Sidewalk Extensions and Streateries Project Page
Creating more space for customers on Georgetown’s narrow sidewalks provides space for social distancing, supports outdoor dining to help restaurants bounce back, and creates a more lively and inviting pedestrian experience. The goal of the Georgetown Decks is to help Georgetown recover from the pandemic by making it an even better place than it was before COVID.
In 2021, the BID built approximately 3,400 linear feet of sidewalk extensions and streateries on M Street between 34th Street and 29th Street, and on Wisconsin Avenue between Q Street and the Canal. The Georgetown sidewalk extensions and streateries are intended to provide a more welcoming experience for outdoor dining and create more space for pedestrians to safely and comfortably walk through Georgetown. In 2022, the sidewalk extensions and streateries were reduced by 1,700 linear feet, which returned 64 parking spaces to the commercial core. The remaining sidewalk extensions and streateries serve Georgetown restaurants, high trafficked bus stops, and pedestrian zones.
The sidewalk extensions and streateries extend Georgetown’s narrow sidewalks from an average of 9.5 feet to an average of 15 feet, using removable 4′ x 6.5′ panels. The sidewalk extensions and streateries provide improved accessibility to those using a wheelchair or pushing a stroller, allow stormwater to flow under the sidewalk extensions and streateries to the curb, and keep storm drains and fire hydrants clear. The panels are built with composite decking on top of a wood frame. Concrete barriers protect the sidewalk extensions and streateries to keep diners and pedestrians safe.
The sidewalk extensions and streateries are on an annual permit and will be modified based on community feedback and DDOT guidelines. If the decks are successful and continue to support businesses in Georgetown, and the community is supportive, the BID will continue to go through permitting processes to keep them up longer.
Budget & Schedule
The current budget for this project is approximately $1.3 million. The BID received a grant from the DC Council in the FY 2021 budget for $500,000. The BID paid for the remainder out of its capital projects budget.
Georgetown Decks installation was completed in June 2021. In January 2022, the project was modified by pulling up 1,700 linear feet of deck. In the fall of 2022, the BID will work with the residential and restaurant community, as well as regulatory agencies, to review and refine the decks as needed.
The BID hosted public meetings in June 2021, March 2021, and December 2020.
- June 21-22, 2021. Click here to view the June meeting presentation.
- March 24-25, 2021: Click here to view the March meeting presentation.
- December 21, 2020: Click here to view the December meeting presentation.
In addition, the BID has presented at multiple ANC2E meetings since June 2020; hosted meetings about sidewalk widening for BID members in June and July 2020; provided updates on sidewalk widening at BID Member meetings in October, 2020; shared updates in BID Member email updates; and included sidewalk widening in the Georgetown Recovery Plan.
Evaluation & Modification
The BID is closely monitoring the effects of the sidewalk extensions, and is collecting data and feedback from multiple sources as part of the evaluation process. Because the sidewalk extensions and streateries are built using a modular system, we can modify, remove, or add decking in response to unanticipated issues that arise. We know that there will be a period of adjustment for everyone and we’re committed to making this program work for Georgetown.
Evaluation criteria include visitor counts; sales data; retail vacancy; business, resident, and visitor feedback; traffic and parking data; traffic and pedestrian safety; media coverage; and maintenance costs. The BID conducted surveys of businesses, residents, and visitors from June 21-27, 2021. The BID is conducting another round of surveys in 2022 to track changes in efficacy over time.
Project Evaluation Studies
The Georgetown sidewalk extensions and streateries project continues to evolve as the BID gets information from traffic engineers and feedback from our members, the community, and city officials. To learn more about the project and 2022 on-street changes, you can view the plans and transportation studies here.
2021 Transportation Review FINAL
Maintenance & Management
The BID Clean Team is responsible for monitoring the conditions of the sidewalk extensions and streateries and keeping them clean and safe, including seasonal power washing and rodent abatement underneath the sidewalk extensions and streateries. Adjacent businesses that have a permit to use the sidewalk extensions and streateries for dining, retail, or other uses are responsible for cleaning their section of deck, and all of their furnishings.
The BID worked with businesses, the community, the Historic Preservation Office, and other stakeholders to develop standards relating to signs on barriers and streateries using the deck.
Loading zones and pick-up/drop-off zones will be available on most blocks, to accommodate loading, trash, parcel delivery, on-demand delivery, and other immediate loading. All existing loading zones on side streets will be maintained. Within the project area, there will be three types of curbside zones:
- 30 minute commercial loading Monday-Friday 7:00am-4:00pm; Pick-up/Drop-off only all other times
- Pick-up/drop-off only 24/7
- 30 minute commercial loading Monday-Friday 7:00am-4:00pm; 2 hour paid parking Monday-Friday 4:00pm-10:00pm and Saturday 7:00am-10:00pm
Click here for a PDF of loading zones within the project area and other zones in Georgetown outside of the project area. Click here for an interactive map of the zones. Click here for the results of the Georgetown Loading and Delivery survey conducted in November 2020.
On M Street, buses will stop in the travel lane and passengers will get on and off the bus from the sidewalk extensions. There will be a 32’ break in the barriers to allow for bus access and a warning strip on the edge of the sidewalk extensions to alert riders with disabilities.
- One bus stop on M Street will move slightly: Westbound stop at M Street and 33rd Street will move across the intersection to the west side of 33rd Street
- On Wisconsin Avenue, most bus stops will remain as they are, and the bus will pull to the bus stop at the curb.
- Two bus stops on Wisconsin Avenue will move slightly: Northbound stop at Wisconsin Avenue and N Street will move to the north side of the crosswalk at Prospect Street
- Southbound stop at Wisconsin Avenue and P Street will move to the south side of Westbound P Street
Traffic & Parking
In 2021, approximately 190 metered parking spaces were removed on M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, less than the 224 spaces indicated in earlier plans. In early 2022, 1,700 linear feet of decking was removed, restoring 64 parking and loading spaces to M Street and Wisconsin Avenue. The BID is also working with parking garage operators to offer discounted parking rates, improve signage, and market garages. Additionally, the BID will install more bike racks, scooter corrals, and dedicated ridesharing spaces.
In 2020, DDOT conducted a corridor-wide traffic analysis, indicating the sidewalk extensions would have low to moderate impacts at 12 of 13 intersections in the project area. Upon DDOT’s recommendation, the BID changed the design of the decks at the intersection of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue and on the north side of the 3300 block of M Street.
Symmetra Design, an independent traffic engineering firm, provided supplemental analysis of traffic impacts to Georgetown. This supplemental analysis confirmed that the sidewalk widening would not adversely impact traffic flow.
For small snow events, the BID and adjacent property owners remove all furnishings from the extension panels and pull the metal barriers onto the panels to avoid damage by deicing activities. For large snow events, the metal barriers will be pulled back up to 7’ from the roadway so that snow plows can push the snow onto the extension panels.
Utility companies must maintain access to their utility covers and infrastructure under the street. The BID has marked the outside edge and top of the streatery/sidewalk extension to indicate the presence of utility covers under that section of deck. The BID also provides utility companies with a contractor that is available 24/7 to remove barriers and deck panels when needed.
Businesses using the deck should understand that there will be planned and unplanned utility work that may require temporary removal of the deck and a temporary suspension of their use of the deck. The BID will coordinate with utilities and businesses to the best of our ability to manage planned work.
Questions & Comments
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or provide comments on the Georgetown Decks.