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While I understand that the racetrack and circle are intended to calm traffic and create monumental gateways on this important street in DC, as an urban planner or a resident of dc, I do not like the idea of such massive roads surrounding an empty space - even if that empty space is green. Perhaps if the circle/racetrack were smaller and didn't waste so much precious land on the waterfront, this might be ok - but those open spaces between the traffic lanes are not going to be used by pedestrians. Do people use the circle on the VA side of the memorial bridge? (and that circle only has three lanes of traffic around it).

Dupont Circle and (some) other great monumental circles are great because traffic goes slowly around them, there are plenty of safe crosswalks to get to the space, there are reasons to be in the space or distinct areas within the circle (think different rooms)- not one large mass, there are lots of uses and activities and density in the area, and in the case of several there is transit! I don't see enough of these characteristics here in the designs or even planned in the future to make the space justified.

While defered building is not always financially wise - I like the idea of waiting to see how the 11th street bridge plays out before spending millions on another bridge. That, and some other major decisions need to be looked into before a full design is done - such as streetcar tracks over the river (if anyone knows where they are going, please do share - I thought they got nixed from the 11th st bridge, meaning it's a long ways out before they get built there) and the timeline and use of poplar point (which seems to be in hiatus?).

Also, it would be nice if this project addressed waterfront/riverfront estrian and bike access since the project will likely redo all of the shore work there with construction.

by CityGal on Jan 3, 2013 12:57 am • linkreport

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