Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
September 16, 2007
June 4, 2017
Half at I, Looking Southwest (see more)

After a four-year hiatus to complete some additional studies, the Environmental Assessment to improve the desolate stretch of road between 11th Street SE and Barney Circle known as Southeast Blvd. is now back underway, with a public meeting scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16, at Chamberlain Elementary School at 1345 Potomac Ave., SE, with an open house beginning at 10 am and presentations starting at 10:30.
Officially, this EA "will evaluate conversion of the existing facility into an urban boulevard consistent with the expected multimodal travel demand and the character of the adjacent neighborhood." On the spiffy new web site for the EA, project elements listed include:
* Reconfiguring Southeast Blvd. upwards to match the elevation of L Street SE;
* Adding sidewalks, bicycle facilities, trees, parking, and "green infrastructure";
* Taking the "surplus transportation right-of-way" and converting it to other uses, such as parks;
* Extending 13th, 14th, and 15th Streets SE so that they connect to Southeast Blvd.;
* Adding pedestrian and bicycle links to the Anacostia waterfront (which includes getting across the train tracks that run along the boulevard's southern side);
* Reconfiguring Barney Circle; and
* Building an "under-deck bus transit support facility with bus access via 11th Street SE and/or Barney Circle." (I bet they say this one really quickly and quietly.)
I cannot bear to rehash many years' worth of meetings and designs here, but I would point interested readers to my post from early 2016 about the DDOT Southeast Blvd. Feasibility Study. If I may plagiarize myself: "And what does the feasibility study say? DDOT's report determines that changing the current Southeast Blvd. from the limited-access quick route between 11th Street SE and Barney Circle to a street with connections to its north and south and development along the footprint is feasible, but the transformation 'would be neither inexpensive nor quick'."
I also wrote about the Office of Planning's Southeast Blvd. Planning Study, which had as its purpose "not to identify a single 'preferred alternative,' but rather to develop concepts that respond to the planning goals and objectives for the District and the community, which could be advanced through further study." Those concepts looked like this:
And so now we continue onto the Environmental Assessment. See my SE Blvd page for more history (including the demolition of the old freeway and DDOT's quickie reinstallation of a new road), or just scroll down through my previous posts on it, if you dare.
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202_cyclist says: (8/31/17 12:59 PM)
"* Adding sidewalks, bicycle facilities, trees, parking, and "green infrastructure""

I was thinking about this the other day-- not to get in a big debate but the flooding in Houston shows that all of these nice 'hippy' features like low-impact development and rainwater gardens serve a very useful purpose to collect runoff and help prevent flooding in addition to just being nice to look at.


conngs0 says: (8/31/17 1:01 PM)
Thanks for the update, JD! I'll definitely look forward to this project being completed (although I won't hold my breath!). It'll be interesting to hear some of the opinions regarding the three different concepts that have been floated (if you pardon the pun, is that a swimming pool in Concept B?!).

Regardless of whether something emerges from this process in a quasi-expeditious manner or not, are there plans to make this road (or really westbound Pennsylvania Avenue) more accessible from 295 South? I think that would really help facilitate the flow of traffic. That might be a bad thing if the idea is to create a sleepy residential area, but it'd really help encourage business growth from the end of Barracks Row up to (at least) Pennsylvania Avenue.


Ampersand says: (8/31/17 3:57 PM)
I have had occasion to drive between Kingman Park and Navy Yard/JDLand a lot in the last couple of weeks, and I feel like the SE Blvd would work but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to use it. As best as I could tell, right now it can ONLY be used to go from 11th St SE to SE-bound Penn Ave just before the bridge. Google Maps actually tells me to take the PA bridge across the river, then the 11th St bridge back across the river again. It's bizarre.

