Category Archives: Public Space

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!

NEWS: August ANC Letters Posted Online

The following letters that were transmitted to D.C. government agencies as the result of ANC actions at the Commission’s August meeting have been uploaded and posted for public viewing:

Dukes Groceries (ABRA)
2112 R St NW: special exception for gallery space (BZA)
Proposed installation of bollards at 1050 Connecticut Ave NW (Public Space)

These letters can also be viewed on the “Resolution Letters by Month” page of the ANC website, along with other letters sent on behalf of the Commission in previous months.

NEWS: July ANC Letters Posted Online

The following letters that were transmitted to D.C. government agencies as the result of ANC actions at the Commission’s July meeting have been uploaded and posted for public viewing:

These letters can also be viewed on the “Resolution Letters by Month” page of the ANC website, along with other letters sent on behalf of the Commission in previous months.

NEWS: 17th Street Moratorium

On September 24, 2010 the District Council approved final rulemaking continuing the 17th Street moratorium. The moratorium, initially established in 1990, creates a set of restrictions on the number and types of alcoholic beverage licenses that can be permitted within its boundaries.

These boundaries are defined in the statute as:

“the area bounded by a line beginning at New Hampshire Avenue and S Street, N.W.; continuing east on S Street, N.W., to 17th Street, N.W.; continuing south on 17th Street, N.W., to Riggs Place, N.W.; continuing east on Riggs Place, N.W., to 16th Street, N.W.; continuing south on 16th Street, N.W., to P Street, N.W.; continuing west on P Street, N.W., to 18th Street, N.W.; continuing north on 18th Street, N.W., to New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.; and continuing northeast on New Hampshire Avenue, N.W. to S Street, N.W.”

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 3.56.15 PM

Within that area the following license restrictions are in place:

License Type

Number Allowed Under Moratorium

Class A (liquor stores)

2

Class B (grocery stores)

2

Class CR or DR (restaurant)

16

Class CT or DT (tavern)

2

Class CN or DN (nightclub)

0

Class CX or DX (special purpose)

0

Since it’s creation in 1990, the moratorium has been renewed four times: in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010.  It is currently set to expire September 2013.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B is currently soliciting feedback about the future of the moratorium. Ultimately the Commission may take one of three courses of action with regards to the moratorium: take no action and allow the moratorium to expire, propose a continuation of the existing moratorium, or propose a new moratorium with different conditions.

To make help in our decision, we are soliciting public comments on the moratorium. There are several ways to share your thoughts with us.

We are holding several listening sessions:

All meetings are held at the Chastleton Ballroom (1701 16th Street NW) at 7pm

Additionally, you may submit your comments via email to: 17thStCommissioners@dupontcircleanc.net

Resources:

East Dupont Circle Moratorium Zone Final Rulemaking (2010)

Update:

For community reference and deliberation, ANC2B has compiled a list of all current licensees in the existing Moratorium zone.

The document can be found here.

 

BLOG: M Street Bicycle Lane Public Meeting

Bikes and controversy on M Street.   The District’s public meeting May 15 on its plans to build a protected bike lane on the north side of M Street brought out crowds on both sides. About 100 people packed the West End meeting room to hear the Department of Transportation’s plans and then make their views known. A large group of Metropolitan AME Church members (in 2B05) described how the bike lane would disrupt arrivals and parking at the church. Metropolitan complained strongly about not being told of the pending plans earlier. DDOT will meet with the Church to see what better arrangements can be worked out, but Sam Zimbabwe from DDOT was clear that there will be a bike lane. Church members asked about routing around their block of M. Another 2B stakeholder identifying himself as owning a restaurant –bar in the 1800 block of M street complained that he’d lose business because of access problems caused by the bike lane. Many – less clearly identified by residency – spoke in favor of the bike lane and even argued that it would increase business as bicyclists became aware of businesses along their new routes. DDOT is committed to raising the percent of trips by bicycle from 1% in 2000 to 5% in 2015.

Submitted by Abigail Nichols ANC2B05.

NEWS: Full draft ANC 2B “Policies and Procedures Manual” for comment

A full draft of the revised ANC 2B “Policy & Procedures Manual” is available for review and comment here.  We would very much appreciate public comment.

The Policy & Procedures Manual is a guidebook for how the ANC carries on its business — including its practices and policies related to alcohol applications, zoning matters, historic preservation, and use of public space, as well as managing its internal business and workload.

NEWS: DDOT seeking public comment on neighborhood block party approval process

This from the District Department of Transportation:

***PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE***

DDOT Seeking Public Input on its Neighborhood Block Party Management Process

(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Public Space Regulations Administration (PSRA) is hosting a public meeting on March 20 to allow members of the public to comment and ask questions about its management process for neighborhood block parties.

Representatives from the Metropolitan Police Department, Fire Department, Deputy Mayor’s Office for Public Safety and the PSRA team will be on hand listen to listen to the public and answer questions.

PSRA took over the public space permitting process for neighborhood block parties nearly a year ago and is aiming to improve the process by collaborating with the community and other government agencies.

What:                   Public Meeting for Block Party Management Process

When:                  Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where:                DDOT PSRA Permitting Center, 1100 4th Street, SW (2nd Floor Community Room)

For information about the Public Space Permits please visit the Public Space Regulations Administration web-page or contact the Permitting Center at 202-442-4670.