DESIGN PROCESS

The Design Phase of the Oregon Avenue Project involves multiple submissions and public meetings. This allows DDOT to receive technical review comments and design feedback from many stakeholders. This context-sensitive design approach, or “thinking beyond the pavement process,” guides the work through the end of the design phase.

The design becomes a collaborative project for all interested parties and stakeholders, reflecting a shared vision and decision-making in the design process. Values such as safety, mobility, and preservation of the natural and human environment are addressed.

Final design is developed in three phases: 30%, 65%, and 90%. Public input is sought at each of these milestones. The information below describes what has been presented at each milestone to date in reverse chronological order and how that input has been used to move the design to the next phase.

Public Meeting 4 and Public Kickoff Meeting Design Plans
(December 11, 2019)

Click Images Below to View/Download PDF

Bioretention Planter Planting Design

The Reconstruction of Oregon Avenue will include stormwater management facilities that allow on-site infiltration through a series of bioretention planters. Some of these planters will be located in front of residential areas between the future sidewalk and the roadway. 

At the May 10 Public Meeting, DDOT provided displays allowing residents to select planting schemes and plant species for the bioretention planters in front of their homes. If you are not interested in designing the bioretention planter in front of your residence, please be assured that DDOT will create an overall planting plan considering aesthetics, diversity, and functionality.

Public Meetings 1, 2 & 3 (2014-2016)
Public Meeting
Public Meeting
Public Meeting
Public Meeting
Public Meeting
Public Meeting
Public Meeting

Walk-through of Nearby Low Impact Development Facilities – May 4, 2016

On May 4, 2016, DDOT and Volkert’s landscape architects took members of the Oregon Avenue community for a walk through portions of a recently completed DDOT green infrastructure project. The purpose of the walk-through was to explain the importance of low impact development (LID) facilities and help set expectations for aesthetics and maintenance. The design for the corridor includes a series of LID facilities along the 1.7 mile stretch of Oregon Avenue.

Lighting Demonstration #2

During this phase, DDOT evaluated lighting options for the corridor. One of the project goals is preserving the character of the corridor while providing modern, sustainable lighting alternatives.

The results of the first online poll and the comments received during the third public meeting indicate that Lighting Demonstration #1, two lights near St. John’s College High School, was too bright and the color too white. In response, DDOT installed two additional lights near the intersection with Wise Road (see pictures and map below) for Lighting Demonstration #2. These lights were also LED lights, but a lower wattage.

The results of this second online poll indicate that Lighting Demonstration #2, two lights near the intersection with Wise Road, are as follows:

  • 81% of respondents felt that the brightness of the light was just right

  • 75% of respondents said that the tone of the light was just right or almost there

  • 71% of respondents felt that the light was well distributed

Cultural Resource Survey – June 22 to July 3, 2015

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) conducted preliminary assessments for the reconstruction of Oregon Avenue. One component of developing any transportation project in the District is to investigate potential environmental impacts associated with the project.

Project coordination with regulatory and resource agencies requires DDOT to complete cultural resource surveys of the project area. DDOT employees or its consultants worked within the public Right of Way along Oregon Avenue and may have conducted archaeological shovel testing or other minimally invasive subsurface probing on a few properties for the purpose of the surveys. The property owners of the properties where testing was conducted were contacted in advance. This work took place in the area between approximately June 22 and July 3, 2015.

The 65% Design Phase

Taking public input and a number of other factors into account the following choices have been made or are in progress during this phase.

Rock Creek Conservancy Letter of Support

From the outset, DDOT has been committed to preserving the rustic character of the corridor and minimizing the loss of trees. As design progresses, the team is considering taking this concept a step further and enriching the traveling experience through Oregon Avenue by introducing trees species native to Rock Creek Park on the residential side of the roadway.

One of the appealing aspects of Oregon Avenue is the presence of large mature trees. The dominant landscape feature is Rock Creek Park, which abuts the entire eastern side of the roadway. This woodland is preserved by the National Park Service to meet its mission, defined in the Organic Act of 1916, “… to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

There are several pockets of large tree stands that, combined with the trees in Rock Creek Park, create a cathedral-like effect of overhead canopies. These can be seen at the northern corner of St. John’s College High School, Knollwood Retirement Community, Chatsworth, and the Pinehurst Run Crossing. Additional large, individual trees set further from the road also contribute to creating the neighborhood’s rustic character.

While memorable when one travels through the landscape, these woodland conditions presently comprise only approximately one-quarter of the corridor. The remaining three-quarters consist of Rock Creek Park on the east side and residential lawn landscapes on the west side. Connecting these pockets of mature tree stands would create a memorable continuous woodland experience along Oregon Avenue and more closely recreate the pre-development condition that once dominated the landscape.

Adding trees along the residential side can only succeed with the property owners’ support. Homeowners along Oregon Avenue received a letter from DDOT’s Oregon Avenue Project to request their tree preferences. These trees will be installed as part of the reconstruction of Oregon Avenue Project.

Tree Plantings

New tree plantings will vary in height. With proper care, these trees can grow fast and eventually become a presence in the landscape. Take a look at the pictures below and see how quickly the tree in the Nebraska Avenue/Oregon Avenue traffic island grew and how the landscaping within the traffic island has changed the area’s character. Now imagine multiplying this condition along Oregon Avenue several times between Western Avenue and Military Road. The result could be an urban roadway that feels like you are traveling through a park and a community that is part of the Rock Creek Park woodlands.

Lighting Demonstration #1

During this phase, DDOT evaluated lighting options for the corridor. One of the project goals is preserving the character of the corridor while providing modern, sustainable lighting alternatives.

Two LED light fixtures had been installed along the corridor as demonstration projects. These light fixtures can still be found across the street from the St. John’s College High School athletic field (see pictures and map below). DDOT appreciates your feedback about these light fixtures as we continue with the design.

The 30% Design Phase

As development of the preliminary design continues, information is gathered from multiple sources and design decisions are made based on technical analysis and feedback from stakeholders.

Beginning in September, DDOT started the Context Sensitive Design approach by meeting stakeholders at various locations along the Oregon Avenue corridor to address site-specific concerns and develop an appropriate design for the corridor. These included face-to-face meetings with St. John’s College High School, the Chatsworth community, Neighbors United to Preserve Oregon Avenue and Rock Creek Park, the Oregon Knolls community, and Knollwood Retirement Community.

A poll was conducted on the website between late September and mid-November ranking the community’s top concerns so that the project design could be guided as much as possible by the community’s preferences. Additional input was received through the project website via emails using the comments feature. These multiple means of gathering information helped the team develop the design presented at the November 19th public meeting.

The process also included site-walks with the District Department of the Environment, the National Park Service, and the Urban Forestry Administration. On October 16, 2014, DDOT made a presentation to the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and received approval for the concept design. CFA made various recommendations that will be considered as part of the final design. Bridge alternatives were analyzed and a preferred selection was made based on technical merits and feedback received from the Commission of Fine Arts.

30% design submission was completed on November 6, 2014

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