A few quick updates on major projects in the neighborhood.
Eastern Market Metro Plaza redesign
Elements are gradually falling into place to keep the redesign project moving forward.
In late August, we learned that the latest City budget includes $23.5M in FY19 for the proposed expansion of the SE Library. While Fiscal Year 2019 might seem like a long way off, this is an important marker and commitment to the project—something with which we can work. Some have questioned the cost of the proposed expansion. On the surface, it may seem like allot of money, but it is, in fact, in keeping with other similar library renovations and expansions across the City. Considering that the SE library has one of the highest circulations in the City, but is one of the smallest facilities, this seems like a totally reasonable investment.
In the past two weeks, our Councilmember, working with City budget officials, successfully secured $300K to initiate an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the proposed design. The Department of General Services (DGS) has agreed in principle to serve as the sponsor of the EA. The EA is the next critical path activity in the process, and will include opportunities for public input and project refinement. From a political perspective, I feel like it’s important to get this phase of the project underway before the current administration changes over, so that the project maintains momentum during the inevitable pause that will occur (regardless of who becomes our next Mayor).
My colleagues and I have also been pushing Barracks Row Main Street (BRMS) to keep and repurpose the inclusive working group that helped shape the current designs. The working group, which included representatives from multiple community stakeholder organizations, would continue to serve as a conduit for information and feedback as the project advances. BRMS is in agreement with this approach and this week I expect to see announcement of the next public meeting on the project.
SE Boulevard/Barney Circle
As work on the 11th St bridge comes to a close, the City has opted to re-open the SE Freeway in "as-is" condition. ANC6B is unanimously concerned about the re-opening, as it appears to undermine efforts to create a new SE Blvd that will reconnect this part of the Hill to the waterfront, create new green space, support the objectives of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, and provide opportunities for additional housing on the Hill. Last month, we sent the attached letter to DDOT expressing our concerns (pg 3 of the attached report).
In parallel, and at the urging of ANC6B, the Office of Planning conducted a "rapid planning study" of the SE Blvd area to propose holistic alternatives that take into account all of the above objectives. Last week, OP delivered three design concepts for further consideration (concepts bellow).
2014-10-06 SE Blvd Concepts.pdf
While two of these designs still include a bus depot, my opinion is that they do a much better job of achieving the objectives of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative. What are your thoughts?
Ward 6 Public Safety Festival
This Saturday from 11AM to 4PM at Folger Park (3rd and D St SE). Food, music and informational displays on public safety from MPD, Fire and Emergency Services, the Department of Health and others. Brent school is holding their annual book fair and sale adjacent to the park—meaning there will be lots of opportunities for learning!
The Hine litigants have opted to request an en banc hearing of their appeal. My sense is that this will take at least 2-3 additional months to resolve. If the en banc request is granted, it will probably take another year or more to resolve the case.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.
web: www.pate6b.orgtwitter: @pateANC6B05