Georgia Avenue and Great Streets Status Update

Georgia Avenue, originally uploaded by IntangibleArts.

Given yesterday’s PoPtrekker focusing on Georgia Avenue, this is good timing for an update on the Great Streets initiative. Note #2 that says there will be an area for a future Farmer’s Market! Thanks a million to a reader for sending:

Please find below the status report on Georgia Avenue Great Streets.

1. Brightwood Segment (Piney Branch Avenue to Missiouri/Military)

This is the last segment anticipated for improvement as there is at least one major private development anticipated in the area and complicated intersection conflicts that pose significant challenges and require detailed study. Federal aid will be required to complete improvements in this segment as Great Streets funding is insufficient. Coordination with the community will begin with the initiation of analysis. Segment is schedule is quite a bit in the future. Alternatives analysis will begin in 2010 with design and construction to follow.

2. Middle Georgia Avenue Segment (a.k.a. Petworth segment – Webster Street to Otis Street)

Concept design was completed in 2007 through an intensive community involvement process which included the Upshur Street businesses. Design includes major streetscape improvements, improvements to small park areas along the corridor, operational and parking improvements, and accommodations for future farmer’s markets or other uses of the public space. There is broad public support for the improvements. Engineering design is nearing completion (at 65%) and construction is
anticipated later this year.

3. Lower Georgia Avenue and Howard Segment (Otis to Euclid and Euclid to Florida)

Transportation study and concept design completed in 2007. Study assessed the impacts of changes to Sherman Avenue on Georgia Avenue and vise verse in order to maintain system integrity. Concept design included streetscape improvements celebrating the African American heritage of the area such as public art and unique crosswalk patterns. New lighting has recently been installed in the area. Issues may be that improvement in this area is delayed and tied to the major private development (which will affect over 3 blocks of the 7 block area).

Design and construction are pending further determination of the major development in the area – the Howard Town Center – to ensure cooperation between area development and streetscape improvements and construction timing.

4. Howard Theatre (Florida to S Street NW)

Concept design is complete. Design implements the small area plan completed and adopted for the area and has been closely coordinated with DMPED rehabilitation and reuse of historic Howard Theatre. Design (at 65%) will be completed this summer with construction next year and includes major streetscape improvements and improvement of the T Street plaza. Project is on schedule with no anticipated issues.

10 Comment

  • I heard about the lower georgia ave. delay and this drives me nuts. This to me is a critical segment when you see how intense a concentration of businesses there are on this segment, many of which are currently vacant; the redesign could be an enormous boon / catalyst to economic revitalization of this stretch that so badly needs it and is so well-situation. But the Howard Town Center has been delayed for many years, and in the current economic climate, no university is going to even start planning for a massive building project. The city should go ahead, get Howard’s input, but ultimately, not wait for the Town Center to come to fruition — because it may never happen, or if it does, we could be talking about a decade away. Meanwhile merchants continue to struggle on this unsightly and decidedly non-pedestrian stretch, which in the original plans was supposed to be completed by around now. Sigh …

  • Please call Jim Graham to get stimulus money for Georgia Ave and Sherman Ave. Here is the info my friend emailed me about the city getting some of the stimulus money to completely redesign Sherman Ave and Georgia Ave.

    Here is a link to the project plan:,a,1249,q,639159,ddotNav_GID,1754,ddotNav,|34241|.asp
    I went to a meeting about this back in 2005 and have been waiting for it ever since. It will make a huge difference in the image and feel of the eastern part of Columbia Heights and it will slow down the cars racing up and down Sherman Ave.
    Please take a minute to contact these Council Member Jim Graham and tell him improving Sherman Ave and Georgia Ave is important to you as a Columbia Heights/Petworth resident, homeowner and a District taxpayer.

    Council Member Jim Graham: [email protected] com

  • It appears the Sherman folks need to reorganize. Would anyone be willing to being the petition again?

  • I agree that waiting for private developers to act could take forever. i wrote to councilman graham and would encourage others to do the same. this is a “shovel” ready project that would be perfect for stimulus money.

    Also, has anyone heard of when they might start work on bruce-monroe school. that building is a monstrosity!

  • It seems numbers 2 and 4 are actually going to happen, while 1 and 3 require a couple of miracles, like financing. Is that correct?

  • I love how the fact that the DDOT head lives somewhere means that particular block gets some particular special thing. Usually that’s called “pork,” but eh, that ship clearly sailed long ago.

  • While it’s frustrating to hear that DDOT plans on waiting for completion of Howard Town Center (which might be far off), do remember the mess that has been created by extensive roadwork in Columbia Heights with seemingly little coordination with private development. Remember those nice new stretches of asphalt that were torn up for utilities work within mere weeks of being laid down?

    While it would be nice to see progress not be stymied by that pie-in-the-sky development at Howard Town Center, it might be wise for DDOT to wait on beautification down there.

  • this is off topic. but does anyone know the deal with the brick building in the distance on the left? that building is amazing.

  • I live on Sherman and would be interested in organizing with other interested parties. We should have a meeting at Columbia Heights Coffee and come up with a plan! How do we get started on this? Seems like groups probably already exist. How do I get involved?

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