Last week we asked why not switch back to the old Georgetown street names; this week GM stays on the nostalgic side of our streets and asks: Why not allow some of the smaller and quieter streets in Georgetown to replace their asphalt streets with cobblestone or brick? There are many benefits to cobblestone or brick streets beyond aesthetics. Find out after the jump:
Asphalt roads first appeared in Washington in 1877 with the paving of Pennsylvania Ave. Thus the initial wave of paving was not performed for the benefit of automobiles but rather the horse and buggies that still dominated the city’s roads.
Eventually, it was for cars that the roads were ever improved. But the thing about roads is that when you engineer them for speed, that’s exactly what you get. But it doesn’t have to be that way for every street. Some streets should be driven very slowly on. Georgetown has several quiet roads that would fit that bill.
One of those quiet little roads is the diminuitive Poplar St. It is only about 100 feet long and is a dead end. There is no rush to drive down that street because there’s nowhere to rush to. In fact the recently formed Poplar St. Neighborhood Association had much the same thought. As the Current reported last summer, the residents of Poplar St. wanted to take advantage of a routine road rehabilitation to bury the bird’s nest of overhead wires beneath a brick paved street. Well, as a trip down that quiet lane now demonstrates, DDOT wasn’t interested in the neighborhood association’s wishes. The ashphalt and wires remain.
Why not allow the citizens of Poplar St. to trade a smooth ride for beauty and a little speed reduction? Other streets that could benefit from this move include:
- Cambridge St.
- Dent Pl.
- Avon Pl.
- Scott Pl.
- Sutter La.
- Jones Ct.
- Pomander Walk
- Cecil Pl.
Some of these are just alleyways (some may already have brick pavers), but the point remains, why not allow the residents to remove the asphalt? It slows cars down, it’s more in keeping with our historical neighborhood, and it requires less maintenance than asphalt.