Monday, December 20, 2010

Cheh Injured in Fall

According to reports, Councilmember Mary Cheh suffered injuries to her arm while running. The required surgery will force her to miss a budget vote, but more important are the good wishes to a speedy recovery.

Friday, December 17, 2010

DDOT Unveils Ward 3 Plans

The final recommendations have been released by DDOT for areas in and around upper northwest. The areas under study include Friendship Heights, Tenleytown, AU Park and Chevy Chase.

Interestingly, many of the improvements feature the addition of more bike sharrows, bike lanes and other facilities to slow the speed of traffic. The addition of bike lanes for Nevada Avenue and Brandywine suggest the need to work with the National Park Service to improve conditions on Broad Branch Road between Linnean and Beech Drive.

DDOT is seeking comments on this report.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ward 3 Dems Opposes Obama Platform

A city-wide debate about the future roles of DC Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregoning and DDOT Director Gabe Klein has yielded an interesting development courtesy of the Ward 3 Dems.

An entry on the Greater Greater Washington Blog shares a letter penned by Ward 3 Dems Chairman Tom Smith. The crux of the letter is that Mayor-Elect Gray should pass on reappointing these two directors because of the lack of transparency each has fostered in their agencies. The Greater Greater Washington blog has specifics as to measures each has taken to be more open and transparent in their activities.

However, for the head of the Ward 3 Dems to take this position when the vast majority of voters supported Adrian Fenty and the policies his administration deployed seems so out of touch with the democratic voters the Committee is supposed to represent.

Let Mayor-Elect Gray know of your position.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Ward 3 ANC results

There were a number of contested Advisory Neighborhood Commission elections in Ward 3. Here are the unofficial results:

3B02: Jackie Blumenthal 84%
3C03: Anne-Marie Bairstow 65%
3D01: Kent Slowinski 53%
3D06: Ann Heuer 66%
3D09: Ann Haas 66%
3E01: Beverly Sklover 57%
3E04: Tom Quinn 55%
3F01: Adam Tope 50%
3G07: Henry Griffin 76%

Monday, November 01, 2010

ANC 3E 04 Race

Interesting that ANC 3E04 candidate Sally Greenberg has finally decided to join the digital world by introducing herself to the Chevy Chase Community Listserv. It would be nice if she were to also join the Tenleytown Listserv so she can participate with her core supporters.

Maybe the community can hear from the candidate rather than her surrogates?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Voice 4 U Video

The students at American University have produced a video to support the two candidates for ANC 3D.
Ever since the Greater Greater Washington endorsements of Ward 3 ANC candidates were announced, there has been a spirited discussion on the Tenleytown listserv centered around the open ANC 3E04 race between Sally Greenberg and Tom Quinn.

Ms. Greenberg and her "endorsers" (where have these endorsements been published?) seem to be for Smart Growth, but their version of it appears to be different than what Greater Greater Washington and Ward 3 Vision embrace. According to one Ward 3 Vision leader, Ms. Greenberg has not been active in any of the Smart Growth touchpoints in the Ward:

I received Sally Greenberg's literature as well, and from her one sentence on Smart Growth, I cannot discern her views on the issue at all. In her "Goals for Our Community" section, the only thing she includes about Smart Growth is a one sentence bullet -- "Smart growth, i.e., development which balances the needs of business with the concerns of the neighborhood. That sentence is so vague as to be meaningless and also does not address any of the basic elements of Smart Growth.

Since she includes Smart Growth as a goal, I would be interested in hearing more from her about how she defines Smart Growth; what her views were about some of the specific projects over the past few years in which Smart Growth has been part of the discussion -- e.g., the Akridge project, the Tenley Library / Janney School PPP, the Safeway redevelopment, etc.; and what her involvement was with any of those projects or any other Smart Growth issues in the neighborhood. (I have been reasonably active in neighborhood issues and am not aware that I have encountered her in public meetings, hearings, etc., so her views are a blank slate to me.)

