Comments for “EMMP Concept A”

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  1. February 01 2014

    The guerrilla playground is extremely unattractive and cheap. Don't try to copy that. We need an attractive, functional playground for pre-school kids.

  2. February 01 2014

    Playground doesn't need a theme, just some quality equipment for preschool children to play on.

  3. January 31 2014

    Has any one considered additional vendor space for week-end market? Seem as if the displaced vendor tents would really be great if relocated closer to the Metro entrance!

  4. January 31 2014

    This is a general comment that applies to both Concept A & B:
    While the design incorporates many of the various concerns voiced at the previous meetings, it does not go beyond parochial neighborhood demands (playground/bikeshare/etc). The Micro concerns have been addressed but there does not seem to be a Macro approach to the design, What unites the site? What gesture mitigates the powerful vehicular diagonal that bisects the site? There seems to be no unifying architectural move. Random tree plantings will not provide such a reading and in fact, the "Bio swale" does nothing to reduce the Penn Avenue reading.

    The Plaza is being designed as just another wider space within the Penn Ave drive, a space that is filled with random pieces of "architecture" (a reading that the proposed Library pavilion will make even more pronounced).
    What would seem to be missing from both designs is a feature that announces the Plaza as a distinct place along the monumental approach to the Capitol, something to counter the rapid transit diagonal. We would suggest some feature found in other great urban spaces: a multi-faceted clock. paired fountains straddling Penn Ave, or some other vertical feature that anchors the Plaza as a central component of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, specially for those suburban riders entering the city along Penn Ave. As currently proposed, nothing in the designs meets this need (Micro vs. Macro). In fact, the only grand component is not even been discussed in the presentation. The large commercial development coming soon to the north side of the plaza will overwhelm whatever reading will be achieved by the various small-scale pieces being proposed. Seven+ stories on one ide of the plaza, when the other three sides are two and three-stories will not provide a strong identity to the space, except to make it seem as if its a front lawn to the office building.

    For all it's complexity, this plaza will just appear as just a denser forest along the Penn Ave drive. There is no strong component that announces it as an important space to Capitol Hill, a north/south transportation hub or an intended commercial generator and organizer.

  5. January 31 2014

    All in all this is great stuff and fun! From personal experience working on Watkins ES garden and playground, I've learned the rubberized matting like that used here is a bad idea. It may be a little softer to land on than grass, but it gets blazing hot in the summer, and tends to peel up soon after it's installed. Give Mother Nature a try with grass instead of green mats!

  6. January 31 2014

    I like keeping the line of SC Ave open, like Concept B does,but I like the play areas from this Concept A better. It makes more sense for kid play area to be along D Street and adult seating and play area along Pennsylvania Ave

  7. January 31 2014

    LIGHTING: Some additional lighting is fine, but keep in mind that this park, unlike the Metro Entrance Plaza across the way, is residential. It's not fair to install bright lights that shine in to the upper-floor bedroom windows of the neighbors. I hope the designers look for some more creative and appropriate lighting solutions for a neighborhood park, not just "the brighter the better."

  8. January 31 2014

    Let's concentrate on the design and put off any conversations about changing the direction of D Street or closing off the connection through the stubs to Pennsylvania Ave. That's just muddling things up and confusing the conversation

  9. January 31 2014

    The traffic flow on this section of D Street should NOT be reversed. It would only serve to bring more traffic and more people looking for parking into the residential streets of 7th and South Carolina.

  10. 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."

  11. January 31 2014

    Rather than make the median impassable, there should instead be a mid-block crossing here. Doing otherwise adds a lot of distance for pedestrians

  12. January 31 2014

    Really like the overall design with a playground but the idea of a
    mini Capitol structure is ridiculous not very
    play worthy or
    child oriented. Is this a way to make an
    historic building cute?
    Are there safety concerns placing a
    playground so close to a major avenue?

  13. January 30 2014

    Don't do anything to accommodate more cars. People must be the priority. Moving the car share spaces to this block is a good idea.

  14. January 30 2014

    Definitely reverse traffic flow in this block, and close the next block. This will do much to discourage traffic anf make the area much safer.

  15. January 30 2014

    A fountain would be good here, but not an interactive one. Make it a nice traditional fountain, like the Mellon fountain by the National Gallery. The would have a raised edge whihc, together with the high volume of passersby, should discourge playing in the water.

  16. January 30 2014

    This playspace design is tacky and unnecessarily structured

  17. January 30 2014

    Why not reverse direction here on D and allow for the buses currently stopped on to turn right from PA ave. Make it bus only and give them priority in turning back onto 8th

  18. January 30 2014

    This should, at minimum, be an all way stop. drivers get confused frequently and peds get timid about crossing

  19. January 30 2014

    Close off this section of Dst completely to cars with bollards. A sufficient indent of the bollard line would allow delivery trucks to sufficiently service between here and 8th st. This would reduce ped/car conflict at the other intersection

  20. January 30 2014

    The play space in this design (with the playhouses and waterworks) is exceedingly tacky and would provide shelter for animals. Best to use the playspace in Concept B if it is really necessary, though I believe there are several nearby playgrounds.

  21. January 30 2014

    I don't see how reversing the current eastbound direction of D Street will help -- the only way to access D Street would be by making a right turn from 8th SB or a left from 8th NB -- neither of these will be easy to do with the amount of pedestrian traffic at this intersection. What might be helpful would be to keep D Street eastbound, but make a "No turns" at 8th and D, meaning traffic would have to continue straight across onto the small D Street extension.

  22. January 30 2014

    Parcel 4 is a place for coming and going; not for relaxing and yoga, not to mention a water feature for kids. As several commenters have said, the natural footpaths are not reflected in this design. And the amount of middle school students who hang out in this area after school + water feature = lots of wet and unhappy passersby.

  23. January 30 2014

    The sycamore trees mentioned in the proposal will lose all of their leaves in the fall -- what is the cleanup plan for this? Will birds hang out in the trees and make the seating an unattractive place for adults to relax?

  24. January 30 2014

    I prefer Concept B's raised planter beds similar to those on Connecticut Avenue, NW.

  25. January 30 2014

    What if D Street stayed westbound, but we close the small extension of D Street in front of Hine, and the 8th and D intersection (north side) is right-turn only? No left turn onto 8th?