by Marlene Berlin
Representatives from Metro and DDOT will be at a community meeting tomorrow evening to take your questions about the Van Ness escalator project that will close the station’s western entrance for three years.
ANC 3F is hosting the meeting Thursday, April 30th, at 7:30 p.m. at Forest Hills of DC (4901 Connecticut Avenue). Cedric Watson, WMATA’s project manager for elevator and escalator capital projects, and DDOT’s Matthew Marcou will be in attendance.
WMATA alerted the public to the three-year escalator replacement project less than two weeks before it’s scheduled to begin, with a notice on its website on Tuesday, April 21st. WMATA intends to replace four escalators, one at a time, starting this Monday, May 4th.
The community’s concern was less with the length of the closure than with the timing of the project, and the lack of outreach to the community other than the online notice and signs in the station that don’t reveal much information. ANC 3F sent a letter to the acting director of WMATA, Jack Requa, requesting a delay.
Yesterday, ANC 3F Commissioner Mary Beth Ray heard from Mr. Requa, who said WMATA would be sending Mr. Watson to address the community’s concerns. Our commissioners have also been in touch with DDOT, which learned of the escalator work on April 21st, just like everyone else.
At last night’s Office of Planning open house for the Van Ness commercial district, Council member Mary Cheh announced that she would be talking with both DDOT and WMATA to better understand the situation and possible ways to provide some relief.