Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

I did not attend last week's meeting on the plans for Virginia Avenue's streetscape once construction on the tunnel is completed, but detailed notes taken by DDOT have been posted. And there are some items that caught my eye:
* TREES: It's reported that 176 trees have been cut down as part of the tunnel construction, and that there will be approximately 305 new trees planted once the work is done. DDOT's preferred species include oaks, elms, and honey locust, and the planting scheme is such that it is expected to provide 50 percent "canopy coverage" after 20 years, 10 percentage points higher than the required minimum.
* PARKING: "The design team recognizes that parking is a critical issue for the neighborhood, and will ensure that the number of parking spaces in the neighborhood remains the same. DDOT will explore the possibility of providing additional parking."
* I STREET: Plans to have the 400 block of I Street end in a stub east of the church have apparently been shelved: "Based on community feedback, the connection of I Street to the 400 block of Virginia Avenue has been restored." As seen in this revised image.
* MORE VIRGINIA!: My personal favorite out of all of this: "The Architect of the Capitol will complete their construction project in 2018, and has indicated willingness to reopen Virginia Avenue between South Capitol Street and 2nd Street SE." This would also "enhance" connections to Garfield Park, allowing for passage in locations other than just the skate park-area under the freeway.
* TWO-WAY: Once construction is over, the 800 blocks of both Virginia Avenue and L Street SE will be converted to two-way traffic.
* LIGHTING: Replacement streetlights will be LEDs, which emit a whiter light than the current streetlights. There are apparently LED streetlights now installed on 1st Street near the ballpark as a test case for the city, and the "fixtures specified for Virginia Avenue will be similar to the first series of lights on the right hand side of First Street moving away from M Street."
* VIRGINIA AVE. PARK: The final post-construction design of Virginia Avenue Park is actually the responsibility of the Department of Parks and Recreation, and there will be a "design charrette" to discuss the park's future on Oct. 15 at 7 pm at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE.
Go ahead and read the notes for more details (and you can even see all the comment sheets handed in by the attendees). And the most recent designs for the streetscapes are here, plus you can check out my look at the initial designs.
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willinrm says: (10/7/15 5:11 PM)
Good to know that our Trees will be back at their original (pre CSX) height after 20 years!!

Anyone know how to attempt to get CSX to plant mature trees so we dont have to wait 20 years?


JD says: (10/7/15 5:21 PM)
From the DDOT notes:

"Studies have shown that 2 inch to 3 inch caliper trees adapt better to being transplanted than more mature trees. The DDOT requirements for soil volume will support rapid growth."

and

"Bill Phillips (Friends of Garfield Park) confirmed that similar trees planted in the park have done better than the larger trees"



conngs0 says: (10/7/15 6:41 PM)
I think that's right about the success rate of the younger trees. Unfortunately it just takes a long time to reestablish that much growth. Hopefully they are planted in a manner (i.e. properly spaced, in good soil and given enough water) that increases their odds of success to the greatest extent possible.


JD says: (10/7/15 8:13 PM)
Every time I walk down 4th between I and K I am amazed at how full and lush those "new" trees are. If anything, there are too many planted too close together.


Weaver says: (10/8/15 12:17 PM)
According to the NEPA documents CSX plans to cut down 191 street trees (168 street trees + 15 VA park trees + 8 Marine Barracks trees = 191). The landscaping plans lists 180 trees 35-50' when mature. The rest are small 8-10' trees. The vast majority of the trees cut down along VA Ave were large oak trees. I'm not sure why they only list 176 trees because that's not in the NEPA document. They need to be planting large growth trees -- the little fruit trees while pretty to look at don't have the same environmental affect as larger trees. It's clear they don't plan to fully replace the trees that were lost which the neighborhood should not accept.

Landscaping plans page 5
link

NEPA doc page 14 lists number of trees:
link


walt says: (10/8/15 2:24 PM)
4th between K and L seems to have the lushest tree cover - and I'm told that is because it was directly across the street from the EYA model homes, and that EYA planted extra trees there to make it seem more appealing to potential buyers. You'll notice the west side of the street has more trees than the east side.


Ampersand says: (10/8/15 3:22 PM)
It makes me sad to see the same old battles being brought up in the comments now that this project is FINALLY underway. 305 trees is a lot more than 176 (or 191, if that's the number you insist on) and 180 50' trees is still far more than were in place before the project started. What do you want them to do, tear down the houses so there's more room for trees?

JD, I'm with you in excitement about reconnecting Virginia Avenue! Between that and the rumors about the 100 block of I St opening soon, it's a good week for fans of connected street grids. Next step, turning the SE Boulevard into more city! (if only...)


conngs0 says: (10/8/15 3:39 PM)
Ampersand, I've pretty much accepted that some of these battles will never end. At his point I'm just happy that the project is finally underway, so we can discuss whether CSX is following through on the commitments it's made vis a vis timeline and quality of remunerative measures.


Andrew in DC says: (10/8/15 8:25 PM)
I am puzzled by the plan to de-stub I Street. I think that we've lost an opportunity to have a great green space, if we'd conjoined the area tp the north of the 400-I block to Reservation 122. I think it would allow for some additional trees to wall off the sight of the freeway ramp and also allow for a few more parking spaces. I think it combined with the Virginia Ave Courtyard on the 300-block would present a great "front yard" appearance to the whole CQ community. And lastly, I'm not thrilled at the prospect of commuters using I St as a cut-thru to avoid M St. traffic lights. With H St/VA Ave re-established, the new apartment buildings should have plenty of access to get eastbound.

I've made my opinions known to my ANC rep and DDOT's Ravi Ganvir and if you're like-minded you should do the same. At the moment, they're telling me that I'm alone on an island.

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1100 2ND PL SE   
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SQUARE 769N OWNER LLC / THANOS VOREAS
EG1903573 / POST CARD
1212 4TH ST SE   
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FC 1212 LLC / MARK J. RHOTON
E1908902 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1000 5TH ST SE   
07/10/19 
JW ELECTRIC SERVICE / null
E1909222 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / TANYA HILL; ALI NAIM
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INSTALL NEW PARTITION AND DOOR IN EXISTING CLASSROOM TO MAKE TWO CLASSROOMS.
100 M ST SE   
06/19/19 
PARSONS / KENNY MERINO; NA
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07/12/19 
SQUARE 743 INC / KIM MITCHELL
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INTERIOR DEMOLITION WITHIN AN OFFICE SPACE ON THE 9TH FLOOR (MULTI-TENANT FLOOR) IN AN EXISTING OFFICE BUILDING
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BAKER DC LLC / CHRISTINE LONG
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An after hours permit is respectfully requested from 3AM to 7AM daily
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / PAUL E WARREN; PAUL E WARREN
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640 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
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CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / HARIF BALOGUN; GEOCAPITAL ENGINEERING LLC GEOCAPITAL ENGINEERING
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