Future of the K Street Streetscape

On two occasions I’ve recapped the planned upgrades to Fourth Street according to the Final Report for the Mount Vernon Triangle Transportation and Public Realm Design Project. The aim of this posting is to outline the plans for K Street between 7th Street NW and New Jersey Ave NW.

Running east-west through the center of the Triangle, K Street is the neighborhood’s major commercial and activity corridor. Verdant in character, K Street also functions as shared urban green space connecting the northern and southern halves of the Triangle. The generous proportions of the street allow for large public gatherings and events, while the development of ground-floor commerce reinforces the street’s function as a neighborhood economic artery. The variability of architectural form and function along the street is addressed by a consistent, unifying streetscape that is still flexible enough to respond to unique conditions.

The spatial configuration, material palette, and programming of the K Street landscape accommodate both commerce and daily neighborhood life. Along most of its length, the wide building setback is divided into three zones: a “promenade” sidewalk zone adjacent to the street, a wider “meander” sidewalk zone adjacent to the buildings, and a substantial “median” in between with canopy trees and lush understory planting. Distinct paving differentiates the two pedestrian zones, while a palette of contemporary streetlights, benches, and trash receptacles unifies the entire street and distinguishes it from most other streets within the Triangle.

Plans for K Street include the following:

  • 50 foot wide streetscape divided into 3 zones: promenade sidewalk along street, landscaped median, and meander sidewalk adjacent to buildings.
  • Meander sidewalks to use pressed concrete pavers while promenade sidewalks offer contrast with brick.
  • 5th and K “neighborhood center” to have a four plaza configuration with special pavers.
  • Public art should be integrated, at every opportunity, into the K Street streetscape in a manner appropriate to an active commercial corridor and a residential neighborhood.
  • Alley and Parking lot curb cuts should be consolidated. Future curb cuts should be kept to a minimum.
  • Typical K Street streetscape pattern will be modified to accommodate and preserve existing trees in front of Museum Square.
  • Contemporary lighting, benches and trash cans installed on K Street to contrast the traditional offerings on surrounding streets.
  • Installation of “pay and display” multi-space meters
  • A mid block cross walk for the 400 block of K Street (which is a “double block”).
  • Bicycle lanes and racks will be added to K Street.
  • All utility structures, including grill-covered area ways, should be located in alleys or on private property, not in the sidewalk or in public space areas.

Click any of the images below to enlarge:

All renderings taken from Final Report for the Mount Vernon Triangle Transportation and Public Realm Design Project

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  1. 1

    Anonymous says

    DC WASA just ruined and crushed the custom iron work on 5th Street between Mass and K when they did their most recent utility work. On top of that, they keep painting the sidewalks, left concrete in the tree boxes and have dug up all the plants. Thanks utility companies!!!

  2. 3

    fourthandeye says

    @Sara – timeline is TBD. I’ll get into more details on Wedneday’s posting.