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DCMud had a great post yesterday surveying the moribund expanse of lower Georgia Avenue: Empty lots up for sale, ambitious projects still waiting to start, government assistance doubtful. It’s quite a contrast from this early 2007 Washington Post piece, which heralds a “Georgia Ave Awakening”, new development and investment gushing through the street.
That article, like many optimistic pre-crash projections, seems almost quaint in 2010. The last city plan for Georgia Avenue under the “Great Streets” initiative is from the Williams administration. But Georgia Avenue is never without a plan for recovery. Recently, I checked in with the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force, a neighborhood group that is laying the groundwork for a major streetscape revitalization along the lines of the plan for neighboring Sherman Avenue.
They know how this works: First, get survey feedback from thousands of residents on what they’d like to see go into the corridor. The task force expects that to wrap up by June. Then, show up to testify at as many relevant City Council meetings as possible, to keep your project on the radar screen—at a meeting this week, ANC Commissioner William Jordan outlined the dates and committees they’d need to hit. And finally, come up with a design. The task force is working with students at the Howard School of Architecture to plan out what Georgia Avenue’s facelift might look like.
“We don’t have funding, and we don’t have any commitments planned with the city,” says Sylvia Robinson, the task force’s administrator and president of Emergence Community Arts Collective. “The idea is we want to go to the city with our plans.”
The next meeting, oriented towards the needs of Howard students, is at 7 pm on April 28th at the E.L. Haynes School.