Something to do this weekend: come to Georgetown to see the beautiful work done on P and O Streets, west of Wisconsin Avenue, where the city has completed renovating and restoring the cobbled streets, keeping the old trolly tracks. Many people get credit for this project, but I particularly remember a decade or so ago, at an ANC meeting, hearing then DC Transportation chief Dan Tangherlini address the issue for the first time. The goals, he said, were to restore the streets and preserve the historic integrity of tracks. There were many debates that followed - about whether to keep the tracks or lose the tracks - but in Georgetown there's always a dedication to preserving what's been here. And it got done.
A central player in the restoration project was Tim Downs, and recently Mayor Vincent Gray and other city leaders came to Georgetown to honor him - right outside his home. Bill and his wife, Barbara, are First Citizens of the village, caring and dedicated. Back at about the same time that Tangherlini was at DDot, Barbara Downs was chair of the Citizens Association of Georgetown. She is still one of the board's directors.
Mayor Gray declared August 16th "Tim Downs Day."
I regret I don't have a photo of the mess O and P Streets were before the restoration. The cobblestones were horribly uneven, the tracks jutted up, real tire-busters, and a challenge for drivers.
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony in the next month, I'm told ... but you don't need to wait for that. The streets are there to admire now. If only the whole village had these same handsome cobblestones ...