Earlier this week was my last ANC 2B meeting as Commissioner. Thank youfor all your support, testimony, questions, and feedback in the last two years! I value your support in having me, and the opportunity to get to know you and all of our neighbors better.
The fundamental work of the Commission takes form in the letters the Commission sends to other agencies and bodies of government. Many of these are what receive “great weight” legally, and the ANC 2B’s Resolution Letters page is a recap of this work over the years. Fellow commissioners Matthew Sampson, Daniel Warwick, Randy Downs, Mike Silverstein, Kari Cunningham, and Beverly Schwartz are all truly dedicated public servants and I cherish having worked with them on these resolutions. I am also thankful for Michael Lee Beidler, Jeffrey Alan Rueckgauer, Brian Knudsen, and Christopher Davis, members of the ANC 2B’s Zoning, Preservation, and Development Committee this term. These neighbors volunteered their time to help navigate changes to properties and land in our area.
I’m excited to see the new commission in 2021 as a neighbor! Again, thank you.
Thanks to a neighbor near 16th and S, and a report filed last month, the crosswalk signs on 16th and Swann have been replaced. In the future, if you see signs that need replacing or fixing, or any other street or sidewalk work, the best way to report it is with 311.dc.gov.
I have heard from the District Department of Transportation that construction on the reconfiguration of 17th Street NW will begin April 2021. For the portion between P and R Streets, they recognize the various temporary uses due to the pandemic and will be providing temporary accommodations in the interim for that portion. I look forward to learning more and seeing this take shape next spring!
Keep in touch! Even though my term is coming to an end, I’ll always be happy to chat with you about the neighborhood and navigating our government.
Enjoy the holidays, stay safe and warm, and take care.
Congratulations to Mo Pasternak, who won our recent election to be our next Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Dupont Circle! Mo will join eight other commissioners to represent our neighborhood, which is now over 20,000 residents. The transition process has already begun, which involves a lot of introductions with government officials and sharing policies and procedures. Mo has pledged to have a newsletter to keep neighbors abreast of happenings and I have agreed to share this mailing list with him. Before I do this, if you prefer that I do not share your email address with Mo, please let me know.
Full election results are here: electionresults.dcboe.org. A few of the neighboring commissioners who represent people subscribed to this list include Kyle Mulhall, Robin Nunn, and William Herbig, all of whom I have communicated with at length and I believe are poised to represent our neighborhood well. If you do not know who your new commissioner will be or would like to be put in touch, let me know! (You can find your SMD and ANC here.) I am very happy to make introductions and have been making some for neighbors.
1600 Block of 16th Street NW Some neighbors received an alert of of a stabbing on the 1600 Block of 16th Street NW on Sunday evening. I confirmed with Commander Stuart Emerman of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Third District that this notification was in error. An arrest has been made in a homicide on the 3100 Block of 16th Street, near Lamont Street. They apologize for any confusion.
1536 16th Street NW
The application by the Foundation to Support Animal Protection (PETA Foundation) on the corner of 16th and Q was withdrawn by the applicant. Most neighbors were non-oppositional to their request to seek a zoning special exception to allow lodging, understanding it would be just for their staff. PETA Foundation worked with the zoning administrator to determine their intended use – allowing staff to stay overnight – was within the existing zoning. Going this route without the special exception, the property will not allow “lodging” in the traditional sense and the property will not have the ability to operate like an inn, corporate housing, or small hotel, which was not their intent in the first place. Thank you to everyone who provided me feedback on this case. In the process and communication with them, they also volunteered to address a neighboring leaf blower concern.
1733 16th Street NW
Earlier this month, the Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation made a Decision and Order effectively concluding the battle created by the “Dupont East Civic Action Association” (DECAA) regarding the redevelopment of housing in the area behind the House of the Temple on 16th and S Streets. DECAA, the “association of neighbors formed to organize opposition to the Masonic development,” sued the Historic Preservation Review Board, the Office of Planning, and the Mayor; filed a landmarking application claiming the land behind the House of the Temple is a “landmark”; and waged in a multi-year misinformation campaign against the project, government officials, and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners which included conspiracy theories and targeted harassment. In October, the majority of DECAA’s active board members resigned.
