By Patricia Davies
On Friday, January 4, at 4 p.m., a small crowd gathered at the Forest Hills Playgound on Brandywine Street at 32nd Street to celebrate the opening of a new stretch of sidewalk, from 30th Street to the alley bordering the Playground, which means that there is now sidewalk along the entire length of Brandywine Street, from Connecticut Avenue to Broad Branch Road.
Among those attending were several people who were instrumental in ensuring that the sidewalk was installed, including Tom Whitley, former ANC3F Commissioner, Council Member Mary Cheh, who introduced the Sidewalk Priority Act of 2010 in the DC Council, George Branyan, DDOT Pedestrian Program Coordinator, and Kelly Peterson, DDOT Ward 3 Traffic Planner. Frank Pacifico, Head of Street and Bridge Maintenance of DDOT, who was not able to attend, made sure the construction got done. Other distinguished guests in attendance were Mary Beth Ray and Sally Gresham, ANC3F Commissioners, Joey Perez, DDOT Urban Forestry, and representatives of the IONA Sidewalk Advocacy Group, Barbara Cline, Marlene Berlin (also Chair of the Forest Hills Connection), and Sharon Bauer.
It should be noted that Brandywine Street was included in the Murch Safe Routes to School Project of 2009, which won a national award, but needed some extra nudging by the community to get done. Many thanks to Tom Whitley for leading this effort.
As the ceremony was taking place, a group of children from the Franklin Montessori School walked past, and their chaperone commented on how happy they were about the new sidewalk, which has greatly facilitated their twice weekly walk along Brandywine Street. Clean-up work is continuing, and the entire area is greatly improved and looking good!
Children from the Franklin Montessori School try out the new sidewalk
Former ANC3F Commissioner, Tom Whitley
Council Member Mary Cheh and FHC Chair Marlene Berlin
DDOT Pedestrian Program Coordinator, George Branyan
Marlene Berlin and Barbara Cline of the IONA Sidewalk Advocacy Group
Work continues on cleaning up the area where the new sidewalk has been installed
The new sidewalk is officially opened by (left to right) Marlene Berlin (FHC Chair and IONA Sidewalk Advocacy Group), Tom Whitley (former ANC3F Commissioner), George Branyan (DDOT Pedestrian Program Coordinator), Sally Gresham (ANC3F Commissioner), Mary Cheh (Ward 3 Council Member), Kelly Peterson (Ward 3 DDOT Traffic Planner), and Mary Beth Ray (ANC3F Commissioner)
All photographs by Patricia Davies unless otherwise stated