Over the past few months, Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced the launch of several initiatives — sometimes referred to as “paloozas — to improve the streets and alleys of the District.
On April 11, the mayor kicked off the 10th annual Potholepalooza, a campaign led by the District Department of Transportation to accelerate pothole repairs. The $16.7-million project on 14th Street NW ran from Thomas Circle to Florida Avenue, one of the busiest transportation corridors in the District, with an average of about 23,000 vehicles per day and up to 175 bicycles per hour.
During the month-long campaign, residents and visitors were encouraged to submit pothole repair service requests. DDOT was to fill reported potholes within 48 hours after the service request instead of the normal 72-hour response time. Pothole crews used new hot boxes to keep asphalt at the proper temperature, while mobile geographic information systems technology allowed the status of pothole repairs to be updated to 311 within an hour.
However, few Georgetowners felt the impact of Potholepalooza, it seems. Unrepaired potholes are one of the most annoying daily problems in the area, according to Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans. “It’s going slower than expected,” Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said at a recent Georgetown event. Potholes still seem to be everywhere.
Potholepalooza is part of the PaveDC initiative, “a comprehensive plan to eliminate all roads in poor condition in Washington, DC by 2024.” The PaveDC plan has four priorities: road rehabilitation, road maintenance, alley repair and reconstruction and sidewalk reconstruction. It includes the construction of new bus boarding islands, reconstruction at R Street NW, making sidewalks ADA-compliant, upgrading traffic signals, improving landscaping and drainage and restoring pavement through mill and overlay.
On June 11, the mayor kicked off AlleyPalooza 7.0, a District-wide effort to repair or renovate alleys across all eight wards. During AlleyPalooza, over the next 12 weeks, DDOT will improve eight alleys in each of the District’s eight wards. The alleys will be selected using a data-driven assessment based on alley condition, the number and age of service requests and community feedback.