While we're all for widening the sidewalk along U Street (seriously, right now some sections are skinnier than an Olson twin), we're not so excited about the construction process. Yes, U Street will be a hot mess this summer. But all is not lost! We've been wanting to bring the hardhat into fashion for a while. Now's our chance!
But in all seriousness, if we learned anything from the construction on 18th Street in Adams Morgan, which is finally coming to an end (hooray for biking to Pharmacy Bar and not feeling like you're going to be run over by a bulldozer!), it's that ongoing construction makes things harder for local businesses. Statistics show that people who fear they might stumble into large construction holes tend to walk elsewhere, and thus, dine/eat/shop elsewhere, as well. But not us. We've got our hardhat, remember? Plus, there are some really great local businesses on U that deserve our patronage, construction or not. (Nellie's, Codmother, etc.)
To make things slightly easier on everybody, the city has opted to do one block at a time, starting with the stretch between 9th and 10th Streets right now and extending to 14th by 2013. In short, tread carefully, but still tread. We'll all be better for it in the end.—MP