Mayor Barry’s 1989 Design Award Barricades Damaged

I think it might be time for a new design competition… From New York Ave and North Capitol St, NW.

32 Comment

  • Serious question: why not just reopen the street?

    • Those barricades are quite necessary; they prevent people from using N St as a way to get around that constantly-clogged stretch of NY Ave. But yes, they are ugly.

      • How about we throw in some speed humps and call it a day?

      • ah

        Maybe having those barriers contributes to the constant clogging of NY Ave.

        Why not prohibit turns there during morning rush hour?

        • people think that more cars should cause more streets, but it’s actually more streets cause more cars. just like every new highway ever built, it alleviates traffic for 2 seconds and then fills up again.

      • What it does is send out-of-town traffic onto P St NW (and when it re-opens, O St NW) — roads much less suited than N as tributaries of the North Capitol St and New York Ave traffic sewers.

  • This just says everything about the state of the city in 1989. DDOT design was consistently atrocious and counterproductive until a few years ago. Now it is only partly atrocious and counterproductive. Woot woot!

  • Yes, get rid of the ugly barricades and reopen the street. It’s bad urban planning to cut off parts of the grid and force all traffic into arterial roads, suburban style. The great thing about the grid is that traffic will even out and spread out the pain fairly, and provide for fewer dead ends.

  • I don’t know why you’d want a barricade there but if you must then why not just rip out the concrete and plant a couple of trees and you have maintenance free barricade.

    On a side note, does anybody know why this won the award? Was it for the design of the plant boxes, or placing the diagonally, or using the boxes as a barricade… what is it?

    • ah

      It was because someone on the Hanover Task Force hooked Mayor Barry up with some potent crack and a sweet, sweet hooker.

      • Usually i say that it’s just people in power giving other people in power certificates to make themselves feel good. But in this case you make a convincing argument.

    • Yeah, I gotta wonder. In the wake of Oklahoma City and September 11th, we’ve seen a lot more use of barricades, bollards, concrete planters, etc., and most of them look better than this example. Maybe the award here was for what the barricades accomplished (i.e., blocking the street), rather than for how they looked?? Or maybe in 1989, people were still into big, blocky concrete structures

  • The “damage” actually livens up the, um, “sculpture” a bit.

    Let’s not forget, this was a mayor who smoked crack. Not just pot. Crack.

  • This is so delightful. I love the way the beautiful ivy was planted in the street to spread from barrier to barrier. For the novice gardener, they may think this is crabgrass. Also to notice are the porcelain decorations placed in the top of the pillars. To the amatuer sculpture fan, they may think this is a plastic water bottle. Once again, Marion Barry is my hero!

  • Pardon my curmudgeon moment, but I hate those things. I live right next to that intersection and their primary use beyond blocking off the entrance to N Street is as a series of trash receptacles for all the folks walking by/loitering. The fact that the street sweepers can’t adequately sweep that area of the street because of the barricades doesn’t help and it’s just a mess, which then finds a way to get blown down the street and into my yard.

  • Maybe Gray will ‘one up’ Barry and tear up the street and turn it into the city’s first cat park.

  • Some bitch should set up the one that got knocked over.

  • Here is a out of the box proposal. Reopen the street, but it make it for DC Plate Tags only. [not sure if is support this idea.]

  • I remember reading that Rayful Edmonds lived down the street and this was basically the big run and drop point for new shipments. The cartel would just unload and U-turn back to the Maryland. I saw some of the bio of Rayful where there were lines down that street ready to get the good stuff ( dealers not addicts) Marion put up the barricade to make it not so easy for the big dealers to get in and out.. I think.

    • Edmonds lived over in NE – 400 block of M street, and ran the Orleans strip. Tony Lewis lived and ran the Hannover strip. They were associates.

      But yes, these were put up to stop the drug trade in this area. Just like, on 15th & Vermont at K St, there were signs that disallowed right turns, to stop the prostitution trade in that area.

  • I thought that block of N and Hanover was a major open drug market where people drove and drove around the block. Those barricades were, I thought to make it slightly more difficult to do so. I would love to see the day when those barricades can go, but until they clean up all of the other messes in that part of North Cap. to Florida, getting rid of the barricades would likely start up the old strip again.

  • So it’s possible to just knock these things over? What would happen if we just flashmobbed it and moved them all out of the way?

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