The District’s Office of Planning and DDOT are evidently conducting a study of the area around North Capitol Street and Michigan Ave. It appears that this study will ignore direct actions/improvements to communities to the south (including Eckington), which is very shortsighted.
When it comes to government-led economic development, I have always argued that simple is better. Make a large infrastructure improvement versus creating and managing a litany of tax breaks/credits, improvement zones, BIDs, etc.
In the case of our communities that border North Capitol Street, the best thing the District could do would be to erase the city planning “fixes” in the late ’40’s–starting with restoring Truxton Circle and culminating with razing the North Capitol Street underpasses.
This would allow the various communities–separated by imposing thoroughfares in both North-South and East-West directions–to merge together.
For those still interested in attending, the press release and meeting information is below:
North Capitol Street Urban Design and Transportation Study Begins (Washington, DC) The Office of Planning and the District Department of Transportation, in coordination with the National Capitol Planning Commission, will conduct an urban design and transportation study of North Capitol Street from Michigan Avenue to Hawaii Avenue, NE and Irving Street/Michigan Avenue from First Street, NW to their point of union, approximately one block east of North Capitol Street.
The purpose of the study is to:
- Develop strategies to improve the gateway qualities of North Capitol Street by including civic spaces, memorials and enhancing the public streetscapes.
- Explore alternative intersection configurations for the cloverleaf at Irving and North Capitol Streets and automobile ramps at Michigan and Irving.
- Develop recommendations for improving safety, connectivity and transportation operations.
The neighborhoods that are included in, or are adjacent to, this area are: McMillan Sand Filtration site, Washington Hospital Center, Armed Forces Retirement Home, Brookland, Petworth, Eckington, Parkview and Bloomingdale.
Residents and interested stakeholders are invited to attend the first public meeting on the study, scheduled for:
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Catholic University of America
Great Room A
Richard Layman (“a historic preservation-centric urban revitalization advocate and consultant”) also has some suggestions over on his blog.