This morning, I walked to and from my dentist’s office. Between 20th and Q Streets NW and 25th and M Street NW, walking along New Hampshire Avenue, I walked about ten blocks in each direction, and five of those blocks were entirely or partly marked as closed, to accommodate construction.
I have often wondered why the District of Columbia can’t do a better job protecting pedestrian access to sidewalks. Every time I visit New York, I find a walkway available when I am walking hear a construction site, normally a covered walkway in fact. But I almost never see this in DC. Apparently the District has a similar requirement for construction projects. But I have rarely seen such covered walkways.
The rules allow for “site-specific modification.” Is the problem that site-specific modifications, eliminating the entire requirement, are always permitted?
The requirement of a walkway no doubt adds to the cost of construction, but the compared to the total cost of a downtown office building or major roadway rebuild, the cost would be a drop in the bucket.