If you are interested in this project, please read the Mayor’s Agent Decision and Order as it provides a quick seven-page summary of the proceedings as well as how the Historic Preservation Office, Historic Preservation Review Board, the D.C. Preservation League, and the ANC (and it’s Zoning, Preservation, and Development Committee) understood the project to be compatible with the character of the historic landmark and the historic districts. It also is a snapshot of some of the limited confines and frustrations that commissioners such as myself had in influencing the project to be better for all of us as neighbors: outside of understanding the history of this land and knowing that subdividing the lot would revert it to almost exactly as it was historically, the project is still a by-right development.
Starting in the next few weeks, there will be some utility relocation work at 1733 16th Street NW. Full construction is anticipated to start in the second quarter of 2021.
16th Street Bus Lanes Project
Earlier this month, the Sunday Washington Post covered the 16th Street Bus Lanes Project. I was quoted as well as neighbor Ronnie Kweller. Reporter Luz Lazo has monitored this project for close to a decade and the article aligns solidly with how I understand the project and what I have heard from neighbors. DDOT informed the ANC 2B last week that construction will begin likely in January 2021. More information about the 16th Street Bus Lanes Project is at 16thstreetnwbus.com.
The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking feedback determine the direction and priorities for its new Master Plan. Fill out the survey here: ready2playdc.com/citywide-survey
1725 Church Street NW On this case, mentioned in the prior newsletter regarding a zoning special exception for a porch and stairs, received no oppositional feedback, the Applicants communicated well with neighbors, and the ANC 2B was supportive.
Support Our Local Establishments! This is a reminder that our local merchants need our help. Please consider take-out from one of our restaurants in the coming days, get a tool or part you need from a local hardware store, or support local artists when gift giving this season from Shop Made in DC. Our local businesses keep our neighborhood alive and if you’re able to, please support locally.
Keep in touch! Like most of us, I will be staying at home (aside from a daily neighborhood walk) this Thanksgiving and spending time with friends and family over video chat. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments about anything in the neighborhood! I’m happy to help.
On 1536 16th Street NW, I have solicited and received much feedback; with 1725 Church Street NW the owner of the property is a life-long active member of the community who has already engaged with neighbors; with 1328 16th Street NW the adjacent properties are non-residential (businesses and embassies) with the exception of the Drake, which is on the same property (pictured above). An overview of 1328 16th Street NW was featured in Urban Turf.
If you have any interest of feedback on any of these cases, even if it’s neutral, please contact me at email@example.com or 612-747-2217.
16th and Corcoran
A few days ago, DDOT replaced the signs at 16th and Corcoran again. This intersection has frequently come up in conversations in the last two years and neighbors worked with me and DDOT to have a Traffic Safety Assessment conducted. If you see signs that are knocked down or in need of repair, report them to 311.
The election is afoot! The easiest way to submit your ballot is by mail or using the dropbox outside of Stead Recreational Center. If you did not receive your ballot, contact the Board of Elections. If you are not registered to vote, today’s the last day, or you can register in person at an Early Vote Center starting at the end of the month.
On the corner of 16th and Q Streets, the Foundation to Support Animal Protection (FSAP), better known as the PETA Foundation, is seeking a zoning special exception regarding lodging, as they are renovating to provide space for up to 10 guests. Their intended use: “FSAP would like to offer some staff and business guests visiting its 1536 16th St. NW office free, temporary accommodations, to save on costs currently associated with providing them accommodations and to eliminate the need for them to travel between the office and where they would stay otherwise.” This is planned to be on the ANC’s agendas in November.
1617 17th St NW – Prego Again Prego Again’s alcohol license is up for renewal. I do not see this as controversial and the ANC 2B will likely take “no action” on this item. With ABRA’s processes, “no action” generally implies neutral support and that the ANC doesn’t wish to interfere.
Meeting Notices If you are not receiving notices about upcoming ANC 2B meetings, the best way is to subscribe to the ANC 2B mailing list. That is the only official mailing list from the ANC 2B. This newsletter you are currently reading and any other newsletter are created by individuals in their individual capacity, irrespective of the ANC’s schedule. If you are interested in knowing what is before the ANC, make sure you’re signed up!
Please let me know if you have any feedback or questions about anything. I’m available to you to chat about any neighborhood issue!
A new mailbox! The previous mailbox at 15th and Corcoran was damaged and went missing at the beginning of June. Through the persistence and organizing of neighbors, namely Susan Volman on the west side of 15th and Evelyn Boyd Simmons with Logan Circle neighbors, it is now replaced. Efforts included USPS staff in D.C. and even some help from the office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.
