17th Street Festival, 16th Street Bus Lanes Project, Mopeds, Astoria, and 1637-1641 R Street

Hi neighbors-

I am honored to the named the new Chair of the ANC 2B’s Zoning, Planning, and Development (ZPD) Committee of the Commission. In accepting this role, I have the opportunity to help more neighbors with zoning, historic preservation, and other related cases. I see this role as a facilitator with neighbors, experts on the committee, other commissioners, and those seeking improvements and changes in the neighborhood to help guide projects on a path that fosters compatibility and cooperation with neighbors.

The 17th Street Festival is this Saturday! I encourage you to come to see the over 100 vendors, over 50 artists, live music, and to support our local merchants. I plan on being there for the entire festival from noon until 6 p.m. If you see me please stop to say hi!

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) provided a brief statement on the years-in-the-planning 16th Street NW Bus Lanes Project. In part, “DDOT is scheduled to complete the 100% design plans at the end of 2019 and implementation to start in 2020.” The last public meeting I attended for this project was in July 2018 where drafts were shown, and I look forward to seeing more up-to-date plans for our part of 16th Street. More than half of people during rush hour on 16th Street are in a bus, and prioritizing busses aims to encourage more bus usage and to discourage more cars coming into our neighborhood. I’m excited about the work done to prioritize busses on H and I Streets this year, and am looking forward to it finally happening here. A sample of the plans between H Street and M Street are available with this link (PDF)

Revel launched shared mopeds in D.C. last weekend. While many are making comparisons to dockless scooters and bikes (including in this Washington Post editorial), I see these as a transportation option that will probably replace some car trips. They require a valid drivers license (which they verify), are driven along with car traffic, and are parked on the streets. They are not permitted on sidewalks and cannot use bike lanes – similar to the existing personally-owned mopeds in D.C. I took one for a spin if you’d like to see how they work, and Washingtonian has a list of ten things to know about them.

Astoria will receive a letter of support from the ANC 2B for their proposed sidewalk space, which includes outdoor seating for the restaurant with approximately six tables and an awning similar to neighboring establishments Agora and JR’s. This was voted on at our last meeting, and in alignment with the precedent set with other restaurants on 17th Street.

Work to restore 1637-1641 R St NW is continuing, with the most visible elements being the entry canopy, boxes on the 17th Street side, black metal exterior elements, and HVAC units on the roof, all of which were added to the building over time well after the building was originally built. The owner is working directly with the Historic Preservation Office and others with deep knowledge and documentation of the history of the building in this restoration. I’m looking forward to further progress, and the ANC 2B supported this work unanimously in our July meeting (PDF).

The next ANC 2B meeting will be on Wednesday, September 11 at 7:00 p.m.

Let me know what you think, and please let other neighbors know they can sign up for updates!

Thank you (and see you at the 17th Street Festival)!

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