Photo by ThisisBossi.
As the Georgetown Patch pointed out the other day, unlike their Ward 3 neighbors, Georgetowners don’t get an annual visitors parking pass. If a Georgetowner has a guest coming, they may obtain a temporary parking pass, but the resident must travel to the police station in Cleveland Park with enough paperwork to secure the pass. But this pass is only good for a maximum of two weeks. The police are known to reject a resident who tries to renew the pass.
With a permanent permit like those issued to Ward 3 residents, the resident doesn’t need to go to the police station, the pass is mailed annually. And it can be used over an over again. And it’s this flexibility that’s why Ward 2 leaders have been wary about extending the annual guest pass program to their ward.
The problem boils down primarily to two concerns. The first is that in many (but not all) sections of Georgetown, parking is short. Making it easier for lots of visitors to park will exacerbate the problem. Secondly, there is a fear that Georgetowners would simply sell their guest parking pass to the highest bidder. Continue reading
As the construction on O and P Streets draw to a close, GM thought it would be good to look back at how the project has progressed with this DDOT video.
The project should be complete by the end of the month. This would make the project under time. The original projection was 18 months. They’ve been working on it since the spring of 2011, so it’s only been about 16 months so far. GM said he thought it would take two years minimum, so he admits he was wrong about that.
Over the weekend, work crews moved methodically around west Georgetown repaving stretches of road left rough from over a year of construction on O and P Streets.
GM was aware that the work crews were going to finally repave the O and P St. intersections once the cobblestone/streetcar track sections were done. But since the work tore up streets all over the neighborhood to remove and recover old buried streetcar tracks, the repaving was equally extensive.
Oddly, there’s still a stretch of streetcar track still getting worked on. The block of O St. from Wisconsin to 33rd is still torn up. It should be done soon, and the whole project can wrap up! Continue reading
Back in March, GM noted that the new Car2Go car-sharing service had the potential to be a great option for Georgetowners. Now it’s getting even better.
For those new to the system, it works this way: There are (now) 200 blue-and-white Smart Cars scattered around DC. With a membership you can hop in one and drive it to where you’re going. Once you get to your destination, don’t worry about returning the car to where you picked it up; it’s a one-way rental. Plus, you don’t have to worry about parking tickets; the company has taken care of that.
But even though you don’t have to feed a meter or worry about moving the car after two hours, you still need to find a legal space. This can sometimes be a problem when you’re driving to a nightlife hotspot. Car2Go is now going to make that a little easier. Continue reading
The other day, GM noticed a new camera on the light post at Q and Wisconsin. Maybe it’s been there a while, but it’s the first time that GM noticed it. GM started to wonder whether it was one of those new speed cameras we’re supposed to get. So he contacted DDOT to see if they knew anything about it.
Turns out that DDOT doesn’t administer the cameras. So GM contacted MPD. Not hearing back by “deadline”, GM was preparing to write an article about the mysterious camera when he finally figured out that the camera is a DDOT camera after all. Continue reading
This week, Slate is running a series by Tom Vanderbilt on the state of walking in the U.S. Yesterday, Vanderbilt looked into the much-discussed Walk Score rating. What this is is a algorithmic that looks are various factors that improve the walkability of a particular location. For instance, how many coffee shops can you walk to? How many grocery stores? What transit can you walk to? Close by entertainment & restaurants, etc.?
So what is Georgetown’s Walk-Score? 89, or “very walkable”
This only puts Georgetown as the 19th most walkable neighborhood in DC. This doesn’t strike GM as quite accurate. One thing holding Georgetown back is that the northwest corner of Georgetown (i.e. the University, particularly around the hospital) has a pretty bad rating, relative to the rest of the neighborhood. For instance, the 4000 block of Reservoir Rd. has a rating of 78, which is still “very walkable” but is pretty low for central DC. On the other hand, the 3200 block of M St. has a perfect score of 100. Continue reading
As discussed here back in November, Glover Park is about to undertake a significant transportation project to improve its streetscape and traffic management. The project will do many things. On the most superficial level, it will beautify the sidewalks by widening them and installing new Washington Globe streetlights.
But more fundamentally, the project will take the stretch of Wisconsin Ave. and adjust how traffic flows. Right now, through most of Glover Park there are six traffic lanes, two of which are for parking, the other four for moving traffic. The change will reduce the overall lanes to (essentially) five lanes. Two lanes for parking (except during rush hour), two lanes for moving traffic, and one lane at each intersection for turning traffic.
These changes will be great. While it is true that it means only one north-south travel lane in each direction during non-rush hour times, the reality is that with cars waiting to turn left, there is often only one travel lane as it is. This will smooth out the flow of traffic since you’ll no longer get stuck behind a car turning left when you want to go straight. Continue reading
There’s a new car sharing company in DC, and it may be well-suited for Georgetowners. The company is Car2Go. Once you’re a member, you can grab any of their cars and use them, paying depending on how long you use the car. It’s 38 cents a minute, but the first hour tops out at $13.99, so once you have it for about 40 minutes, the next 20 minutes are basically free. It gets cheaper per minute the longer you keep it.
The unique thing about Car2Go is that there are no “stations” for the cars. They are left wherever the last driver left it. Which means you can pick up the car, drive to where you want to go, and just leave the car wherever (you don’t even need to worry about parking meters or 2 hour limits).
This leads to some degree of uncertainty since the availability of cars depends on other users having driven a car to a location convenient to you. The good news for Georgetowners is that Georgetown is likely to be a place that a lot of Car2Go users will end up driving to. So there should be a decent availability of cars in the neighborhood. While writing this, GM checked the real-time availability map on the company’s website, and there were seven cars available in Georgetown:
Perhaps the best way to think of this service is as a replacement for a cab. If you’re going across town for an evening out, this service is perfect. You just grab a car, drive it to H St. or wherever you’re going and just leave the car there. You can take a cab back home, you don’t need to return the car. Since the charges are only 38 cents a minute, you can get across town for under 8 bucks (without owing any tip). Continue reading
The Friends of the Georgetown Waterfront Park are petitioning the District government to name the intersection of K and Wisconsin after the late Senator Charles Percy, of Illinois. While Senator, Percy took a keen interest in the state of the Georgetown waterfront. He ultimately chaired the Georgetown Waterfront Commission that was the primary force that lead to the reinvention of the formerly industrial strip as a wonderful public park. In a poignant series of events, Percy passed away after a long bout with Alzheimer’s just days after the final phase of the park was opened last September. Continue reading
Last year, GM took a look at the then new Census numbers which for the first time produced reams of datasets for communities as small as Georgetown. One of those data sets GM took a particular interest in was the dataset stating how Georgetowners get to work. Here’s what GM found last year about the daily transportation choices Georgetowners make:
- Drive to work – 40%
- 35% drive alone
- 4% carpool
- Transit – 22%
- Bike – 3%
- Walk – 25%
- Other – 10% (mostly people who work at home)
This data came from the American Community Survey, which uses samples to arrive at their results. Unlike the Census itself, which is a snapshot every ten years, this data represents an average over five years. So last years numbers essentially were saying that on an average day between 2005 and 2009, this is how Georgetowners traveled.
Last December the new numbers were released. These are also averages over five years, but now it’s 2006 to 2010. So while it’s not a snapshop, comparing the numbers to the previous year shows which direction the numbers are going. So without further ado, here are the updated numbers: Continue reading