What's wrong with 17th Street redux
There are more great comments on my post about what's wrong with 17th Street after the Dupont Circle Update newsletter linked to it yesterday.
After spending more time on 17th Street, including approaching it from the south instead of the north as I usually do, I've identified what major points make me go "ugh" when visiting 17th:
- Big voids at the hardware store and Safeway. Those huge empty expanses of sidewalk make the street feel overly empty, like being in a big Wal-Mart parking lot without the cars. We need to fill that with something. Benches, trees, art; maybe the Safeway can put out produce displays on the sidewalk like New York groceries do, bringing people in and making the sidewalk more engaging.
- 17th and R. That corner is awful. The cleaners building has peeling paint. The Steam Cafe is a great coffee shop but the decor isn't attractive and that building is really bland. And the building with the Indian theme (that houses Cobalt) is simultaneously mostly abandoned, in poor repair, fairly ugly, and not at all in keeping with the historic look of the neighborhood. Finally, the corner is very open without many trees, exacerbating the ugliness of the surrounding buildings.
- Some bad restaurants. Maybe it's just my luck, but the first couple places on 17th Street I went to were bad. There seems to be a greater range of quality there, from great places like Sushi Taro and Komi to some really bad places. There's a range on 18th or Connecticut or P as well, but the lower end is not as low.
- The CVS/Blockbuster/Sushi Taro building. It's an awful building with all the windows covered over and ugly entrances. The CVS is useful and the sushi is great, though.
- Latest Metro map drafts add Anacostia parks and other tweaks
- Bikeshare is a gateway to private biking, not competition
- DC Council makes major policy changes overnight
- Short-term Washingtonians deserve a voice, too
- Parklets give every block a little park
- Public land deals have both benefits and pitfalls
- Judge denies injunction against closing schools