City Desk

Georgetown’s Future Could Include a Metro, Gondola, and More Booze


Georgetown was once quite hip. But now that the pricey homes and fancy restaurants that defined the exclusive neighborhood have spread all over the city, it's been struggling to reclaim its cool.

There's now officially a plan to change that. The Georgetown Business Improvement District has formally launched its Georgetown 2028 15 Year Action Plan, which includes 75 recommendations to "address pressing transportation issues, enhance public space, reduce office vacancies and attract more unique shops and restaurant."

Some highlights from the plan:

  • Restore the C & O Canal to make it safer, more accessible, and better programmed
  • Implement clear signage that shows where Georgetown begins. "An improved gateway identification program will remove any uncertainty for shoppers, tourists and visitors that they have entered this special neighborhood." The Gateway Program, which will also identify the neighborhood's four primary commercial district access points, should reflect Georgetown's character
  • "Less obstructed sidewalks that encourage window shopping, or enable slowing down to tie a shoe or look for information on a smartphone."
  • A community crowd-funded, full service, community-focused bookstore
  • Extend the retail district onto the north-south streets that connect M and K streets NW.
  • Create a Waterfront District between M Street and the Potomac River, then free up liquor licenses to be used in that district
  • Bring a Metro station to Georgetown by 2028
  • Build a direct streetcar line from Union Station to Georgetown
  • Conduct a feasibility study to determine if a gondola (with a view) connecting Georgetown to the Rosslyn Metro station makes sense
  • Position Georgetown to be a premiere destination for cyclists
  • Construct a pedestrian/bicycle bridge that would connect Roosevelt Island to the Georgetown waterfront and Virginia

“The Georgetown 2028 Plan preserves what is great about Georgetown, fixes what is broken and creates what is missing,” the BID’s CEO, Joe Sternlieb, says in a press release.

The projects, according to the plan, will be financed through a combination of existing government programs, new government appropriations, private partnerships, and the BID’s annual and capital budgets.

Read the full plan here.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Arlingtron

    I like many of the suggestions. The gondola was proposed a while ago. That would be nice if its terminals are near the Metro in Rosslyn and close to the commercial center of Georgetown. Wider sidewalks would be welcome. Perhaps take out half of a parking lane and include bike lanes in the other portion. For too long the community has turned its back on the canal. Improve the pathways and access. I would not be against some retail and restaurants too (think Riverwalk in San Antonio). Metro could arrive but that is a long way away. Put streetcars back on the streets that already have tracks. With the new park have more river-related activities. The car is still important so more reasonable parking in designated areas with some short-term options. Interactive and continually updated website/mobile app with all retail, restaurants, attractions, transportation, parking, maps, specials, and menus.

  • Derek

    Gondola would be a fantastic idea from M St to Rosslyn Metro; great to skip all the Key Bridge traffic.

  • guest2

    Make M St a pedestrian thoroughfare on weekend evenings! Close it off, have vendors and performers, etc. A kid can dream, right?

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