Downtown Parks Master Plan: Transportation Planning in DC - Wells + Associates

Gloria Wright

The DowntownDC BID is a dense environment primarily consisting of offices with few park assets. Wells + Associates’ DC transportation planning team was engaged as part of a comprehensive group led by LandDesign to reimagine how park spaces could better serve the DC community through street design and multimodal circulation.

Downtown Parks Master Plan: Developing an Intentional, Vibrant Urban Park System

Most of the parks currently in operation in the DowntownDC area are small, surrounded by roadways, and lacking in sufficient care and maintenance. And yet, as part of its potential, the area is served by seven Metrorail stations, with access to all six Metrorail lines. The intention of the DowntownDC Parks Master Plan was to spark interest in developing an intentional, vibrant, and meaningful downtown park system.

Source:DowntownDC Parks Master Plan (PDF)

The DowntownDC BID (Business Improvement District) engaged the project team to develop a needs-based and community led plan to reimagine how park spaces could better serve the community. The overall planning exercise developed a strategic vision to maximize the study area’s many opportunities to provide and enhance parks and open space amenities in a way complementary to the dense, urban environment of DowntownDC.  

As a part of our work, W+A examined numerous corridors within the downtown area for potential road diets, shared street opportunities, curbside management, and other measures to increase available green space within Downtown DC. Said Jim Watson, Principal, at Wells + Associates: “My colleague Jami Milanovich and I were thrilled to have a role in working with

Source: DowntownDC Parks Master Plan Appendix (PDF)

our colleagues at LandDesign and other team members on the DowntownDC Parks Master Plan to think through the interaction of downtown parks spaces with the transportation network.” 

Our DC transportation planning team’s work included coordination with DDOT, WMATA, and downtown stakeholders to understand ongoing and planned transportation improvements and targeted efforts to not only identify corridors within the downtown area for improvements, but also to build upon other efforts within the BID. Ongoing planning efforts by DDOT and the BID were used to guide the team to identify the best corridors for connectivity between existing parks given their surrounding land uses.  

Wells + Associates played a role in further developing the transportation potential within the DowntownDC BID, whose stated transportation goal is to work “with the public and private sectors to improve accessibility in and around Downtown, initiate plans to address street and sidewalk issues, improve signage, alleviate congestion, discourage gridlock and manage Downtown streets.”

Source:DowntownDC Parks Master Plan (PDF)