ANC Candidate Forum The Dupont Circle Citizens Association is hosting an online forum featuring Advisory Neighborhood Commission candidates in Dupont Circle on September 30 at 7:30 p.m. If you want to hear from all of the candidates, this is likely the only time to hear from them in the same forum. Free registration is required.
Support Local Businesses! This is a hard year in different ways for all of us. If you are able to, I strongly encourage you to support local businesses where you can. This week I ordered take out from Dupont Italian Kitchen, got delivery from Pizzeria Paradiso on P Street, picked up a tool from True Value On 17th, and had a coffee meeting a Mikko. I got my face masks from Shop Made in DC. Our local retailers depend on neighbors like you!
Have any questions about anything in the neighborhood? Keep in touch!
311: A reminder that 311 is usually the best first stop on most government requests including street and sidewalk repair, trash removal, rat abatement, and removal of abandoned vehicles. It’s also the first stop for complaints including illegal signs, engine idling, for-hire driver reports, illegal parking, and more. Many District agencies use 311 cases as a metric to determine how many requests they receive and how quickly they are able to complete them, and I usually get better service using 311 opposed to trying to talk with someone at the agency directly. A few pro tips for 311:
Get an account and use the app or website: 311.dc.gov. Once you have an account, you can track your requests, and get emailed when they are responded to. You also can view a map of recent cases, such as the map above which shows 311 cases in our neighborhood for the last 30 days.
If you prefer Twitter, @311DCgov is very responsive.
If you have not completed the 2020 Census, please do it ASAP. As of August 18, Ward 2’s response rate is under 60% and the National Self-Response Rate is 64%. The census impacts funding, ward and ANC boundaries, budgeting, and more. Make sure you’re counted!
The latest official information from D.C. regarding the pandemic is at coronavirus.dc.gov, including testing sites, travel guidance, and current restrictions and recommendations.
A recap of last night’s 4.5 hour (!) meeting, and an announcement from me:
20th and 21st Streets NW
Last night the ANC 2B supported NOI 20-70-PSD, the Notice of Intent for protected bike lanes on 20th and 21st Streets connecting the area around the north entrance of Dupont Circle Metro to the National Mall. Based off resident concerns, we also requested of DDOT, in part (quoting our resolution):
A pick up/drop off/loading zone is added to the north side of O Street NW at 20th Street to provide a dedicated area for pick up/drop off/loading at the Bristol House apartment building which currently has an entrance loading zone on 20th Street.
DDOT continue to work with FRESHFARM, the ANC 2B, and the Dupont Circle BID to determine the timing and circumstances for the extension of the protected bicycle lanes to Connecticut Avenue.
DDOT expeditiously provide an interim connection from the proposed terminus of the protected bike lane at Massachusetts Avenue to the existing bike lane network on Q and R Streets and proposed Connecticut Avenue protected bike lane in coordination and conjunction with the proposed design reflected in the Connecticut Avenue Streetscape project, including a protected two-way bike lane on the westside of Connecticut Avenue between R Street and Hillyer Place.
The connectivity between this project and Q and R Street was the number one concern brought up by our neighbors on the east side of Dupont (which I highlighted in my prior newsletter), as well as by many people who were deeply involved with recommending to DDOT the bike lane stay on 20th Street. Chair Daniel Warwick did the majority of the work in developing a recommendation to DDOT for an interim connection, summarized in the third bullet above. The motion passed unanimously. The full letter being sent to DDOT will be on our website at a later date, and if you want more specifics about this plan, please let me know.
17th Street NW
ANC 2B supported NOI 20-69-PSD, the Notice of Intent for protected bike lanes on 17th Street. With this project, we received signatures of support from over 598 D.C. residents, 139 of them in Dupont and most of the others in nearby neighborhoods such as Adams Morgan, Shaw, and Logan. We received letters of strong support from 9 businesses on 17th Street, and engaged with over 100 individuals involved in the corridor, 30 of them representing 17th Street businesses. There were a few letters of opposition and lots of feedback for changes. It has been a lengthy process, but important in balancing the variety of wants and needs and to make sure DDOT understands how to make 17th Street a safer street for all.
Based off the feedback from residents and businesses, in addition to support for a reconfigured 17th Street, we are formally requesting of DDOT, quoting our resolution:
Businesses on 17th Street NW between P Street NW and Riggs Street NW must continue to be engaged regarding the programming of the specifics of curbside space dedicated to parking, pickup and dropoff areas for taxis, ridehailing, and deliveries, and loading zones.
