A pedestrian crosswalk across H Street with “GW” written on the asphalt was part of a University presentation at GW Hospital Wednesday about enhancing campus presence.
The increase in GW’s street branding was described in detail at the streetscape meeting that focused on the look and feel of streets on campus and solicited community feedback. The University proposed more flags, awnings, building plaques and school maps, as well as a pedestrian crosswalk across H Street from Kogan Plaza. GW officials also discussed using distinctive sidewalk materials such as cobblestone, brick and granite gutters.
The streetscape proposal is part of the 20-year Campus Plan, an agreement between GW and the Foggy Bottom community that is slated for review by the Zoning Commission this month. The plan would dictate GW’s possibilities for expansion in Foggy Bottom for the next two decades after its approval and includes other provisions like campus branding and student enrollment restrictions.
Sherry Rutherford, chief of staff for the Office of Business and Operations, said closing off traffic on H Street is unlikely because of opposition from the D.C. Department of Transportation.
Rutherford said the proposed streetscape enhancements have received positive feedback from students.
“When we’ve gotten student feedback, streetscape has been an area where students have been really interested,” she said. “Students really take pride in how the campus looks and how the campus feels.”
Anne Savage, commissioner for the Foggy Bottom/West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission, said the proposal to emblazon “GW” across H Street on the crosswalk was unexpectedly well received.
“Surprisingly, the branding of the crosswalk was not an issue,” she said. “It – unlike everything else – was not about building up the University. Because of that it was more well received by the community.”
Areas that are proposed to receive lampposts, more University signage or sidewalk and street details include the intersection of 22nd and G streets, H Street between 22nd and 21st street and University Yard.
Community members opposed brick sidewalks and invasive, non-native plants being added to campus, Savage said. Many Foggy Bottom residents don’t like the brick because loose bricks can cause tripping hazards for the elderly.
Savage said that Matt Bell, an architect from Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut and Kuhn, the firm hired by GW for the project, said there should be no problem using non-invasive plants in the new streetscape plans.