This blog post is one of 6 posts summarizing outcomes of the Beta City Workshop series Street Plans led as part of the Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design project.
Washington D.C. Workshop:
Street Plans led a workshop with Washington D.C. on Wednesday, October 26th and was attended by approximately 25 staff representing a variety of roles across each department.
As one of six “Beta City” partners associated with the Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design project, Street Plans led Washington D.C. in a workshop with the goal of expanding the City’s familiarity and comfort with planning and executing collaborative demonstration, pilot, and interim design projects. The workshop focus was developed collaboratively by two workshop coordinators: Dan Emerine - Senior Transportation Planner at the DC Office of Planning (OP); and Colleen Hawkinson - Manager, Strategic Planning Branch at the District Department of Transportation (DDOT).
Based on each agency’s needs and priorities, OP and DDOT chose to focus the Workshop on advancing a Tactical Urbanism pilot project at the intersection of Florida Avenue NW, North Capitol Street, Q Street NE, and Lincoln Road NE. DDOT’s Mid-City East Livability Study outlined a proposal for long-term improvements at this intersection to improve safety and mobility for people walking, biking, and driving.
The goal of the October 26 Workshop was to design a pilot project at the target intersection that would:
- Test recommendations from the Mid-City East Livability Study, creating progress towards long-term implementation;
- Help attendees increase their level of comfort with techniques and materials for Tactical Urbanism projects; and
- Increase collaboration across City departments, and between City and community stakeholders.
To kick off the Workshop, participants joined in a site visit to examine challenges and opportunities at the focus intersection. Following the site visit, workshop attendees reconvened in a meeting room and split into two teams to develop draft design proposals for pilot projects at the target intersection, working in groups comprised of both DDOT, OP, and Mayoral staff. Each team was provided with a packet of temporary materials which might be appropriate for the project, excerpted from the Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design.
In addition to sketching design ideas, teams were asked to map out a rough list of materials and costs, potential partners, and an implementation timeline. At the end of approximately 90 minutes of design activities, each team shared their final ideas and work plans with the larger group. Working from each group’s ideas, attendees solidified the vision for a pilot project that could be implemented in Spring 2017.