18th Street Beautification Causing Problems in Adams Morgan

by Borderstan.com October 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm 2,522 2 Comments

"Borderstan""18 Street NW""Adams Morgan", Adams Morgan Streetscape Project

Work is underway on 18th Street NW in Adams Morgan between Florida Avenue and Columbia Road. (Luis Gomez Photos

From Michelle Lancaster. Follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster or email her at [email protected].

Some news about our neighbors just to the north… beyond that Florida Avenue boundary.

A streetcape project in well-trod areas of Adams Morgan — the Adams Morgan Streetscape Project — seemed like a great idea for all involved. And then work started and things fell apart, according to Huffington Post. Local businesses were promised, and are starting to receive, no-interest loan money they were promised to help out during the construction.

These types of projects can have a serious effect on sidewalk foot traffic, and making it difficult for customers to enter businesses. Unhappy owners now have a potential legal leader in Robert Clayton, who represents Crooked Beat Records. The Adams Morgan Streetscape Project runs from Florida Avenue to Columbia Road NW. Clayton told Huffington Post that the construction has resulted in “big drops in sales due to the streetscape construction and contends that customers can’t find parking.”

Clayton is holding a meeting to gather owners and advise some legal options as well as alternatives to the current loan structure. Other residents are ticked off at old growth trees that are slated to be chopped during the project. Rather than discussing lawsuits at present, these residents have instead created ‘Treeman’, as captured here by DCist. We’ll keep you posted on what happens next (perhaps the trees could be cut, pulped and recycled into paper for the legal filings — not an endorsement, just a thought?).

Other Streetscape Projects

There are 18 streetscapes project underway or in the planning process in DC. There is one in the works for the 14th Street corridor as well, but funding is at least two to three years in the future, according to Ward 2 Councilmemer Jack Evans’ office. (With the deplorable state of the sidewalks and tree boxes on the 14th Street corridor, that project cannot come soon enough.)

One recently completed project, the 17th Streetscape project in 2010 avoided the types of problems they are having in Adams Morgan, and local businesses were not affected in terms of access. Afterward, local businesses and organizations adopted the new tree boxes on the 17th Street corridor.

An earlier project on P Street NW, west of Dupont Circle, did cause serious problems for businesses because customers had difficulty reaching or entering their stores.


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