by Tim Regan May 12, 2016 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

A proposed project from the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) could change the way pedestrians, cyclists and bus riders use the 14th Street corridor by late 2017.

The department is currently seeking public comment on a streetscape project that would span 14th Street NW from Thomas Circle to Florida Avenue. The design as currently proposed includes new “bulb-outs” that would let buses pick up passengers without pulling out of traffic, “cut-through” bike lanes, new crosswalks, streetlights, bike racks and benches, among other improvements.

The purpose of the design, according to DDOT, is to increase multi-modal safety, improve the corridor’s pedestrian safety and ADA compliance and add new character to the area. DDOT project manager Rick Kenney presented the design before Logan Circle’s ANC 2F and 14th Street/U Street’s ANC 1B during the commissions’ monthly meetings last week.

“It’s going to make a significant improvement to the commercial corridor,” said Commissioner John Fanning during ANC 2F’s meeting.


by October 1, 2012 at 7:00 am 1,116 0

"U Street"

Construction for the U Street Streetscape Project resumes today. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]

Work on the U Street NW Streetscape Project resumes today, October 1, after a five-month delay while the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) waited on a permit from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

The Streetscape Project entails the reconstruction of a 0.4-mile segment of U Street NW (from 9th Street to 14th Street). The project will improve and landscape the sidewalk areas, repair the roadway and upgrade streetlights, traffic signals and storm drains.

This week, the contractor will start excavating trenches along U Street between 9th and 14th Streets to install new electrical conduits. This work will begin on the north side of U Street at the 900 block and proceed west toward 14th Street, one block at a time. After the electrical conduit work is completed on the north side the contractor will begin working on the south side of U Street.  Work on the south side of U Street will begin at the 1400 block and proceed east toward 9th Street, one block at a time.

Throughout the duration of the electrical work, sidewalk and building access will not be affected. However, the curbside parking spaces located adjacent to the immediate work areas will be temporarily restricted between 9 am and 3 pm.

Once the electrical phase of the project is complete, construction will begin on the sidewalk, curb and gutter projects. The entire Streetscape Project is expected to be complete in Spring, 2013.

For more information about the U Street NW Streetscape Project and to sign up for future updates, visit

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by June 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,176 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]

The U Street Corridor is keeping the District Department of Transportation(DDOT) busy from now until the spring of 2013.


Construction begins on at 9th Street NW on the U Street Streetscape project. NW (Luis Gomez Photos).

The (nearly) yearlong construction plan, which began June 11, will reconstruct a 0.4-mile segment of U Street NW, from 9th Street to 14th Street. The project will improve and landscape the sidewalk areas, repair the roadway and perform upgrades to the streetlights, traffic signals and storm drains.

What work has been done so far? DDOT has worked on laying out the electrical conduit, saw cutting for electrical trenches between 9th and 14th Streets and installing electrical conduits on the 900 blocks. This work is expected to continue though June 25th, and parking is temporarily impacted between 9 am and 3:30 pm in the immediate work areas.

Once the electrical work is completed on each block, the actual rehab of that block will begin; each block will be constructed separately, one side at a time.

Throughout the construction process, DDOT is intent on keeping residents updated on the project’s progress and impacts. In fact, on Wednesday, June 20th, the project team held a meeting for constituents in front of Nellie’s Sports Bar to discuss the effects of the project. Attendees were also encouraged to express concerns and ask questions related to the ongoing construction.

You can check the project’s website for frequent updates on any project disruptions, including temporary public transportation and/or business closures and delays.

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by June 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm 1,279 0

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]

Beautification comes at a price for city residents; the flower boxes and trees are an improvement to acres of concrete, but the process from start to finish is anything but lovely. Adams Morgan businesses and residents have been enduring a seemingly endless improvement project that has led to traffic snarls, decreased business and a lot of headaches. P Street businesses remember the year plus where parking spaces for local restaurants were non-existent as construction was underway.

"U Street NW"

Streetscape Project for U Street is scheduled to begin June 11. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Well, U Street, you’re next. The city plans on beginning work on U Street between 9th and 14th Streets NW on Monday, June 11, and will go one block at a time, starting at 9th Street and moving westward. (For the full story, see Tom Hays’ Streetscape Project: U Street Rehabilitation To Begin June 11.)

Sidewalks will be widened, the streets will be repaved and storm drains replaced in addition to the landscaping components. The Washington Post reports you should expect less parking and anticipate making alternate arrangements for about a year. I wonder if anyone’s warned all the prospective buyers further down 14th Street.

