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Mayor Bowser Launches Spring Neighborhood Beautification Initiatives During Back to Basics Season

Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Teams Will Be Out in the Community Repairing Sidewalks, Cleaning Corridors, Collecting Tires, and More

(Washington, DC) – Today Mayor Muriel Bowser, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the District Department of Public Works (DPW), and the community members celebrated Back to Basics season with a “Sprucing Up for Spring” event to highlight Take a STEP DC (Sidewalk Transformation Enhancement Program) and the Great Streets Corridor Clean Up to beautify and clean 19 major corridors.
“Clean, beautiful, and safe streets and sidewalks are good for everyone – residents, visitors, and businesses,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are grateful for the teams that keep our city beautiful and the neighbors that help them, and we are ready to get these spring cleaning initiatives underway.”

Take a Step DC

This year, the focus of PaveDC is providing critical repairs and restoration to 48 miles of sidewalks, chosen based on community concerns and data from DDOT. The project began near Eastern High School, where today’s event took place. Such work offers key protections to include compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and eliminating any tripping and fall hazards, especially for individuals using wheelchairs, people with mobility challenges, seniors, parents pushing a cart or stroller, and students walking to school. 
DDOT maintains nearly 1,500 miles of sidewalks, and, since 2018, the agency has repaired 320 miles of sidewalks. Since 2016, the agency has constructed 11.7 miles of sidewalk gaps.
“As Mayor Bowser celebrates Back to Basics season, it’s essential to spotlight our work crews and innovations like Take a STEP DC, which amplifies the work of PaveDC in sidewalk repair and paving and new sidewalk installation efforts,” said Acting DDOT Director Sharon Kershbaum. “Safer roads and sidewalks enhance mobility and reduce conflicts and crashes across the District.”

The Great Streets Corridor Clean Up 

Organized by the Deputy Mayor for Operations and Infrastructure (DMOI) and led by DPW, this three-week effort is targeting 19 corridors across the city. These efforts will be in partnership with DDOT, DC Health, the Department of Buildings, the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development, the Metropolitan Police Department, Office of the Clean City, Clean Teams, and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).

During a similar initiative in Fall 2022, 451.2 tons of waste was collected. The clean-up will include street and alley cleaning, sidewalk cleaning and power washing, trash and bulk item removal, gum removal, graffiti removal, roadway sign repair, tree and vegetation pruning, rodent abatement, and vacant property inspections and/or follow-up. 

“The Great Streets Corridor Clean Up is designed to address more requests to address litter and illegal dumping along some of our main corridors,” said DPW Director Timothy Spriggs “About a dozen teams will be concentrating on these areas during our three-week effort, but our work to make sure our residents have safe and clean streets and sidewalks to navigate on is year-round.” 
In addition to the initiatives highlighted at today’s event, the District Government is engaging in cleaning and beautification work across all eight wards:

  • DPW has collected 23.4 tons of illegally dumped tires on roadways since October 2023.
  • The Mayor’s Office of Clean City Spring Cleanup on April 27 resulted in the collection of 20,260 pounds of trash.
  • This spring and summer, DPW has a dedicated team of 11 to work on highway cleaning, pruning, and collecting tires on roads, Monday-Friday from 9:30 am -1:30 pm.

Mayor Bowser’s FY25 budget continues significant investments to support transportation infrastructure, street and sidewalk safety, and public works, including:

  • $37.9 million over a six-year period for major safety infrastructure improvements around schools;
  • $6 million for additional safety infrastructure around schools;
  • $193 million for paving and maintenance of local streets to maintain a state of good repair;
  • $115 million for maintenance of the existing sidewalk network and construction of new sidewalks in areas with gaps, with an additional $18 million in federal match funding over six years;
  • $98 million for rehabilitation of alleys through the District;
  • $3 million to continue the District’s curbside composting program, providing at-home organic waste pickup for 9,000 households;
  • $217 million in additional funding for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to support Metrorail and Metrobus service levels;
  • $47 million for the 11th Street Bridge Park, a transformative pedestrian bridge and park that will connect the Anacostia and Fairlawn neighborhoods with Capitol Hill and Navy Yard; and
  • $32 million to expand the District’s network of protected bike lanes and make pedestrian safety improvements. 

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