Archive for March 2019

DDOT Issues Notice of Intent to Install HAWK Signal at Georgia and Lamont Street, NW

March 29, 2019

Yesterday, ANC1A received a Notice of Intent from DDOT for the “Installation of New High intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) Signal at the Intersections of Georgia A venue and Lamont Street, NW, NOI 19-85-TESD.” This is very good news as it is part of a longstanding community-led effort to improve pedestrian safety along Park View’s Georgia Avenue corridor.

According to the notice:

The proposed modification is result of traffic analysis performed by DDOT to advance recommendations to improve safety at various pedestrian crossings in Ward 1, as stated in Director Marootian’ s May 4, 2018 letter to Councilmember Nadeau. Original recommendation to relocate the near-side northbound bus stop to far-side of the intersection could not advance due to the presence of loading zone, tree boxes and fire hydrant. Therefore, both the crosswalks at this intersection will be maintained and will be controlled by a new HAWK signal.

HAWK signal control can provide for the safe and efficient movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic at this intersection, and will provide positive direction to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists operating through and in the immediate vicinity. The proposed new HAWK signal on Georgia Avenue at Lamont Street, NW, will be timed to operate in harmony with adjacent traffic signals on the Georgia Avenue corridor to minimize disruptions to through traffic.

All comments on this subject matter must be filed in writing by Wednesday, May 8, 2019 (Thirty business days after the date of this notice), with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Traffic Engineering and Signals Division at 55 M Street, SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. If you would like to check the status of the Notice of Intent (NOI), please visit DDOT’s website at:
http://ddot.dc.gov/service/ddot-notice-intent. If you have trouble accessing the NOI site or are unable to do so, please contact the DDOT Customer Service Clearinghouse at 202-671-2800.

Here is an explanation from DDOT on how HAWK signals operate.

The Arcade Sunshine Apartments Turned Out Great

March 26, 2019

(Lobby at entrance to 715 Lamont Street, NW.)

Over the weekend, I had a chance to catch up with 1A09 Commissioner Michael Wray and tour the Arcade Sunshine apartments at 715 and 735 Lamont Street, NW. As many may recall, this is a project that has been in the works since mid-2014 and when fully completed will add about 225 units of housing and 102 parking spaces for its residents. I’m particularly please as I was able to negotiate the preservation and reuse of the Lamont Street facades into the new development creating an interesting mix of old and new.

The site was originally constructed as an industrial cleaners ca. 1919 and was in continued use as such until its recent conversion into new housing. It is currently leasing providing the opportunity to schedule a tour.

I’m providing photos here so you can get some idea of how well it turned out. You can also review the apartment floor plans here.

715 Lobby and common areas

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Brief Report on Tuesday’s Hebrew Home Update Meeting

March 21, 2019

(Neighbors at the Petworth Library listening to updates on the Hebrew Home project, Tuesday, March 19th)

A good number of neighbors attended the Hebrew Home redevelopment update meeting at the Petworth Library on March 19th. The primary objective of the meeting was to learn where the project for 1125 Spring Road, NW, is and what progress has been made since the project got the green light to move foreword. While the development team is still fine tuning the project, key updates shared focused on approvals the project has received to date, design element refinements, and the basic timeline for when construction would begin.

Current status of approvals as of March 2019.

The plans for the historic Hebrew Home building were approved by the HPRB in January 2018, following Victory Housing and Brinshore being awarded the project in August 2017.

When completed, the development will include the creation of 187 residential units through a mix of townhomes and apartments. The project will include the creation of 88 units of affordable housing for seniors at or below 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI) through the adaptive preservation of the historic Hebrew Home building as well as the creation of 62 units of affordable housing in a newly constructed building at the current site of the Paul Robeson School.

Currently the team is continuing to work on design and financing stages of the project. They anticipate several more months of work  before construction can begin, and that will be once all the financing is in place. Optimistically, construction could begin in late 2019. Conservatively, construction could begin by January or February 2020 at the latest.

Both the renovation of the historic Hebrew Home building and the new construction next door would begin at the same time, though they would likely be completed at different times. Once construction begins, the historic renovation should take approximately 14 months to complete, while the new family building would take approximately 18 months to complete.

(Current design for the Spring Road side of the new construction.)

(The 10th Street elevation, incorporating more brick.)

Overall, most residents who asked questions and commented on the 1125 Spring Road site expressed a spirit of support for the effort. The chief area of frustration centered on the issue of neighborhood parking and frustration with the District Government for not doing more to leverage District resources to assist with the parking needs of Raymond Elementary, the Raymond Recreation Center, and neighbors.

