Update on Redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza – Concept #2 Unveiled
by Larry Janezich
The DC Department of General Services (DGS) hosted a community meeting in the North Hall of Eastern market on Wednesday night to unveil concept plan number two for the redesign of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza. More than 50 residents showed up for the presentation, and had an opportunity to offer input. DGS representative Tommie Jones said there had been 732 responses to the online survey regarding suggestions for the redesign of the plaza.
The design company Moya Design Partners will continue to refine the concept into the 3rd (and hopefully last) concept to present to the public on April 3. That will be followed by schematic designs and permit drawings. The goal is to start construction in the fall of 2019.
One of the outstanding questions to be resolved is how to spend the $5.9 million available for the current first phase of the project, whether to put it all into the playground parcel or spread it around.
Some of the ways which the second concept differs from the first are the inclusion of more trees and the proposed water feature near the entrance to the Metro which is now a public art element. A splash park is now featured as a part of the playground.
In response to questions and concerns from the audience, designers said that public restrooms were being considered, that lighting will be incorporated into the 3rd concept, and that drug related activity which has been a feature of parcel 1 where the playground will be located, is being taken into account. Residents of D Street on the north side of the playground parcel continue to express strong reservations to the plan to reverse current flow of traffic on that one way street, citing their belief such a move would compound the traffic congestion at the 8th and D Street intersection.
DGS says that installation of playground equipment could begin this spring using PUD funds from the Hine developers which were negotiated for the community by ANC6B. Equipment purchased and installed with those funds would be incorporated into the final design.
Here’s the link to the project website: https://dgs.dc.gov/page/eastern-market-metro-park-project
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