Given that the stewards of the alphabet soup of community associations seem to be exuberant supporters of Ms. Greenberg, and given that Ms. Greenberg appears to not even take the trouble to join the neighborhood listserv, much less participate in any of the key community issues in the past, it makes it difficult to assess any sense of where this candidate stands on issue of importance to voters in this Single Member District.

ANC candidates should be active in their communities and at a minimum, have the time and concern for their future constituents to participate in an open digital forum (where available) to demonstrate their accessibility and knowledge and positions on important issues. Ms. Greenberg, to date, has not demonstrated any such concern, and hijacking a charged term like "smart growth" in an attempt to paint themselves as something they appear not to be is disingenuous.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DDOT Livability Study Update

DDOT has released (PDF) the feedback collected during the second public meeting of the Rock Creek West 2 livability study.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

GreaterGreaterWashington Ward 3 ANC Endorsements

A previous posting outlined the candidates for the different ANC races across the Ward. The Greater Greater Washington blog offers insight into some of these contested races.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hedgepath 'likes" Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell

Loose Lips notes the irony that Ward 3 Republican candidate David Hedgepath is a fan of erstwhile Republican starlets, Sarah Palin and Christine "I am a Constitutional Scholar, or not" O'Donnell.

I wonder how Ward 3 Democrats would feel about bringing Ms. Palin to stump in Palisades?

Hedgepath owes Back Taxes

According to Washington Post reporter Mike DuBonis, Republican Ward 3 candidate David Hedgepath owes over $10,000 of back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

How is that for good Republican fiscal constraint?

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Mysterious Mr. Hedgepath

The Washington Post surprisingly has endorsed Republican Ward 3 Council candidate David Hedgepath. Given this elevation of legitimacy to the republican candidate, it is time that voters find out more about him.

Tenleytown activist Nelson Jacobson has challenged the Republican with a series of questions to help voters get to know him. It is time for Mr. Hedgepath, if he is to be taken seriously, to respond:

On the Work level:

Are you are a lawyer or Litigation Support Services staffer?
What kind of legal work do you do. Are you a lawyer working on contracts or support staff working on contracts.

Please provide a complete resume of your professional experience.

To follow up with that question, Have you ever worked on a case that involved suing the District of Columbia?

Your bio says that you are now a member of the DC Bar, however you graduated from law school sometime ago, right? Is there a reason why there was a delay?

Have you ever appeared in a DC Court and if so what kind of clients did you represent?

On the personal level:

You have been in DC for a while I am sure that you have a long voting record could you please share it. If you missed a few votes why?

Do you belong to any community groups in your neighborhood.

Do you volunteer at your kids schools on any committees, and have you been involved in any local nonprofits or serve on any boards or group that are active in DC.

Prior to your entry to the Council race, did you ever attend an ANC meeting, a Community Association meeting or other community event? If so, when. If not, why not?

On the Job:

What your best skill do you have that makes you our choice in Ward 3 for public service.

Do you have issues that you are going to tackle as the Ward 3 representative and what Ward 3 issues do you think need tackling?

On issues name then, and what groups will bring together that are already not working on them to fix it.

If we need to raise taxes to pay our city bills which ones would you favor and why?

Not sure if your aware of it but, (The campaign site says that DC schools Test
scores have risen under Rhee) only 3 schools in Ward3 are passing NCLB. How do you rectify this error? Are you aware that scores were down in the most recent cycle? How do you rectify this error?

How would you change this or did you think it's acceptable that as other Wards test scores increase ours have not and what are you going to do different? To buy your premise some other wards schools had to be much higher

You supported Adrian Fenty in the Mayoral election. Do you support his economic development, procurement and budgeting policies?

What tools do police and fireman need that they don't have your site says they need them. Could you supply some specifics?

What committees do you think your going to be able to be assigned too if elected?

You said you will leave your current job and be on the council full time; So are you taking a pay cut or getting a pay raise.

Considering Mary Cheh ran against nine people in her first election we know more about her then needed. BTW who did you vote for in that election.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

More on the Gray "healing tour"

tim Craig of the Washington Post shares more about the Vince Gray "healing tour" articularly for voters in Ward 3.

