Tag Archives: Why Not

Why Not: Shut Down M St. on Weekends?

Traffic Jam on M St. by M.V. Jantzen.

Today for his occasional “Why Not” series, GM turns to the ugliness that is M St. on a summer weekend. So he asks: Why not shut down M St.?

It’s an idea GM thinks about every time he sees gridlock on M St. There is a concept called a traffic tipping point. At the center of this concept is the observation that once the numbers of travelers passes a certain threshold, the entire system seizes up. Thus, a very small increase in the number of cars on an already crowded road can result in huge delays due to congestion. (The opposite has also been observed: a small reduction in vehicles on a gridlocked road can result in significant reductions in delays).

Once it’s warm, on every Saturday by about 2:00 PM, a traffic tipping point is passed on M St. Traffic comes to a standstill. It can take 20 minutes, if not longer, to get from one end of Georgetown to the other.

There has got to be a better way. Continue reading



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Why Not: Bring “Performance Parking” to Georgetown?

If there’s one thing people (both resident and visitor alike) complain most about Georgetown, it’s parking. Residents can’t reliably park close to their homes and visitors circle blocks over and over looking for a spot to leave their car for a few hours as they eat or shop. It seems like a perpetual problem without a solution. But there is a solution for residential street parking near entertainment districts: here in DC we call it “performance parking” and it’s an effective means by which scarce parking spaces can be efficiently allocated while simultaneously giving preferences to residents. Read more about how this program already works over by Nationals Park and how it could work here after the jump:

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Why Not: Allow Some Streets to Revert to Cobblestones?

Streetcar Tracks in the West Village

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:

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Why Not: Bring Back Those Old Street Names?

Congress and Bridge?

The Georgetown Metropolitan is proud to present the first in an ongoing series of thought pieces titled “Why Not”, wherein we explore different ideas for our neighborhood that are not typically discussed. The first installment relates to the street names. As described ad naseum last week, most of the streets in Georgetown used to have different names. They were changed in 1880 to be consistent with the rest of the District’s street grid. In the interests of celebrating Georgetown’s past as an independent city, should we consider changing them back?

Of course not, but there’s another option for recognizing the past that comes from the Crescent City. Find out after the jump:

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