In particular, businesses that sell heavy or bulky items that necessitate vehicular use, including hardware stores, frame shops, and grocery stores, must have their input weighted appropriately on the programming of parking and loading zones, and be directly engaged by DDOT.
The weekday needs of freight unloading for businesses must be appropriately accommodated so the through traffic lane is not blocked.
Additional traffic calming measures for all vehicle types should be implemented to slow speeds on this mixed-use street to help ensure the safety of the most vulnerable users of the road.
Incorporation of recommendations from the DDOT Safe Routes to School Team for the school zone surrounding Ross Elementary, including better signage, a flashing beacon, and crosswalk repainting and/or enhancements occur so as to make certain people are aware they are approaching a School Zone becomes more apparent in time for the start of the new school year.
DDOT installs additional bicycle parking at designated locations along the route where sufficient public space allows to accommodate such additional traffic and further encourage use.
Emergency Sidewalk Expansions, “streateries,” and other temporary uses of public space created for the Public Health Emergency must be unaffected by the implementation of this Notice of Intent.
The final configuration must be able to accommodate temporary (festivals, parades), and emergency configurations.
DDOT provide an update to their progress to neighbors in autumn 2020, prior to installation.
DDOT provides additional longer-term recommendations to the ANC 2B so that neighbors can work together to create more opportunities for safe pedestrian passage and other safety-related interventions along the 17th Street corridor through a project with a larger budget and scope through capital expenditures such as a streetscape.
The formal letter we send to DDOT will be available soon. It passed with a 7-1 vote around 11:30 p.m. last night. Over the last couple years of discussions with you and other neighbors regarding 17th Street, there are a number of clear, common threads I have learned:
Most everyone agrees the status quo for 17th Street is unsafe.
People care about our hardware store, our restaurants, and want to make sure changes work towards helping make our corridor attractive and vibrant for people and businesses that serve the neighborhood.
People recognize the priorities of street needs over the last couple years have shifted, and have additionally been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Most businesses do not want to get into a battle with the public, ANC, DDOT, or neighborhood cliques on the configuration of the street – they want to focus on the success of their business and want to make sure their needs are heard with little conflict.
I’m very proud of the work that has been put into this, especially by Commissioner Randy Downs who led on business outreach (as well as leading recently on the “streateries” and expanded outdoor space). Commissioners Kari Cunningham and Daniel Warwick also contributed a ton of work and outreach with neighbors about 17th Street, and Commissioners Beverly Schwartz and Mike Silverstein provided a lot of key input and final changes to the resolution.
Although the near-term process with the ANC is concluded, I will continue to work with neighbors, businesses, and DDOT on this project.
The Future of 2B04
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you this 2019-2020 term! I have made the decision to not run for reelection for the 2021-2022 term and will not be on the ballot in November. Serving as commissioner has been an honor and a great experience, and it is time for someone else to earn this opportunity.
I believe the role of an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner is one of the most unique volunteer opportunities in the region! Even though the actual responsibilities are extremely limited – creating non-binding responses to specific neighborhood changes as noticed by District agencies – it can have a tangible impact on the future of the neighborhood, and one can build upon the role as time and commitment allow.
The biggest benefit to me, personally, has been getting to know you.
Most of you on this mailing list I have met through this role, and I love that our corner of the neighborhood is made up by so many great people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. I’ve learned a ton in our interactions, and I’m thankful for you, and so happy that you are my neighbor. I mean that very seriously.
As well, navigating government and providing some constituent services – an optional piece of being commissioner – is something I have truly enjoyed doing. I have also loved compiling neighborhood news in this newsletter. Thank you for reading and all the feedback!
I am also grateful for the opportunity to work with a fantastic group of commissioners across Dupont Circle. Daniel Warwick, Kari Cunningham, Randy Downs, Matthew Sampson, Mike Silverstein, and Beverly Schwartz are all true leaders and advocates for their corners of Dupont, and I have learned a ton from them over the last year and a half. I am thankful to have served with these six dedicated people who have put so much work and energy into our neighborhood. The neighborhood benefits that some are considering running again, and I would support all six for reelection if they all chose to.
I’m also thankful to have worked with the ANC 2B’s Executive Director Peter Sacco, who is largely responsible for the logistics, record-keeping, minutes, notices, finances, website maintenance, and a ton more work that commissioners mistakenly get credited for doing. Most commissions across the District do not have the type of dedicated public servant that our commission in Dupont Circle has in Peter Sacco.
