Comments for “EMMP Concept B”

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  1. Open-uri20140314-2626-1fsj0fq?1394809549

    Added March 14 2014

    The existing street stubs here and across at Hine should both be eliminated. They make no sense and create awkward traffic merges on PA Ave and 8th Street flows at PA Ave. traffic lights.

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  2. Open-uri20140314-2626-68jyhd?1394809171

    Added March 14 2014

    A glass pavilion is the best solution for a library entrance. Saves the sight lines up SC Ave and compliments the Metro escalator cover on the plaza. Glass has been used for Louvre expansion in Paris and National Gallery expansion in DC. We need more room for this library as it is the smallest branch with one of the biggest circulation and use in the system.

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  3. Open-uri20140203-25271-196hvfd?1391466155

    Added February 03 2014

    Has anyone looked at the overall urban design of the Hill and how it sets within the L'Enfant plan? This city is full of "nodal" points that define areas of the urban fabric. Aside from the obvious components of the White House and Capitol, there are many other points in the city that define their adjacent neighborhoods, such as Logan & Dupont Circles, Lincoln Park, etc.
    We are missing an opportunity here to announce our Cap Hill presence by addressing ONLY such valid issues as playgrounds and footpaths. How about a design that announces to both Pennsylvania Avenue drives/commuters and Metro users that they have arrived at one of the important points of the Capitol Hill neighborhood?

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  4. Open-uri20140203-16098-fpum7v?1391414906

    Added February 03 2014

    The notion that South Carolina Ave. needs a visual "terminus" in the plaza is ridiculous. Oh, and after looking at the illustrations in the presentation, I see that comparing the "pavilion" to a two-story store being dropped in the plaza is incorrect -- it's more like a *three* story store, and would tower over the stores on D St.

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  5. Open-uri20140202-16098-xmm4yl?1391412885

    Added February 03 2014

    The elevated "planter" for the trees will make it more likely that the trees will block the view of the Capitol and Library of Congress down Pennsylvania Ave. The view depends on the threes not being too tall, particularly in terms of the elevation angle the crowns present to people on the crosswalks across PA Ave. With an elevated median, shrubs should be planted on the western edge of each crosswalk before there are trees, to ensure sight-lines to the Capitol and LoC domes.

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  6. Open-uri20140202-16098-5s204e?1391410898

    Added February 03 2014

    General comment for both Concepts A and B: There are a lot of creative ideas for the play spaces, but they all require more maintenance than a simple playground. Miniature buildings will look sad and derelict within a few years if they are not kept up. Play houses may become dirty and unappealing without good cleaning and maintenance. Even museums often have their interactive mechanical exhibits sitting broken; the mechanical devices will require regular maintenance to avoid them become static pieces of scrap. Any plan for recreation or play facilities needs to come with a robust financial plan for maintenance, and the facilities need to be scaled in complexity and ambition to what can be reliably financed and maintained. Simpler equipment that works for years will be preferable to fancy ideas that fall into disuse within a few years due to tight budgets.

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  7. Open-uri20140202-16098-1rgt3gv?1391410821

    Added February 03 2014

    All grassy areas need to be easily entered from all sides, or they are a waste of space. So gaps in the surrounding benches are needed. The benches should also be positioned so that they're shaded, and they should face both the open area of the plaza and inward toward the lawn or bosque.

    This design also eliminates the direct pathway from the corner of 8th and D to the Metro entrance. People do not want to be forced to go the "long way around" just to satisfy your design aesthetics.

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  8. Open-uri20140202-16098-za6wbn?1391407088

    Added February 03 2014

    As with my comment on Concept A regarding the median in this block, the block between 6th and 7th Streets is about twice as long as the one from 7th to 8th St. If there's an argument for a mid-block walkway between 7th and 8th to get to the Metro, there's twice that argument for a mid-block crossing in the 600-block of Pennsylvania.

    The median sidewalk on the west side of 7th St. also needs to be widened a bit.

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  9. Open-uri20140202-16098-qs093m?1391406495

    Added February 03 2014

    As comments on Concept A noted, both of the designs ignore the obvious natural movement pathways that have been created through the existing grass areas. It is not your job to force people to move as you want them to -- it is your job to develop a design that facilitates the natural flows of pedestrians so that it connects major neighborhood features as well as possible.

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  10. Open-uri20140202-16098-1jg4czk?1391406199

    Added February 03 2014

    The elevations and illustrations of the pavilion show that it is grossly oversized and would be completely out of scale with the other structures around it. (This is a *plaza*, not a city block to build structures the size of a two-story store on.) It also creates a security and staffing problem for the library, since they would have to watch two entrances to ensure that books don't walk out. With the budget problems that city libraries have had for years, there's a good chance that the pavilion would end up locked and useless because the library couldn't afford to have staff watching another entrance or staffing a secondary check-out desk. It also blocks the existing real-usage paths to the metro from 7th St. and S. Carolina.

    The underground expansion is a good idea, if the city is willing to pay for it, and a few skylights as shown here would be OK. But the pavillion as designed and scaled would be an eyesore, blocking sight-lines to the new Hine development and intimidating the storefronts on D St.

    The pavilion is not necessary to the expansion of the library, and simply makes the concept of expansion more costly than it needs to be. There is no need for a second entrance to the library -- 7th St. is just not that busy, and corsing it to get to the library is easy and safe. The concepts shown for creating a visually-integrated crossing from the plaza to the front of the library will serve the library well and make the idea of building a separate entrance wasteful and redundant.

