From Tom Hay
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host a community meeting on the 14th Street Streetscape project on Wednesday, September 29. Time is 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the 2nd Floor Community Room of the Reeves Center at 14th and U NW.
Attendees will be shown the intermediary design followed by a public input session. The long-awaited project covers the stretch of 14th Street NW from Thomas Circle north to Florida Avenue. The streetscape project got its start back in 2007 with presentations by DDOT at a series of public meetings. The final report was released in 2008.
Some of the objectives of the 14th Streetscape plan are:
- To reinforce and define a sense of place and uniqueness of the 14th Street corridor.
- Establish a flexible, demand-management parking strategy.
- Encourage the use of public transit.
- Create a safe, inviting and interesting neighborhood that supports diverse uses and activities.
“Streetscape” is a broad term to include all the physical elements that we encounter when moving around the city by foot, bike, car or public transit. Elements of the project include bus shelters, crosswalks, trees, curbs and gutters, bike lanes, public art and signage.
Streetcars? U Street?
What is not on the agenda is any discussion of DDOT’s ambitious streetcar plan, which would include this portion of 14th Street as well as a U Street line. When you click on the DDOT streetcar map, be sure to click on Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the master plan.
Also not included in this streetscape project are the blocks of U Street just off 14th Street. If you’ve walked the U Street between 9th and 18th Streets, you know they are in desperate need of refurbishment. The sidewalks are extremely narrow in some places in addition to being in bad shape and simply dirty.
Projects on 17th and P Streets
In Dupont Circle we have recently seen two DDOT Streetscape projects. The 17th Street NW project, which started last year and just finished up (be sure to check out our story on the 17th Street Festival to celebrate the completion). A few years ago the blocks of P Street west of Dupont Circle also underwent renovation in what turned out to be a costly interruption for many of the local merchants.