Columbia Heights Getting More Solar Trees

I thought only one or two more were coming but it looks like 9 or 10, on both sides of the plaza and by the Irving St. metro entrance. Also does anyone know why the fountain in the plaza no longer has good water pressure?

34 Comment

  • what a bunch of ugliness. the amount of bad choices made in this whole plaza thing never cease to amaze me. as well as the amount of money tossed into the breeze. is the construction done yet or do they still need to re-do something else for the umpteenth time? oh wait, its not nearly done. maybe 2011?

  • Is there some website with a master plan or something? I have no idea what the finished product is supposed to be.

  • Columbia Heights Streetscape Project:

    The project, like every other DDOT project, can now be accessed through their new Transportation Access Portal (DTAP, Pretty cool.

  • Real trees…and less pavement, please!
    So what do these solar trees power?

  • Whatever. I like ’em.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    They power lights in the neck of the tree. I kinda like them as well. Though I wouldn’t mind a little more green too.

  • Real trees are solar trees.

    They take energy from the sun as well as minerals from the ground. They produce:

    – air
    – carbon reduction in the atmosphere
    – food
    – wild life habitat
    – beauty
    – if planted strategically, energy saving shade in the summer.

    What more can you ask for?

    • If they glowed in the dark, then they’d be perfect! Until then, we need the lights, which at least are being powered through clean, renewable means. That’s a huge step in the right direction.

      I’d like more green too, but we need the lamps, as well.

    • beforewisom, plus one

  • More GREEN. How many times can we say MORE GREEN?

  • Is anyone else bothered by the fact the fountain has been transformed into a public bathing facility?

    • If you mean people literally bathing themselves (with or without soap), then yes. It’s disgusting.

      If, on the other hand, you mean kids, dogs and free-spirited people of all ages running through the sprinkles on a hot day, then no, I don’t mind at all. I think that’s what this thing is for. Splash, have fun, enjoy the summer!

  • That fountain will be completely broken soon enough. Whatever DC gov agency that’s responsible for it will very quickly lose interest/money/expertise in keeping it functional.

  • Figures that 12:30 would post anonymously. How much of a pessimistic hatin’ loser can you be??

    Enjoy it while it lasts, for crying out loud. Or pick an actual, existing problem to complain about. But to get on here and anonymously bitch about something that hasn’t even happened, and might not happen? Shame on you.

    • Look who’s bitching!

    • Have you looked at the fountain lately? About half of it isn’t working and there is minimal water pressure on the half that does work. Sorry to be Debbie Downer but did anyone really think that the DC gov would be dedicated enough to keep this pretty but complex piece of machinery in working order when it can barely keep grass growing on playing fields and playground equipment in usable condition?

      • Yeah, I’ve “looked” at it recently. I was out there a few days ago, sitting in the sun while my kid splashed in the water. They turned down the water pressure because it was too strong for the kids, especially with the randomized sprays. A small child could get a nasty shock if they happen to be leaning over a jet that spouts 15 feet up with no warning. And since the kids seem to be the only ones actually enjoying the fountain, I say bravo.

        And you know what we did then? We went to *gasp* a city-maintained playground! With its equipment in usable condition! My complaint isn’t about the facilities. It’s about the drunks and nasty feral youths who inhabit them.

        • I thought it was actually broken or they’d run out of money for the water bill, but you’re telling me they did this to make it safer!?! Okay, I get that the pressure was kind of strong… But now it’s unusable! My kids are only five years old and water that bubbles up just a few inches off the ground is simply lame. Even if the pressure did need to be turned down is that any reason to have the water be so extremely low and more than half of the jets completely turned off? Also, I would just add that the Silver Spring fountain that this one is modeled on seemed to have very similar pressure and is always crowded with kids. In fact, one of my kids did get a “nasty shock” there when he was about 2 years old by putting his face in right before it shot water. I think he cried less than a skinned knee and we all lived through it. He even ran right back into the water – now a wiser child who had learned a lesson about sticking your face in the water. I mean, how dangerous is one of these “nasty shocks”?

  • I wish, wish, wish that they would find a warmer color for the lights in those solar things. At night the plaza is lit up like the laundry room of a large apartment building. It makes me wonder if they even considered the nature of the light they’d be producing.

    • Yes. They really should consider replacing them with beforewisdom’s glow-in-the-dark trees.

      • I think I’ve read somewhere that trees can glow in the dark if you water them with phosphorus-based water. Anybody heard anything about this?

  • I gotta say I preferred the sidewalks without these additions. There is already a ton of (gorgeous) lighting in those areas, is there really a need for more? Now it just feels cluttered and it makes pedestrian access more difficult. I don’t get it. Sometimes simple is better. And greener is always better. And probably cheaper — these will be costly to maintain I imagine.

  • yeah…what is the deal with the water pressure? it sucks now.

  • The fountain was built too close to the curved stone seating area, so if the water is any higher than it has been lately, on a day with any breeze at all (and these days have been windy) it soaks the whole seating area.

    The solar trees are boring and ugly but can’t be changed now – however there should be some way to change the actual tubes/bulbs to be less like horrible gas station lighting.

  • wow, negativity.
    If you want the light bulbs changes, suggest alternative to someone who have power to do things done.
    If you want the water pressure increased, report it.
    If you notice somting is broken, report.

    If you really want someting done, you need to reach out to the people who can make it happen.

    • Wow, I’m so tired of people declaring every opinion that differs from their own “negativity” or “haters.”

      A discussion forum such as this does in fact suggest alternatives – such as light changes – to authorities. One person calling up to complain that it looks like laundry room/gas station lighting gets nowhere. Collective opinion might get things changed.

      I didn’t say I wanted the water pressure increased, only that I knew what the problem was because I did, as a matter of fact, contact the city when the fountains were first operating when the benches and sidewalks were getting splashed wet and they told me they were trying to work it out with the volume vs. wind.

      I also went to early community planning meetings, looked at drawings of the plaza (which were quite different – especially the “trees”) and offered my input – such as how the limited seating & lack of benches make it completely hostile to the neighborhood elderly. Is an 80 year old woman supposed to sit on those grass patches?

      I don’t apologize for wanting good public spaces nor for pointing out deficiencies that could be corrected fairly easily to make them that way.

  • As much as I’d like more green, I think in this intersection it would just get trampled and killed. People cut across this intersection at all angles and the pavement suits that usage.

    catpcha: to censures

  • The water feature is not meant to be a kiddie pool or a water park. The neighborhood has both of these things already. It is simply a water FEATURE that is meant to be enjoyed by all.

  • The water is low because the system needs to be cleaned and maintained weekly. In the transition of resposibility from DDOT to DPR and the construction and normal clugging the pressure is low due to lack of regular maintenance. DPR has indicated that they will have it fixed in the coming days.


  • Prince Of Petworth

    Regarding the fountain:

    “Our DPR plumbing crew fixed the fountain this morning and it’s now functioning properly. The continuing street construction adjacent to the property is creating large amounts of dust and debris that are causing the fountain filters to become clogged much faster than normal. Once they become clogged the fountain shuts part of itself down.

    Our in-house staffing is already stretched-thin, but we will do our best to complete adequate servicing while we work on the procurement of a maintenance contract for the site.

    Thank you,

    Derek Schultz”

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