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.