Friday, June 06, 2014

An Outdoor Pool for Ward 3 Survey

As posted to the Cleveland Park Listserv:

Did you know Ward 3 is the only ward without an outdoor swimming pool?

You may have read the recent article in the NW Current where Councilmember Cheh was quoted as having identified or secured funds necessary to bring an outdoor pool to Ward 3. It is important that residents of the Ward show strong support for this effort. As such, a quick survey was created to show this support.

Let’s make this a reality. The time is indeed now! Action today will mean our community could have a usable outdoor pool by summer of 2016, so there’s no time to waste.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Zoning Comission Coming to Ward 3 on Feb 11

In response to suggestions that the DC Office of Planning and the DC Office of Zoning have no had enough public input into the proposed zoning rewrite, the Zoning Commission has decided to take their show on the road. The Ward 3 event will take place on February 11 at Wilson High School, 6:00 PM. Those who have already testified in person are not supposed to be able to testify again. As such, this is an important opportunity for new voices to be heard.

The city is expected to grow by 100,000 to 200,000 new residents in the coming decades. If you think the roads are already choked and parking is already difficult, then the way to grow the population without the negative impacts that an auto-centric lifestyle bring is to support the Office of Planning proposals.

Please come out to Wilson on February 11th and let the Zoning Commission know that you support a sustainable and resilient District of Columbia.

For more information, please The DC Zoning Update and some additional resources.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Cleveland Park Service Road Survey

A Cleveland Park resident took it upon himself to establish a survey regarding the Service Road between Macomb and Ordway Streets at Connecticut Avenue in the Cleveland Park commercial district. Here are the results:

500 opinions are registered! 60% of these were residents of Cleveland Park. A few highlights from the data:

A majority of our community would like to see the service lane changed. 56% of Cleveland Park residents, and 55% of the sample overall, are looking for something other than the status quo when it comes to the CP service lane.

Among people who support the status quo, the Flex Space was their preferred second choice by a wide margin.

Among those supporting a full restoration of the sidewalk, a partial extension was, by far, their second choice.

- Keep Service Lane (Option 1) 44%

- Restore Sidewalk (Option 4) 30%

- Partial Sidewalk Extension (Option 3) 15%

- Flex Space (Option 2) 10%

There were very significant demographic difference on this issue within the community, primarily on age. Among CP residents 18-44, 77% want to see something done with the service lane. Among CP residents 45+, 60% want to see the service lane remain unchanged.

Similarly, there were big differences by the type of housing one has. Two-thirds (67%) of those living in a multi-unit building want the service lane changed. 56% of those living in single family houses would like to keep the status quo.

This sample has 52% of CP respondents living in multi-unit buildings. This is not even close to being representative of the neighborhood. There are approximately 1100 houses in CP compared to 1900 condo units. That doesn’t count apartments. Just provide some perspective, Quebec House alone has nearly 900 units. Newark St, from Connecticut Ave to Wisconsin, has 82 homes.

87% of CP residents walk to the CP strip, and 47% drive (yes, many do both). When asked their primary mode of transportation to the businesses on the CP strip, 70% of CP residents said they primarily walk, while 26% said they primarily drive.

70% of those who primarily walk to the strip would like to see the service lane changed. 86% of those who primarily drive to the strip would not like to see the service lane changed.

The raw results can be found at a public dropbox.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Your Future Tenleytown

From Ward 3 Vision:

Neighborhoods across DC are changing in ways not imaginable even a decade ago. New housing developments are popping up all over the Logan Circle area, Shaw, NOMA and other downtown areas; new restaurants open weekly; bike lanes, Cars-2-Go and other new transit modes abound. We even have Union Market – DC’s aspiring answer to robust city markets like Reading Terminal in Philadelphia.

And then there’s Tenleytown – the staid, grey lady. Home to very desirable residential neighborhoods but bounded by the at-best uninspiring Wisconsin Avenue retail corridor. Why hasn’t Tenleytown experienced the same renaissance as other parts of the city? More importantly, what are the opportunities for its future?

Ward 3 Vision, a group of local citizens who can imagine our neighborhoods as even better urban places – more walkable, sustainable, and vibrant – is sponsoring a “Tenleytown Visioning Workshop” and invites interested neighbors and citizens to discuss these questions and more. The workshop will be held on 9 November 2013 at American University’s Nebraska Hall (one of its new residence halls, adjacent to the Katzen Center), beginning at 9am, and will bring together denizens of Tenleytown and surrounding neighborhoods to share your vision, hopes and blue-sky dreams for Tenleytown.

