Thursday, April 2, 2009

watha t. daniel construction update

this picture was taken last week. a construction trailer had arrived at the library site, presaging what is sure to be real construction soon.

today, a second layer of fencing went up around the site. this fencing currently extends out into the street, taking away a lane on rhode island avenue and 8th street.

the fencing is requiring pedestrians to walk in the middle of the street, and it blocks a stop for the g8. this stop is used every morning by kids going to school. i expect to see the sidewalk reopened immediately, as this is downright dangerous for pedestrians (besides being blatantly illegal, if i understand the laws that were passed in recent years to protect pedestrians from this sort of thing).

i'm going to contact jack evans' office tomorrow and ask them to please do what is necessary to make sure that our sidewalks aren't taken away for the duration of this construction project. at the very least, a lane of traffic should be given over to pedestrians if the sidewalk is going to be taken away.


dano said...

DC, along with most cities that wish to allow for development, allow for this sort of thing through a permit process. Generally speaking contractors have to install appropriate signage and pedestrian protection measures. For a good example, look at the new building at 19th and K. the K st side has a pedestrian barricade in the parking lane, but the 19th st sidewalk is closed, but allows for safe crossing with some space to cross the street at K st. Being in construction, I am inclined to think that these guys just havent completed their site set up. If you want the library, you have to put up with the construction. On tight sites its nearly impossible to keep all work inside the lot lines, especially keeping public safety in mind.

IMGoph said...

dano: yeah, i didn't mean to jump down their throats too quickly, though it may have turned out that way when i wrote this post. basically, i just want to make people aware that this has the potential to remain a dangerous situation for some time. if they need to take a away part of the sidewalk for an extended period, i would think that losing the R street side would make more sense for pedestrian safety than taking the rhode island avenue side.

it's losing the bus stop that strikes me as the important thing here.

Anonymous said...

What is it with this city and "fake" groundbreakings? I can count about 6 just off the top of my head... Anacostia Streetcar under Williams, Watha T. Daniel, 14W near U Street, the dog parks in Dupont, etc.

SG said...

Sorry, that last comment was me- forgive my haste.

dano said...

IMGoph: i agree that they shouldnt be blocking the bus stop if at all possible. not knowing the construction details, its hard to say if it is really necessary. but most buses in the district have a stop on just about every block.

IMGoph said...

dano: surprisingly, the G8 at that point has a fair distance between stops. it's not a short distance from the stop just east of 6th and rhode island, or down to the next stop at 9th and P.

the biggest thing is that it's a transfer point from the bus to the metro station there. that leads to a large amount of pedestrian traffic in the area, especially during the morning rush.