17th Street About to Get way more Colorful

by Prince Of Petworth June 7, 2017 at 4:00 pm 19 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Ted Eytan

From Councilmember David Grosso:

“Councilmember Grosso in April sent a letter to the District Department of Transportation supporting the idea of painting crosswalks on 17th Street, NW rainbow to commemorate the important place of the LGBTQ community in the District of Columbia and to further celebrate D.C.’s welcoming and inclusive values. The idea originated with ANC Commissioner Randy Downs (2B05).

Photo by PoPville flickr user Ted Eytan

Yesterday, Councilmember Grosso received a response from DDOT.  Although the painting cannot be made permanent, he is excited to hear that temporary rainbow crosswalks will be painted in time for the Capital Pride Parade.

 Councilmember Grosso plans to volunteer to get them painted this Saturday morning. He appreciates the work of DDOT, Commissioner Downs, and Ms. Sheila Alexander-Reid, the Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, to come up with this compromise solution.

Additionally, DDOT has informed Councilmember Grosso that DDOT has coordinated with the Department of Energy and the Environment on their Storm Drain Mural Project, operated in partnership with the Anacostia Watershed Society.  They are currently seeking artists to create designs for storm drain murals along 17th Street, NW.  The goal of these murals is to raise awareness of storm drains as a connection to our local waterways, as well as to promote the neighborhood’s LGBTQ identity. Learn more about the program here.

  • CHSC

    Love it, but wish it could be permanent like some other cities. Anyone have any idea why it can’t be?

    • B

      I was wondering the same thing. Other cities, as you note, have done this. Anyone?

    • MadMax

      They haven’t found the right contractor to pay millions of dollars over actual cost yet.

      • textdoc

        Actual LOL.

    • MtP

      Yeah, not sure why this can’t be permanent. They painted the cross walks at 7th and H in color, and that is more or less permanent.

  • wdc

    Isn’t the parade on Saturday? I don’t know how long it takes street paint to fully dry, but I would have thought… longer.

    • Anonymous

      No idea what they’re using in this particular case, but street paint (e.g. for lane markings) dries very quickly. It’s not the same kind of paint that you use for your house.

  • 17thStGuy

    Thank god they are just temporary. I’m gay and live right off 17th Street and think that rainbow crosswalks are tacky! Before they ever consider making them permanent, I hope they’d poll the folks that live right there. If they want to do something permanent to celebrate our pride, put up a monument or something!

    • AsAMother

      Because city streets are works of art to begin with?

      Regarding polling the people who live right there, no. You as a gay man should know better than that. You and your neighbors do not have ownership over the gayborhood. I’m sure part of the reason you moved there was to be at the heart of the gayborhood. You do not get to move to the gayborhood, and then put up a wall around it. The gay bars and restaurants in the gayborhood are not simply local neighborhood hangouts. They are destination and safe spaces for members of the gay community all across the region. This argument reminds me of all the people who bought homes adjacent to American University, and then formed neighborhood associations to complain about all the university students at the university in the neighborhood they bought a home in, named after the university.

      • 17thStGuy

        I moved to Dupont for the charm of all the historic brownstones, street lights, etc. My particular street is zoned in a historic district. My problem with painting the streets permanently is that it would be out of character with the historic homes and buildings that are adjacent to them. That’s why we have the historic preservation board… to prevent people from doing out of character things to their houses and yards. Why would painting the streets bright colors be any different? But I do love the idea of temporary paint for Pride!

        • Ben

          >My problem with painting the streets permanently is that it would be out of character with the historic homes and buildings that are adjacent to them.
          So we should rip up the pavement and go back to mud streets?

        • anon

          Yeah, and ban painting row houses in the same bright colors, which many row houses are painted in? (I’m not necessarily a fan of these year round, but your argument about historic preservation doesn’t make sense – else we’d have no crosswalks at all.)

        • AsAMother

          You’re just sounding rather NIMBY.

        • dcd

          “My problem with painting the streets permanently is that it would be out of character with the historic homes and buildings that are adjacent to them.”
          Oh. You’re one of THEM.
          Cities change. Or should, at least,

          • navyard

            “Oh. You’re one of THEM.” and “You’re just sounding rather NIMBY.”
            Could we please go back to having a respectful discourse and allowing people to have a difference of opinion?
            I have almost zero opinion on this matter, but the increasing prevalence of ad hominem attacks is disheartening.

        • Anonnomnom

          I am actually all for historic preservation, but I am sorry… That should not be applied to crosswalks. Crosswalks are not historic, and this is taking it a bit far IMO…

      • anon

        Yes, what annoys the hell out of me is when I get a parking “ticket” when parked near AU – for using stores nearby. It is a completely bogus ticket – NOT from the city, but from AU. And the ticket says I have to pay AU for parking if I go to a meeting or event at an AU building. Why does the city pander to the nearby residents, and to AU who wants to make money on parking, and let them away with this? As a ward 3 resident with a parking sticker I should be able to park in DC (but even if I didn’t have a sticker I should be entitled to park for my 2 hours as anyone can elsewhere in the city).

      • Gayborhood?

        The Gayborhood? More like “The ‘historic gayborhood’ that is well past it’s prime.” Let’s be honest, 17th street is no longer the true “gayborhood” of DC, if there is really one at this point. If there was, it’d be either Logan Circe or the east end of U St/Florida Ave.

    • Mike

      I love the way Philly has symbolized their gayborhood with the rainbow flag on the street signs – subtle, but still noticeable:



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