The Issue: Living in Georgetown means a never-ending battle over parking spaces and noise. Neighborhood residents and the university are duking it out over GU’s 2010 Campus Plan: Looks like it’ll be a repeat of the drama of 2000. The proposal calls for 1,000 new on-campus parking spaces, an increase in graduate enrollment by 29 percent, and expansion of the hospital. Presented in draft form last fall to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission and residents, the plan didn’t get much applause. Georgetown currently provides on-campus housing for 79 percent of its students, leaving the rest to take up nests in nearby Burleith and west Georgetown. Co-existing with drunken, rowdy college kids?!
Earth Just Isn’t Big Enough: Some residents argue the expansion would only add to the already large number of students living in single-family homes in the area. Just what they need: more “unsupervised” students stumbling noisily home at all hours of the night. In a letter to GU from the Citizens Association of Georgetown, Jennifer Altemus says traffic congestion would increase, while street parking would decrease. At a meeting with Karen Frank, GU’s vice president for facilities and student housing, residents called for the university to add a clause in the student code of conduct that barring on-campus dwellers from having cars, reports the Georgetown Voice. ANC Chair Ron Lewis said: “There is a problem. And that problem is that people who come to your classes are jamming up our streets by parking.” CAG approves of the proposed plan to enlarge the hospital—but only if it’s “relocated,” saying “piecemeal construction on the current site is not desirable.”
Can’t We All Just Get Along?: GU says they have no control over students living off-campus, but officials did attempt to appease residents in other matters. The 1,000 new on-campus parking spots for students and the hospital may ease concerns over student hogging of street parking, though CAG noted that “the Plan should not include additional parking spaces accessed from Reservoir Road.” The university also intends to reroute student/faculty buses through Canal Street to relieve congestion, a measure the ANC has long demanded.
What’s Next: So far, a Great Compromise between GU and the neighborhood has been elusive. The university plans to formally submit its proposal to the ANC at the end of the month.
Photograph by rachaelvoorhees, Creative Commons Attribution License