Archive for the ‘Streets and Trees’ category

New Street Work Temporarily Stalled

August 19, 2016
Newly paved Manor Place.

Newly paved Manor Place.

I was recently alerted that some of the new paving work that is occurring in the neighborhood hit a temporary setback. Some may have noticed that area streets like Manor Place have recently been repaved. To the west of the Park View School 6th Street is also mostly repaved. However, the 600 block of Newton Place (between 6th and Georgia) has been prepared for new paving but that work has not occurred.

After contacting DDOT, this is what I’ve learned. The installation of the new pavement on Newton has been stymied for the past few weeks due to the paving machine breaking down. The machine is currently being repaired with expectations that it will be repaired soon. Once the repairs are completed, the work on Newton Place will be completed.

Photos of the area around 6th and Newton below:

6th and Newton(Looking north on 6th Street from the intersection of Newton Place.)

IMG_1386(Looking west on Newton Place from 6th Street.)

Banning New Developments From Participating in Residential Parking Program Is Destined to Fail

August 8, 2016

700 block of QuebecA few readers have reached out to me regarding Urban Turf’s coverage of whether or not bans on residential parking permits (RPP) at select new residential developments is enforceable. On July 28th, Urban Turf received the following from DDOT confirming that there is no enforcement from DDOT or DMV when it comes to such properties.

“When residents apply for an RPP, DDOT and the Department of Motor Vehicles may not be aware of a contractual agreement between a landlord and tenant. There is no self-exemption process under current regulations, thus eligible residents applying for RPPs may receive them. The current exemption clauses being proffered during the zoning process are to be enforced between the developer, landlord, and any future tenants.”

While some found this surprising, I did not. I have long be of the opinion that buildings banning participation in the RPP program in exchange for providing the number of parking spaces required by zoning was a house of cards. During my time on ANC1A, we have reviewed several developments seeking relief from the amount of parking required by zoning. The Commission has supported some requests and opposed others. However, there has only been one instance where the developer proposed denying residents of the future building from participating in RPP parking. The project in question was considered by the ANC on October 8, 2014, and is destined for 3619 Georgia Avenue (southeast corner with Princeton).

The ANC opposed the requested parking relief even after the attorneys told us that the owner would voluntarily deny residents from RPP participation. While this seemed like a reasonable trade off to some, it did not sway my position precisely because I believed that 1) such an arrangement would be unenforceable, and 2) that denying residents access to the RPP parking would be illegal.

In addition to the latest news that neither DDOT nor DMV has a mechanism to enforce such exclusion from the parking program, I also believe that even if these agencies were able to track and enforce parking restrictions that such enforcement could be illegal — especially in Ward 1 where denying residents from participating in the RPP program is contrary to D.C. Law 18-240, which states that “Any resident owning a vehicle registered at an address on a Ward 1 residential block may be granted a Zone 1 residential parking sticker.”

In short, buildings that may agree to not participate in the RPP program in exchange for relieve from parking requirements are only kicking the can down the road. They may be able to prevent residents from obtaining parking permits in the short term, but eventually the house of cards will come tumbling down. There are good reasons to support parking relief, and there are good reasons to oppose parking relief, but in either case we should not fool ourselves that exempting a building from participating in the RPP program is a long-term solution that is sustainable.


Volunteers Needed to Help Water Trees on Otis Place

July 27, 2016
ANC1A Commissioners Richard DuBeshter and Kent Boese watering trees on Otis Place

ANC1A Commissioners Richard DuBeshter and Kent Boese watering trees on Otis Place

With the excessive heat we’ve been experiencing the past  few days, our efforts to tree up the neighborhood are going to need some help.  The eight new trees that were planted on Otis Place between the school and the recreation center are one place in particular that needs our help.

Last night I was able to enlist the help of fellow ANC 1A Commissioner Richard DuBeshter to fill the water bags on each of the trees and it really didn’t take that long … but the bag need to be filled about once a week.

What we need is a watering plan for the remainder of the summer and for next year. I can take care of the supplies and access to water, but we need some volunteers to take turns filling the bags. If you are able to help keep these trees alive, please contact me via email at 1a08 (at)

With Excessive Heat, Young Trees Need Watering Assistance

July 25, 2016
Filling a tree watering bag.

