Category Archives: Public Space

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.