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by June 1, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,350 2 Comments

"U Street NW"

The Streetscape Project for U Street NW gets underway this month, starting at 9th and working westward. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT] and follow him on Twitter@Tomonswann.

A large crowd turned out for the pre-construction meeting on the streetscape rehabilitationproject along U Street NW. At Wednesday night’s meeting it was announced that the project is scheduled to begin the week of June 11 and is expected to be complete in April 2013. The blocks to be upgraded include both the north and south side of U Street from 9th Street NW to 14th Street NW.

Councilmember Jim Graham (D-ward 1) was the opening speaker and quickly tried to temper the anxiety anyone in the room had by explaining that this project will not be nearly as disruptive at the current 18th Street Adams Morgan project — at least during this first phase. Graham then introduced many stakeholders, including contacts from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Myla Moss of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B and Brian Card of the U Street Neighborhood Association.

When Graham asked for a show of hands, residents slightly outnumbered business owners in attendance at the meeting.

Improvements and Disruptions Detailed

A representative from David Volkert & Associates Engineering walked attendees through the improvements and gave details on what to expect during construction. The improvements will include new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, bus pads, bike racks, storm drains, traffic signals, lighting and multispace parking meters. The $5 million project is mostly federally funded with about 16% coming from local funds.

Construction will begin at 9th and U Streets NW and move west toward 14th Street. Upgrades will take about three to four weeks per block, per side. During that time, parking will be interrupted: first as the curbs are replaced, then as pedestrians are routed into the parking lane as sidewalks are replaced. The sidewalk will be widened where conditions do not meet ADA standards. Planners hope to maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction. Steel plates and ramps will allow pedestrians to access affected businesses during the process. Bus stops may be moved temporarily when they are in the construction zone.

Business Owners Are Concerned

During the question and answer period, business owners expressed serious concerns about the impact on their operations. Councilmember Graham pointed out that owners will be able to apply for no-interest loans for assistance. A few commenters dismissed the benefit of the loan program and suggested other compensation such as tax relief. The project will impact a variety of independent stores, restaurants and bars. Among the impacted businesses are such U Street landmarks as Ben’s Chili Bowl, Lee’s Flower Shop, the Lincoln Theater and Nellie’s Sports Bar.

Phase Two and Beyond

The second phase of the project from 14th to 18th Street is scheduled to begin in late 2013. That segment is expected to be more intrusive as there will be deeper digging in the street for upgrades. The upgrades along 14th Street NW are on hold as extensive development currently underway would interfere with the project. The current target for the start of that project is now fiscal year 2015 or 2016.

The Borderstan neighborhoods have seen similar streetscape upgrades over the years. Recent ones include the blocks of P Street west of Dupont Circle, 17th Street NW from P to R Streets and several blocks of 18th Street NW in the middle of the Adams Morgan commercial strip. While the reviews of the improvements have generally been favorable; the disruption to the businesses especially during the P Street and now 18th Street NW projects have been well documented.

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by October 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm 1,202 1 Comment

14th Streetscape DDOT Luis Gomez Photos

DDOT held its first public meeting on the 14th Streetscape Project Sept. 29 at the Reeves Municipal Center. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay

Residents and business owners turned out to fill the second floor community room at the Reeves Center Wednesday night to hear details on the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) plans for the transportation and streetscape improvements on the 14th Street NW corridor.  Attendees were given a 25-page color handout of the Powerpoint presentation and scale drawings with block-by-block details were available on site.

The project does not take into account the possibility of a streetcar lines on 14th Street.

By the Numbers

The budget for the federally funded project is $8.5 million. The stretch of 14th Street from Thomas Circle to Florida Avenue that the project covers about a mile, 0.94 mile in fact. Currently the design process is at the 65% complete stage, with a scheduled design completion date of November 2010.

14th Street is 70-feet wide and plans call for:

  • two 11-foot lanes of traffic in each direction
  • 5-foot bike lanes–both north and south bound, adjacent to the traffic lanes
  • 8 feet of parking/bulbouts on each side of the street.

What is a bulbout?

