Introduction

 

In March 2005, in his annual State of the District Address, Mayor Anthony A. Williams announced the Great Streets initiative. Great Streets focuses on six (6) major corridors in the District of Columbia. The purpose is to increase local neighborhood livability and economic development by improving the physical, economic and safety condition of the corridors and create a new environment that invites private investment and neighborhood pride. This Initiative is a multidisciplinary approach to corridor improvement, comprised of public realm investments, strategic land use plans, public safety strategies, and economic development assistance, and is a partnership of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (ODMPED), the Office of Planning (OP), the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and Neighborhood Services Coordinators (NSC), among many others.

Study Goals and Objectives

The area of study spans across the District of Columbia, concentrating on six (6) designated “Great Street” corridors (the Map of these corridors can be viewed here):

- Georgia Avenue NW and 7th Street NW from Eastern Avenue to Mt. Vernon Square

- H Street NE and Benning Road NE from North Capitol Street to Southern Avenue

- Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE from Kenilworth Avenue to Eastern Avenue

- Minnesota Avenue NE/SE from Sheriff Road NE to Good Hope Road SE

- Pennsylvania Avenue SE from the Sousa Bridge to Southern Avenue

- Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE and South Capitol Street from Good Hope Road to Southern Avenue.

Elements of the Study

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is responsible for defining, improving, and maintaining the public realm of the Great Street corridors. To this end, DDOT has committed more than $100 million over the next 4 years in order to improve the public realm along the selected corridors and attract substantial private sector investment. The Great Streets Framework Plan and Design Guidelines project is a part of DDOT’s investment that will:

 

- Define goals and objectives for the Great Street network;

- Prioritize corridors and sections of corridors for the deployment of initial improvements

- Illustrate targeted Great Streets as a network identifying commercial or retail nodes, residential areas, and opportunities for open space improvements or enhancements;

- Develop organizing themes or characteristics for each corridor that create identity along their length while permitting customization of individual places;

- Examine transportation mobility and safety for the spectrum of modes and recommend targets for improving level of service for the efficiency and performance of the system;

- Develop a strategy to assist DDOT and other public realm agencies in prioritizing and allocating public spending to attract private investment and development.

- Provide user-friendly design guidelines for District planners, engineers, developers and others to develop projects that achieve the goals of the Great Street corridors in treatment and aesthetic design;

Public Participation

The Great Streets Framework Plan and Design Guidelines will rely heavily on public participation. The public involvement process will include residents, ANCs and other stakeholders in and around the study area, and will help the Study Team document the community's concerns and recommendations. In addition, the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on all Study findings and recommendations, thus playing a crucial role in the decision making process.

To fully engage residents, elected leaders, retail operators, real estate developers and other stakeholders, the Study will include public involvement venues such as meetings, design charrettes (please see the details under Public Meetings and Schedule) and exhibitions. Each event will be announced and advertised in advance, using meeting notices, pamphlets, and other reasonable mechanisms to communicate project information and obtain community comment. In addition, the schedule, all public meeting minutes, fact sheets, and study updates and progress reports will be posted on the Study web site.