Relatedly, the reason I have been driving between them so much is that after a few wonderfully happy years I gave up on waiting out the residential market here and bought a place in another neighborhood. At least I'll keep working here for the foreseeable future, but count me as one more casualty of an unfulfilled would-be-buyer's market in the area. Build more damn condos already!!!


walt says: (8/31/17 4:20 PM)
Like Ampersand, I can't really figure out how to use that road either. What's so strange, is I can't even begin to imagine (spacially) where that land exists, despite passing the entrance, and driving alongside of it on a semi-regular basis and even looking it up on Google maps. It's like a different dimension!


RMP says: (8/31/17 6:36 PM)
Sorry if this has been posted before, but I saw the FEMA flood hazard map a few different places today. It's not looking promising for Yards Park and the surrounding buildings if we ever get a 500 year flood. link


202_cyclist says: (8/31/17 9:15 PM)
The 500'year floods that seem to happen every 3 - 5 years now.

On another note, it seems like there are more rats in the neighborhood. We saw a few running across Canal Park this evening. Perhaps more people living here (and more food waste) means more critters.


Shogungts says: (8/31/17 10:13 PM)
"On another note, it seems like there are more rats in the neighborhood. We saw a few running across Canal Park this evening. Perhaps more people living here (and more food waste) means more critters."

Combined with all of the construction - construction apparently has a big effect on displacing them.


JD says: (8/31/17 10:15 PM)
I also think some of the Canal Park greenery has gotten too overgrown and has given them good places to live.


CJBabyDaddy says: (9/1/17 12:29 AM)
The Arris construction and now the Bower construction have displaced legions. I'm sure it's been the case on every lot.

On more than one occasion, I've seen a disgusting varmint emerge from the ivy at the base of the overlook, scamper across the patio, and climb into one of the trash cans to rummage around. And then scamper back to the ivy. Talk about breaking the mood on a romantic evening.


RMP says: (9/1/17 8:54 AM)
I don't know if it's because they started pouring concrete or because of the change in weather or what, but there are rats crawling all over the Parcel O construction site in broad daylight that I hadn't really noticed before.


CJBabyDaddy says: (9/1/17 11:10 AM)
The Parcel O Pack has been there ever since the 4th Street sidewalk got demolished. I'm on a first-name basis with many of them. If you like, RMP, I can make introductions.


malatesta says: (9/1/17 11:52 AM)
Unrelated to rats, but the word on Twitter is that the Eastern Market Trader Joe's is opening by "the end of September" and the sign is up on the building.

This is most excellent news.


202_cyclist says: (9/1/17 12:10 PM)
On another topic, I posted in a previous thread but didn't get a response. Will the arches for the proposed Frederick Douglass bridge pose an obstruction hazard to the many helicopters that fly over the Anacostia at low altitude and for the arriving/departing helicopters at the heliport on the other side of So. Capitol Street? Presumably DDOT has studied this.


CJBabyDaddy says: (9/1/17 12:39 PM)
202: Think National Airport traffic flying over Rosslyn and the much more significant increase in building heights there over time. While pilot error is impossible to eliminate completely, it's not like the new/current Rosslyn building heights make it suddenly dangerous. And it seems safe to presume that appropriate airspace regulators have a seat at the table on matters affecting air traffic there.

Even with the arches, I don't see the new Fred being materially higher than the lamppost tops on the current Fred. And it seems highly unlikely that DOD, FAA, and NPS would not be in the loop.

Now, let's get back to Rodent Roundup.


202_cyclist says: (9/1/17 1:30 PM)
@CJBabyDaddy:

With the buildings in Rosslyn, FAA has to study the proposed building heights and the developers have to get approval from FAA.

link


202_cyclist says: (9/1/17 1:31 PM)
Also, it doesn't seem likely that DOD, FAA, Coast Guard, etc... would be out of the loop but it does seem like this could be something that would escape the attention of DDOT...


Chaifetz10 says: (9/1/17 3:14 PM)
This bridge has been in the works for years and years. There's 0% chance that the FAA, DOD, DDOT, etc etc were not in the loop and did not know what was going to happen. The final design may be tweaked still too as value engineering can still take place. The helicopters can easily climb a little higher if need be and it's not like the military pilots wont be aware of the construction.


dude says: (9/1/17 8:37 PM)
We too have seen rats at canal park.