The project will incorporate many “bulbouts” at intersections and crosswalks. Essentially they are curb extensions at the corners of an intersection. Bulbouts allow for greater pedestrian visibility and safety by shortening the crosswalk distance. Bulbouts also expand the sidewalk area allowing more room for bus shelters, bike racks, streetlights, even outdoor café seating.


by September 23, 2010 at 12:27 am 1,094 0

14th Street Streetscape U Street NW

State of the Sidewalks: 14th Street NW and U Street NW. DDOT holds its first public meeting on the the 14th Streetscape Project on Sept. 29 at the Reeves Municipal Center. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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.

Plan Objectives

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.

by May 18, 2010 at 5:00 am 0

17th Streetscape Luis Gomez Photos Dupont Circle

Corner of 17th and O Streets NW: Work continues on the 17th Streetscape project. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Work on the section of the 17th Streetscape project from P to Street NW should be completed by early June, according to ANC Commissioner Jack Jacobson (2B-04). The sections below P to Massachusetts and above S up to U Street are scheduled to be finished by December.

by March 19, 2010 at 7:32 am 1,657 3 Comments

17th Streetscape Dupont Circle Borderstan

West side of 1600 block of 17th Street NW: Looking south, just past Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse. (Borderstan)

The new sidewalks on the 17th Street corridor are getting a touch of brick–instead of being fully bricked. The areas next to the curb are brick and there is a brick accent toward the center of the sidewalk. Work is underway to complete the sidewalks on the west side before warm weather, and outdoor dining, arrives. Get updates on the 17th Streetscape project at the project Web site.

by March 15, 2010 at 5:00 am 0

17th Streetscape Dupont Circle Borderstan

1600 block of 17th Street NW: Looking south on 17th Street, the news sidewalks and curbs on the west side of 17th Street NW are visible. (Borderstan)

New sidewalks and curbs are being installed on the west side of 17th Street between Q and R Streets NW. It looks like the race is on to get the west side of 17th Street done in time for spring. A number of restaurants on the strip between P and R have outdoor seating. Get updates on the 17th Streetscape project at project Web site.

by March 2, 2010 at 5:00 am 1,161 1 Comment

17th Streetscape Dupont Circle Borderstan DDoT

Severe winter weather slowed construction work on the 17th Street commercial strip. The above image shows what the area around 17th and Church Streets will look like after work is completed. (

The field office of the 17th Streetscape project issued another progress update on construction work. Not surprisingly, the severe temperatures and snowstorms delayed work. The question now is whether the sidewalk work will be done in time for restaurants to open their sidewalk cafes in April (look for an update here at Borderstan this week).

According to DDoT, as of February 19, “Due to the severe weather condition, the pace of the construction work was slowed down tremendously for the the last five weeks.  From January 18th through February 4th, the contractor was forced to work short weekdays because of heavy rain and snow.  From February 5th through February 17th, the project was totally shut down due to the heavy snow.  The remaining two days of the week were devoted to snow removal, anchoring steel plates and patching asphalt damaged by snow plowing trucks.  During the last two weeks all lanes on 17th Street were open for vehicle and pedestrian traffic.”

The Streetscape project is revamping the 17th Street NW corridor north of Massachusetts Avenue with brick sidewalks, new tree boxes and other improvements. The DC Department of Transportation is posting updates about the project on a mini site devoted solely to 17th Streetscape.

by February 2, 2010 at 9:30 am 1,128 2 Comments

Luis Gomez Photos 17th Streetscape Dupont Circle

17th and Corcoran NW: Work continues on the 17th Streetscape project. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The 17th Streetscape project work has been hampered by cold weather, including water main breaks. The issue of tree removal was then addressed. So where does the project stand? What work is next?

Current DDoT streetscape plans call for work on the east side of 17th Street to be done by spring so that restaurants can open their outdoor cafes on time: (more…)

by December 9, 2009 at 5:00 am 1,188 0

17th Street, Luis Gomez Photos

17th Street NW trees are being protected during construction. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Last Saturday ANC 2B/Dupont Circle held a rally and walk down 17th Street with city officials to review initial tree removal plans that were part of the 17th Streetscape project. Work began November 30.

The city’s initial plans called for the removal of almost all of the 35 trees between P and Riggs Streets NW on 17th. However, after the 17th Street walk, plans have been revised so that only about 10 trees will be removed from this stretch of the street.

Following is a detailed report on the Saturday walk and the city’s revised tree plans for 17th Street from Commissioner Jack Jacobson, ANC 2B-04.


by November 23, 2009 at 6:00 am 1,948 2 Comments

DDoT’s proposed plan for improvements to 17th Street NW as of October 2008. DDoT map courtesy of Greater Greater Washington.

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.



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