I’ve talked with about seven of you about this role in the last few months, and I have discussed the role with two people who are now taking the initial steps to explore getting on the ballot in November. While Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners are on the bottom of the ballot, they are many times the top contact for local issues. The upcoming election is important, and in the coming months I’ll continue to provide updates on local issues and races.
Thank you again for all of your support and trust. Keep in touch!
I am happy there is progress with the 20th and 21st Street NW Protected Bike Lane, but there is a very notable omission from DDOT’s latest plan: it does have a bike lane between Massachusetts and Connecticut. In other words, if you’re biking on R Street from 17th towards Foggy Bottom, once you get to Connecticut there is no logical safe way to get to the protected bike lane. And there isn’t a logical pathway for bicyclists connecting from Wards 1 and 3.
I understand there is complexities with a protected bike lane north of Massachusetts on 20th Street, but an alternative or proposed solution should exist. At first glance with this latest proposal, the safest route from 17th and R would be to go to 21st then south on 21st and not use the bike lane. Going northbound on 20th, once you reach Massachusetts, there is a gap to get to Q Street back to 17th. This protected connectivity was the number one concern you provided to me on this project. I’ll continue to advocate for this at the commission level. I am still open to using 21st Street for the entirety of this bikeway as it provides a more contiguous route, is safer for those coming from Wards 1 and 3, does not severely impact residential parking, and connects more properly with the bike lanes on Q and R. If the project stays on 20th Street, DDOT should provide a solution north of Massachusetts.
Many safe street advocates as well as some board members of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association have been floating the idea of converting 17th Street into a shared street where pedestrians and bicyclists can use the entirety of the street in either direction, and vehicles are limited by time of day, limited by vehicle type, and/or barriers and planters are placed in a manner that forces vehicles to navigate slowly around them. Think of the Wharf, or Eastern Market on weekends, or many city centres of European cities. There are a lot of different examples and implementations. While these concepts are appealing, and something I personally support and some businesses support, 17th Street is considered a minor arterial and some businesses on 17th Street continue to depend on regular vehicle parking throughout the day and for employees in the evenings. A shared street concept can also be at odds with the daily freight requirements 17th Street businesses need. Some key merchants on 17th have expressed outright opposition to the shared street concept.
I see the current proposal before us as step towards providing people more space and optimizing and slowing vehicle traffic while working to maintain many of the needs of businesses.
Q: What about parking and freight needs? There are a lot of trucks!
In DDOT’s plan, there are two lanes dedicated to parking, loading zones, and pickup and dropoff areas, and one lane dedicated to through traffic for cars and trucks. One of the needs is to accommodate the freight needs at peak times so the through vehicle lane isn’t blocked. The status quo effectively already has one lane of through traffic during weekday mornings as trucks block traffic lanes and the bike lane, so this is an effort to organize this chaos in a much safer and more coherent manner.
The temporary sidewalk extensions are also showing in real-time a way this can work: the eastern lane next to the temporary walkway is being used by loading and unloading and short-term parking while the western lane next to the bike lane is being used as a through lane.
Later this summer, after the feedback period, DDOT will be incorporating the feedback they received and following up with businesses to best match curbside programming to match the various needs. For example, they’re already aware of the specific parking, loading and unloading needs of True Value on 17th, and know that they need to fully understand the turning radius needs of trucks using the Safeway loading dock and situations where Safeway has more than one vehicle unloading. Those are just two of the needs identified they know they must solve, and they hope to learn more in this feedback process.
Q: What has the feedback been like so far from neighbors?
Almost everyone I talk to wants a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly 17th Street. Many support the project as-is and see it as a step in the right direction, especially after being told for years protected bike infrastructure was coming to 17th Street. Some would prefer no cars on 17th Street at all and have it closed off on weekends, at a minimum, to be bike and pedestrians only. Some want more of a shared street concept. There are two or three people I’m aware of who are more interested in having a fight! Thankfully, most everyone has been receptive, if not outright positive, and has a shared, mutual interest in making this work for all.
Q: What do businesses think (outside of the freight needs)?
In general, if a business benefits from having a more pedestrian traffic and having a bicyclist friendly environment instead of a street that prioritizes car traffic, this is great for them overall. Everyone wants a more revitalized 17th Street and having it be more attractive for people to walk and bike in helps. If a business depends more on people coming in by car or truck and parking on 17th Street to patronize the business, there are potentially more challenges. There’s a balance that needs to be struck.
Q: What are the next steps?
