Digging In

BID Seeks to Widen Georgetown Sidewalks

January 24, 2021

As reported by the Washington Business Journal, the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) seeks permission to install 5,000 linear feet of deck panels expanding the sidewalks along M Street and Wisconsin Avenue from about 9.5 feet to 15.5 feet. 


The removable panels would be level with the sidewalk and extend about eight feet into the curb lanes. In addition to giving pedestrians more room along the already crowded public walkways, the widened sidewalks would provide added support to those businesses that have already gotten permits from the District to operate so-called streateries — outdoor dining areas extending into the roadway.


The BID will present its plans to a District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to the Old Georgetown Board on February 4, 2021. 


"If it even had a 1% or 2% positive impact on sales, it would be successful," Joe Sternlieb, CEO and president of the BID said. "Some of the businesses are doing OK, and they're getting by, but others are really struggling, and so our focus is on April and going out there with a program for Georgetown that's new, and exciting, and will bring people back to the sidewalks."


Read more here.

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What's Closed for the Inauguration

January 18, 2021

If you're not planning to watch the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on television, please be aware of what's closed in and around Washington DC. 


National Mall and National Parks

The National Park Service, at the request of and in cooperation with the United States Secret Service, will implement a temporary public closure of the National Mall beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday, January 15 and extending through at least Thursday, January 21.

In support of this effort, the National Park Service is also temporarily closing to the public the following roadways and park areas:

  • East and West Potomac Parks including Hains Point, all memorials and NPS areas contained within;
  • On and off ramps to Potomac Park, from I-395 N and I-395;
  • Lincoln Memorial Circle including all adjacent sidewalks and roadways;
  • Memorial Bridge, from Washington Boulevard to Lincoln Memorial Circle, including all adjacent sidewalks; and
  • The White House Complex, all of Lafayette Park and the White House sidewalk, the Ellipse, First Division Park, and Sherman Park

Street Closures

Beginning at 6 am on Friday, January 15, all parking garages in restricted zones will be blocked off. Any vehicle still in a garage or loading zone in these zones at 6 am on Friday must remain there until after the Inauguration. Businesses that need to receive deliveries will be advised of an off-site screening facility.

  • Residents and businesses between 19th to 14th Street NW and K Street to Constitution Avenue are already being advised of restrictions beginning on January 14. More information coming.

The following areas will be closed to public use:

  • Constitution Ave, NW from Rock Creek Parkway, NW to 17th Street NW, to include the adjacent sidewalks;
  • 17th Street , NW to H Street, NW, to include the adjacent sidewalks;
  • H Street, NW to 15th Street, NW, to include adjacent sidewalks;
  • 15th Street, NW to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to include adjacent sidewalks;
  • Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, from 15th Street, NW to 3rd Street, SW, and adjacent sidewalks (except for designated areas for First Amendment activities to be overseen by the National Park Service and United States Park Police);
  • 3rd Street, SW, from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, to Independence Avenue, SW, and adjacent sidewalks;
  • Independence Avenue, SW, from 3rd Street, SW, to Ohio Drive, SW, and adjacent sidewalks; and
  • Ohio Drive, SW, to Rock Creek Parkway, NW, and adjacent sidewalks

Bridge Closures

The Virginia Department of Transportation and Virginia State Police will implement several bridge and road closures from Virginia into Washington, D.C. beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19. From 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19 through 6 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, I-66 and I-395 bridges into D.C. will be closed and traffic will be diverted as follows:

I-66: Eastbound traffic will be diverted at Route 110 (Exit 75).
I-395: Northbound traffic will be diverted at the George Washington Memorial Parkway (Exit 10B).
I-395 Express Lanes: When the lanes are northbound, all traffic will be diverted into the main lanes near Edsall Road.

Drivers are urged to plan ahead, avoid the area, and use alternate routes during this time. Portable and overhead message signs will remind drivers to avoid the area. Those needing to travel in and around Northern Virginia between Jan. 19 and Jan. 21 are encouraged to check www.511virginia.org before they travel. Learn more.

Public Transportation

  • Metro announced service adjustments for Metrorail and Metrobus that will be in effect beginning Friday, January 15 through the end of service on Thursday, January 21.
    • Red Line: Farragut North, Judiciary Square, Union Station
    • Yellow Line/Green Line: National Archives
    • Blue Line: Arlington Cemetery
    • Blue Line / Orange Line / Silver Line: Farragut West, McPherson Square, Federal Center SW, Capitol South, Smithsonian, Federal Triangle
  • Beginning Saturday, January 16, through Thursday, January 21 Metro Center and Gallery Place stations will close.
  • 26 bus routes will be detoured around the expanded security perimeter beginning on Friday through Thursday
  • Capital Bikeshare around the National Mall, Capitol Hill and Union Station will be available until further notice. Streetcar service is suspended until further notice.

For the latest traffic, street closures, and Metro services, visit:

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Camilo José Vergara Documents Survival and Remembrance Under the Pandemic

December 23, 2020

Camilo José Vergara, one of the nation’s foremost urban documentarians, was awarded the 2012 National Humanities Medal and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2002.

(Photo by: Camilo José Vergara)

This ongoing exhibition for the National Building Museum was produced in collaboration with consulting curator Chrysanthe Broikos and Elihu Rubin, associate professor of urbanism at Yale University.


In four parts, each section has a dedicated page and image gallery. All pages link to every other exhibition page, and the final section also includes “Overheard and Observed,” in which Vergara documents a portion of what he has experienced over the past several months.

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