Click here to register.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Et Tu 3D?

There have been complaints over the years regarding different ANCs, both throughout the Ward and across the city. Mismanagement of funds, excessive perception of power, ego inflation, you name it. At the core and in theory, ANCs are a great model for hyper-local governance. When there are so many examples of malfeasance, however, it becomes time to evaluate whether it is worth the effort and city resources to continue the office.

To wit, ANC 3D passed a resolution at a properly noticed meeting with a quorum, to not oppose (PDF) the installation of bike lanes on New Mexico Avenue. If fact, the resolution specifically states:

Commissioner Ross made a friendly amendment that the resolution include a request, but not a requirement, that DDOT include in the current Ward Circle Transportation Study consideration on the proposed bike lane on New Mexico Avenue and do so as rapidly as possible

So what is happening? According to a post on Greater Greater Washington, the ANC has circulated a resolution to be considered at the meeting TONIGHT (without notice or a courtesy posting on any of the neighborhood listservs) to require the afore mentioned study before the new bike facilities are installed.

Since the July resolution was passed, DDOT completed the planning and is actually announced that the implementation is nearing completion. It is hard to fathom why the ANC thinks such clandestine action is necessary.

Maybe they will explain it themselves at the meeting.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

5333 Connecticut Avenue Neighbors Respond

ANC 3/4G recently signed a letter of agreement with the owners of the parcel at Connecticut Avenue and Military Road for a new residential development. Nearby neighbors have appealed the issuance of construction permits by DCRA. The Board of Zoning Adjustment will hear the case later in September, but in the meantime, the neighborhood group has shared its BZA filing.

Any zoning lawyers interested in weighing in on the merits of the appeal?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ANC 3E to Take up More Bike Sharrows in the Ward

On the heels of the recent decision by ANC 3D to support bike facilities on New Mexico Avenue, ANC 3E will weigh a DDOT proposal to install sharrows (the stenciled biker logos on the street) within its boundaries on 41st Street from Western to Tenleytown and on Jenifer Street from Western to Nebraska Avenue. There is a small segment of the 41st Street proposal which lies in the ANC 3G boundary.

There has been a little discussion on the Chevy Chase Listserv, with a primary concern around the traffic diverter at 43rd Street and Jenifer:

I am concerned about the proposed change in the traffic diverter, which would make an important piece of safety infrastructure less effective and would encourage bicyclists on Jenifer Street to cross through the center of the traffic diverter, when the current practice of using the ramps and curb cuts is safer. A bicyclist cycling through the opening in the traffic diverter will be directed into on-coming traffic, while one using the ramps and curb cuts will be crossing 43rd Street safely alongside the crosswalk.

If this is a true concern, the ANC can work with DDOT to change the configuration of the diverter to make it safe for bicycle and emergency equipment passage while eliminating private vehicle passage.

Detractors also allege the sharrows will be an unsafe solution for cyclists:

... it will direct some cyclists to Jenifer Street, which has very high parking utilization on both sides of the street and has only about a lane and a half of space available for two-way traffic. Most cyclists will not change their route as a result of the new signs and paint, but some cyclists who aren't familiar with the safer routes will be encouraged to choose Jenifer Street over safer and possibly more direct routes in the grid of neighborhood streets. With the high parking utilization and high demand for parking, Jenifer Street has a large number of distracted drivers concentrating on trying to find a parking space, especially on weekends. With the narrow width available for two-way traffic, it is difficult for the cyclist to stay far enough to the right, to allow on-coming traffic to pass easily, and still avoid the door zone. Painting "sharrows" in the road doesn't change the amount of space available for cars and bikes.

This seems to be a false concern. A sharrow is:

a street marking installed at locations in Australia, Canada, and the United States. This marking is placed in the center of a travel lane to indicate that a bicyclist may use the full lane.

The intent is to:

- Assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a bicyclist’s impacting the open door of a parked vehicle;

- Assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in lanes that are too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to travel side by side within the same traffic lane;

- Alert motorists of the lateral location bicyclists are likely to occupy within the traveled way;

- Encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists; and

- Reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.

Ultimately, there will be more cyclists in the District in the future. Steps taken today to help facilitate safe practices and passages will improve mobility for cars and bikes alike. The implementation of sharrows on quiet residential streets are a good step in the right direction. Interested parties should plan on attending the ANC 3E meeting:

Thursday, August 29, 2013, 7:30pm
Embassy Suites, Chevy Chase Pavilion
4300 Military Road, NW
(On top of the north exit from the Friendship Heights Metro)