Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Picture of the day: D.C. officials cheer on a fancier Connecticut Avenue

September 15, 2011 - 11:32 AM
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Who's got the scissors? (Photo: DDOT)

Pedestrians, good news — your local officials have brought golden strips of ribbon to Connecticut Avenue along with scissors and they, rumor has it, cut that ribbon earlier this morning.

The photo above shows Mayor Vince Gray, Council Chairman Kwame Brown, Councilmembers Jack Evans and Phil Mendelson, and others next to two flower pots and in front of one of the big Connecticut Avenue median flower beds at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and K Street, NW. The Connecticut Avenue streetscaping project, begun in 2008 as a joint effort between the District department of transportation and the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District, has marched forward in recent months, completing its first phase and preparing to begin construction on the second this coming spring. The first phase was completed earlier this summer and resulted in medians between K and L Streets.  The final elements of the effort won't be complete until spring 2014 and will then stretch to just south of Dupont Circle. In the meantime, the BID is ramping up its retail strategy and is hoping on attracting even more commercial activity to the corridor.

The second phase will run about $3 million, I reported in mid-July, and add medians from K to Jefferson Park and will also include the first of the new streetscaped blocks, on the east side of the street between K and L. The streetscaping includes 20-foot plant boxes, better sidewalks, and other little perks.

A little ribbon-cutting in the name of better pedestrian walkways is never a bad way to start a Thursday morning, right?

Update, 12:20 p.m.: As the agencies release their press materials about today's photo op, some interesting facts emerge: "DDOT has projected decreases in pedestrian fatalities, of 21% in 2011 and 32% in 2012 from the 2006-2008 3-year average of 19." And as of now, the landscaping has delivered close to 1,800 flowers. 

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