University to clarify traffic concerns for museum

The University must offer more details to the city next month on how it will manage traffic near the proposed GW Museum before moving forward with construction.

An administrator and other officials laid out plans April 5 at a D.C. Zoning Commission hearing for the $22 million museum that will house artifacts from the cross-town Textile Museum and District relics donated to the University last year.

Senior Associate Vice President for Operations Alicia Knight was joined by other officials from the Division of Operations, as well as architects, to offer an overview of the project at 21st and G streets. The plan includes transforming the University Police Department’s headquarters and adding a new four-story building to fill the area between Woodhull House and Corcoran Hall.

Two neighborhood groups have voiced concerns regarding parking and traffic around the site.

“The Zoning Commission’s request for additional information following the public hearing is not a delay – request for additional information to clarify technical issues occurs with most projects and is part of the regulatory approval process,” Knight said.

GW will inform tour groups in advance about metered parking that will sit along G Street, offering more space for vehicles to unload away from traffic.

In anticipation of increased activity around the museum, loading and unloading of trucks with artifacts will not occur during peak traffic times, Jami Milanovich, a traffic consultant hired by GW, said. A trained employee would regulate traffic when trucks back into the site’s planned loading dock on 21st Street.

GW officials said they expect infrequent bus visits, but would close the parking spaces in front of the building when buses arrive.

The Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission, another local advocacy group, drafted a letter of traffic and pedestrian safety concerns to the zoning commission March 21. The community group did not oppose or support the project at the zoning hearing, but has in the past has taken a stand against projects it deemed detrimental to the community.

The museum will need a nod from the National Capital Planning Commission following zoning approval. Construction is projected for completion by spring 2014.

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