A city-sponsored streetscape beautification project currently under construction in Washington D.C. has been keeping many customers away from local businesses. Many are calling on the city to help out businesses during the construction-caused lull.
"The regulars are on vacation. Most expense account business is in recess. And the city-sponsored construction mess outside restaurant doors -- which has scared off weekend diners from the suburbs and local foot traffic as well -- has been, and will be, there for months to come."
"P Street NW, west of Dupont Circle, is in the middle of the latest District Streetscape project, part of a Department of Transportation program that beautifies business corridors with brick sidewalks, greenery, old-fashioned globe lamps, modern underground infrastructure and freshly paved streets. City officials like to call the disruption 'short-term pain for long-term gain.'"
"But some activists are concerned that not all P Street businesses will survive the $3.5 million project, which broke ground in January and is scheduled for completion in April. They want District government and economic development groups to help tide over the merchants with grants and small-business loans."