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Residents and visitors who frequent M Street NW in Georgetown know that the sidewalks there aren’t very wide: A stroll along the corridor can leave one feeling claustrophobic—or elbowed.
But after six pilot programs conducted with the District Department of Transportation during the past two years, the Georgetown Business Improvement District will widen both sidewalks along a heavily trafficked segment of that corridor by a total eight feet starting April 2 and lasting through the fall. The 3200 block of M Street NW will get barriers narrowing car lanes and making the strip more friendly towards pedestrians.
The BID says the design-change is part of its “Georgetown 2028 15 Year Action Plan,” which aims to attract and sustain economic development in the neighborhood. (It additionally includes the Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola study, for which the BID helped raise more than $200,000.) The plan launched in January 2014.
The 3200 block of M Street NW is home to the Georgetown Park shopping center and other commercial outlets like Chipotle and Lululemon. It’s also one block immediately north of the scenic Georgetown Canal. Concurrent with the sidewalk widening, the D.C. Circulator will run free northbound rides along the Union Station–Georgetown route on Wisconsin Avenue, and drivers can get discounted parking at a nearby lot.
Here are the details, per the Georgetown BID:
“TIMING: Saturdays starting at 6:00 a.m. through Sundays at 6:00 p.m., weather permitting, April 2 – early November, 2016, weather permitting.
DISCOUNTED PARKING: Drivers can get $6 all-day parking at the PMI garage (3307 M St. NW) on Saturdays and Sundays during the sidewalk widenings.
FREE DC CIRCULATOR RIDES IN GEORGETOWN ON SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS: The BID will sponsor free, northbound DC Circulator rides on the Union Station-Georgetown route along Wisconsin Avenue, NW, from K Street stops in Georgetown to the top of Book Hill (30th/K, Wisconsin/K, Wisconsin/M, Wisconsin/N, Wisconsin/Q, and Wisconsin/R).”
Other big changes could soon be coming to Georgetown’s streetscape, too: On Wednesday, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ruled that it would end the almost three-decades-old moratorium on restaurant liquor licenses in the tony neighborhood. Proponents of it hope Georgetown will bring in more businesses.
You can watch a video produced by the BID last year explaining the sidewalk-widening program below:
Photo via Georgetown BID