This week, provide me with your feedback at this email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email your commissioner. This is, by far, the best way to have your thoughts, ideas, support, and concerns heard about this project and have them potentially integrated into a resolution by the ANC 2B. You can also call me: 612-747-2217. You can also email DDOT directly (17th, 20th/21st).
July 8: The ANC 2B’s regular meeting will have the 17th Street project on the agenda and potentially the 20th and 21st Streets project with the rest of its normal agenda items. It is anticipated the draft motion(s) created from the feedback received, including from the June 30 meeting, will be voted on, and then converted to a letter to DDOT.
Note that the ANC 2B does not make any decisions about the bike lanes, it is just feedback that by law must be taken by DDOT with “great weight,” which means they should agree with it or explain in writing why they don’t.
Phase Two This morning begins “Phase Two” of the reopening, which includes different guidelines for restaurants, gyms, transit, public spaces, and more. The official guidance is here: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/phasetwo
The next ANC 2B Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 8, and the next ANC 2B Zoning, Planning, and Development Committee Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 1. Agendas for both meetings will be sent from the official mailing list.
17th Street NW
The District Department of Transportation has released a Notice of Intent for reconfiguring 17th Street. This project started, effectively, in 2017, where a traffic analysis was conducted and a draft plan for a two-way protected bike lane was drafted. There was a robust discussion about the future of 17th Street that ranged from opposing all changes to completely converting 17th into a Shared Street where pedestrians and bicyclists can use the street in any direction. And a number of different ideas and concerns in between.
The feedback the ANC 2B provided back to DDOT in 2018 highlighted over a dozen issues, the top including impact of deliveries for 17th Street merchants and restaurants, parking, and pickup and dropoff zones for taxis and ridehailing vehicles. While most neighbors who have talked with to me about 17th Street are supportive of better bicycle infrastructure and safer streets in general, there is a shared concern that the needs of our 17th Street merchants were not given appropriate weight in the 2017 plans. The plans did not account for the significant freight needs and some of the short-term opposed to long-term parking needs on the street. And since 2017, there has been a rise of people using ridehailing apps to be picked up and dropped off from our restaurants, and now especially through the pandemic, the rise of on-demand food delivery services.
There have also been other problems to address: multiple motorists each day go down 17th Street through Corcoran without seeing or otherwise acknowledging there are four stop signs. I’ve personally witnessed numerous near misses. I’ve seen crashes on 17th and Q Street. Drivers on P Street NW turn northbound on 17th Street frequently, against the flow of traffic. In some evening hours of the day, there are already more bicyclists traveling northbound than southbound. Some freight trucks require multiple lanes to appropriately back in and out of Safeway’s loading dock. Freight trucks block lanes daily because of insufficient loading zones.
The latest plans work towards balancing all of these needs of our street: safer pedestrian facilities by shortening crosswalks and making more pedestrian space at intersections; protected two-way bicycle infrastructure so it’s safe for all ages to bike; and prioritizes loading zones, freight delivery, and ridehailing pick-ups and drop-offs higher than long-term metered parking and unregulated parking during certain hours.
In its simplest form, it puts the bike lanes next to the curb, and puts the parking and loading zones inward from that, and creates one continuous through lane in the center.
Personally, I feel DDOT has done good work on working towards those goals. However I believe there is room for improvement and discussion, and there have been some issues identified that likely need to change in the final plans. The ANC 2B’s role is to provide feedback to DDOT on their Notice of Intent.
Please contact me if you want to voice support this project, have feedback or input that should be considered by the ANC, or want to discuss it further. It is anticipated that the ANC 2B will formalize feedback to DDOT in July, and the public input period ends August 13. Use my official email please: email@example.com. You can also contact DDOT directly.
Many of us walk past the empty lot across from the National Geographic building, and at this week’s ANC 2B meeting, the concept for 1700 M Street NW was presented, in the context of it going before the DDOT Public Space Committee. They are planning on maintaining at least 10 feet of sidewalk space, installing bike racks and trees, and their public space application meets the ANC’s Public Space Guidelines, and the ANC 2B supported this in the context of public space. If you would like the full presentation, please contact me.
Dupont Underground Dupont Underground presented before the ANC 2B as they are applying for a Public Art Building Communities Grant from the D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities. The ANC 2B supported this grant application, which in part, aims to revitalize the various stairways down to Dupont Underground, the former underground streetcar station beneath Dupont Circle.
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.
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:
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.
Stay healthy, and keep in touch! Aaron Landry Commissioner, SMD 2B04 Secretary, ANC 2B