Thursday, December 21, 2006

What is ANC 3G doing?

A recent posting to the Chevy Chase Listserv notes the minutes from the December 11th ANC 3G meeting noted an update on a traffic signal currently being installed at the intersection of Morrison Street and Connecticut Avenue:

Commissioner Buchholz, having reviewed all of the Commission’s files for the last several years on the subject, raised for discussion once again the issue of the new traffic light being planned for the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Morrison Street... Commissioner Buchholz stated that in his view, not only would this be a very confusing type of light for both motorists and pedestrians alike, but also that this type of light is not what the Commission had sought and requested for this intersection over three years ago. He supported the latter point with a statement from the record that detailed the Commission’s agreed-upon position concerning this traffic signal dating from 2003. He said, in part, that in a letter dated June 24, 2003, the Commission strongly recommended “that DDOT study the feasibility of installing traffic lights..” at this intersection (and Northampton Street as well) and that as the Commissioner who drafted that 2003 letter for the Commission, he clearly meant a normal three-light traffic signal where red means “stop” and green means “go”. He said the Commission intended that the light allow traffic to flow in an alternating pattern, with pedestrians being able to cross the street at intervals..

A subesequent note on the listserv took exception with this view.

Indeed, a further search of the archives revealed the actual resolution that was passed on this matter. After the recitals, the resolution clearly stipulates:

NOW THEREFORE, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3/4G hereby resolves to express its demand for the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Morrison Street at the earliest possible date, in compliance with the 2003 DDOT study report recommendation.

The Commission further requests that DDOT evaluate and report back to the ANC as early as possible regarding the various configurations and options regarding the stoplight that it is considering for this intersection, including but not limited to the following: blinking lights, a pedestrian-activated light, left turn restrictions in both directions on Connecticut Avenue, installation of speed humps or similar measures on Morrison Street and Livingston Street, curb extensions, and so forth. The DDOT report should describe the extent to which each potential configuration or option will first, help to ensure public safety and secondly, will minimize the impact to Morrison Street, including the volume of traffic on that street and neighboring streets.

I am not sure if there are issues with the Commissioners memories, or if Commissioner Buckholz's research skills are lacking, but it is clear that the ANC passed a resolution in 2005 and DDOT afforded the resolution with the "great weight" mandated under the DC Home Rule Charter, arriving at the solution which is being implemented. So the question lies, what is the ANC doing by entering this erroneous reading into the record?

Perhaps this is why many city agencies and residents simply ignore the ANC process, because the Commissioners continue to try to act in their own unstated self-interests and the Commissions as their own fifedoms?

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