Category Archives: Public Space

July 19th TPI Committee Meeting Agenda

ANC 2B will be holding its July Transportation and Public Infrastructure (TPI) Committee meeting this Wednesday, July 19th at 7:00 pm at the Dupont Circle Resource Center, 9 Dupont Circle NW. The meeting will be held in the order of the agenda below:

  • Welcome (5 mins)
  • Discussion of projects to include in resolution regarding DDOT improvement projects in ANC 2B (40 mins)
  • Discussion of resolution to support conversion of LED lighting in club central district of ANC 2B (15 mins)
  • Discussion of Dupont Circle ANC Parking Study (15 mins)

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above agenda items, please reach out to your single member district commissioner and TPI Committee Co-Chairs Randy Downs and Scott Davies.

NEWS: Transportation Committee Sets Goals for 2014

(This post is co-located at my ANC2B09 blog)

On April 23rd, the Transportation and Public Infrastructure Committee met for the first time. Created in March by ANC2B, the committee helps to coordinate many of the ongoing transportation, traffic, and infrastructure projects in our neighborhood and helps make real improvements to our community.

The committee membership is fantastic and includes five commissioners and five residents, all passionate about transportation and our neighborhood infrastructure.

At our first meeting, we set short- and long-term goals for the year that we believe are achievable and will have a significant positive impact in our neighborhood.

TPI Goals

Click to read our 2014 committee goals

Detailed minutes, which include timeframes for the above goals, can be downloaded here: TPI Committee Meeting Minutes 4-23-14

The committee is also a forum and a resource for anyone in the neighborhood. We encourage you to bring issues to our monthly meetings or to contact us directly. You can contact the committee by emailing TPI@dupontcircleanc.net or contact me, the committee chair, at noah.smith@dupontcircleanc.net.

 

BLOG: Notes on April 2014 Pedestrian Advisory Council Meeting

[Cross-posted at www.willstephensanc.com]

The Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) met in April 2014 for committee-level discussions.  (The PAC trades off every other month between full PAC meetings and committee meetings.  For a report on my first full PAC meeting as Ward 2 representative in March 2014, find a prior blog post here.)

This was my first committee meeting, and I joined the “Walking Environment Committee.”  Our special guest was Earl Eutsler (earl.eutsler@dc.gov) from DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration (UFA), to talk about the interplay between the walking environment, the tree canopy in DC, and UFA’s management of street and island trees.

The most useful and interesting discussion points were as follows:

  • Getting Repairs Done:  Earl advised that using the 3-1-1 system is the best way to get repairs into the queue for action by UFA.  Other DDOT staff confirmed that UFA in particular makes good use of the 3-1-1 system.
  • Tree canopy:  UFA manages about 10% of the total DC tree canopy, with National Parks, other Federal agencies, the Department of Parks & Recreation, and private space accounting for the remainder.  The District has a goal to reach 40% tree canopy coverage within the next 10-15 years.  Earl noted that all pavement, including sidewalks and streets, last longer with greater tree canopy coverage, because of the shade provided.
  • Flexi-pave: DDOT is now using a special porous material for paving around street trees called Flexi-pave.  This is meant to replace and improve upon the “rubber sidewalk” squares that they previously installed in places like 17th Street, which buckles after only a couple of years.  If there are places with rubber sidewalk buckling, residents should note this in the 3-1-1 system as a “tree inspection request,” and these areas will be prioritized for Flexi-pave installation (if they are not already in the system).
  • Mapping:  UFA has comprehensive, interactive maps of street trees, including planned replacement and planting spots, on the agency website.
  • UFA Representatives: The UFA representatives for our area are “Team 2” and include Carlson Klapthor (carlson.klapthor@dc.gov, mostly north of the Circle) and Simoun Banua (simoun.banue@dc.gov, mostly south of the Circle).

