Streetscape Transforms Sherman Ave. NW to Neighborhood-Friendly Street

A once busy D.C. corridor is now a more neighborhood-friendly street.

For years, Sherman Avenue NW near Howard University was more like a commuter freeway, but after three years and $13 million dollars, the street has a dramatically different look.

“Sherman Avenue was a raceway," community leader Darrin Jones said.  “The cars were moving so fast. Now that we have one lane each way, it has slowed the traffic.”

Now there's a median with flowers and trees separating the lanes and wider sidewalks with tree boxes and wheelchair access ramps.

“I think it brings a more community feel, and that’s what we wanted out of the streetscape, for this to be a residential street as opposed to a highway,” Jones said.

“We haven't created a speedway for Maryland commuters, either,” Ward 1 Council member Jim Graham said. “What we have done is ensured pedestrian safety.”

City leaders disputed some fears that fewer lanes are part of a city war on cars or that improved roadways will speed gentrification of the old neighborhood, displacing longtime residents.

“We don't want streetscapes to translate into displacement of people here in the city,” Mayor Vincent Gray said.

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