CFA 18/DEC/03-6

United States

D.C. Department of Transportation
Georgetown Historic District. Way-finding sign program
Review Type
Revised concept
Previous Review


Dear Mr. Tangherlini:

During its meeting of 18 December 2003, the Commission met with Karyn Good to review two projects submitted by the District Department of Transportation: the revised scheme for the Georgetown Wayfinding Signs and the Wisconsin Avenue Streetscape. Even though the Commission did not have a quorum of members present, they appreciate the opportunity to comment on the projects at this time. Their recommendations will be forwarded  to the full Commission for confirmation at the January 15, 2004 meeting.

The revised design and material selection for the Wayfinding Sign Program were well received. Porcelain-enameled metal signs will be easier to maintain and more cost effective to replace. White letters on black background will be easier to read, and the placement of the longer names on two lines will keep the signs manageable. We encourage you to continue your efforts to limit the installation of signs on existing lampposts, particularly where pedestrian traffic is already hampered by too many obstacles in the narrow sidewalks.

The approach to the Wisconsin Avenue Streetscape was also well received. Applying the design development of the M Street Project onto Phase II is a sensible approach. The height of the proposed lampposts should be as low as possible, using available technology to direct the light to the street, to avoid having to add too many additional posts. We are happy to see that business owners will be involved in the placement of the posts to avoid interfering with entrances where possible, but the spacing should be as regular as possible. The same care must be applied to the placement of new trees, where conditions allow. Every effort must be made to retain existing healthy trees. The one concern mentioned is achieving a balance on varying the brick patterns on the sidewalks. Too much uniformity will take away from the character as a historic district. However, excessive patchwork of brick patterns unrelated to the storefronts is to be avoided. We support the comments of the Old Georgetown Board and have attached a copy of their Report.

We are glad that DDOT has agreed to continue to work with the Commission, its Old Georgetown Board and the staff with regular informational reports and opportunities to comment as the project is implemented.

Charles H. Atherton,

Dan Tangherlini
Director, District Department of Transportation
2001 14th Street, NW 6th floor
Washington, DC 20009

cc: Karyn E. Good, Communications Manager, DDOT
Michelle Pourciau, DDOT
Ken Gray, Georgetown Business Improvement District
Jeff Lee, LAI, Lee and Associates
Ali Shakeri, WMATA
Thorn Birch, ANC 2E
Barbara Zartman, CAG