Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown 2028 Plan Updated

The Georgetown Business Improvement District announced updates on the progress of its 2028 Action Plan during a meeting with local business owners, residents and property owners held at the House of Sweden Tuesday.

The plan, a list of 75 action items to modernize the Georgetown neighborhood, was revealed at the end of 2013 after months of planning. Georgetown University Assistant Director of Community Engagement Jamie Scott, who attended the meeting, said that the university has been involved in discussions about the plan since the early stages.

Work has commenced on 43 items. BID CEO and President Joe Sternlieb outlined three guidelines for the plan: preserve, fix and maintain.

The action plan was conceived after local Georgetown business leaders noticed that other D.C. neighborhoods were rapidly progressing, while Georgetown remained stagnant.

“Georgetown was getting left behind a little bit,” Sternlieb said. “People weren’t talking about it as much as they had. It wasn’t the only place to go on a Saturday night anymore.”

The meeting, which was attended by roughly 100 community members, focused on providing updates and soliciting feedback related to four main topic areas: transportation, public space, economic development and restoration of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

Among the transportation advancements in the last year was the introduction of an idea to make D.C. Circulator rides along Wisconsin Avenue free from K Street to Whitehaven Street, allowing visitors to park in garages near the waterfront without facing the steep hill along that stretch.

Sternlieb also mentioned the D.C. Streetcar project. Although the project expected to open its first line in the northeast quadrant of D.C. in 2013, the line still has not opened.

Accordingly, Sternlieb expressed his desire to improve the Streetcar, which has a planned extension to Georgetown; he wants a car to run every 10 minutes from Georgetown to Union Station.

Scott said that the university is involved in talks to push for the streetcar to expand all the way to Georgetown’s main campus to link it with the School of Continuing Studies and the Georgetown University Law Center downtown.

The BID has raised $150,000 in private funds for a feasibility study about installing an aerial gondola to run from Rosslyn to Georgetown. While the funds are sufficient to begin the study, the BID is waiting for the city.

“We’re working with the city and with Arlington County … so that they’ll develop the feasibility study with us,” Sternlieb said. “If the feasibility study proves that this would be a really good idea, they will be ready to take it to the next step, and we won’t be on the outside trying to sell them.”

Scott said Georgetown would be an “institutional stakeholder” in the gondola project, determining whether it could extend to the university. The Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle buses currently have issues with congestion that could be alleviated by the gondola. The goal is for gondolas to run every 10 seconds, eliminating wait times.

The plan also calls for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to bring a Metro station to Georgetown. The addition of the silver line created a bottleneck in the tunnel between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom, with three lines using one tunnel. BID is pushing for the separation of the blue line and the creation of a Georgetown station. Sternlieb estimated that a Metro stop in Georgetown would only be feasible by 2040. The total project is estimated to cost $3.5 billion.

BID Transportation Director Will Handsfield echoed Sternlieb’s emphasis on the collaborative aspects of the plan.

“It was a tremendous amount of effort by a lot of different people working on this project to really develop a consensus plan,” Handsfield said.

The second focus of the plan includes the BID examining ways to enhance the use of existing public spaces.

Over parents’ weekend in October, the BID ran the first trial of widening sidewalks on M Street, which Sternlieb considered a success for visiting families. Three more trials are scheduled throughout the spring and summer.

Regarding the restoration of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which will mark its 200th anniversary in 2028, Sternlieb said that a new dock near the 34th Street Bridge would be unveiled to allow boats to travel up and down the waterway.

Finally, Sternlieb discussed economic development. He announced that Palantir Technologies, a software company with 300 employees, would move from its current location in Tysons Corner to an disclosed location in Georgetown.

“We have to stay relevant. We have to stay sustainable. We have to stay economically strong, and so we need a strategic plan,” Sternlieb said.

Correction: A previous version of this post misidentified the name of the BID CEO and President. The article has been updated.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *