Archive for the ‘City services’ category

Update on Pepco’s Capital Grid Project & Summer Construction Areas

May 24, 2019

Last night, Pepco held a community meeting to update residents in the general area of Sherman Avenue and Harvard on the status of their Capital Grid project and where to expect construction this summer.

Below is the map that was shared during the meeting. It shows streets where construction has already been completed (green), and where construction will be this summer (blue).

(Pepco maps showing status of completed and future construction.)

The map identifies Sherman Avenue (between Euclid and Girard), Girard Street (between Sherman and 13th), Harvard Street (between Sherman and 13th), and 13th Street (between Girard and Columbia) as the streets where construction will occur. Work will begin between the first week to mid-June 2019 and is expected to be completed by October 1st at the latest.

During construction, each impacted  street will have at least one lane open for traffic. Additionally, on-street parking will be impacted during construction hours, but will be returned to community use when construction ends each afternoon and overnight. Steel plates will also be used to cover the trenches each night.

Here is their list of construction activites:

Pepco Substation No. 13, at Harvard and Sherman Avenue, with 2914 Sherman in the background.

The purpose of all of this work is to transfer the energy service to the neighborhood from Harvard Street to Florida Avenue so that the Harvard Street substation can be brought off-line to be rebuilt.

The current plan is for the Harvard substation to begin construction early in 2020. It is not expected to be completed until late 2022 or early 2023.

It is also important to note that a future section of Pepco Construction will include Georgia Avenue from New Hampshire Avenue to Girard Street, though that is still in the future and not currently scheduled.

(Residents gathered to learn updates from Pepco about their Capital Grid project.)

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.)

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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

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.


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