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  11. Open-uri20140202-16098-qr7x3h?1391378775

    Added February 02 2014

    The expansion of the library makes a lot of sense. The entry should be in character with the community--which is Victorian, not modern!

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  12. Open-uri20140201-8447-kn9jlg?1391288619

    Added February 01 2014

    Why not use the "counter" diagonal of South Carolina avenue as a means of identifying the Plaza space as an exception to the strong Penn Ave line? How about a line of fountains running SW to NE? This would announce the space as an exception to the overpowering Penn Ave line. Neither Concept A or B currently addresses this problem.

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  13. Open-uri20140131-8447-1xvplrh?1391224633

    Added February 01 2014

    The design team should make clear, if it is true, that the bus stop in front of Starbucks can't be moved north (adjacent to the plaza) unless D Street is reversed to one way westbound. It's a trade off.

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  14. Open-uri20140131-8447-8oi8k0?1391224422

    Added February 01 2014

    The underground extension of the library with the entrance pavillon in the plaza are great ideas. It solves the library's need for space and integrates this handsome, important public building into the public realm.

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  15. Open-uri20140131-8447-nyo840?1391222994

    Added February 01 2014

    A mid block cross-walk would be helpful - everyone jaywalks because crossing at 8th street is not convenient for the Metro entrance. And there will be even more people crossing mid-block when the Hine project is built.

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  16. Open-uri20140131-8447-gwwlao?1391222863

    Added February 01 2014

    Love the library expansion idea. The glass cube seems quite out of place but I still like it. Frank Gehry's work seems out of place too but leaves a lasting positive impact on the neighborhood. We should commission a nationally recognized architect to create something special. Of course this project is going to cost a lot of money, who is going to fund it?

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  17. Open-uri20140131-8447-1h8ylaz?1391219499

    Added February 01 2014

    Not sure that a water feature makes sense here. Better to just have a small playground with good quality equipment for preschool children.

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  18. Open-uri20140131-8447-bs1r8r?1391211766

    Added January 31 2014

    What happens to this space while we all wait fro DC Government to come up with $$$ to renovate the Library? It could be years!

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  19. Open-uri20140131-8447-nopry6?1391206215

    Added January 31 2014

    NOT an ugly fence down the median, yuck. Raised bed alternative is fine, although (this is the tricky part with regard to raised bed) I agree strongly on the need for a mid-block crossing with a light and crosswalk. That midblock crossing will be even MORE important when the entrance to the Hine tower is midblock, too.

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  20. Open-uri20140131-8447-p3px8e?1391204838

    Added January 31 2014

    Talking about changing traffic patterns muddies the whole conversation Let's set that conversation aside for another time and focus on the design of Metro Entrance Plaza and this park. Traffic pattern discussions are a lot more complicated than people think. For one, tiny, personal example: I live on this block of D Street, and I am working with a mobility trainer from Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind to get around using a cane for now and soon a guide dog. Lesson #1 was how to cross 8th Street from east to west at the end of D Street, something I do every day. He said the safest approach for me is to cross when a car is coming out of D Street. If you reverse D Street, you've made this intersection a little more dangerous for one blind pedestrian. Obviously, there are bigger impacts of changing traffic patterns. If you remove the D Street stub westbound traffic uses to get onto Pennsylvania Ave you will drive stray traffic onto all the surrounding blocks, instead of keeping traffic on South Carolina, Pennsylvania Ave and 8th Street where it belongs. The pleasure of strolling around the neighborhood on those other streets will be diminished when those other streets are filled with red-faced, flummoxed drivers blocked from getting where they want to go.

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  21. Open-uri20140131-8447-y09a9j?1391197491

    Added January 31 2014

    A small median here would provide some pedestrian refuge crossing the wide street and would make the automobile traffic more predictable.

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  22. Open-uri20140131-8447-r4v39i?1391191668

    Added January 31 2014

    A mid-block crossing + pedestrian amenities in the median should be considered here. If "jaywalking" is "designed out" of these proposals, it's likely that after the redesign the area will be less functional and useful to pedestrians than it was before.

    And I realize crossing Pennsylvania Ave mid-block involves "jaywalking" today and it thus "illegal" but I'm not sure that trying to design away jaywalking is the appropriate answer.

    Today you can cross Penn Ave in 120 feet if you walk perpendicularly across Penn from the metro entrance/bus stops to the mini-plaza, right where D St lets out onto the north side of Penn. Sure, it's "jaywalking". But a lot of people really want to do it! So many, in fact, that grass doesn't grow on a wide swath of the median because of the constant foot traffic.

    And it's a pretty easy crossing, too! It's only 40-feet to cross each set of travel lanes, and in the middle you get a luxuriously wide, 40-foot median where you can rest/wait until you the second crossing. Sight lines for both drivers and pedestrians are excellent as well, with no visual obstructions or elevation changes anywhere in the vicinity.

    If you design out this "jaywalking", your 120-foot crossing becomes 400 feet to get between the same points (if you walk down to 8th St, cross, then walk back up to the bus stops).

    I'm not sure we're "improving" the design of a public space if we make one of the most desired movements through that space take 3.5 times longer to do than before its "improvement."

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  23. Open-uri20140130-3173-agopqc?1391111485

    Added January 30 2014

    Reversinf traffic on this block will be a giant step in the right direction. Please do it!

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  24. Open-uri20140130-3173-sbi3fp?1391111485

    Added January 30 2014

    Reversinf traffic on this block will be a giant step in the right direction. Please do it!

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  25. Open-uri20140130-3173-ieta0s?1391111485

    Added January 30 2014

    Reversinf traffic on this block will be a giant step in the right direction. Please do it!

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