We can be thankful the stormwater runoff at Van Ness is in no way as severe as it was in Cleveland Park this summer (our flooding doesn’t make the national news). But it is a problem, and we can learn from efforts to ameliorate the problem in Cleveland Park.
The drainage problem and potential for flooding at the Cleveland Park Metro station has been known – and subject to work and analysis – for years. The officers and board members of the Cleveland Park Citizens Associaton write in the August 17th Northwest Current (PDF, page 7), “Among the contributing factors identified: alleys without catch basins, commercial buildings with no gutters or downspouts, the Metro canopy, small pipes in existing catch basins, the curb configuration, the grade and the catch basin locations within Federal Realty’s “Park ’n Shop” parking lot.”
The solutions, they hope, will “address drainage issues sustainably, while also adding beautiful green spaces that would enhance our Connecticut Avenue business strip.”
A public meeting on the Cleveland Park Streetscape and Drainage Improvement Project is scheduled for Thursday, September 15th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Cleveland Park Library (3310 Connecticut Avenue). For more information , please contact Stacee Hemby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The project focuses on Connecticut Avenue from Quebec to Macomb Streets. The goal, says DDOT, “is to address the recurring flooding problem near the Cleveland Park Metro Station, improve pedestrian safety, access and visibility at all intersections, and upgrade public amenities (curb ramps, adding bike racks, benches and tree boxes). DDOT will present design concepts and gather comments from the community at the meeting.”
As for stormwater runoff issues in Van Ness, the Office of Planning released its final strategy report in January. Developed with community input, the Green Infrastructure and Pavement Removal Strategy sets forth a plan to replace pavement with sustainable materials that trap and filter stormwater rather than dump more polluted water into our stream systems. The plan also improves the streetscape – so being green looks mighty good.