Initial Look at DC’s Vision Zero

Posted July 7, 2015 by Kent
Categories: DDOT, People, Public Safety, traffic, Transportation

Tags: , ,

Following up on yesterday’s post about the need for better bike lane maintenance, I wanted to highlight the District’s adoption of the Vision Zero Initiative which began in earnest in March 2015. It is an initiative already adopted in other cities which “aims to improve pedestrian and bicycle transportation safety by showcasing effective local actions, empowering local leaders to take action, and promoting partnerships to advance pedestrian and bicycle safety.” The stated objective of Vision Zero, according to the DDOT Website is:

By the year 2024, Washington, DC will reach zero fatalities and serious injuries to travelers of our transportation system, through more effective use of data, education, enforcement, and engineering.

In particular, I like the inclusion of the Vision Zero safety map which lets residents indicate safety issues collaboratively. I noticed that there aren’t many issues listed in the Park View area yet, but presume it will fill in over the next several weeks.

Access to some of the related safety and traffic plans is available at the DC Vision Zero page here.

Vision Zero map(Detail from Vision Zero map showing Park View area.)

The District Needs a Long Term Solution for Clean & Safe Bike Lanes

Posted July 6, 2015 by Kent
Categories: Bikes, Streets and Trees, traffic, Transportation

Tags: , ,
Beginning to clean up the gravel in the Warder Street bike lane.

Beginning to clean up the gravel in the Warder Street bike lane.

On June 1st I was alerted to loose gravel in the bike lane at the south end of Warder Street, NW. I presumed this would be an easy issue to resolve and reported it to 311. As it turns out, this was not an easy issue to resolve. After reporting the issue to 311 and then escalating the issue with the Mayor’s Ward 1 representatives in the Office of Community Relations and Services (MOCRS), a month later the loose gravel was still there.

As I’ve dug into this problem, it is my understanding that keeping bike lanes clean of minor but often dangerous debris is a citywide issue. Not being one to let a problem with a simple solution linger, I took it upon myself to clean up the gravel myself. While Warder Street is now clean, there are other bike lanes elsewhere that still need attention. With this in mine, I will continue to work with the city to find a lasting citywide solution to this problem.

In short, I believe that if Washington is going to invest in bike infrastructure, we also need to invest in bike lane safety and maintenance to ensure that these resources are in good repair and safe.

Boese cleanning bike lane(Commissioner Boese removing gravel from Warder Street bike lane.)

Warder bike lane(Warder Street bike lane with gravel removed.)

Greater Petworth Fourth of July Celebration, 1916

Posted July 3, 2015 by Kent
Categories: Celebrations, Children, History, Holidays

Tags: , , ,

A few months back I was lucky enough to purchase a series of 10 photographs documenting the Fourth of July parade in the Petworth area in 1916. I liked these photos for a number of reason, including the early date and the inclusion of a contingent from Princeton Heights. For those unfamiliar with local history, Princeton Heights is the area within the Park View neighborhood north of Princeton and south of Rock Creek Church Road.

I was able to find an accompanying article from the Washington Evening Star, and as the two photos that accompany the newspaper article match two of the photos in my collection, I presume that the photographer worked for the Star. You can read the full article here.

Below are three of the photos, and you can see all ten on Flickr here.

Princeton Heights(The Princeton Heights contingent on Randolph Street.)

Presidential candidates(A few of the many candidates in the 1916 presidential race: Teddy Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Woodrow Wilson, and Wilson’s running mate v.p. candidate Thomas R. Marshall.)

Petworth float(The Petworth float, in the form of a navy vessel.)

DDOT Replacing Sidewalks on Otis Place, Fails to Consider Street Trees

Posted July 2, 2015 by Kent
Categories: Streets and Trees, streetscape

Tags: ,
State of sidewalk work on Otis Place, evening of June 30, 2015.

State of sidewalk work on Otis Place, evening of June 30, 2015.

Readers of this blog will now that I’ve been a strong advocate for trees and improved streetscapes for several years. Sadly, despite walking the streets of the neighborhood with the Urban Forestry Administration and getting a good sense of which treeless streets could support street trees, I discovered at the beginning of the week that DDOT began a project to replace the sidewalk on the north side of Otis Place — along the Park View Recreation Center — exactly as they found it. In short, the treeless block of Otis between Warder Street and 6th Street will remain treeless.

