Road to Recovery
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar

The District's Road to Recovery

City Services | Revitalizing Downtown | D.C. Budget | Quiz | Background

Improvement District Plans 13th Street Cleanup
A group of business, civic and cultural leaders is developing plans to improve the surroundings of many downtown streets. They say lifeless streets could be resuscitated by designing special "rooms" with their own coordinated "furniture," such as benches and fountains. The first steps are scheduled for spring. Photo of Freedom Plaza links to story
Freedom Plaza is one target.
(By James M. Thresher - The Post)

About This Report

After decades of decline, the District is making progress in many areas, including city services, the budget and downtown revitalization. This report charts the city's sometimes bumpy road to recovery.

City Services

Public Works employees
(File photo/TWP)
"City services" has long seemed an oxymoron in the District, where bureaucratic snarls and inefficiency have frustrated residents and visitors. Since 1995, Washington has gotten a federally appointed control board, a new city manager and a number of other executives to help pull the city out of its slump.
_ Post coverage of city services
_ Post profile of city manager Camille Barnett
_ "D.C. Pays Top Dollar For Executives" (03/98)

Creating a 'Living Downtown'
Waffle Shop
The Waffle Shop on 10th Street NW
(File photo/TWP)
Thirty years after Washington's downtown was ravaged by the 1968 riots, there are signs that it is again coming to life. Completion of the new MCI Center, efforts to spruce up the waterfront, and migration of stores and residents back downtown are changing the city's character.
_ Post stories on the downtown revival
_ Creating a "living downtown"
_ MCI Center special report

D.C. Budget
Anthony Williams/TWP
Anthony Williams
(File photo/TWP)
Anthony Williams made a pledge in early 1997: If the District didn't receive a clean annual audit in a year's time, he would resign his job as chief financial officer. One year later, the District not only had a clean audit, it also had a budget surplus of $185.9 million.
_ Post coverage of the D.C. budget
_ Post profile of Anthony Williams (02/98)
_ Control board resources page

Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial (File photo/TWP)
Who's the highest-paid District employee? Before last year, how long had it been since the city showed a budget surplus? Does the District's recovery include the traffic bureau, where long lines and poor service have become a part of city lore? Answers to these and other questions in our interactive quiz.

Waffle Shop
City employees fill potholes along N Street in Georgetown. (File photo/TWP)
Schools with collapsing roofs. Corruption in the police department. Streets pockmarked with potholes. Infant mortality rates higher than those of some third-world capitals. These were all elements of the District's decline. The Post was there to chronicle them.
_ D.C. Mismanagement   (Post series - 07/97)
_ A City In Transition   (Post series - 06/95)
_ Schools Crisis   (Special report)
_ Government Rescue Plan   (Special report)

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Back to the top

Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar