WBJ: Downtown D.C. 2027, the BID vision: A utopia of streetcars, active parks and new residents


January 1, 2018
By   –  Associate Editor, Washington Business Journal

The 900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue NW is no longer a Brutalist eyesore, dominated instead by a mixed-use development with street-level retail. Freedom Plaza is an “anchor destination” with outdoor dining and public restrooms. A network of buses and streetcars operate constantly, and consistently, in their own dedicated lanes. Capital One Arena remains, in a renovated state, while new residents take up space in former office buildings.

Metrorail runs past midnight and well into the early morning, supporting a thriving shopping and nightlife scene. Parks, managed by D.C. and not the National Park Service, are clean, safe and activated. Pedestrians and cyclists take priority over automobile traffic. Pennsylvania Avenue itself is narrower, with excess road capacity repurposed as a linear parkway and daunting security barricades integrated into the corridor.

This utopia has been brought to you by the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District, which this week released the report “Downtown 2027: Vision for the Future.”

“Downtown in 2027 must be a place where transportation is reliable, experiences are world-class, our most vulnerable residents are properly and humanely supported, and public spaces are clean, safe and inviting,” the report states. “Downtown in 2027 must have something for everyone, at every socioeconomic level and of every interest.”

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