Archive for April 2019

Park View UNC Public Safety Meeting Scheduled for May 1 @ Park View Recreation Center, 7-8 pm

April 30, 2019

The May 1st meeting of the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition will focus on Public Safety following the tragic loss of 16-year old Princeton Place neighbor, Breon Austin on April 19th. Below is the meeting announcement:

Although violent crime rates in the city and our neighborhood overall are on a long-term downward trend, recently gun-related crime is on the rise throughout the city, including in Park View. A little over a week ago, our neighborhood experienced the tragic loss of 16-year old Princeton Place resident Breon Austin to gun violence.

Please join the Park View UNC for a community discussion this Wednesday, May 1 at 7pm about how we can help ensure that all residents of our neighborhood are safe and secure. We’ll be joined by Earl Davis from the DC Department of Parks and Recreation to speak about the group he runs for neighborhood teens each week at the Park View Rec Center, and by Captain Sean Conboy from the Metropolitan Police Department, whose district includes Park View.

As usual, we will also have updates from our elected officials’ offices and time for community announcements.

We are also working to schedule speakers from the Attorney General’s office and other public safety-related agencies for future meetings.

UNC Monthly Meeting: Public Safety in Park View
Wednesday, May 1, 7-8pm
Park View Rec Center, 693 Otis Pl. NW (entrance on Warder; we meet in the room at the back)

More Bike Racks Installed (and Coming) to the Park View School

April 29, 2019

For the past month, I’ve been working to get more bike racks installed at the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View School on Warder Street. This was in response to a request from parents and school administration. I’m happy to report that two new bike racks were installed about a week ago in front of the building on Warder Street.

(The two blue bike racks are new additions and double the number of racks currently serving the school.)

I’m happier to report that the racks are already being used, as you can see from the photo below sent to me by one of the happy parents.

In order to get the racks, I met with DDOT’s Bicycle Support Specialist and walked the grounds. We identified about four different locations where new racks could be installed, with some locations requiring more time due to needing to order equipment.

In addition to the two new racks on Warder Street, I’m continuing to work with DDOT to get an additional rack or two on the south side of Otis Place just west of Warder in the parking area. It shouldn’t create any issues with the street trees, but does require a different type of rack than what DDOT had on hand. These racks could be installed later this spring.

(Area were additional rack can be added in the near future.)

Ward 1 Public Safety Meeting Scheduled for April 30th

April 26, 2019

Public Safety, and effective ways to ensure it in our communities, is something that is important to everyone. Here is an opportunity for residents to get engaged, show support for efforts that are working, and offer feedback on strategies that are falling short.

Councilmember Nadeau has announced the date and location of her 4th Annual Ward 1 Public Safety Meeting which will be on Tuesday, April 30th on U Street.

What: 4th Annual Ward 1 Public Safety Meeting

When: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

6:30pm: Open house with brief remarks

7:30pm: Meet neighborhood MPD officers

Where: Prince Hall Masonic Temple, 1000 U St NW

More details are available here, and include the following information:

We’ll have a new format this year based on feedback from previous years.

We’ll open at 6:30pm with an open house featuring representatives and brief remarks from MPD Commanders, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, Collaborative Solutions for Communities, the Ward 1 NEAR Act Study Group. Each representative will have a table and residents can mingle and ask questions.

Then at 7:30pm, we’ll be joined by neighborhood MPD officers for those who would like to meet an MPD officer who works in their neighborhood.

If Removing On-Street Parking Spaces Also Removed an Open-Air Drug Market, Would That Be a Fair Trade?

April 25, 2019

The 600 block of Newton Place, NW, has been a difficult street for many years. It is narrow. It does not have street trees. And, it has had an on-again, off-again history of open-air drug dealing. We all know that crime is a complicated thing to solve. Clearly, the police play a role, and continue to do so on Newton Place. Social Services also play a key role and we are increasingly identifying public safety issues that are better suited for agencies geared toward addressing addiction and homelessness, as examples.

But what about planning and design? The short answer is yes. Poorly planned roads, streets, and infrastructure can similarly invite criminal activity or at least provide a desirable environment for it.

The 600 block of Newton Place is one area that I believe rises to this threshold.

One recent Saturday as I was walking down the block, I noticed that a brand new Audi A6 was parked on the block, about mid block, with out to District tags. As I was walking, another vehicle with out of District tags parked on the block. The new driver got out of their car and walked up to the Audi where the two then proceeded to conduct a drug transaction. This was shortly before noon.

It got me thinking — if the on-street parking on the block is being used as part of an active drug market, is it serving the community? Moreover, would there be a significant hardship to the neighbors if much of the on-street parking was removed? Even more, if the parking could be removed, could a portion of it be repurposed for street trees on a block where no street trees currently exist.

The overview below shows the area in question. Today, Newton Place is one-way eastbound. There is no parking on the north side of the street and 22 parking spaces on the south side of the street.

(Overview of the 600 block of Newton Place, NW. The red arrow indicates off-street parking currently unused.)

Of the 22 parking spaces currently on Newton Place, I would recommend keeping the five between Georgia Avenue and the entrance to the alley. These support the Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center and the businesses on Georgia Avenue. Also, any resident can park in them afterhours for free. Lastly, as trash and recycling is collected in alleys in Ward 1, keeping the street in its current configuration up to the alley entrance would not create a new hardship for these core city services.

