The Rhode Island Avenue (RIA), NE Streetscape Project includes sidewalk design, drainage design, bicycle facility design, and related engineering design for Rhode Island Avenue from 4th Street NE to Eastern Avenue. The main focus of the project is to provide an accessible pedestrian route on both sides of the road for the length of project. Currently the sidewalks are narrow, in poor condition, and non-compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in many locations. Encroachment by residences and businesses into the public right-of-way has created issues throughout the corridor.
The project is approximately 2.3 miles in length running from 4th Street (west of the Metrorail Overpass) to Eastern Avenue (DC/Maryland border). A Streetscape Master Plan was completed by DDOT in 2014 that developed the basis for the streetscape improvements throughout the entire corridor. The overall intent of the project is to create a pedestrian friendly environment with amenities that include enhanced paving, site furnishings, lighting improvements, low impact development strategies, street trees and other green spaces and opportunities for public art. As a result of completing these improvements key project objectives will be achieved including enhancing the livability, image, safety, sustainability and commercial viability of Rhode Island Avenue, NE.
The design will seek to balance the three principles of sustainability:
- cultural, and
- environmental solutions.
The goal is for life along the corridor to be transformed as the new conditions allow businesses to expand their services and encourage residents to hold events in the public realm; while improving mobility and accessibility along the corridor. Areas for public art, way finding signage, green stormwater infrastructure, and a reconfigured sidewalk will complement the corridor’s urban fabric and bring a sense of identity to the community.