Of note:

"I don't want to be in a situation where people routinely don't like you, so the onus is on me to reach out at this stage, and that is exactly what I am trying to do," Gray said in a recent interview.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gray "Healing Tour" announced for Ward 3

The Gray Campaign has announced a series of Ward-wide town hall meetings.

Ward 3 is scheduled for October 7th at St. Columba's Church at 4201 Albemarle Street.

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Tenleytown Development

DC Metro Urban Diary provides and update on the infill development on 41st Street in Tenleytown.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tenleytown Transit Oriented Development Meeting

From an announcement on the Chevy Chase Listserv:

The Tenleytown Neighbors Association will hold a public meeting on Thursday, September 30, at 7:30 pm, in Saint Columba's Episcopal Church, Room 220. The guest speaker will be Mr. Nat Bottigheimer, WMATA Assistant General Manager for Planning and Joint Development. The main topic will be Metrorail's Red Line and transit-oriented development. A question and answer session will follow. The public is invited.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cheh Pushes for Rhee

According to Bill Turque, Councilmembers Cheh and Wells are pushing for DC School Chancellor Michelle Rhee to continue on in the Gray Administration.

This could be an interested development which would satisfy the urgings of the Northwest Current endorsement of Mayor-Elect Gray.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ward 3 Resident Challenges Fenty

In an interesting 11th hour switch, Ward 3 resident Bill Slover is clearing the air with respect to his term as Chair of the DC Housing Authority. Slover, and avid Fenty supporter in 2006, was named Chair of the DC Housing Authority by Adrian Fenty. In November 2009, he was abruptly removed. Things were relatively quiet on this issue until the September 1 Washington Post Mayoral debate, when Chairman Gray asked the Mayor:

"Why did you the fire man who raised issues about contracts given to people with ties to you?"

In a follow-up, the Mayor told Washington Post reporter Mike DeBonis:

If you look at the full record, and we've got letters to prove this, the attorney general for the city repeatedly raised to the Housing Authority that the contracts should have been sent to the council very early on in the process, and it was that failure to send the contracts to the council by the housing authority that was the chief recommendation by the attorney general to our director of boards and commissions as the reason why the chair was removed.

Now, Slover has penned a letter clearing his good name.

Loose Lips at the City Paper has additional coverage.

This is potentially the "September Surprise" that the Mayor wants to avoid. It certainly seems like it is a problem for his administration.

If you are a Fenty supporter, does this give you pause before you vote?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Giant Kick Off Party

Both DC MUD and All Life is Local have announced that there will be a Giant Kick-Off Party.

However, the event previously announced for this Thursday is postponed:

Giant Food wants to give all members of the community an opportunity to join us to launch the new project to redevelop the Wisconsin Avenue Giant and Friendship Shopping Center, which will be known as Cathedral Commons. To honor the High Holy Day, Rosh Hashanah, we will postpone the previously announced launch event.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Janney Elementary will have Underground Parking

This was shared on the Tenleytown Listserv:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lew, Allen (OPEFM)
Date: Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 5:47 PM
Subject: RE: please reiterate support for Janney's underground parking facility

Please accept this as a response to your e-mail of earlier today. Rest assured that OPEFM fully intends to construct an underground parking facility on the south west portion of the Janney site in time for the beginning of the 2011/12 school year.

This issue appears to have come up based on a misunderstanding of the guaranteed maximum price ("GMP") that we submitted to the Council in July. On July 12th, we submitted the GMP for the renovation and expansion of Janney Elementary School to the Council of the District of Columbia. The GMP fully funds the renovation of the existing Janney building as well as construction of approximately 43,000 in new space. The GMP also contemplated that OPEFM would construct a new underground parking facility on the south west portion of the site and that an artificial turf soccer field will be placed on top of the parking facility. The Fiscal Year 2010 budget lacked sufficient funding to support the underground parking facility. The rest of the project is fully funded.

