The Georgetown Business Improvement District held its last community meeting for its Georgetown 2028 plan Thursday evening.
The Georgetown 2028 project, which held its first meeting this summer, aims to discover various projects that would benefit the Georgetown neighborhood. According to BID, most large projects take 15 years to complete, which is why the group is aiming for completion by 2028.
As BID has been collecting opinions throughout the summer at meetings and online, the meeting was primarily to evaluate and refine pre-existing ideas. In particular, several suggestions to Georgetown 2028 focused on transportation.
“Georgetown is in a transport crisis,” Dmitry Zakharov (SFS ’09), who worked with BID on the Metro project, said.
Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers who were in attendance agreed, particularly with regard to M Street’s constant congestion.
BID Transportation Director Jonathan Kass proposed the creation of a Georgetown Metro stop.
According to Zakhrov, however, there are several issues with that proposal, particularly its $6 billion price tag. More pressing, however, is the question of practical implementation.
“The passage from Rosslyn to Foggy Bottom is the biggest constraint,” Zakhrov said.
According to Zakhrov, the current Rosslyn-Foggy Bottom passageway can only handle 26 trains per hour, which are used by the Orange and Blue lines. To expand capacity, the Metro is currently considering the creation of another trans-Potomac tunnel for the Blue line. The best way for Georgetown to add a stop would be during that process, but it is expected to happen in 2040.
“We have a major problem with getting tourists to get here,” Karen Daly from the Dumbarton House said. “It would be a huge benefit from the historical house view.”
Nevertheless, several residents expressed concern over a possible Metro stop because of the influx of more people. Several business owners were also concerned about the effect of three to five years of construction on their businesses.
Other transportation suggestions included a pedestrian bridge to Roosevelt Island that would link bike paths from Virginia to D.C., a streetcar and a Gondola from Georgetown University to Rosslyn.
Meeting attendees also focused on transforming the area near K Street. Several participants called the area a “multimodal gateway to Georgetown,” where bike trails, streetcars, water taxis and foot traffic from the Foggy Bottom Metro station converge. Through Georgetown 2028, BID is considering options to entice residents and visitors away from the waterfront toward M Street and its various restaurants and retail opportunities.
One proposed option was to develop the empty lots between K Street and M Street, including possible new buildings, a street market or by extending sidewalks. Another possible resource is the C&O Canal. Although historically important to the neighborhood, the canal has largely faded from relevance. Expanding the walkways is part of a potential plan to rejuvenate the area.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the price of the new Metro stop would be $6 million, rather than $6 billion.