DDOT is hosting a public kickoff meeting in a few weeks for the Van Ness streetscape improvement project.
Remember that? The three blocks of Connecticut Avenue between Van Ness and Albemarle Streets have been targeted for stormwater control and aesthetic improvements for well over a decade. The Office of Planning has produced no fewer than three Van Ness studies*, the first released in June 2011.
The project eventually fell under DDOT’s purview, and in 2018, Van Ness Main Street successfully lobbied the agency and the DC Council for $1.5 million for the initial design phase. That’s about to get under way.
DDOT project lead Ted Van Houten tells Forest Hills Connection that a consulting team has been selected for a process that will include three public meetings, the second of which will include a charrette. Then, armed with community feedback and Office of Planning reports on the Van Ness commercial area, the consultants will be responsible for developing a concept plan, an environmental impact analysis and a 30 percent design.
The virtual kickoff meeting will be Wednesday, June 30th from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The projected endpoint of this phase is March 31st, 2022.
Van Houten also says there is no funding for the development of the streetscape improvement project beyond that point. To see the project through, ANC 3F, Van Ness Main Street and community members will need to press the DC Council for money during the upcoming budget process. Mayor Bowser releases her budget on May 27th.
The consultant team hired by DDOT is led by the engineering firm Wallace Montgomery. The other members and their areas of expertise:
- AULtec – topographic survey and utility information
- Lee and Associates – landscape architecture, urban design
- Precision Systems – analyze traffic operations
- Tina Boyd and Associates – public outreach
- Jacobs – WMATA coordination, quality control and assurance
Lee and Associates are no strangers to Van Ness. They worked on the landscaping plan for the UDC student center.
* Van Ness UDC Commercial Corridor Enhancement Study, June 2011; Shades of Green: Green Infrastructure & Pavement Removal Strategy for Van Ness, January 2016; Van Ness Commercial District Action Strategy, April 2016