DC Priorities

 

Feel the Excitement!!

Oddly enough, despite my captivating, detailed earlier reports, none of you Ricochetti has asked for regular updates on the status of the construction of Black Lives Matter Plaza in DC. So in the true federal government spirit, I will now provide what you apparently don’t want or need and did not request.

Initially, it was just the mayor directing that the three blocks of 16th Street north of the White House have the words “Black Lives Matter” painted in giant letters.  The affected streets were already partially closed off as part of the planned response to the riots after George Floyd died. The closures were even more pronounced and reinforced in January 2021 when heavily armed hordes in MAGA hats were expected to invade as part of the insurrection for which everyone but the Capitol P0lice was grossly over-prepared. So it was easy to envision the area as a permanent vehicle-free plaza.

Oct 3. The lighting is in place.

The big yellow letters were removed over the summer, then repainted, then dug up again.  PEPCO had to dig to run new power lines for the rows of standing lights.  A new surface of stonework with concrete borders replaced the asphalt.

The number of trucks, workers, and volumes of materials deployed was in large part the result of shifting plans leading up to an overblown final design. Those lucky businesses and commercial property owners that line the plaza have lobbied hard (but quietly for obvious reasons) to restore vehicle traffic so that these places can again be accessible for deliveries, cabs, and private vehicles. So, the outer two lanes will again be open to vehicles for limited use.

You can see the underlying new surface in the Oct 3 pic above. Each of those posts is an electric light. Vehicles will operate in the outer lane, pedestrians safely between the light-posts with a small ambiguous risk zone in between.

The big yellow letters each span the entire width of the street and that pavestone-concrete background would provide unacceptably poor contrast, so a dark blue layer needs to be applied first to get the full effect as seen in the pics below.

Oct 20. Almost finished the first letter “L”

Oct 22. Letter “A” is almost done.

The local chapter of BLM actually opposed the whole idea of the plaza on the grounds that it was a silly gesture rather than a substantive action to promote social justice. How bad is it when you need your local BLM chapter to provide a balanced, proportionate policy perspective?

Over the same period of time, the BLM Plaza project has plugged along, much else in DC has gotten worse.  In particular, the number of homeless occupying public spaces has expanded.  One block east of the BLM is McPherson Square which is now entirely occupied by very sad broken-looking people. One day of plaza construction costs could probably buy a lot of services and meds for these people.

It will be interesting to see if the mayor tolerates the homeless camping out in her plaza when it is finally finished.  I suspect that such an influx will be actively discouraged which will be the crowning irony about what really matters in DC.

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  1. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Your tax dollars at work. Sigh. I am so glad I moved away from the area.

    • #1
  2. DonG (CAGW is a hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a hoax)
    @DonG

    Old Bathos: Those lucky businesses and commercial property owners that line the plaza have lobbied hard (but quietly for obvious reasons) to restore vehicle traffic so that these places can again be accessible for deliveries, cabs, and private vehicles.

    In my summer travels I noticed a trend of cities turning streets into “outdoor malls” with lots of shopping.  There seemed to be lots of foot traffic and businesses doing well.  I found them to a pleasant shopping experience.   However, it has to be welcoming and well-policed or it isn’t going to work.

    • #2
  3. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

    Old Bathos:

    Oddly enough, despite my captivating, detailed earlier reports, none of you Ricochetti has asked for regular updates on the status of the construction of Black Lives Matter Plaza in DC. So in the true federal government spirit, I will now provide what you apparently don’t want or need and did not request.

    Feel the Excitement!!

    I have a limit on intake of upsetting news.  I’m sure the project will cost money that DC doesn’t have, will employ useless people, will be ugly, and will deteriorate into an eyesore, while gently fraying any unity surviving in the community.  These projects do interest me to see if and how the architects design to discourage skateboarding, biking, drug dealing and consuming, defecation, urination, and camping.  

    Nonetheless, thanks for your update.  Be sure and post when and if the project ever gets around to mentioning what it is that Black Lives Matter for.

    • #3
  4. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    “So in the true federal government spirit, I will now provide what you apparently don’t want or need and did not request.”

    Ok, that was funny! We have a couple of streets here in Kansas City that have been schmeered with the BM logo as well. Oops, I meant BLM logo. The cool thing about street writing is that you can only see it if you’re riding in a helicopter. That doesn’t happen to be my normal mode of transport.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • #4
  5. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Is there a statue of “St Floyd of the Fentanyl”?

    • #5
  6. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Is there a statue of “St Floyd of the Fentanyl”?

    When Jefferson is finally cancelled, maybe then.

    • #6
  7. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Is there a statue of “St Floyd of the Fentanyl”?

    When Jefferson is finally cancelled, maybe then.

    They just voted to remove TJ’s statue from NYC city hall.  So it’s not far off.

    • #7
  8. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Is there a statue of “St Floyd of the Fentanyl”?

    When Jefferson is finally cancelled, maybe then.

    They just voted to remove TJ’s statue from NYC city hall. So it’s not far off.

    They need room for the Andrew Cuomo and Bill De Blasio statues.

    • #8
  9. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Thank you so much for keeping us informed on this terribly important and developing story.

    • #9
  10. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Old Bathos: The number of trucks, workers, and volumes of materials deployed was in large part the result of shifting plans leading up to an overblown final design.

    But don’t those trucks, workers, and materials use fossil fuels? I thought we were supposed to be cutting back on such things? 

    • #10
  11. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    That plaza will probably end up costing almost as much as the DHS is paying for the fence around Joe Biden’s summer home ($450,000.00-plus).

    • #11
  12. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    That plaza will probably end up costing almost as much as the DHS is paying for the fence around Joe Biden’s summer home ($450,000.00-plus).

    I don’t begrudge expenditures to provide security for POTUS, even this one. I think BLM Plaza project has long-passed the $450k mark.

    • #12
  13. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Is there a statue of “St Floyd of the Fentanyl”?

    When Jefferson is finally cancelled, maybe then.

    They just voted to remove TJ’s statue from NYC city hall. So it’s not far off.

    If Jefferson is cancelled, can the Declaration of Independence be far behind?

    • #13
  14. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Old Bathos: It will be interesting to see if the mayor tolerates the homeless camping out in her plaza when it is finally finished.  I suspect that such an influx will be actively discouraged which will be the crowning irony about what really matters in DC.

    That would be ironic. I would have assumed that BLM Plaza would be completely devoid of police presence, since “police are inherently bad” is a core tenet of BLM. The homeless, the anarchists, the fascist “antifa” groups, as well as the general criminals including thieves should have free run of BLM Plaza, free of interference by any police or police-like government force. 

    • #14
  15. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: It will be interesting to see if the mayor tolerates the homeless camping out in her plaza when it is finally finished. I suspect that such an influx will be actively discouraged which will be the crowning irony about what really matters in DC.

    That would be ironic. I would have assumed that BLM Plaza would be completely devoid of police presence, since “police are inherently bad” is a core tenet of BLM. The homeless, the anarchists, the fascist “antifa” groups, as well as the general criminals including thieves should have free run of BLM Plaza, free of interference by any police or police-like government force.

    But only Fox News cameras will show it.

    • #15