Enough Already With Sidewalk Widening

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Some dogs won’t hunt, even after months or years of wanting them to. Georgetown is experiencing just such a dilemma.

A good sounding project is proposed: “Why not widen the sidewalks on the western stretch of M Street so pedestrians with strollers and large bags have more room to pass?”

A test is done for six months, say every weekend during the summer and winter of
2017. From 30th Street to Wisconsin Avenue. South side. North side. All parking removed.

Surveys go out and come back. Many pedestrians liked it: “Better than being jammed on the sidewalks of New York.” Others didn’t: “We like the bustle of Manhattan.”

Some store owners say the widening helped their window-shopping and walk-in traffic. But others were less than delighted. Regular shop and restaurant customers, especially those from nearby Virginia and Maryland, who were used to parking in front no longer could. And some retailers missed the crowded sidewalks that spell success.

All agreed that the barriers were ugly, making that part of M Street look like a construction site. The logistics of bringing in and removing decorative plantings and street furniture remain to be worked out, according to the Georgetown Business Improvement District, which continues to explore barrier designs.

The Georgetowner says: “Enough is enough.”

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