Near Southeast DC: Past News Items - May 25, 2007
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WMATA Approves Temporary Altering of Douglass Bridge Bus Routes
May 25, 2007 10:05 PM

I mentioned this in my preview of Thursday's WMATA board meeting, but then missed it in my summary of what happened, so we'll throw it over to the Post: "Fares on four Metrobus routes that will be detoured in July and August, when District officials will close the South Capitol Street Bridge for a major construction project, will be temporarily reduced, the Metro board said.The fare on the A9 route will go from $1.25 to 75 cents, and the express bus fare on the P17, P19 and W13 routes will drop from $3 to $1.25 during construction. The routes will temporarily end at Metrorail stations on the Green Line to help buses and commuters avoid traffic detoured by the bridge closing. The A9 (South Capitol Street Line) will end at the Anacostia station, and the P17, P19 (Oxon Hill-Fort Washington Line) and W13 (Bock Road Line) routes will end at the Southern Avenue Metrorail station."

The Post piece also briefly mentions the vote to move the Southeastern Bus Garage to DC Village, and you can read my entry from yesterday for more detail on how exactly the debate went, and also for links to various documents about the move. There was no word today that I've heard as to whether the city had reached a deal on moving the shelter beds currently at DC Village--remember, if that doesn't happen by Thursday May 31, the boards' approval vote of the move and the various next steps does not take effect. And you can listen to the archived audiocast of the meeting if you're especially interested.

Capitol Riverfront BID Legislation Introduced
May 25, 2007 10:31 AM
It's a Capitol Riverfront kind of day here, as I now see that the bill to create the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District was introduced to the DC city council last week by Tommy Wells and Jack Evans; it's B17-0208, "Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District Amendment Act of 2007." The text of the bill is online; it describes the boundaries as being all of Near Southeast and most of Buzzards Point (from 2nd Street SW eastward, with a few jogs along Q and P), and it sets out the taxes it will assess on commercial properties within the BID. No word yet on when hearings will be. You can visit the Capitol Riverfront BID web site to read their executive summary, bylaws, and operating plan, and also take a look at some of my previous entries on the creation of the BID. And what exactly is a Business Improvement District? It's an area where the majority of property owners agree to an "self-tax" that pays for services that aren't provided by the city, like security, public space maintenance and cleanup, marketing, promotion, development, parking, transportation, etc. Here's the Wikipedia entry, if you want more general background on BIDs, and RestoreDC also has a page on DC's BIDs.

Capitol Riverfront Promo Video Available
May 25, 2007 10:07 AM

Hat tip to reader K. for the news that the Capitol Riverfront promotional video commissioned by the Washington DC Economic Partnership I mentioned last week is now available online (it's not streaming, you have to wait for the 4 MB or so Quicktime file to download before watching it). Quoting again from the press release: "The five-minute video fuses massing models, renderings, map graphics, fly-by animations, copy writing and narration into a montage of the current and planned development of this highly sought-after area of Washington, DC." Definitely watch it, it's very well done as these things go, although anyone who spends time at JDLand won't see any great surprises. Keep in mind that it's a video geared toward investors and commercial entities, with plenty of statistics and enticing images (millions of square feet of office space! thousands of new residential units! stadiums! riverwalks! happy patrons strolling past shiny new chain establishments!) but there are some neat animated snippets of some of the buildings in progress in Near Southeast, and renderings maps of the plans for the Southwest Waterfront and Poplar Point. One thing I did learn--the map in the video shows the possible DC United stadium at Poplar Point as being located more to east, across from the Navy Yard, and not on the little peninsula directly across the river from the Nationals ballpark.

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