Monday, January 28, 2008

Obama Rocks Ward 3

12,000 people tried to cram into Bender Arena at American University this morning to catch first hand the endorsement of Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) by the Kennedy clan. Some of the sites and sounds were eloquently captured by MetroBlogger Tom Bridge. The local angle was also captured by Washington Post metro reporters.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Chat with Cheh

This Saturday, January 26, Councilmember Mary Cheh will hold the first
in series of community events called "Chat with Cheh." Ward 3
residents are invited to Politics and Prose between 11:00 am and 1:00
pm to have coffee and talk with the Councilmember.

Wilson Ice Hockey

A great story and means to support the Wilson Tigers
Ice Hockey team.

Check out OnFrozenBlog for the whole story

"McKenzie coached, raised funds and fought for this team from its inception five years ago. But he never had the opportunity to coach Hill in high school or witness his team complete its historic transformation from private to public. Eleven months ago, at the age of 53, he died unexpectedly from pneumonia.

His death appeared to jeopardize the team's future. McKenzie had done so much to keep it alive, many wondered how it could survive without him."

Consider supporting this great, and very local cause.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pedestrian Safety Town Hall

As prevously announced, Council Member Mary Cheh will be hosting a community town hall forum on pedestrian safety tomorrow, January 19, at the Second District
Police Station. The program will begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at noon.

Panelists will include the Director of the Department of Transportation, Emeka Moneme; the Director of Safety Programs for the Federal Highway Administration, Elizabeth Alicandri; the Executive Director of the Washington Area Bicycle Association, Eric Gilliland; the Policy Director for the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Cheryl Cort; the Project Manager for Toole Design Group, Colleen
Mitchell; MPD Second District Commander Andrew Solberg; MPD Assistant Chief and founder of the Multi-Agency Targeted Traffic Safety Sessions, Patrick Burke; and Traffic Officer for the Second District of the MPD, Anthony McElwee.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

More on the Pedestrian Signal

A recent piece on NewsChannel8 aired some of the opinions regarding the Pedestrian Signal at Morrison Street and Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase. Spurred on by calls from the ANC Chair to oppose the signal. Fellow Commissioner Samantha Nolan, a public and pedesrtrian safety advocate in her own right made an appeal for support of the signal, arguing:

I do not believe a standard light will provide any safety to pedestrians at this intersection, and may lead to our first pedestrian death at this location. The accidents that have occurred at this intersection in the past prior to this new light's installation, were caused when cars and pedestrians were in the same place at the same time. That is what will happen when a green light tells cars on Morrison Street to go, and when the walk sign tells pedestrians to walk across Connecticut Avenue. Cars turning South or North onto Connecticut Avenue will run into pedestrians walking across Connecticut Avenue.

The currrent light has some problems that can be fine tuned, but the one thing it does not permit is for vehicles to go while pedestrians are walking. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater comes to mind here. The light is good and has done what it was made to do. It has problems that can be fixed with better lighting, signage, education and timing. DDOT's engineers are best at correcting those problems. We should wait and see what the study shows, and listen to what DDOT engineers have to offer as fixes for the current light, and not make demands that could cause more harm than good to our pedestrians.

While some posts on the listserv support the majority of the ANC, others suggest that simply removing the signal would be appropriate. One poster noted that if there were other signals like it in the city, it wouldn't be such a pariah. That is, of course, the point of this signal, to be a pilot for review and refinement for the city standard. This signal was installed as a pilot program to test a variation on a signal used in other cities, including Bethesda, Maryland.

Finally, one listserv contributor noted the possible impact that the ANC solution might cause:

Adding a third traditional three-color signal in such a short stretch of Connecticut Avenue may lead to major backups on Connecticut Avenue and overflow of commuters into side streets.

This poster cites Military Road as a recent example of ANC 3/4G traffic expertise. In that case, the ANC urged DDOT to reduce the main 4 lane arterial across the northernmost part of the District to two lanes, causing massive backups and significant cut-through traffic. Since its reconfiguration back to pre-2006 standards, the backups and cut-through traffic has subsided.

Pedestrian safety advocates from around the region have expressed concern that should the District abandon this pilot program, it will set pedestrian safety advances back for some time.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tenley PPP RFP Garners 3 Responses

Per a DC Press release:

(Washington, DC) Three development teams responded to a District-issued solicitation to redevelop the 3.6 acre Tenley-Friendship/Janney Elementary school site in Northwest Washington.

“The Tenley site is a great opportunity to achieve some of our most important public policy goals: Building better schools, creating affordable housing and encouraging development at transit stations and along major transportation corridors,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Neil O. Albert. “We are excited about the responses to this solicitation as we are just beginning to take a closer look at the proposals.

The proposals were submitted by development teams led by:

Roadside Development & Smoot Construction
See Forever Foundation, partnered with UniDev, LLC

The development site, at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Albemarle Street, includes the former 15,000-square-foot Tenley library, which has been demolished, and the Janney School, which is slated for expansion.
The solicitation asked bidders to provide their vision for the site as well as explain how they would work with school and library officials to incorporate the respective uses.

While the deputy mayor’s office is still reviewing the proposals, the bidders generally offered proposals that focused on housing—ranging from about 120 to 170 units. Respondent teams also offered plans for incorporating the new library and for expanding and improving the elementary school.

The District anticipates inviting teams to present at a public meeting to be scheduled in February, at which time the teams would present their proposals to the community. The District anticipates selecting a development partner by the end of February.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Cheh responds to Pedestrian Saftey Discussion

As posted on the Cleveland Park and other neighborhood forums, Councilmember Cheh has called for a community meeting on Pedestrian Safety.

I would like to thank the listserv participants for this ongoing discussion about pedestrian safety. Many important and interesting ideas have been expressed, and I have carefully read what you have said. As you know I recently introduced legislation to raise substantially the fine for failure to stop for pedestrians lawfully in a crosswalk. However, more can and must be done. Given the importance of this issue, I am planning to hold a community town hall forum on pedestrian safety on January 19, 2008 at the Second District Police Station. I plan to bring together the Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Police Department, and outside pedestrian safety experts to provide the community an opportunity to continue this important dialogue. I will provide more details as they become available. In the meantime, please be safe.

This is a great step to help educate the public on these important safety issues, and more importantly, give DDOT and MPD the message that Pedestrian Safety is paramount to making our community and city a better place to live. It will be interesting to see what outside experts are brought in to discuss this issue.