Filling a tree watering bag.

With the hot temperatures we’ve been experiencing recently, everyone is looking for ways to cool off and stay hydrated. Getting enough water is not only important for people and pets during heat waves, it is also important for our city trees — and especially trees that have been planted for less than three years.

According to Casey Trees, newly planted trees — those that have been in the ground less than three years — require 25 gallons of water, approximately 1.5 inches of rainfall, per week to survive. During extended periods of little or no rainfall and/or high temperatures, trees may need our help getting the water they need. (Read more about tree watering here).

It is important to remember that all new trees need our help, which includes trees planted on both private property and in public tree boxes.

Casey Trees also created the following video on how to water a tree.

Public Space Plan Proposed for 3701 New Hampshire Project

July 14, 2016

Last night ANC 4C considered the public space application for the proposed streetscape changes that could occur as part of the redevelopment of 3701 New Hampshire Avenue (the former Sweet Mango property). While the overall plan is fairly basic (see below), I was happy to see that the Rock Creek Church Road frontage of the development will remove the curb cut/loading zone and will replace it with two new trees and permeable pavers. This should also increase street parking by one or two spaces.

I don’t yet know ANC4C’s feedback but expect we’ll find out shortly. The public space hearing is scheduled for August.

3701 streetscape(Site plan page from Rooney Properties public space submission.)

Tree Work Continues in the Neighborhood: Here are DDOT’s Maps Showing Where

June 28, 2016

There’s been a lot of tree work in the neighborhood recently. Most noticeably with large street trees being removed. I’ve seen a few of the large trees that have come down, and while many look healthy at first glance they’ve been hollow inside. In looking around the DDOT Website, I found a number of interactive maps including the following map showing the locations of trees to be removed this season.

Tree removal map 2016(Click on map for navigable tree removal map.)

I also found this interesting map that shows the locations of street trees in D.C. and give an indication on how large they are.

DDOT street tree canopy(Map showing current street trees and open tree spaces. It also indicates the size of the tree.)

And, of course, my favorite is where the new trees will be planted in the coming 2016/2017 winter season. That map is accessible below.

New tree planting map 2016(Click to access DDOT’s tree planting map to see where new trees will be planted in the coming season.)

What’s DDOT Doing Around the Neighborhood?

June 23, 2016
New sidewalk on Warder between Manor and Newton.

New sidewalk on Warder between Manor and Newton.

Last night I too a brief walk around part of the neighborhood to check on all the work DDOT is doing in the community. I continue to see large areas of sidewalk that have been replaced and a large number of crosswalks. Far beyond any notification I’d  received from DDOT. For the most part, these are good improvements.

I’ve observed new crosswalks installed up and down Warder and Park Place. I’ve also observed smaller sections of sidewalk replaced abutting the new crosswalks. What I find interesting for many of these crosswalks is that in addition to the red textured area many of them slightly slope down to a level surface on grade with the street prior to meeting the street.

IMG_0877(New crosswalk on ne corner of Warder and Newton).

However, not all of the work strikes me as as quality work. Below are two photos of an area of new sidewalk on Park Place between Otis and Newton Place where the sidewalk takes an odd slope down to the curb. Personally, I question the safety of this and will be questioning DDOT about it.


IMG_0866(Above: a section of new sidewalk on Park Place between Otis and Newton Place. As it approaches the street it suddenly slopes downward.)

Tree to be removed on Quebec Place

Tree to be removed on Quebec Place

In addition to sidewalk improvements, I was sad to see one of the large trees on the 600 block of Quebec Place marked and ready to be cut down. That said, in looking at its trunk near the base it appears that it may be hollow inside and leaving it alone likely poses a safety hazard. The photo below shows an opening in the trunk providing an idea of its hollow interior.

I’ve been working with a group of neighbors in the central section of the neighborhood to tree up streets like Luray and Manor places as those streets have no tree box areas for new trees. Fortunately for Quebec Place, there is tree box space so, even though this tree is coming down, we can get a replacement in the fall.


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