I like option A or C. Option C seems like the better way to go.


202_cyclist says: (9/2/17 9:23 AM)
Admittedly, it is SWTLQTC territory and not JD Land but it falls within the sphere of influence of JD Land (part of JD Land's near-abroad in Cold War-era terms). Yesterday, I saw there was a sign with a rendering suggesting that construction will start soon on the Randall School development in SW.

I am very excited for this because in addition to providing more housing in a walkable area, this will help close the gap between the Capitol Riverfront/JD Land/Navy Yard and the 4th St corridor in SW, and will provide a public art museum.


202_cyclist says: (9/2/17 9:24 AM)
Here's a live action photo of the sign:
link


Rwy19Lander says: (9/5/17 12:18 AM)
@202_cyclist
RE: Flight path obstruction

FYI, any construction impacting the approach and departure corridors of the South Capitol Street Helipad (09W) or the USPP Eagle's Nest Heliport (DC03) will need to be assessed by the per the FAA's Obstruction/Evaluation Airport Airspace Analysis (OE/AAA) process per 14 CFR Part 77. The FAA takes the jurisdictional lead on these matters over any other agency, as inter-agency liaisons are involved with the analysis depending on airspace use.

If you're interested in the process, here is the FAA's OE/AAA website:
link

In my line of work within the FAA (contractor) I've actually prepared these casefiles and participated in the assessment for internal projects and can say that it isn't something that will be casually overlooked - especially in such highly monitored airspace. I have no doubt this has already been taken into account for a project of this scale. If I find any publically available info on this specific project I'll pass it along.


SWill says: (9/5/17 5:01 PM)
202_cyclist: There's still a ways to go before construction starts at Randall. Putting up a sign was one of the requirements by the ANC when Lowe Enterprises wanted to extend the PUD in order to give an indication to the community that SOMETHING will eventually happen on that site. Lowe still needs to get zoning approval on their proposed changes to the PUD. Once they get approval, abatement will take some time, then demolition of the non-historic portions on the site. Then actual construction can start - perhaps by 2020. Looks like the sign worked :-)


202_cyclist says: (9/5/17 9:44 PM)
@SWill-- a wise man once said you know construction is imminent when the port-a-potties are delivered on-site. That is a telltale sign that s--t is about to go down.


JD says: (9/5/17 10:08 PM)
I think that deserves a return of this.



jdc says: (9/6/17 9:23 AM)
Doors were open at Cava this morning for construction, and there seems to have been great progress over the last few weeks. Maybe we'll see a mid-October opening?


jdc says: (9/6/17 4:33 PM)
Tom's review of Salt Line link


202_cyclist says: (9/7/17 5:38 PM)
There is an opportunity to clean up the mighty Anacostia on the morning of Sept. 16, from 9 AM - 12 PM. The Anacostia Riverkeeper group is sponsoring the clean-up event. When we participated in this in the spring, I found a perfectly good fishing reel, so treasures await!

Here is more information: link


RMP says: (9/8/17 8:23 AM)
I took my dog on a stroll yesterday a little before 6pm yesterday before we went to the last pups in the park. Salt Line was definitely the place to be before the game. Lots of people in Nats gear sitting at the outside bar and outside tables enjoying the perfect weather. I think every seat or almost every seat was taken. Bardo, on the other hand... I counted 7 customers and a lot of empty space.

Also per the Capitol Riverfront newsletter there's going to be a "Meet Your Neighbors at Top of the Yard" on Sept 22nd. It's unclear to me if it's a BID sponsored event or if they're just promoting it.


202_cyclist says: (9/8/17 10:53 AM)
To clarify my post above, the clean-up day is for Anacostia Park, not the river but since runoff and trash flows into the Anacostia, this is good preventative maintenance.


202_cyclist says: (9/11/17 9:17 AM)
NATS! NATS! NATS! Woo! Bring on the Dodgers!


