We heard about these important community meetings from the good folks over at the Friends of Rhode Island Avenue NE (FoRIA):
Final Open House – DDOT RIA Streetscape Improvement Project:
The initial open house was a great success, and thanks to your feedback, the DDOT team has put together its report on streetscape improvements for RIA. Please help spread the word, and join us for the DDOT’s final open house for the RIA Streetscape project!
March 12, 2014
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Art Enables – 2204 RIA-NE
Rhode Island Avenue Main Streets Meeting
Once again, DSLBD and leaders from other successful Main Street programs will join us to provide in-depth information about the Organization component of the Main Street Four Point Approach®. They will share with us how the Organization committee works with all of the other committees to build a sustainable and complete Main Street program.
The Organization committee is the backbone of the Main Street program, and involves working with community and business stakeholders to build consensus on the path for the RIA Main Street, plus a tremendous amount of “behind the scenes” work to keep the whole Main Street program running smoothly. And if you missed the other info sessions we had in January and February – no worries! We’ll share all of the information with you in upcoming volunteer orientations.
March 24, 2014
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Art Enables – 2204 RIA-NE
Yesterday was a big day for Rhode Island Avenue NE. Thanks to the hard work of a lot of folks for a long time, it will be the newest of eight non-profit Main Street programs in DC. Main Streets is a program that spurs the revitalization of traditional business districts by retaining and recruiting businesses, improving commercial properties with things like facade improvements and streetscapes, building rehabilitation projects and marketing and branding efforts. In addition, the good folks of the Friends of Rhode Island Avenue (FoRIA) were selected to manage the program. We have seen the FoRIA team work tirelessly to bring positive change to Rhode Island Avenue for years and would like to congratulate them on this accomplishment. The Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street program will span 4th Street NE to 24th Street NE.
Since this week WMATA published their intention to solicit contractors to submit plans to develop their land east of the Brookland CUA Metro Station, we have reached out to Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie to find out where he stands on this issue. We received the following statement:
“The WMATA plan to redevelop the Brookland metro station has been in the pipeline for a long time. I have spoken now twice to representatives of WMATA about their development plans, and have each time expressed my firm belief that any plan for the site should be community-driven and preserve the Brookland Green. I reiterated this concern in a meeting with WMATA just a few weeks ago. However, WMATA’s November 2013 Joint Development Solicitation clearly anticipates building over the Brookland Green between Newton and Otis Streets. I cannot support such a plan because there is limited community-accessible green space in the area. Furthermore, the development plan for the site should take into account, and be coordinated with, other large-scale projects in the immediate vicinity, including the Monroe Street Market and the 901 Monroe Street development. In the coming days, I will transmit a letter to WMATA, which I will share with the community, opposing the loss of the Brookland Green, and urging WMATA to solicit a development plan that respects the character and integrity of the Brookland neighborhood.”
We were told that the staff of CM McDuffie is in contact with WMATA to understand more about the details of this development project, among other aspects why the parcel of the bus turn around at the metro stop is not included in the area to be developed.
We also learned that Councilmember McDuffie pushed for some additional financial support to improve the Rhode Island Avenue streetscape, which includes efforts to improve pedestrian safety, appearance, adding tree boxes and planting trees:
This past spring, Councilmember McDuffie secured $2 million in District Department of Transportation (DDOT) infrastructure funds to implement the Rhode Island Avenue, NE Small Area Plan, which will be leveraged with additional federal highway funds. The funding will support streetscape design, improved sidewalks and pedestrian safety measures, tree planting and tree boxes, as well as other measures to make Rhode Island Avenue NE a more attractive and walkable corridor.
DDOT has completed the contracting process and received the final notice to proceed on the streetscape project. DDOT will be announcing shortly the selected consultants for the project as well as the members of the Citizen Advisory Panel (CAP), which will assist in soliciting feedback from the community. The selection process for CAP members is based on recommendations from DDOT and Councilmember McDuffie. In addition, a public notice will be made soon for an upcoming community meeting to introduce the consultants and the streetscaping project.
As exciting as it is that RI Avenue is getting some overdue attention, it is important that all neighbors, north and south of the Avenue, are involved in this process. Look out for community meeting announcements, engage with your ANCs, your Civic Associations and neighbors to assure smart, sensible and balanced improvements are being implemented.
Last September the good folks from the Friends of Rhode Island Avenue (FoRIA) held their first annual Fall Fest. This year the event will be even bigger and better! This is a great local event and a fun way to check out the latest developments happening on Rhode Island Avenue, NE! Check out the flier below, which lists the day’s events. Local businesses, artists and organizations will also have display tables. The fair will run from 12:00 – 4:00 pm this Saturday, October 5th, on Rhode Island Avenue NE from South Dakota Avenue to 20th Street, NE. Many thanks to FoRIA for putting together what we are sure will be another great event!
Last September the good people of Friends of Rhode Island Avenue (FoRIA) held their first annual Fall Fest. Now, they are busy planning this year’s fest, which will be even bigger and better! Recently they put out a call for volunteers to do tasks such as signing people in on the day of Fall Fest, Saturday October 5th, and for pre-planning activities as well. Interested in being a part of this fun event? Sign up to volunteer here.
Last September the good people of Friends of Rhode Island Avenue (FoRIA) held their first annual Fall Fest. Now, they are busy planning this year’s fest, which will be even bigger and better! Recently they put out a call for artists, vendors and performers – what a great way to promote your business or hobby all while showcasing and celebrating Rhode Island Avenue! The flyer with details is below.
Friends of Rhode Island Avenue NE (FoRIA) is dedicated to making Rhode Island Avenue NE a vibrant area for all. They are an all volunteer organization and welcome all who are interested in improving and raising awareness of this important corridor. If you are looking for ways to get more involved in shaping the future of Rhode Island Avenue NE, then consider checking out one of these newly formed FoRIA committees. These committees have been formed to address the projects and goals that their membership said was important to them.
Design Committee: Creation of design vision for Rhode Island Ave, NE, Spring tree planting, Update on Business facade improvement program. Meeting : Feb. 6, 2013, 7:00 pm at 2012 RIA NE (WACIF offices)
Promotions and Community Outreach Committees: Download from Holiday Party, Creating a FoRIA one pager, FoRIA Newsletters, Brainstorming dates and ideas for Fall Festival, Working with Design team on first RIA Clean up. Meeting : Feb. 6, 2013 7:00 pm. RSVP to info(at)friendsofria(dot)org for the location.
Business & Economic Development: The next meeting date is still being planned – please check back on their events calendar in a few days.
On Friday night December 7th, the Friends of Rhode Island Avenue (FoRIA) hosted an exciting evening of art, music and festivities called “Come Home on the Avenue”. The purpose of the holiday reception was to fund-raise and bring neighbors together under the common goal of improving Rhode Island Avenue. The event was well attended and live music was provided by the Greater U Street Jazz Collective. There was also a silent auction, with all kinds of cool items, the proceeds of which will go towards next years FoRIA Fall Festival. I happen to think that I purchased the best item – a tour of the NBC 4 News Storm Center with NBC 4’s Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer! How awesome is that? It was great to mix and mingle with neighbors and meet people working to make Rhode Island a better place for all. Thanks to Art Enables for hosting the event and kudos to the FoRIA Board of Directors and others who pulled off a successful evening.
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