The Emptying Out Of D.C. (And How Much Of D.C. Is Trapped In A Time Warp)

Having left D.C. for many years, and now living in it again, I’m struck by how much of the local political establishment is stuck in the D.C. of 1994 (Jack [cough] Evans [cough]). Leaving aside Mayor Barry and the budget crisis (band name!), it’s worth noting that the city is much more crowded than it used to be: since 1994, the city population has grown by 34 percent.

For many older Washingtonians, population decline (and stemming it), not increase, was the motto of the day. This perspective affects everything from housing policy to transportation. But the city is getting more crowded, and that has real life changes. On the plus side, many areas were unsafe, largely because they were desolate. Car traffic is worse (and four years of de facto SafeTrack Metro repairs haven’t helped). There is a housing shortage, especially in areas near mass transit. Unfortunately, most of the political establishment is still fighting the battles of the mid-1990s, not 2018.

Anyway, all of that is prelude to this excellent blog I found that has photographic evidence of how Southeast D.C. has changed since 2006. You should check out the whole blog, including the sliding thingee, but two comparisons are worth showing. Here’s South Capitol and I Streets, SE, in 2006 and 2018:

And here’s 4th and Water Streets, SE, in 2005 and 2018:

For better and for worse, D.C. has a lot more people than it used to have.

Anyway, it’s a cool site.

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