The Georgetown BID will shortly be widening the sidewalk for over 4,000 feet of sidewalk through the commercial district.
The sidewalk expansions will take the form of raised wooden platforms. Since they are at the same grade as the brick sidewalks themselves, the extension feels like a genuine expansion of the sidewalk. You can see prototype versions of this model in front of Clyde’s and Laduree, among a few other spots. They will be installed on M St. between 29th and 34th streets, and on Wisconsin between Water and Q streets. Once installed, the platforms will grow the sidewalks from an average of width 9.5 feet to 15 feet.
This program builds upon a previous sidewalk widening program that the BID ran primarily in the summers on M St. The city would install barriers along the parking lane to add the space. While this was a logistical achievement, the success was mixed. Pedestrians (particularly those using a wheelchair or stroller) avoided stepping out into the street due to the drop off and the unpleasantness of walking in the street regardless of the barriers. This model addresses both problems. The pedestrian flow should improve significantly.
Unlike the previous program, these extensions will not be removed for the weekdays. We are moving inch-by-inch towards a future where M St. is no longer a six lane road. If the extensions are successful, expect moves towards making them permanent with an eye towards making the brick sidewalks themselves wider with a future M St. rebuild.
The extensions should be installed by mid May.