Thursday, January 17, 2008

P is for Phrustrating

According to a recent announcement from DDOT, next Tuesday those of you who use P St. to head from Logan into Dupont and other points due west might want to consider planning alternative routes. Beginning next Tuesday and extending for the next three months, DDOT will commence another one of their streetscaping projects along P St., extending from Dupont Circle east to 13th St.

Why am I skeptical that the proposed P St. streetscape will actually be completed in the time span DDOT is projecting, and why do I anticipate a litany of complaints from local businesses over the inconvenience this will undoubtedly cause?

Many of you probably remember the pain and frustration it caused to businesses along P St.'s "Restaurant Row" over the summer, when DDOT "streetscaped" the section of P St. between 20th and 22nd streets. As you may recall, that project broke ground in January of 2007, and was originally scheduled to take about four months — but ended up extending well into the summer, to the detriment of many local businesses located there. And while I'm quite certain that the infrastructure and utilities were improved during the course of the work, it's highly debateable whether the aesthetic changes were worth multiple months of frustration and low sales for the businesses there. Additionally, let's not forget the eternal project that is the utility-upgrading and repaving of Q St. between 14th and 12th. That project seems endless.

So brace yourselves. Anyone care to get in on the 14th & You pool as to the actual completion date of this? The full text of the announcement is included below.

*FOR RELEASE*: January 16, 2008
MEDIA CONTACTS: Karyn Le Blanc, 202-671-3490

*P Street, N.W. - Road and Sidewalk Repairs to Begin ****Three Month Project To Improve Streetscape *

(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to begin repairs on the road and sidewalk on P Street, NW from DuPont Circle to 13th Street on Tuesday, January 22, 2008.

Repairs will include replacement of damaged sidewalks, gutters, bus stop concrete pads and the upgrade of all wheelchair ramps in the work area.

Work hours are 7am to 3:30pm, Monday thru Friday.

Work is planned to be completed by March 30, 2008 weather permitting, and plans to resurface the existing road pavement are slated for spring of 2008.

Vehicular and pedestrian access will remain available throughout construction. DDOT reminds motorists to use caution when traveling throughthe work zone.

Karyn G. Le Blanc Acting Public Information Officer & Public AffairsSpecialist Office of the Director District Department of Transportation
desk 202-671-3490 fax 202-671-0650 cell 202-497-4572
www.ddot.dc. gov
Serving with Integrity and Excellence


el. said...

As a commuter-cyclist who uses P street regularly to get downtown (I live at 11th and P), I, for one, am happy that they're finally fixing the awful potholes along P. I can't tell you how many times I've almost died in front of the Whole Foods. Yeah, it'll be inconvenient for a few months, but I think the end result will be worth it.

Mr. 14th & You said...

Hi hear you, el. If the project is well managed and completed within a "reasonable" timeframe, I don't think many people will have a problem with it. It's that the work last year on only two blocks of P took nearly twice as long--and was significantly more disruptive--as DDOT originally projected. Additionally, the Q St. work has also drug on much longer than anticipated.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's not the streetscape that concerns me, it's DDOT's history of having these projects drag out far beyond their original estimated timeline, and the associated disruption it causes.