Plaza on Hamlin Street?

Since starting the journey toward a new Woodridge library, we’ve fielded comments and questions about creating a plaza on Hamlin Street.

Here’s what Hamlin Street, in front of the library, looks like now:

Existing Woodridge Library site

(You can click on the photos to get a larger view.)

And here’s a sketch of what it could look like, reformed as a plaza:

Proposed Hamlin Street Plaza

Now, don’t get too excited! We’re in early discussions on possibilities for that area, but no decisions have been made; we’re changing and revising based on viewers’ comments — even more reason to voice your thoughts!

What do you think of this version of a Hamlin Street plaza?

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8 Responses to Plaza on Hamlin Street?

  1. imgoph says:

    not bad. it’s not really closing the road in any functional way, and the less shallow angle would slow down traffic on hamlin. i think that’s a win-win.

  2. bennetwu1 says:

    How much will this cost? Where will the money come from? I have heard a generous donor gave the Woodridge Library $1M dollars several years ago and that would be used for a library cafe. This money should be used to help with buy books and other resources for the patrons and not fund cafes or to close streets to make parks. The Langdon Park is right behind, and it should be used instead. Most of the time the area won’t be used. I arrive early to the library and would like a place to sit before the library opens. My kids could play in the area that is now landscaped and fenced off at the existing library. There’s not much traffic on Hamlin Street anyway. So, the closing the road seems unnecessary and costly.

    How about the handicapped, buses, and church vans? Why is there no bulb-out in the design to make it safer for all these vehicles to access the library entrance. This design needs to use of common sense.

  3. Les says:

    I have concerns. Can the police be consulted on the design for the library and this plaza that will close Hamlin Street? Woodridge Library is open Monday and Wednesday from 1 pm to 9 pm, and on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. So, only on two days of the week during the evening (Monday and Wednesday) would anyone encounter rush hour traffic. In general I find very little traffic entering Hamlin Street. So, I don’t see why it needs to be closed. I think the parking is being taken up by people who don’t use the library, but are parking for other reasons. The residents on that street need to investigate this. My major concern about creating a another park is that it will be used by the homeless. I have observed that there are people sleeping in the rear of the library, in Langdon Park. I don’t think we need to increase homelessness. I’d rather have the triangle used for a bikeshare station. One can always construct pop-up parks on Hamlin Street for special events, if needed. And, I have concerns about cost, which have not been mentioned.

  4. Namil says:

    Try to block off Hamlin Street now. I think will be tougher for residents to get parking spaces in front of their houses. I think if they make a plaza, in a month or two the whole thing will get fenced in. So, this won’t work as planned.

  5. AdMom2020 says:

    According to a few blogs, Taylor Gourmet has big plans for that area of Hamlin and Rhode Island Avenue. Taylor Gourmet owns the building right next to the Golden Skillet. This will cause even more parking issues whether Hamlin Street is closed or not. The best thing for the residents to do is to get resident-only parking through DDOT.

    Resident-only parking is a type of parking restriction that can be applied to blocks within Residential Permit Parking (RPP) areas. Under resident-only parking, regular RPP rules apply to one side of the block (for example, two-hour parking for those without RPP stickers). On the other side of the block, only those with RPP stickers can park during the hours of RPP enforcement.

    If Hamlin does get closed off, what are DCPL plans for additional parking? The spaces behind the library won’t be sufficient. It would be helpful to have a permanent entrance at the back of the library to encourage patrons to use those parking spots and not take up space on Hamlin Street.

    About a year ago, the speed limit on Rhode Island Avenue was increased to 30 mpg. Can this speed limit be reduced?

  6. dcpubliclibrary says:

    @bennetwu1: We are still early in the design process and don’t have a sense yet of costs for all of the elements of the building.

    @bennetwu1 and @Les — We are working with many District agencies as we explore the viability of creating a plaza outside of the Woodridge Library, including fire and emergency services.

    @AdMom2020 — With the current design, there are 11 parking spaces planned for the new Woodridge Library. The design team is exploring potential other solutions for parking that will have a minor cost impact to the design.


    I think a plaza is completely unneeded. The library sits on a park! I think closing off the street will be a pain for the residents. A plaza is going to increase the visibility of the homeless in front of the library. I would rather see more rental space for birthday parties or meetings. Hopefully the planning group will take in account the needs of the current residents and make this a very useful space.

    • IMGoph says:

      BRKLDRESIDENT: The street is not being “closed.” It was a misnomer to couch it like that. Two-way traffic will still be able to use the road. The entry point on and off of Rhode Island Avenue would simply be moved a few feet.

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