Last week, commenters lashed out when I blogged about an upcoming meeting regarding road/sidewalk construction on 17th Street NW. One questioned the need for the project saying “Roads seem fine. Trees are present. Sidewalks allow me to walk on them without any problem. What gives? Maybe use this money for parts of the city that deserve it?”
Apparently, locals reacted in a similarly astonished fashion at the gathering last week (organized by the District Department of Transportation). Their frustrations centered on a plan to remove various trees from the area and replace them with a new tree species, the Dupont Current reports. The flare of the quotes alone suggests that this project is simply not worth the possible drama it may produce:
“I don’t think you should move a spade of dirt until you come to an agreement on those trees.”
-ANC Commissioner Bob Meehan
“This is a tsunami of terribleness…We’re going to be deprived of a lot of urban pleasure if the trees come down.”
–Susan Meehan, neighborhood activist and wife of the aforementioned Bob.
“Dupont Circle is a diverse neighborhood…with a lot of character…We do not want trees that look like we’re living in Ballston, Clarendon or King Farm…We don’t want the trees to be the same height, the same color or the same species.”
–Kay Marlin, local resident.
DDOT officials have already agreed to conduct a walk-through with residents this week (perhaps it has already happened?)
But why bother? It seems projects like this—-projects that locals deem totally unnecessary—-are contributing to the impression that the stimulus money is being carelessly thrown around.