ANC Commissioner Sally Gresham led the Wednesday night meeting. Don Hachey, Saul’s senior vice president of construction and development, explained the length and phases of construction project (PDF of presentation). Matthew Marcou, the deputy associate director of DDOT’s Public Space Regulations Administration explained the traffic control plan for the short term and then asked the audience for input on a final plan that will be in place until the completion of the project. About ten members of the community were in attendance.
This is a particularly difficult space for demolition and construction because there is no street access other than Connecticut Avenue. Plus, the presenters explained that a covered walkway on the sidewalk is too dangerous because some of the underground demolition and reconstruction work on the underground garage will be taking place directly underneath.
This necessitates rerouting pedestrians to the west side of the street. Residents appeared to accept the message.
The sidewalk will be closed until about June 1st, during the demolition and sheeting and shoring phase. DDOT and Saul Centers’ amended traffic control plan will be submitted in draft form to Commissioner Gresham before December 25th. They’ll be taking into account these and other suggestions made by community members:
- More explicit signage at Yuma Street to tell pedestrians to cross at Albemarle or Windom and not to cross Connecticut at mid-block
- More signage farther north and south of the construction site to warn pedestrians of the closure
- A crosswalk on the south side of Windom (between Calvert Woodley and Chalin’s)
- Notice to bus users that bus stop in front of construction site has been removed and when it will be replaced
Other suggestions from the community were presented by Commissioner Gresham and Marlene Berlin in a meeting on the Friday after Thanksgiving with Richard Houghton from Saul, Jason Elliott from Clark Construction and DDOT’s Matthew Marcou.
At the December 11th meeting, praise was sung from all quarters for the flaggers who were stationed by Clark Construction December 2nd through the 6th to redirect pedestrians on Connecticut Avenue. And Officer Franchak’s assistance in warning pedestrians for hazardous behavior was acknowledged by Commissioner Gresham.
One audience member was concerned about the noise level, and asked for a noise evaluation. Don Hachey responded that he would follow up on this. Matthew Marcou ended the meeting thanking the community for the thoughtful suggestions.
Beyond Saul’s responsibilities, DDOT needs to address the request for a crosswalk on the south side of Windom, which got overwhelming support from the community members who attended. Please contact Matthew Marcou at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have other suggestions.