October 7, 2010

Read the meeting transcript

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Perimeter Security
(File number 7049)

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) provided favorable comments on the concept design for perimeter security at the Jefferson Memorial located on the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the memorial, designed by John Russell Pope, in April 1943.

The National Park Service (NPS) submitted three concept design alternatives for the Commission’s consideration. All proposals included plans for a vehicle barrier to protect the iconic memorial. In the first alternative the barrier is a streetscape feature that roughly follows East Basin Drive. This alternative proposes a barrier consisting of stone piers connected by cables sheathed in rigid metal.

In the second alternative, the barrier consists predominantly of a solid stone wall and is located inside the memorial grounds. The third alternative provides a more formal barrier consisting of granite walls located in a concentric circle around the memorial, except for the South Lawn, where it would be located along the sidewalk on East Basin Drive.

The Commission commended the NPS for developing three meaningful alternatives. Although it provided the most favorable comments on alternative one, it recommended that the Park Service consider some of the design concepts for the walls and benches from the second and third alternatives. The Commission anticipates seeing the next phase of design, preliminary, in the spring of 2011.

Each design alternative included some type of seating element. In addition, each scheme proposed relocating an existing food kiosk, widening the East Basin Drive sidewalk, and providing ten dedicated spaces for tour buses and five handicapped spaces.

See the Commission Action, Staff Recommendation, and video

Information Presentations

Washington as Commemoration Study Update

NCPC staff members updated Commissioners on the joint Washington as Commemoration Study, a four-phase examination of commemorative works in the nation’s capital conducted by NCPC and NPS staffs. The first two phases included development of a catalogue of existing memorials and identification of major themes and subthemes in Washington’s commemorative landscape. Today the Commissioners learned about the third phase, an examination of how other capital cities establish and site commemorations. National capitals (Berlin, Canberra, London, and Ottawa) and American state capitals (Boston, Salt Lake City, and St. Paul) are included in the study.

White House Area Transportation Study
(File number 6625)

Representatives of the Federal Highway Administration provided a second informational presentation on the draft findings of the White House Area Transportation Study. Following the Oklahoma City bombing and September 11, portions of Pennsylvania Avenue and E Street near the White House were closed to vehicular traffic. This resulted in disruptions to Washington’s traffic patterns. The study examined a number of possible scenarios to improve circulation. These options included adding a new tunnel, improving area traffic operations, and increasing transit services. The study area extended from M Street (north) to the National Mall (south), and from the Potomac River (west) to roughly Union Station (east). A final report will be available next year.

View the PowerPoint from today's presentation.

Consent Calendar: The Commission voted on Consent Calendar items without staff presentations or public testimony.

Delegated Decisions: Projects for which the Commission delegated decision-making authority to the Chairman, Executive Committee, or Executive Director.