The GMP includes an option to fully construct the parking facility and the related soccer field. As long as that option is exercised prior to February 1, 2011, the underground parking facility will be completed at the same time as the rest of the project. We plan to identify the funding source for this work in the near future and to exercise the option well in advance of the February 1st deadline. The designs for the underground parking facility have already been completed and submitted to the District's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for permitting. We expect to proceed with the excavation work on the underground parking facility sometime in January/February depending on the weather conditions.

Allen Y. Lew

Saturday, September 04, 2010

ANC 3 Candidates

Here is the list of residents who have submitted petitions for ANC seats. *indicates incumbent.

3B01 Benjamin Thielen
3B02 Alev Akbulut
3B02 Jackie Blumenthal*
3B03 Mark Stevens
3B04 Horace (Howie) Kreitzman*
3B05 Brian A. Cohen*

3C01 Lee Brian Reba*
3C02 William Kummings*
3C03 Anne-Marie Bairstow*
3C03 Matthew James Kozik
3C04 Roger Burns*
3C05 Leila J. Afzal*
3C06 Trudy Reeves*
3C07 Victor Silveira*
3C08 Catherine S. May*
3C09 Nancy J. MacWood*

3D01 Kent Slowinski*
3D01 Elizabeth (Betsy) Sandza
3D02 Tom Smith*
3D03 Nan Wells*
3D04 Stu Ross*
3D05 William Phillip Thomas*
3D06 Ann F. Heuer*
3D06 John Curran
3D08 Lee P. Minichiello*
3D09 Petar A. Dimtchev
3D09 Ann Haas*

3E01 Beverly Sklover*
3E01 Jonathan McHugh
3E02 Matthew Frumin*
3E03 Jonathan Bender*
3E04 Sally J. Greenberg
3E04 Tom Quinn
3E05 Sam Serebin*

3F01 Adam Tope
3F01 Michael Siegel
3F02 Karen Lee Perry*
3F03 Karen Beiley
3F04 Tom Whitely*
3F05 Roman Jankowski
3F06 Cathy Wiss*
3F07 Bob Summersgill

3G01 Carolyn "Callie" Cook*
3G01 Bayard Brewin
3G02 Gary Thompson*
3G03 Margaret (Peggy) Sewell*
3G04 Allen E. Beach*
3G05 David Engel*
3G06 Jim McCarthy*
3G07 Henry Griffin*
3G07 Jack Burriesci

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Cheh Endorses Gray

The DC Wire Blog of the Washington Post has announced that Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh has endorsed Council Chairman Vince Gray in the Mayoral Primary race.

And more from the City Paper.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chevy Chase Parkway: WARNING

Recall the vitriol within the Chevy Chase community when DDOT proposed installing speed humps as a traffic calming measure on Chevy Chase's Morrison Street. Those humps were installed essentially at the request (see Feb 25, 2008 Minutes, cited here) of the ANC. Then DDOT Director Emeke Moneme came to an ANC 3G meeting to discuss the Pedestrian Signal about which the ANC complained so bitterly despite their request for its installation:

He said the test phase of the light would be completed in April and that at this time DDOT is not inclined to change the light. He noted that there were three options on the table: to leave the light as it is presently functioning; to provide a short flashing yellow for motorists on Morrison Street; or to make the signal a regular green/yellow/red light including a short 8 second advance pedestrian only phase, with the addition of speed bumps on Morrison Street.

After the humps were installed, the ANC waged a campaign of delay and even removal. Recall, also, that Mayor Fenty has a policy of installing speed humps wherever a block wanted them. In this situation, the ANC made a choice which necessitated the installation of speed humps (and why is the city giving ANC transportation planning choices?)

So why bring this up?

It seems as if a speed hump, a very large and pointy one, has been installed on Chevy Chase Parkway, right around the corner from the residence of outspoken ANC Commissioner and speed hump opponent David Engle. This hump was installed despite:

-the absence of any discussion at any ANC meeting about traffic calming for this location despite the inclusion of speed humps on the agenda for virtually every meeting over the past 18 months;

-any announcement from DDOT or the ANC to the community about its installation;

-any mention of a request on the Community listserv, nothing.