I contend that the one way street is wide enough to accommodate a slight narrowing to make room for trees. Additionally, no parking is allowed on the north side during school hours.

Upon learning of the sidewalk project which also included a complete replacement of the curb and some of the road, I contacted DDOT immediately and was told by the end of June 30th by a DDOT representative that “I confirmed with the team that the work can stop after today and investigate the cost and feasibility of adding tree boxes.” This sounded like good news, as at that stage only half of the new curbing had been installed and none of the sidewalk had been poured.

Sadly, DDOT did not honor their word. The following day the rest of the curbs were poured along with most of the sidewalks. To my knowledge, there was no investigation regarding cost  or feasibility. Furthermore, the stretch of street where this occurred contains no storm water catch basins. This should have been the easiest win/win for both DDOT and the community.

State of sidewalk work on Otis Place, evening of July 1, 2015.

State of sidewalk work on Otis Place, evening of July 1, 2015.

I feel strongly that it is critical that the long term goals of the community not be ignored when real opportunities present themselves, such as this sidewalk on Otis Place. I also feel it is important that the voice of the community — your voices — not be silenced because DDOT and others choose to work around their ANCs who I can assure you receive many, many emails with suggestions, concerns, and ideas on how to make our neighborhoods great.

Moving forward, I have written and will introduce a resolution at the July 8th meeting of ANC1A urging that the ANC law be amended such that DDOT be required to provide notice when significant streetscape & sidewalk replacement projects are undertaken. DDOT already does this for curb cuts, public space permits, and handicapped parking requests. Significant streetscape work should be no different.

I will continue to press DDOT on this issue, both specifically on Otis and more broadly on our other treeless streets. As for Otis Place, I’ve reached out to the Mayor’s Office, Councilmember Nadeau, and others to bring light to this epic fail.

Disturbing Video of 77 Market Vandalism and Robbery

Posted July 1, 2015 by Kent
Categories: Crime, MPD, Theft, vandalism

Tags: , ,

Last Saturday, June 27th, there was a horrible robbery at 77 Market located at Georgia Avenue and Irving Street, NW. I know many in the neighborhood may already know about this, but I’m sure other don’t. In reading the report and watching the video on Fox 5, this is far more disturbing that what one would normally think of with a robbery. According to the Fox 5 report:

It was caught on camera — a dangerous duo struck a Park View convenience store. But this was far from your typical stick up. There was no gun — just fury — enough to turn the store upside down. And the store’s cashier is just thankful to be alive after the close encounter.

I’ll definitely be working with Commissioner Rashida Brown and MPD to address what appears as a serious crime trend in the area. I know that for the past few months that crimes data from the DC Crime Map shows an overall increase in nearly all statistical areas. I’ve had a few leads as to why, and want to make sure that the community works with MPD to solve this persistent problem.

77 Market

July 4th at the Armed Forces Retirement Home

Posted June 30, 2015 by Kent
Categories: Celebrations, Holidays, Sports leisure and entertainment

Tags: , ,

According to the Friends of the Soldiers Home Web Site, the weather for the Fourth of July celebration on the Armed Forces Retirement Home’s ground promises to be beautiful. Below is the flyer with details.

July 4th AFRH 2015

Discovering a 1964 Poetry Book and Its Link to the Neighborhood

Posted June 29, 2015 by Kent
Categories: History, literature

Tags: , ,

I recently found an article from the Chicago Daily Defender published on December 28, 1964 (included below) which has a nice connection with Park View. It is about Elois H. Redmond Jones who lived at 521 Lamont Street with her husband Thomas. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis W. Redmond, resided at 724 Rock Creek Church Road. The occasion of the article was a book of poems she’d published in 1964 by Vantage Press titled A Pleasant Encounter and Other Poems. In doing some digging, this appears to be her only published work. I was able to find that six libraries are known to own copies. These are Virginia Commonwealth University, Temple University, Norfolk State University, New York Public library, Brown University, and Wayne State University. I’m sure there may be others.

I’ve yet to learn anything more about the author but will keep searching.

 

Elois H. Jones


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