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Events DC Seeks Local Support to Build New Playground Near Eliot-Hine

by Andrew Ramonas — August 18, 2015 at 4:30 pm 2 Comments

Site of proposed Events DC playground (Photo via Google Maps)Northeast Capitol Hill children might get a new playground if locals back a plan to transform an empty lot near Eliot-Hine Middle School.

Officials with Events DC, which manages the land at 20th and C streets NE, urged locals at a community meeting last night to support a playground on the property. Without neighborhood support, the D.C. events authority won’t go ahead with the project, the officials said.

“Events DC wants to build the playground for the community,” said Andrew Harrington, Events DC’s director of venue operations. “The community’s involvement is critical.”

Harrington and his colleagues at the meeting held by ANC 6A’s transportation and public space committee didn’t discuss possible features for the park. But Harrington said it would cost about $100,000, with support from KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that helps construct playgrounds.

With or without the new park, Events DC plans to continue maintaining the nearby Oklahoma Avenue NE playground, which sits on land the organization manages. But the events authority won’t make significant investments in the playground and may demolish it to make way for future development.

“The current location of the current playground is right in that area where we can rebuild,” Harrington said. “Therefore, it’s sort of a high priority area for whatever is going to be there down the road.”

Locals at the meeting were generally supportive of the playground. But some of them expressed concern about car traffic near the park.

It wasn’t immediately clear when, or if, ANC 6A might endorse Events DC’s proposal.

Photo via Google Maps

  • Lindsey JonesR

    Thanks for the article HillNow. EventsDC held a meeting a few months ago with residents of Kingman Park in ANC7d, and many of those residents (including myself) did NOT support the new location because of serious safety concerns and would rather have them improve the current playground in its current location.

  • Robert Coomber

    Events DC is trying to clear the Oklahoma property for future development. In order to do that, they need to be able to remove the current playground on Oklahoma Ave. In order to remove the Oklahoma Ave playground, they have to build another so they can quell community outcry when they do remove the Oklahoma Ave playground. That is why they are offering to build a new playground at 21st and C. However, 21st and C is an extremely busy and dangerous intersection with no safe crossings from North of C, where the vast majority of nearby residents are located. Pedestrians get stranded in the median when trying to cross, with cars exceeding the speed limit on five lanes of traffic. C Street traffic will not be calmed until 2017, at the earliest, and that is assuming federal funding is available. DDOT has no immediate plans to improve pedestrian safety at the intersection. Both Councilmember Alexander and Councilmember Allen have expressed their concerns about the safety of a playground at the intersection.

    The neighborhood would love to work with Events DC to build a new playground, and we have been trying to do so for more than 5 years. But a new playground has to be in a safe location.

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