NEWS: Proposal for New ANC2B Standing Committee on Transportation and Public Infrastructure

At the ANC2B monthly meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, March 12), Vice Chair Noah Smith (2B09) will introduce a proposal for a new ANC2B Standing Committee on Transportation and Public Infrastructure. The purpose of this committee is to promote a safe and effective transportation system for the residents and visitors of Dupont Circle and improve the use of public space in our neighborhood. The committee will serve as a resource for commissioners and as a point of contact for DDOT, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Administration (WMATA) and the DC Water and Sewer Authority (WASA).

Learn more: Proposal for a New ANC2B Standing Committee on Transportation and Public Infrastructure

BLOG: Our comprehensive neighborhood parking survey

Parking-signs-15K2-e1322013918854Posted by Will Stephens, Chair & 2B08 Commissioner / Cross-posted at www.willstephensanc.com

In a dense, mixed-use, urban neighborhood such as Dupont Circle, parking is an issue that is guaranteed to generate controversy — because it touches upon so many competing policies, interests, and judgments about value and fairness: the use of public space, local business development, environmental sustainability, multi-modal transportation options, smart growth, aging-in-place, and employment, just to name a few.

As you can imagine, we as ANC Commissioners get a lot of requests from neighbors — from nearly every residential block within the ANC — for preferred residential parking.  We have also been asked from time to time to consider whether to participate in a visitor parking permit program.  (For the time being, the ANC has rejected joining such a program, at least in its current iteration.)  We have also investigated whether there are zones in the ANC that could be ripe for performance parking — where meter rates can rise during peak demand times, with the additional income dedicated to community amenities.

With regard to preferred residential parking in particular, we want to be responsive to the legitimate frustrations of residents and other stakeholders.  However, if we ask the District to put this kind of parking in every block, we would likely cause havoc to an already over-taxed parking system.  We might be simply moving problems around or even potentially exacerbating them.  Therefore, we need to be able to be strategic in whatever we propose.

In addition, we need to be able to have sufficient information to consider other tweaks and changes to existing parking in certain areas — such as additional metered areas, piloting performance parking, re-purposing unused bus stops, or adding rush hour restrictions next to bottleneck intersections.

To that end, the ANC is currently undertaking a survey of all parking in the neighborhood.  The idea is this:  We first need to understand what are the current parking rules — i.e., where are existing loading zones, bus stops, valet staging, metered spots, resident-only parking, or rush hour restrictions, and at what times do the various uses apply.  The Department of Transportation (DDOT) has quite a bit of this information.  However, DDOT does not have all of the information, DDOT does not have it all together in a unified place, and DDOT’s information is not entirely accurate, as we have already learned by spot-checking a few key areas.

At the direction of the ANC, our public policy intern Daniel Warwick (a current student at GW) has been working to put as much of the existing DDOT information together as possible in an understandable format.  He has also surveyed other jurisdictions, such as Seattle, to gather some best practices on how to present parking information for each street.  On a parallel track, we are going to do on-the-ground “walk-throughs” in our Single Member Districts  (SMDs) with DDOT representatives to double-check and supplement the information.  Through these efforts, we hope to generate a comprehensive neighborhood parking map.

Once we have that survey complete, we will know what exists now — the status quo ante.  At that point, the ANC will be able to competently request any changes, or to competently respond to requests for changes from stakeholders like residents and local businesses.  Without this information, we will be stabbing in the dark and perhaps creating more problems than we are solving.

We also plan to hold at least one community meeting in the near future on parking issues, inviting representatives from DDOT to join us for an open discussion.  We held such a meeting roughly two years ago, at the time we considered participating in the Visitor Parking Pass program.

In the meantime, if you have comments, questions, or ideas about parking matters, please contact your Commissioner and share them.  If you would be willing to assist us in gathering information through “walk-throughs” of the streets, please contact Will Stephens (will.stephens@dupontcircleanc.net) and Daniel Warwick (coudriet-intern@dupontcircleanc.net).  This is no small project, and we could use extra hands on deck.  Thank you!