Please give us your feedback on the three new public spaces that will be created as part of the Florida and New York Avenue NE Intersection Project, colloquially referred to as “Dave Thomas Circle.” In partnership with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the NoMa Parks Foundation (NPF) is working with the community to develop potential designs for three new open spaces totaling approximately 43,000 square feet.
DDOT and NPF hosted a virtual community meeting on May 18 via Zoom webinar, which was attended by more than 120 households. Missed the meeting? You can still see the presentations below.
> Please note: This design focuses solely on the new public spaces, not the traffic patterns or bicycling infrastructure (feedback on those may be made directly to DDOT.)
> The captioned videos represent four sections of the presentation: Introduction, DDOT Presentation, Concept A, and Concept B.
> A list of frequently asked questions is included here.
> Questions or issues with videos? Please contact [email protected].
INTRODUCTION (Summarized in the background section below)
People and vehicles navigating the New York Avenue NE and Florida Avenue NE intersection face confusing, dangerous, and unpleasant conditions. Numerous studies and articles have called out the need for improvements and expressed the community’s exasperation with conditions at this location. In 2013, DDOT’s Florida Avenue Multimodal Transportation Study recommended improvements to the intersection (then called the “Virtual Circle”) that included a reconfiguration of the intersection. (See an image of DDOT’s Concept 6 plan below.)
Thankfully, in March 2019, Mayor Muriel Bowser included $35 million in the FY20 capital budget to complete the reconfiguration of the intersection. The funding committed is intended to cover the costs of acquisition of the Wendy’s site, design, engineering, and construction. With a background of community input and public partnership over nearly 10 years, the NoMa BID and NoMa Parks Foundation presented the idea of a partnership to the DC government to assist in ensuring that a great design, responsive to community concerns, could be developed on the compressed timeframe envisioned for the project — which is expected to be completed in 2022. With DDOT’s support and participation, NoMa BID and NoMa Parks quickly enlisted the assistance of the Urban Land Institute to engage with key community stakeholders and study ways to enhance the new open spaces in the Concept 6 plan to: (1) improve safety and quality of public space experience for all users, and (2) improve economic vitality and access to local businesses, educational institutions, human services organizations and affordable housing in the area. The ULI report provided exciting ideas about the new open space in the intersection.
Building on the ideas provided in the ULI Report, NoMa Parks partnered with DDOT to develop concept designs for these new open spaces. Consistent with the objectives laid out in the NoMa Public Realm Design Plan, the goal of these concept designs is to improve connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods, provide new opportunities for recreation and relaxation, and serve as a point of pride for the entire District. NPF is excited to again work with DDOT and NoMa neighbors to realize, in the redevelopment of this challenged intersection, the plan’s goals of beautiful, high-quality, sustainable, and welcoming spaces for the NoMa community.
The landscape architecture firm SWA/Balsley was selected though an RFP process focused on firms with expertise in turning high-traffic urban spaces into terrific community assets. They are developing concept and schematic designs exclusively focusing on the new public spaces. The team, led by Tom Balsley, has extensive experience working with transportation agencies on these types of projects.
For more information about the larger intersection reconfiguration project, please visit DDOT’s project webpage.
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