The future plaza site. Image by DDOT.

Dupont Circle is getting a plaza over busy Connecticut Avenue between the Dupont Circle and Q Street. This is a great opportunity to build more community space, and based on reader feedback it’s clear that the best option here is a park that prioritizes people over cars. Sign our petition for the “piazza” option, and ask DDOT to study further adjustments to make the area a pedestrian-only zone.

Sign the petition!

The project is in the early stages of the design process and two weeks ago, we shared the three proposed deck-over concepts. In brief:

  • The Oasis would be a passive landscaped area inaccessible directly from Dupont Circle.
  • The Promenade would take some parking from the service lane and allow direct access to the plaza from Dupont Circle, but the service lane would largely stay the same
  • The Piazza would raise the entire roadway and deck-over surface to sidewalk level and replace the service lanes with a “shared space” for cyclists, pedestrians, and automobiles. The piazza could also occasionally be closed to cars for special events.

A resounding 75% of those who responded to our survey chose the piazza as the best option.

The piazza option. Image by DDOT.

While the Department of Transportation is studying a piazza/”shared street”, which would prioritize pedestrians over cars, GGWash readers want them to go a step further and close the service lanes entirely. More than two-thirds of those choosing the piazza chose the fourth option which would permanently close the “shared street” to cars — making the piazza a place which truly prioritizes people over cars.

Some feedback received through the survey went a step further. One respondent asked for the southbound service lane to be closed next to the triangle park, effectively extending the piazza a across Q Street and to the beginning of 20th Street south of Connecticut Avenue.

A few respondents asked for more greenery on the piazza in addition to the hardscape while others asked to move the farmers market to the piazza, and expand the farmers market to multiple times per week. A few asked to remove the ventilation opening from the plans, though this was determined to be infeasible due to the cost of retrofitting the underpass with ventilation allowing it to function as a longer tunnel.

Closing the service lanes entirely would require changes such as rerouting the 42 bus to surrounding streets or using the underpass rather than going through Dupont Circle. Other changes might be necessary as well, but we cannot know for sure unless DDOT studies making the piazza a place for people not shared with cars.

Dupont Circle is one of our region’s most walkable neighborhoods and the piazza will fix a 70 year old gash through the neighborhood.

Sign the petition below to ask DDOT and the ANC to support the piazza deck-over option. The petition will also ask DDOT to study a fourth option – the Pedestrian Piazza – which closes the service lanes to cars. Comments for this stage of the project close on May 21st and future public meetings are planned to be held in the Fall. Those plans should include a Pedestrian Piazza option.

Sign the petition!

Eve Zhurbinskiy is a reproductive justice advocate, dog person, and a former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Foggy Bottom, having served from 2015 to 2017. She recently graduated from GW and lives in Dupont Circle.