Downtown BID Project… huh?

photo (3)

Every morning on my walk to work, I walk through Thomas Circle and down 14th Street.  Every day this week, there’s been an electronic variable message sign on 14th Street that says, “Downtown BID Project/starting on or about/11-09-09, 9:30AM-3:30PM.  The Downtown BID, as you may know, is a business improvement district, which works to revitalize the downtown core through streetscape and cleaning projects.  They’re responsible for the SAMs on the street– those friendly folks wearing red that will provide directions and information.

So, since I’ve passed this display board every day since Monday, and there’s no real information about what this project is, I decided to call the Downtown BID today and find out.  But apparently, they have no idea what’s going on either.  Someone from marketing said I’d have to “be more specific”, which I couldn’t, because there’s nothing to be specific about. See the other two screens after the jump– what can I be more specific about?

So can someone PLEASE tell me what’s going on with the Downtown BID that is so important that it needs a variable message sign?  And if it’s that important, why doesn’t the Downtown BID have any idea what it is?

Shannon grew up in the greater DC area/Maryland suburbs, went to Virginia for college and grad school (go Hoos!), and settled in DC in 2006. She’s an urban planner who loves transit (why yes, that is her dressed as a Metro pylon for Halloween), cities, and all things DC. Email her at Shannon (at)!

2 thoughts on “Downtown BID Project… huh?

  1. That makes sense. I just don’t know why there wasn’t anything posted on the BID website about it, and why multiple people at the BID were clueless about what it was. And the sign doesn’t tell you anything about what the ‘project’ entails.

    Will be glad to see upgraded streetscapes though! Thanks for the info.