Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CH Under Construction

While the Mount Pleasant portion of Park Road is very close to being polished and done, Columbia Heights is a mess of construction workers, narrow and restricted lanes and traffic backups. 14th Street has been reduced to two lanes between Irving and Park. That's slowing he 50s buses and makes for rough turning angles for larger vehicles. The Kenyon St-14th Street intersection has been temporarily reduced to one lane. The landscaped plaza (pictured left) in front of Park Triangle Apartments is taking shape, but remains mostly roped off as of last night. It is looks like it could be a valuable and active public space that's actually. The gravel pit which was there before was rarely used, naturally. It was all gravel!

Park Road in between 16th Street and Mount Pleasant Street is much improved. I will post photos of it after all the work is done, but the work is virtually finish as I write this. The changes at the intersection of 17th St, Park Rd and Mount Pleasant Street have made life a little easier on pedestrians. And the general streetscape improvements --including bulb outs, new light fixtures and new sidewalks-- were spot on and worth the wait.

The folks in Columbia Heights are still dealing with a Park Road with severely restricted parking and one travel lane instead of two. And that's all the way from 13th Street to 16th. Three painfully long and slow traveling blocks. After the 14th Street and Park Road reconstructions, DDOT will move onto Irving Street between 16th and 14th. All work is scheduled to be complete by Spring of 2010.

Even Hiatt Place, the short street connecting Irving and Park Roads, is getting some action. The Bell Multicultural High School is getting a new athletic field. The new space is adjacent to the rear of DCUSA, where the old Bell School was located before being expanded an rebuilt on 16th Street. The new athletic field is made of a field-turf like artificial material similar to the new fields at other Ward One schools Harriet Tubman Elementary and Cardozo Senior High. Thanks to Derek for the photo of the field construction in progress.