlier stories related to plans for 17th Street. Also, Greater Greater Washington did a great write up on the project in October 2008.
Q: Exactly what is the 17th Streetscape project?
Jacobson: DDoT is performing a streetscape upgrade for 17th Street, much like the project completed on P Street near Dupont Circle in 2007-2008. The project will include installation of entirely new sidewalks, lighting and tree boxes on both sides of 17th Street between Massachusetts Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue NW.
Q: What prompted the 17th Streetscape project?
Jacobson: My understanding is that the street hadn’t been reconstructed nor updated for quite some time, so the city budgeted funds to spruce up the street. It has been a year and a half since ANC 2B approved the project moving forward.
Q. What are the major elements of the plans for 17th Street?
Jacobson: Sidewalk installation, road resurfacing, tree boxes and replanting dead or damaged trees, street lighting, ADA compliance for additional buildings along 17th Street, parking meter upgrades, bike racks.
Q: Where is funding coming from?
Jacobson: The project will be funded by DDOT and, I believe, with some federal funding.
Q. How many meetings have you had and how many more will there be, including Monday night?
Jacobson: There were three community meetings in 2008 which dozens of businesses and residents attended to shape the project details. The November 23 meeting is to ensure open lines of communication with DDoT once the project starts. Rather than additional community meetings, we are hopeful DDoT will attend the monthly ANC meetings to help address issues as they arise on an ongoing basis.
Q. What is the time line for work on 17th?
Jacobson: Construction will start Nov. 30, 2009, and end by Nov. 30, 2010.