The surface lot parking operation at 300 K Street NW recently installed a fence along the northern edge of their lot. We inquired to the MVT CID which in turn contacted Berk Shervin of The Wilkes Company who replied “The fence work is intended to modestly improve the look and feel of the experience at 4th and K Street; specifically, to soften the transition from all of the terrific work DDOT completed on the streetscape to the commercial parking operation.”
Geoff Hatchard, of the Greater Greater Washington blog, authored a detailed recap of the K Street streetscape improvements that paid special emphasis to where he felt the upgrades fell short in servicing pedestrians and cyclists. While I don’t have the time to summarize his discussion here I did feel it was a worthy link.
During the final week of June the public art installation commissioned for the 300 block of I Street NW as part of the Mount Vernon Place masterplan finally arrived after years of delays. The stainless steel sculpture stands 16 feet high and was crafted by Baltimore artist Rodney Carroll. It is placed on a pedestal amongst the elevated landscaping along the Eye street edge of the Madrigal Lofts condominiums.
Hat tip to Brian and Tony who have brought to my attention that Chinatown Park at 5th & Mass has been enclosed entirely with fencing. My first thought was the improvements I reported on in 2009 are finally set to happen.
That is indeed the case, as confirmed by the Downtown BID’s recent newsletter.
The DowntownDC BID, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), is revitalizing US Reservation 72, better known as Chinatown Park. The project includes replacing the interior sidewalk, improving the irrigation system, and installing new sod, trash bins, and benches. In addition, NPS will plant new trees in the park this fall. (Yea, we love trees!) Construction is slated to begin next month and conclude by early June.
Dr Gridlock is reporting that the streetscape improvement project for K Street will begin within a month. This project will encompass new paving, sidewalks, streetlights, and plantings similar to the improvements implemented by DDOT to 4th Street in 2010. The Capital Bikeshare station at 5th & K will continue to be accessible even if it maybe moved slightly once or twice during the 15 months of construction. No streetcar tracks will be laid as part of this project.
The long-anticipated reconstruction of K Street between 7th Street and 3rd Street will begin this fall. The streetscape project will encompass new paving, sidewalks, streetlights, and plantings. The project is expected to cost $9 million and take 18 months to complete. DDOT will brief the community on the project on October 4th starting 6:00 p.m. at the MVTCID office, located at 901 4th Street, NW
A 90 page document on the technical details is available on the MVTCID’s website.
The pallets of brick sitting at the 5th and Mass intersection likely indicate that DDOT plans to soon provide a permanent improvement to the pedestrian islands.
Last July the 5th and Mass pedestrian refuges were increased solely with a striped paint approach. That modification was ignored by cars who didn’t abide by the new traffic pattern until Mid August when physical barriers, in the form of orange barrels and cones, were installed. The orange barrels were necessary in the short term to mitigate the safety issue however they are a bit of an eyesore and we will all appreciate when the streetscape is upgraded and they are no longer needed.
The barren tree box pictured below is in front of 513 H Street NW. The combination of the iron steps from the rowhouse and the treebox effectively narrow the passable segment of sidewalk down to roughly 2 feet wide.
I’ve seen pedestrians trip in this area on numerous occasions as they weren’t expecting the sidewalk to inexplicably choke down to near nothingness. Last year during the National Night Out walk with MPD, Miles Groves tipped his segway and fell over trying to navigate this narrowing path. I’m failing to see how preserving this dirt box is worth the issues it causes.
The Downtown BID should brick off this tree box as it is a hazard with no redeeming value. If the BID want to ensure that there remains one tree box on this segment of streetscaping then shifting the box a few dozen feet east in front of Full Kee where sidewalk space isn’t competing with stairs makes more sense.
Help plant twelve trees along the 900 block of 3rd Street NW on Thursday April 8th from 9:00am to Noon. This event is being sponsored by MVTCID and the Casey Trees Foundation. Help replant and rebuild Mount Vernon Triangle and meet your neighbors! Tools and instruction will be provided along with refreshments. Please wear sturdy shoes – no flip-flops please. This event will take place rain or shine. For information about the morning of the event, call 202-841-6559. To register as a volunteer in advance, visit: www.casey-trees.cloverpad.org/Default.aspx?pageId=98118&eventId=129412&EventViewMode=EventDetails
Last year’s tree planting at the 2nd and Mass park with Casey Trees was good fun.
This entry is crossposted at FrenchTwistDC.com.
By now we’ve all seen or heard about David Black’s Lift Off on the corner of 5th and K. As we’ve mentioned, public art displays are part of the Mount Vernon Triangle master plan to reclaim the urban arena as a livable space. Well, the D.C. Office of Planning also has plans for New York Avenue and is teaming up with the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District and and other agencies to bring Niki de Saint Phalle’s whimsical and colorful sculpture to the otherwise grey and un-noteworthy corridor between 13th and 9th Streets, N.W.