Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

Back in August, I finally took a little time to drive down the practically hidden section of Water Street east of 12th to get some photos of Boathouse Row, the stretch of marinas between the 11th Street Bridges and Pennsylvania Avenue's Sousa Bridge. Of course, all I really got were photos of their entrances (I'm way too shy to have actually driven in), but even pictures of their gates and signs are probably of interest to most people who've never taken this particular field trip.
A mere three months later, I've finally posted them on a revamped East M/Boathouse Row page, where there first are photos of the Anacostia Community Rowing Center, followed by the new images from further up Water Street. (I also tinkered a bit with my main East M page.) Of course, as I'm writing this I'm realizing that it would probably be even better if I went across the river and took photos of the row from Anacostia Park--I'll add that to my To Do list.
There's actually a Master Plan underway for Boathouse Row by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and the Office of Planning. By doing this, " the District seeks to provide upgraded public facilities, improve environmental conditions, preserve existing functions and utilize remaining land to enhance and expand boathouse, marina, dock and water recreation uses." The DMPED info page on the Master Planning Process has a lot documents with much detail from the public meetings that were held over the summer and on Oct. 2 (which they don't seem to do a very good job of advertising, because I never heard about them). A handout from last week's Anacostia Waterfront Information Fair says that the Draft Master Plan is expected to be released by the end of this year (and I'm hearing there will be a public meeting in mid-December); the Oct. 2 meeting slides give a good summary of the plan alternatives being considered (and there's additional info on those here), along with long-range visions for the area.
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Rick Otis says: (11/22/08 10:37 AM)
Thanks for the update.

Boat House Row plan looks good, but the devil is in the details. The land for boat house row is apparently being transferred from the National Park Service to DC based on a decision two years ago. Those of us with boats and trailers at the last upriver marina received a letter in the first week of November from the Park Service telling us the marina would be closed and we had to vacate the property by the end of the month and that the marina vendor would help with alternative locations. On November 18th, I received a letter from the GSI (the vendor) also telling us to remove our boats/trailers by the end of the month and suggested an alternative (land locked!) location near Dale City south on I-95. DC's web site for the Boat House Row Master Plan says the marina site will likely become a marina in the next 5-10 years and they will accommodate existing users. Somehow this translates into kicking out the existing boaters with 3 weeks notice when nothing will happen at the site for 5 or more years. Doesn't give much confidence that one more DC public planing exercise will translate into anything good.


Michael says: (11/22/08 11:19 AM)
Maybe you could park the boats at Canal Park blacktop along with DC school buses!


BBC says: (11/23/08 2:44 PM)
I welcome these changes because this government land which is currently only used by a handful people can be enjoyed by a lot more people when transformed. For those familiar with Boston's Esplanade, this should be quite exciting. Of course the Esplanade streatches for miles and miles, but this could be similar to a small piece of it. A halfshell (outdoor concert area) would be grand.


Rick Otis says: (11/25/08 12:06 PM)
BBC - if you look at DC's Boat House Row plans you will see that this site (and others along the river) is scheduled for a public marina in 5-10 years - they are not planning a grand esplanade (therefor the name 'Boat House Row'). The existing facility (including the building, docks, electrical and water systems, fencing, etc) if left vacant is a waste of an investment and will degrade and be an attractive nuisance. I'd also note that all the marina's along the Potomac (upriver from south of the Wilson Bridge) and Anacostia Rivers are managed by contractors on public land. They are open for public use, including gas docks, cafes, and over-night stays. If I'm not mistaken, there are boat rental facilities along the Charles as well. There doesn't appear to be a lack of public access to these rivers - including existing and planed esplanades - for non-boating purposes. The whole focus of efforts to improve the Potomac and Anacostia river fronts is multiuse. I'd also note that the 'hand full of people' you refer to have long been defenders of the river and have enjoyed it's many aspects (including spotting bald eagles high in the trees while boating on a stunning fall day) - it seems odd to me that you suggest some greater public good would be served if we few are kicked out because the rest of the world has discovered what we've known - and cared for - all along.

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