Spider57 says: (9/11/17 12:22 PM)
Dream scenario - Nats win the series, Jeff Bezos realizes that JD Land + Poplar point would be the ideal spot for Amazon's HQ2.


202_cyclist says: (9/11/17 12:59 PM)
@Spider57--- right down the street from the Whole Foods that we're getting one day....


jdc says: (9/11/17 1:36 PM)
If you think JD land is pricey now, wait till 50k Amazon employees descend on the area.


GarfieldPark says: (9/11/17 4:25 PM)
It's slowly starting to look like a WF. Day by da, er...month by month.


202_cyclist says: (9/11/17 4:31 PM)
year by year...


RMP says: (9/11/17 8:02 PM)
Advertising signage is back up at the Bower. Though I'd like to point out that unless they put some on sale in the next 10 days they'll have missed their most recent "spring 2017" target by 2 full seasons.


jdc says: (9/12/17 2:39 PM)
There is now a protected walkway on First Street's west side, making it easier to reach the newly opened dining establishments without having to walk all the way around the block or jaywalk.


Chaifetz10 says: (9/12/17 4:36 PM)
FYI All Star Game date has been confirmed to be Tuesday, July 17. This means that the HR Derby will be Monday the 16th, the Celebrity Futures games on Sunday the 15th and the All Star FanFest will most likely be Friday the 13th - Tuesday the 17th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.


jdc says: (9/12/17 4:54 PM)
JD - I've been meaning to mention this page is broken link


JD says: (9/12/17 5:16 PM)
@jdc, thanks, will try to shake the cobwebs from my brain to see what's happening.


CJBabyDaddy says: (9/12/17 10:07 PM)
@RMP: Look for a 2-tiered sales office launch, with some internet splash leading up to a soft opening the weekend of September 23-24, followed by a let's-get-down-to-business grand opening the weekend of October 21-22.


CJBabyDaddy says: (9/12/17 10:07 PM)
@RMP: Look for a 2-tiered sales office launch, with some internet splash leading up to a soft opening the weekend of September 23-24, followed by a let's-get-down-to-business grand opening the weekend of October 21-22.


jdc says: (9/13/17 9:31 AM)
Two other thoughts - work continues at Cava at a breakneck pace it seems. The publicly accessible portion of the restaurant (which is extremely small) seems about 80% finished. No idea what the kitchen area looks like, though. Also, there seemed to be construction going on in one of the empty bays at F1st Street - I think the one to the south of the cycle/gym place. I don't recall anyone being announced for the one or two remaining bays.


JD says: (9/13/17 9:33 AM)
Just in case it hasn't been specifically noted, the M Street Cava is actually one of theire "Cava Grill" places, so it's not a full-service restaurant.


RMP says: (9/13/17 9:43 AM)
Does anyone know if Top of the Yard ups their prices on gamedays? Or are they always high? Went there yesterday at 6:30 and paid $9.90 for a Devil's Backbone Vienna Lager. That's only 60-cents less than inside the park for the exact same thing. Hard to imagine going back before a game at those prices.


202_cyclist says: (9/13/17 7:07 PM)
Mercia! There were two fighter jets that just flew not more than 1000 feet overhead with smoke trailing out of the engines!


JD says: (9/15/17 2:15 PM)
For those of you who work at USDOT, I've been roped into doing one of those FTA "Knowledge Cafe" things on Sept. 28 from 1:30 to 3 pm, if you'd like to ruin your image of me by actually seeing me in person....


Section314 says: (9/18/17 1:30 PM)
Just saw that the Garrett just got its vertical construction permit. What's the over/under on when the first residents will move in? 2022? I'll take the over on that.


202_cyclist says: (9/18/17 2:02 PM)
@Section314:

I am not a betting person but I think it is safe to predict that residents will move into that building before phase II of Parc Riverside resumes construction.


Section314 says: (9/18/17 5:23 PM)
So what has happened at Parc Riverside?

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