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January 23, 2011
May 2, 2013
2nd (East) at I, Looking Northeast (see more)

I mentioned a few weeks ago that it would be happening soon, and indeed, L Street through Canal Park at 2nd Street SE is now open, with the sidewalk on the south side of the street available for pedestrians.
With this access available, K Street has now been temporarily closed to complete its streetscape. Since the park is still on schedule to open in November, it's likely that K Street will reopen by then.
I'd post pictures of the new vistas on L, but I can't stand any more cloudy-day shots of that location (such as this one from my visit inside the fences in late July), so it'll have to wait for the sun to come out.

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Erik says: (8/21/12 8:02 AM)
The park would be so much safer for families and pets, and more relaxing if we were to keep K & L streets closed to automobile traffic.


conngs0 says: (8/21/12 1:26 PM)
My understanding is that both K and L Streets will be engineered to slow the flow of traffic. Is that correct? I absolutely appreciate the point that motor vehicle traffic can be hazardous to pedestrians and pets, but perhaps this is worth a try for now in order to avoid some of the negative consequences of closing them down altogether. I'd hate to see the park become a three-block-long barrier to people moving through the neighborhood in order to get to residential buildings and other establishments (including the Park Tavern). In the meantime, Teague Park will also be an option for people to bring their kids and pets in the event they are concerned about traffic (just make sure your Labrador doesn't take a running leap into the Anacostia!).


JD says: (8/21/12 1:42 PM)
You can already see how L Street within the park is much narrower than on either side, and how the streetscape is slightly raised and paved with paving blocks rather than asphalt, all of which are to give drivers the visual heads up to slow down. The fact that cars can't park on K or L within the park will also clear the line of sight for cars to see where people might be waiting to cross.

But, that said, pedestrians will always need to cross carefully.

It's unrealistic to have both streets permanently closed in that spot, forcing all cross-neighborhood traffic onto either I or M.


conngs0 says: (8/21/12 2:45 PM)
Thanks, JD!

I really love that a bar/restaurant will be incorporated into the southern end of the park too. The Park Tavern's existence should keep foot traffic flowing in the park well into the evening hours, which should hopefully cultivate a lively atmosphere in the neighborhood as well as maintain safety. Hopefully it takes off.

But you can't deny that the northern end of Canal Park is going to be pretty sleepy for a couple of years until some of those planned apartment and mixed-use buildings are up and running. That will be nice in the daytime, as some people will want to enjoy some peace and quiet. But hopefully the cross-neighborhood traffic will help keep things illuminated at night (or at least provide the police with better access during patrols).


JD says: (8/21/12 2:48 PM)
Don't forget that the new official entrance for 225 Virginia/200 I is going to be right across from the park's north end, coming this fall. So there will be foot traffic in terms of the office workers and the four DC agencies that will be moving there. And probably security officers guarding that entrance who might also look across the street once in a while. :-)



JES says: (8/22/12 9:57 AM)
I'm kind of on the fence on opening those roads to traffic. Whenever you let traffic into some place, it's very rare to then revoke that vehicle access after the fact, so I'd almost be inclined to leave it pedestrian-only for a while, at least until some of the other buildings are built over there. It seems like people have managed just fine without those roads for a while, right? Why not try to keep it going, and if it doesn't work out once more buildings come online, change it then?


Maelstrom says: (8/22/12 3:45 PM)
I am annoyed that inside of those nice marble curbs on the west side of 2nd place SE they just filled in a bunch of asphalt. Did they run out of paving stones or something? It's ugly >_<! Anyone else notice this? I hope they only did it because they expect it to be torn up for the buildings on between 2nd PL and 3rd St.


David Garber says: (8/23/12 9:54 AM)
The asphalt sidewalks are "temporary" -- that is, until the blocks east of Canal Park are developed. Redevelopment of those blocks by DC Housing and their future development partners would damage or force-replace any fancier paving that might have been installed now, hence the asphalt. The tree pits and light poles will stay.

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