Parking Gripes and Progress on O and P Street Construction
Council member Jack Evans and several ANC Commissioners toured the ongoing construction project.
Parking problems, construction debris and noise continue to irk the residents of O and P Streets in Georetown's West Village as a project to replace dated infrastructure and restore historic streetcar tracks continues. But, as of now, the O and P Streets Rehabillitation Project is on time and on budget.
Community leaders, including Council member Jack Evans and Advisory Neighborhod Commissioners Jeff Jones, Ed Solomon and Bill Starrels met with project managers of the O and P Street project to hear about progress and take a tour of the construction.
A section of the project on P Street between 37th Street and 35th Street is nearing completion now that roads are repaved and brick sidewalks have been installed. Contractors are now laying tracks, previously removed from 36th Street between O and P Streets, on the 3400 block of P Street and have installed the bluestone curb on that block as well.
Washington Gas has only seven or eight more homes to work on before they finish their work and allow the water main and street repairs to continue. The utility company piggy-backed on the project to address needed upgrades since the streets would be under construction any way. Though more efficient, the extra set of contractors has caused delays and some increased frustration among residents.
DDOT Project Manager Ramesh Mirchandani spoke frankly with the community leaders about receiving complaints from neighbors about parking. Neighbors have asked him to waive their parking tickets, but he said he also gets tickets. "I'm a DDOT guy and even I cannot waive my own ticket." He encouraged people to read the posted signs and check the O and P Street project website if in doubt.
Commissioner Jones said "this is a tough project...we are doing everything we can to mitigate problems."
One solution was to create Zone 2 Resident Parking Only areas, but subcontractors often still park in these spots (see photo). Jones and Starrels said they would like to see the Department of Public Works enforce the resident-only parking more vigorously.
Commissioner Solomon said he would be working with DDOT to limit construction on the retail-oriented sections of the streets during the holiday season so that businesses are not adversely impacted by the large project.
Council member Evans thanked the project team and commissioners for their cooperation and work on the project and offered to have constituent call his office about parking issues if that would reduce the burden on the DDOT team.
"People will complain until the moment you leave," joked Evans.