For example, Raymond Elementary has a large surface parking lot to the east of the building, yet DCPS has expressed that the parking lot is for the sole use of the school and not open to either the community or rec center to use. I, along with others, expressed that this is unacceptable as the school is District property. Furthermore, the recreation center was rebuilt as an extension of the school so that the school has use of the rec center during school hours as an extension of their programs. When the school is not in session, the school property must equally be flexible  and available to support the needs of the rec center. Clearly there is more work to do regarding the parking issue and DCPS’ rigidity with access to their property.

In reviewing the boards and other information that was available, I also noticed some programming and rough plans for the pocket park that is located to the west of the Hebrew Home building. I’m including that image below to show the progress on that aspect of the project.

(Programming diagram for the pocket park on Spring Road.)

 

Reminder! Hebrew Home Development Update Meeting Tonight at Petworth Library

March 19, 2019

The development team working on renovating the historic Hebrew Home and developing new housing on the remainder of the property is hosting a community meeting tonight.

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm at the Petworth Library. See flyer below:

Time to Report Potholes, Getting Ready for Potholepalooza

March 18, 2019

Pothole on Warder Street in front of the school.

If the streets in Park View are any indicator, it looks like the extreme swings in temperature this winter have resulted in a bumper crop of potholes for the 2019 season. New Hampshire Avenue has a good number and the section of Warder Street in front of the school and recreation center are particularly bad.

This weekend, I took some time to walk the streets, photograph potholes, and report them to the DC 311 system. As potholepalooza hasn’t kicked off yet, this seems like the perfect time to get these requests in so that our streets will be in good repair until next winter.

Many may think of potholes as a nuisance to drivers, but more than that, they can slow down bus service and significantly impact bicycle and pedestrian safety. Potholes in crosswalks, for example, become trip hazards. As noted above, we have some severe potholes in front of the Park View School building and these  need to be a priority on the repair list.

Commissioner Boese out documenting potholes to report to 311 for service.

The map below shows the areas where I found potholes thus far. I haven’t been able to walk every street yet, so if you see one on your street please add it to the 311 system.

New Pedestrian Crossing at Morton and Georgia Avenue Improves Pedestrian Safety After Getting Off on Wrong Foot

March 13, 2019

(New median system on Georgia Avenue at Morton Street.)

DDOT’s improvements to the pedestrian crossing on Georgia Avenue at Morton Street is nearly completed and will greatly increase safety for everyone who has attempted to cross this dangerous intersection in the past few years — though it got off to a rocky start this weekend. As noted on PoPville, the new concrete islands were largely completed by Saturday but were not marked by signs, warnings, or any other means of alerting drivers of the roadway changes leading to a number of accidents.

As you can see from the photos above and below, the intersection is well marked now. Additionally, a deeper review from DDOT has indicated that the original design will require modifications to on-street parking at the intersection, namely:

  • Removal of one (1) parking space on each of the corners of the intersection of Georgia Avenue & Morton Street NW, for a total of four (4) parking spaces. 

All of the existing parking in questin is metered, with a two-hour parking limit from 7:00 AM to 6:30 PM Monday through Saturday and with a three-and-half-hour parking limit from 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM Monday through Saturday. Removal of these spaces is necessary for completing the installation of the median refuge islands at the intersection. A sample of what this will look like is shown in the photo below from the northeast corner of the intersection in front of Small Smiles (which already has street markings).

Georgia Avenue Thrive in particular and the neighbors that worked with them deserve a great deal of credit for their strong advocacy to improve pedestrian conditions along Georgia Avenue.

(This area in front fo Small Smiles shows where metered parking will be removed just to the north of Morton Street.)

(Working drawing from DDOT gives an overview of reconfiguration, where parking will be removed, and the placement of signage related to the new pedestiran refuge islands at Georgia and Morton.)

DDOT to Begin Work on New Bioretention Facility at Park Road Park Today

March 11, 2019

Work is scheduled to begin on March 11th for a new bioretention area at the Park Road Park.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to begin work today on a new bioretention facility at the western corner of the Park Road Park located at Park Road, Sherman Avenue, and New Hampshire Avenue. The work is part of the LeDroit Park Green Infrastructure Project. The purpose of the bioretention facilities is to filter pollutants and sediment from runoff.

Parking will be restricted during construction from 7 am to 5 pm.

Construction is expected to take approximately 4 weeks to complete, dependent on weather. In total, the bioretention area will be 1,567 sq. ft. in size.

Throughout the construction area, at least one lane of traffic will be open per direction. Curbside parking will be restricted at the site during construction hours which are 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Saturday.

Below are some construction drawing details shared from DDOT.


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