BRMS Press Release re: Eastern Market Metro Park / Plaza

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 13, 2013

Contact: Sharon Bosworth

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202 544 3188

Barracks Row Main Street to Initiate Design Study and Transportation Management Plan for Eastern Market Metro Park / Plaza

Pennsylvania Avenue Area Between 7th and 9th Streets SE Up For Improvement

WASHINGTON, DC – Barracks Row Main Street (BRMS) today announced it is initiating a new design study and transportation management plan to improve the public space along Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, between 7th and 9th Streets, including the area around the Eastern Market Metro Station. Unlike previous planning efforts, this study will not consider re-routing traffic in the Pennsylvania Avenue right-of-way.

The overall goal of the Park / Plaza design study will be to renew and upgrade, both functionally and aesthetically, the publicly owned land in the 700 and 800 blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue.  Recognizing that pedestrians and many forms of public and private transportation -- Metrobuses, bicyclists, taxis, the DC Circulator, automobiles, and emergency vehicles – converge at the Eastern Market Metro Plaza, the study will examine the best way to accommodate all modes of transportation in the safest manner possible.  Among the transportation and safety issues that may be addressed: improving pedestrian access to the Metro Station, enhancing signalization to reduce pedestrian/vehicular conflicts, reassessing the location of the Capitol Bikeshare station and the Metrobus stops, and delineating clearer pedestrian pathways.  In addition to preparing two alternative master plan concepts for the public parcels within the two-block area, more detailed designs will be developed for the portion of the study area north of Pennsylvania Avenue, between 8th and 9th Streets, SE, including construction documents for a permanent children’s play area in this parcel.

In response to a suggestion from the city’s Office of Planning, BRMS also will explore the possibility of creating an innovative storm water retention system as part of the effort to reduce combined sewer overflows into the Anacostia River.

BRMS Chairman Tip Tipton noted that the area around the Metro Station was envisioned by Pierre L’Enfant’s original plan for Washington D.C. as one of the city’s great community public spaces linked to others by the Plan’s broad diagonal avenues.  “Working with our community partners, our vision is to create a green, beautiful space that will benefit everyone living, visiting, or working on the Hill and that is more in keeping with the grace, elegance, and beauty that the founders intended.”

The master planning effort will be led by Washington architect Amy Weinstein (Esocoff & Associates).  Ms. Weinstein has designed a number of award-winning projects on Capitol Hill including the Townhomes on Capitol Hill and several commercial projects that are within view of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza.  Other members of the team include the nationally celebrated landscape architecture firm Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, whose offices are located on Barracks Row, and the traffic and transportation planning firm of Kittelson & Associates.  Among its tasks, the consulting team will meet regularly with the various District and federal agencies that have oversight for the study area.

The BRMS Board will establish a local advisory group, comprised of representatives from Capitol Hill organizations and members of the community, to provide input and guidance.  Regular community updates about the project, including interactive plans with feedback mechanisms, will be available via the BRMS website: www.barracksrow.org.

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Barracks Row Main Street

For the past decade, Barracks Row Main Street has worked tirelessly to preserve and enhance Capitol Hill’s historic 8th Street, SE, commercial corridor and to revitalize its business community.  The group’s focus includes the Eastern Market Metro Plaza, and the five blocks of 8th Street that stretch south from Pennsylvania Ave S.E. to the terminus of 8th Street at the Washington Navy Yard along M Street, S.E. Barracks Row is located eight blocks east of the U.S. Capitol.

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District of Columbia Main Streets DC Department of Small and Local Business Development

Barracks Row Main Street is a designated DC Main Streets commercial district.  Barracks Row Main Street is funded in part by the Department of Small and Local Business Development.