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Lex Ulibarri's Metro Site Plan

This plan designed by Lex Ulibarri, working with the cross-jurisdictional group Friends of Takoma Transit, saves the entire park and all the trees, plus it allows for more trees to be planted. It also provides the 50 foot green buffers specified in the Takoma Central District Plan (a small area plan authored by the DC Office of Planning) to mitigate the impact of a transit station on existing, historic residential areas.

This plan saves the entirety of the existing transit facilities, plus it allows for expansion with one additional bus bay and the potential for re-configuration in the future if necessary. It also provides clear access to the elevator entrance (vital for handicapped users of transit, as well as bicyclists, mothers with strollers, and travellers with luggage) and a taxi stand and kiss-n-ride that are not part of a potentially deadly obstacle course of cars and busses for pedestrians and handicapped users of transit.

Moreover, Ulibarri's design integrates the plaza in front of the station entrance into pedestrian areas in the park and the underpass to the intersection of 4th, Cedar, and Blair. It provides for bike stands, bike lockers, and the Metropolitan Branch Bike Trail along Cedar and Eastern.

This plan also provides for residential or mixed use development on the existing hardscape, that is the current paved parking lot ONLY. The proposed structure is an at-grade structure, with two levels of parking below and two levels of residential above, with brownstones along Eastern and service retail along the bus turnaround. This structure has two levels of parking, one for Metro (with 150 spaces compared to 157 now) and one for residents, with 120-150 spaces, depending on use. At its highest point, near the tracks, this structure is under 50 feet tall and the brownstones are situated 60 feet back from Eastern and are 25 feet tall at the tallest.

The platform on which the residential units sit provides a green roof for the parking structure below. There are 65 residential units, varying in size from 1000 to 3000 square feet, with some brownstones along Eastern. The residential units are in a setting of pedestrian alleys that may be landscaped and which separate pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The residential units are also raised above the levels of both bus and auto traffic and thus avoid exhaust fumes. Moreover, there is potential to expand the residential units to as many as 80 in this same configuration.

There is the potential in this plan for some small service retail along the facade of the structure that faces the bus bays. This retail might be a dry cleaners, a news stand, a branch bank, for example.

This plan was designed by Lex Ulibarri, an architectural designer who lives and works in the Takoma community, and who has worked with other community groups in Chevy Chase and adjacent to the Soldier's and Airmen's Home to develop alternative designs.> This plan is the only plan presented to date that satisfies all the requirements of the CDP.

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Sabrina Baron
March 2007

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