M Street is getting a new look—well, at least, their underpass is! Crews are steadily working to create four separate underpass parks in the NoMa area. Read more.
Work to brighten the otherwise-drab underpass on M Street NE is underway. Crews have begun installing “Rain,” the first of what will eventually be four underpass parks in NoMa. Read more.
A NoMa underpass’s transformation from a dark, shadowy place to a light-filled art park has begun. Read more.
Construction will start this year on a new look for a central underpass in NoMa: perpetual rain. In the winning proposal to enliven the M Street underpass in NoMa, rain made of light will shower over commuters’ heads as they walk through the space. Read more.
The NoMa Parks Foundation is working on acquisitions and hopes to be able to share some important news very soon. Acquiring land for parks to meet community needs is our highest priority at this time. These community needs are are outlined in the NoMa Public Realm Design Plan. We are also aware of a recent petition for a dog park in the neighborhood and we continue to work to find a suitable site or sites. Stay tuned!
In addition to acquisitions, we continue our work on planning for the L Street Plaza, the NoMa Meander and other public spaces in the neighborhood. We are pleased to report that it appears the NoMa Meander may ultimately be comprised of 4 blocks as originally hoped. The Meander will be a retail pedestrian promenade running from Pierce Street to New York Avenue. Construction of the first section will begin this year when JBG breaks ground on its next phase of the N Street NoMa development.
In addition to planning initiatives undertaken by the Foundation, the NoMa BID led a recently completed study on ways to improve the user experience on the Metropolitan Branch Trail. The study, undertaken in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department, District Department of Transportation, Union Market developers and a wide range of other stakeholders will, once fully implemented, have a big impact on NoMa. Certain safety improvements recommended in the study have already been implemented. Additionally, developers and the District Office of Planning are using this study to help guide proffers provided by developers in connection with re-zonings for new projects in the area.
Speedy progress on the M and L Street Underpass Art Parks projects continues. Both the M Street installation, “Rain” and the installation planned for the L Street underpass, “Lightweave” recently went before the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts for review. Both projects were warmly received and approved by the Commission. This fall, we look forward to inviting everyone to see and interact with the prototype of the M Street underpass design. The prototype will be a full-size mock-up of one section of the full installation.
The international design competition for these projects was one of the Parks Foundation’s first efforts aided by the fact that we did not need to acquire land or coordinate with other developments to advance these projects.
The Parks Foundation will host the second Community Conversation on Thursday, November 19 (location to be announced soon!).
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