I hope you are all staying well and healthy.
Primary voting is now open through June 2. If you have not voted yet, I urge you to please make a plan to vote. The nearest vote center to us is at 1000 U St NW (Prince Hall Center for the Performing Arts), but you can go to any of the 20 locations in D.C.
If you chose to do a mail-in ballot, you can check the status here. I received my Primary Ballot on May 1, and I received my Special Election ballot today, May 28 (pictured above). You can mail in your ballot or drop it off at a vote center.
If you are not registered to vote, you can register in-person.
If you any issues with voting, please contact the Board of Elections.
The Ward 2 council race directly impacts our local representation. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like to share any opinions about the race.
17th Street NW
As most of you have noticed, the sidewalk extension plan has been implemented to give pedestrians more physical space. With the parking lanes converted for pedestrians, the eastern travel lane is effectively a short-term parking lane, with the western through lane situated to always have through traffic. Put another way, looking north, it is a lane for pedestrians, the bike lane, the through traffic lane, a short-term parking lane, and the other pedestrian lane.
While the overwhelming sentiment has been about pedestrianizing more the street, this is as far as DDOT is planning at this time. I am a staunch advocate for safer streets, more pedestrian space, less car traffic, and slower speeds, but I am also mindful of the unique needs of some of our local businesses. The short-term parking needs for True Value Hardware, as well as and pickup and drop-off areas needed for our restaurants is very important, especially during this time where they cannot have guests indoors. I’m a firm believer in making all modes of transportation work, prioritizing pedestrians first. If you have any feedback about this installation, please let me know. Thank you to all of the neighbors who have emailed or called me already regarding this.
DDOT is also planning on resurfacing 17th Street been P and R Streets beginning around Wednesday, June 3, which will include disruptions, and may temporarily remove all but one travel lane at times.
“Phase One”: Lifting the Stay-at-Home Order
Even though the Public Health Emergency will still be in effect, Phase One begins, loosening some restrictions. This is not reverting to pre-emergency activities, but a step within the Public Health Emergency. The full text is available at coronavirus.dc.gov, and here are some key notes:
- Masks and cloth face coverings are still strongly recommended
- Stead Recreation Center and playground will remain closed, but dog parks including the S Street Dog Park are opening with safeguards. The field at Stead Park will be available with safeguards.
- Gyms, health clubs and spas will remain closed
- Restaurants can open for outdoor service to seated patrons with tables placed six feet apart
- Schools will remain in virtual learning
- Cosmetology and barber professionals can reopen by appointment only and with restrictions
- Nonessential retail businesses still must sell curbside or by pick-up
(I won’t be at the barber for a bit yet – I am embracing my quarantine-inspired mostly-shaved head for now!)
For further reading:
ANC 2B’s Meetings
The ANC 2B conducted its May meetings online. Of note, we took no action on an application by Mikko to serve patrons at hours comparable to neighboring restaurants on 17th Street. “No action” effectively signals approval to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. Mikko did significant outreach with neighbors and the overwhelming feedback I received is that they are positive for the neighborhood and not disruptive. On three cases related to zoning and historic preservation, after lengthy discussion with applicants we generally supported:
- 1416 15th Street NW – Application for a special exception from the maximum lot occupancy requirements to construct a two-story rear addition to an existing attached principal dwelling (BZA #20258) (2B05)
- 2152 Florida Avenue NW – Concept / addition to multi-family building (HPRB #20-317) (2B02)
- 1826 16th Street NW – Concept / two-story addition with roof deck at rear; new windows (HPRB #20-308) (2B09)
The upcoming ANC 2B meeting will be June 10, with a potential Zoning, Preservation, and Development committee on June 3 if there are cases to discuss. To get agendas directly from the ANC as soon as they are released, sign up here.