Eastern Market Metro Plaza Redesign on Track for Completion by End of Next Year
By Larry Janezich
DGS Project Manager Cassidy Mullen told residents at the fourth community meeting on the redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza that he expected the $15 million project to be complete at the end of 2021. Construction will start this December-January and will take 12 months. He said that the current plan is for the Capitol Hill BID to assume responsibility for maintaining and programming the plaza, a model which has worked elsewhere in the city. Councilmember Charles Allen, who was present, pledged to provide funding in future budgets to create a sound plan for maintenance and upkeep.
Allen opened up Wednesday night’s meeting, announcing that he had been successful in providing an additional $7 million in budget authority, which when added to the previously authorized $8 million, fully funds the redesign of all six parcels of the project. “The whole idea,” he reminded residents, “is to make the plaza a place to walk to, rather than walk through.” He said that the engagement of the community had “absolutely” made it a better project.
Maybe not everyone felt that way, since the DGS Advisory Committee of community stakeholders has been vocal in expressing the feeling that DGS had given their input short shrift. In addition, ANC6B has been largely left out of the process.
Still, Mullen presented the community with a nearly final design of the project which is in the stage of preparing the schematic plans for blue prints, a process which should be wrapped up in August. The permitting process will begin in and continue through the Fall of 2019.
Mullen says work will begin simultaneously on parcel 1 – the playground – and parcel 4 – the metro entrance. The distinguishing feature of the latter will be a bousque of shade trees with movable tables and chairs beneath. The entertainment pavilion hoped for by the Advisory Committee is on life support, with an assurance by Mullen that if the community expresses a strong preference for it (apparently evidenced by feedback on the online survey that went up on the DGS website Wednesday night at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EMMP2019) he would take the idea to the Commission on Fine Arts which, he noted, has resisted building permanent structures as part of the redesign. A couple of residents raised questions about the effect of an entertainment venue on nearby residents and on passing traffic.
The next community meeting will be in the Fall at a date to be announced.
7 responses to “Eastern Market Metro Plaza Redesign on Track For Completion by End of Next Year”
Isn’t there some way we can move those large storage boxes at Seventh and Pa. Ave out of the pedestrian flow? They are a huge impediment to walking from the corner on to the plaza. It IS the main entrance to the plaza! They could easily be put somewhere else not in the pedestrian flow.
Ed. Note. DDOT is looking at a way to update or consolidate the bike storage area to possibly make room for a piece of public art on this corner.
Is there a way for the public to raise concerns about the traffic study and the DDOT Notice of Intent to reverse D Street? Is there a contact person for DDOT? I can’t find a reference to the D Street reversal on the DDOT NOI website.
Ed. Note: Project Manager Mullen said last night that it is still part of the plan to reverse the flow of traffic on the north and south D Streets. This is not a question for DGS, however, but the Department of Transportation. The DDOT Plan for the Plaza is still under consideration. Here are three suggestions: contact CM Charles Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org; contact ANC6B commissioner Steve Holtzman email@example.com for the status of the Transportation plan; contact Director of DDOT, Jeff Marootian directly, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Just to follow on from Larry’s reply. I would suggest taking up concerns with both DGS and DDOT. As of now, we have heard no further updates on when the transportation study will be available, what it says.
Steve Holtzman 6B05
Do any of these plans keep the evergreen tree in place that has been the Hill holiday tree? Just curious. I love the tree and menorah together during December. (Ed. Note. The plan for the redesign provides for the keeping the big evergreen in it’s current location.)
Has there been any discussion of how to reduce the presence of substance users/other loiterers in the revamped plaza? The playground construction is no deterrent. The idea of having a playground and splash park there is wonderful, but I will be unlikely to take my family there if the current crowd persists there.