This would leave 17 parking spaces that could potentially be removed. In walking the alleys both north and south of Newton Place, with few exceptions each property has access to off-street parking. Much of it is used, though some of it isn’t. In one case, the apartment building at 636 Newton Place appears to have room for 4 or 5 parking spaces, but the area is fenced off and currently unavailable. This wouldn’t have to stay this way.

(Parking area at the rear of 646 Newton Place, NW, that is currently fenced off.)

In reviewing the current inventory of current and potential alley parking for the properties along Newton Place, about 10 new spaces could be accommodated without significant hardship — this means that the net loss of parking would be 7 spaces.

The question becomes, would losing 7 spaces overall on Newton Place be an agreeable trade off if it also removed the opportunity for out of District vehicles to park there and conduct their drug business on a daily basis?

As a potential bonus, presuming there were wide support for decreasing on-street parking on Newton Place, a portion of the former parking area could be repurposed for about 8 new street trees (see image below).

(Could a portion of the parking on Newton Place be repurposed for new trees?)

As stated at the beginning of this post, Newton is a narrow street currently consisting of one travel lane and one lane of parking. The average width of an American car is 6 feet, meaning that if just 3 feet of the street formerly dedicated to parking were repurposed for a line of street trees, the travel lane would increase in width by 3 feet. The overall result could be a street with less crime, a safer street for travelers, and a more beautiful street with the addition of a tree canopy.

Park View Neighborhood Clean Up and Block Party is This Saturday (4/27)

April 24, 2019

This coming Saturday, April 27th, please join your Park View neighbors for an Earth Day celebration! We’ll participate in a clean-up and then party with a BBQ, bounce house and more.

Park View Earth Day Block Party and Neighborhood Clean-Up: Saturday, April 27th
Sponsored by the Park View UNC, Georgia Avenue Thrive, BMPV Parents and Teachers United, Safeway, Butcher’s Alley and City Blossoms

  • Neighborhood Clean-up: Meet at the Rec Center (corner of Warder St. and Otis Pl) from 10am-12pm to beautify the rec center, plant flowers and pick up trash.
  • Block Party, BBQ and student plant sale: Otis Pl. between Warder and 6th, and in front of BMPV elementary from 10am-2pm

See the flyer below for more details:

MPD 4D Weapon Recovery Report from April 20th

April 23, 2019

Adding more to the conversation about gun violence in the surrounding community, the latest Fourth District Weapon Recovery email from Saturday, April 20th, is below. As has been pointed out to me, it is interesting that all the listed locations this time are in the Park View, south Petworth area.

The email from MPD 4D:

Every day, the Metropolitan Police Department works to recover and investigate illegal firearms in Washington D.C. In addition to our patrol officers, the Department has specialized units—such as Crime Suppression Teams (CSTs)—who work tirelessly to safely and respectfully secure illegal firearms and get them off of our streets. On Friday, April 19, 2019 , the Fourth District Crime Suppression Unit recovered 5 firearms off the streets in the Fourth District.

A Ruger .308 caliber rifle was recovered in the 800 block of Quincy Street, Northwest. CCN: 19-066-645

A KelTec Sub2000 9mm carbine rifle was recovered in the 800 block of Quincy Street, Northwest. CCN: 19-066-645

A Ruger .357 revolver was recovered in the 800 block of Quincy Street, Northwest. CCN: 19-066-645

A Colt .38 Special revolver was recovered in the 600 block of Park Road, Northwest. The following person was arrested: 20 year-old Reginal Steele, of Northwest, D.C., for Carrying a Pistol Without a License. CCN: 19-066-728

A Armscor Model 1600 .22 caliber rifle was recovered in the 600 block of Rock Creek Church Road, Northwest. CCN: 19-066-738

The Metropolitan Police Department also recovers firearms with the assistance of anonymous tips made through MPD’s anonymous tip line. Anyone who has information regarding gun recoveries should call police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, information may be submitted to the TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411. The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $2,500 to anyone who provides information that leads to the recovery of an illegal firearm hidden in the District of Columbia.

MPD Investigating Princeton Place Homicide

April 22, 2019

On Friday afternoon, April 19th, MPD responded to shots fired on the 700 block of Princeton Place. Sadly, the shooting resulted in the loss of life. Below is the announcement MPD shared on their listserv:

At approximately 4:04 pm, members of the Fourth District responded to the 700 block of Princeton Place, Northwest for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located an unconscious juvenile male inside the home, suffering from several apparent gunshot wounds. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services arrived on the scene and the victim was transported to a local hospital and succumbed to their injuries.

The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by sending a text message to 50411.

I am grateful to both Patrol Chief Lamar Greene and Forth District Captain Sean Conboy who called me on Friday to brief me on the incident and discuss overall efforts to address crime in the neighborhood.

Regarding what neighbors can do to assist with solving Friday’s homicide, I’ve been informed that while canvassing the neighborhoods, detectives observed security cameras affixed to residences that are within a four block radius of the offense.  Many of those cameras are registered with the Capital Shield Program. If any resident has video that you think may assist with the investigation, please contact me at 1A08(at)anc.dc.gov and I can provide you the contact information or put you in contact with directives working on this case.

Chief Newsham also personally responded on Friday, and below is his statement from the scene.

 

 

 


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