University, Zoning Commission disagree on parking garage placement

The University submitted alternate designs for the Law Learning Center parking garage to the D.C. Zoning Commission last week, after the body delayed a vote on the project and requested GW explore other entry options.

Zoning commissioners asked the University to consider placing the parking garage’s entrance on G Street, citing concerns regarding pedestrian safety and traffic flow. GW originally presented plans to access the garage via an existing alley between 20th and 21st streets.

Square 103 – the garage’s site – is located next to the restaurant Tonic and behind Potomac Hall.

The original alley entrance for the garage is the most suitable location for vehicles to access the structure, the University said in a post-hearing statement to the commission.

A G Street entryway for the structure would be placed at the northeast corner of the lot because of District Department of Transportation guidelines, according to the post-hearing statement submitted by the University.

That entrance placement would also cut part of a planned green space.

The statement also said a University traffic expert concluded that a G Street garage entrance would not necessarily improve vehicle access and would adversely impact pedestrians.

For safety reasons, the statement said, GW is proposing widening the alley from the proposed 16 feet in the original plan to 20 feet.

The University will face the Zoning Commission March 14 for a public meeting on the project.

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