U Street Named to 'Great Streets' List

Three area streets honored by American Planning Association

Tuesday, Oct 4, 2011  |  Updated 4:50 PM EDT
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The American Planning Association's list of the

Elaine Reyes

The American Planning Association's list of the "Greatest Streets in America," and three of them are in the D.C. metro area. Elaine Reyes talks to locals to find out why these streets are so special.

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Three area streets, one in the District of Columbia and two in Virginia, have been officially honored by the American Planning Association (APA) with a place on the organization's 2011 "Great Places in America" list.

The list, which is released annually and divided into three categories --streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces--singled out U Street in the District, King Street in Alexandria, and Davis Street in Culpeper as three of the ten "Great Streets in America."

"U Street has gone through difficult times, particularly the lingering aftermath of devastating riots following the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr," the APA's website said of the street which houses Ben's Chili Bowl and the threatened Lincoln Theatre, among other landmarks. "Today the street is pulsing again with the music, businesses and life that, in the early 1900s, distinguished it as the main street of Washington's 'city within a city.'"

U Street is the third D.C. location to earn a place on the APA's list. Eastern Market was spotlighted in 2007 as a "Great Neighborhood," while Union Station was recognized as a "Great Public Space."

The APA laid the compliments on Alexandria's King Street as well, describing it as "historic, vibrant, and eclectic," while Davis Street in Culpeper won plaudits for its "pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use character."

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