Street Beautification


I just noticed how this spot on Vermont Ave has an awesome median filled with flowers and trees. It is amazing what a difference it makes over just a concrete median? Does anyone know if there are plans for these types of street beautification to come to Georgia Ave. or 14th St.?

16 Comment

  • Yes, there are massive plans in the work to beautiful both Georgia Ave. and Sherman. Sherman will have a tree lined median and enhanced / widened sidewalks, and Georgia will be completely redone with new sidewalks, street lighting, street furniture, etc. I think the timeline for both is something like starting in next Spring and taking around a year, although Georgia Ave. may start a little sooner. but these thigns are always in flux of course and hard to be sure if and when this will actually happen.

  • While I do appreciate the city’s beautification efforts, the crux is maintenance. A good median strip of flowers or shrubbery may be nice the first year, but if the city doesn’t keep it up, subsequent years it will increasing look crappy, strewn with vines and weeds, and the die off not cut out. The demise of the well intentioned effort to place trees in the median of North Capitol is an extreme example (with all dying due to no watering), but others abound.

    perhaps the city should work with neighborhood groups to do some maintenace of garden areas, as appears to be the case at the small pocket park/gardens at Kansas and Georgia, and also perhaps at Arkansas and 13th.

  • Google “great streets of DC.” It used to be that you could see the detailed “streetscape” plans around the Petworth metro station (and I mean detailed — it used to be that you could see the signage, where they would use bricks, how they would have pull-ins for the buses, etc.). They will be incredible, and I think construction has begun. The citty planners do actually know what works, and hopefully they will be able to make it happen in our little corner of the world.

  • I wonder if the Cardozo Shaw Neighborhood Association may have been responsible for this.

    Their “Clean and Green” committee did similar work at the triangle to the north last summer.

  • the demise of those trees on north capital street was such a tragedy.

    for those unaware, the city at no doubt great expense put in probably 1000 gorgeous 6 -10′ tall dogwoods and tulip trees 2 years ago all along the part of north capital running past the soldier’s home (the freeway-looking part) in the spring, then failed to water them, resulting in them all dying, and ultimately came back and cut them all down.

    really really sad. They were absolutely gorgeous.

  • What is the city’s policy with regards to replacing dead trees that they’ve removed?

    When we moved into our house, there were two small trees that had obviously died the summer before. The city, just this past week, came in and removed them.

    Is is too much to expect that we’re on a list for those trees to be replaced? I know weather dictates that it is probably best to wait until the fall, so perhaps I should save my request/inquiry until then.

  • The pictured street island is maintained by a diligent group of neighbors. You can usually see them out there most Saturday mornings weeding, watering and clearing debris.

  • Is there any law against a citizen planting trees on their own, with no one’s permission or approval, in medians and along sidewalks? Just curious, because I’ve thought of doing this once or twice. what do you think? Will I get a ticket? Will the unlawfully planted trees get removed, even if they look great?

  • I do think you need a permit of some sort to plant, at least in sidewalk tree boxes. Not sure of the process, but one time when I was at the permit office to get emergency no parking signs, I saw something about it. I’m sure there is some info on

  • A few years ago, there was a horrible storm and a tree fell across our street. My husband was out of town and I got scared. But I was amazed to realize that though our car was parked on the street, it was not touched, even though a branch fell on it. Somehow our car was not damaged in any way. (I’m not going to get all spiritual on you, but…) Anyway, the tree was cleared away and a few months later, a new tree was planted to replace it. Whether one of our more responsible neighbors had called public works or not, I’ll never know. But we got a new tree.

  • PoP, you yourself reported on the Great Streets project for Georgia Ave about a year ago (although you reported the timeline a year wrong.. upps.. :)). I believe you even went to the same public info event. No recollection? 😉 Or perhaps that’s what not what you meant by your question.

  • They are currently working on the median on GA just north of the intersection with New Hampshire Ave (adjacent to the Metro exit).

    I understand the first stage is to extend it to the full length of the block, then to grass it. No plans to plant trees, though.

  • The city (perhaps working with Casey Trees) is actually quite good in most cases about replacing dead trees, but I’m sure it can’t hurt to to contact them about replacing one. A lot of times you’ll see dead or dying trees marked for removal (orange spray painted dot). They seem to go through the neighborhood all at once and replace many trees…this happened along 8th St NW north of the metro last fall where many new trees were planted. The next time they would be planting is the fall.

    If you plant your own tree along the street, they won’t come and cut it down unless it’s blocking a stop sign or providing some other hazard, but it’s a bit of a waste of time and money to do it yourself.

  • can’t wait to see the median of sherman street redone. that road has the potential to be a beautiful boulevard…

  • That’s funny you should say that about Sherman Ave. I often drive on it, avoiding 13th, 11th and certainly Georgia Ave. It’s wide and yes, it could be a beautiful street.

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