The reason for this post? There is also no signage warning motorists of its existence. It begs the question, was this speed hump installed by DDOT, or by some of the residents who felt like they wanted to by-pass the process and the scrutiny of an ANC that has been steadfast against road safety within Chevy Chase, DC?

So be forewarned, there is a speed hump on Chevy Chase Parkway between McKinley Street and Patterson Street, NW.

(For an additional bit of irony on this matter, since the Morrison Street pedestrian signal was re-programmed to a traditional signal, DDOT has installed HAWK signals and other innovations in Northwest DC. Maybe it is time to reconsider re-programming the Morrison Street light back to something more pedestrian-friendly, as originally requested by the ANC?)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Clark Ray and Giant

DC At-Large Council Candidate Clark Ray has put out a new video which promotes his Smart Growth credibility while highlighting some of the keep-it-the-same stance of his primary opponent, Phil Mendelson.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

NW Current Endorses Gray

In a surprise move, the NW Current has decided to endorse Council Chairman Vince Gray. In making this decision, the Editorial staff has cited the cronyism and city finances as the main reasons to vote against incumbent Adrian Fenty:

The story of the past four years is not unblemished.

Mr. Fenty initiated the excessive rainy-day spending, we do not see him as any more fiscally sound. Indeed, Mr. Gray at least included budgetary language calling for replenishment of the reserves.

We have further problems with Mr. Fenty’s record. The dark side of his focus on results is a seeming arrogance toward other elected officials and constituents, as well as efforts to justify cronyism as necessary I the name of efficiency.

The saga of reconstruction of recreation centers is the most telling example. When the council refused to turn over the long-delayed projects to the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization, the Fenty administration funneled contracts through the public housing authority, a way to avoid council review. The selected bidders just happened to be run by Mayor Fenty’s fraternity brothers, who would have earned outlandish fees. The council’s ongoing investigation may never turn up legal wrongdoing, but that does not mean the administration’s conduct was appropriate.

One will wonder if such an endorsement will give Mr. Gray the votes he needs from Ward 3 to unseat Mr. Fenty.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Giant Moving Forward!!!!!

An announcement from Giant, despite the recently discussed appeal:

Stop & Shop/Giant is moving forward in redeveloping Friendship Shopping Center. The plan is to begin construction of the new development, Cathedral Commons, next year.

This development reflects the community’s desire for a more expansive grocery store with a larger variety of product offerings, convenient and nutritious prepared foods, a choice of organic and fresh vegetables, and a host of shopping options. This vibrant, place-making development is designed to complement the existing Cleveland Park neighborhood, while providing neighborhood-serving retail similar to that offered today, i.e., restaurants, banking, pharmacy, yoga, etc. In addition, there will be exceptionally well designed rental and for-sale housing, an enlivened streetscape, commercial tenants, engaging open spaces, and below-grade parking . A full description of the project is provided at our website

Nice to see the project move forward.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Annual Cleveland Park Giant Poll

It is time, once again to weigh in with popular support for the Cleveland Park Giant. The new All Life is Local blog has announced a poll to gauge support or opposition to the Giant proposal.

A vote to oppose the lawsuit filed by local Giant opponents means you support the Giant construction to move forward post-haste.

GOP Ward 3 Candidate to Endorse Fenty

Mike DeBonis of the Washington Post has publicized GOP Ward 3 Candidates support for Mayor Adrian Fenty.

According to Debonis,

The thin line that Cheh has tried to straddle separates her ward's overwhelming preference for Fenty (or, more to the point, schools chief Michelle Rhee) from her own well-publicized disdain for the way Fenty governs the city.

So in steps Hedgepeth. "I just think it will be a way to contrast my position on the mayor's race with Ward 3 voters," he says -- and this position in particular: "Fenty has shown that he is truly 100 percent behind Chancellor Rhee. ... I support the candidate that's shown he's 100 percent behind Chancellor Rhee."

Cheh, it should be noted, has generally been a supporter of Rhee -- it tends to be Attorney General Peter Nickles who attracts the bulk of her invective. But in a race where a vote against Fenty is a vote against Rhee, Hedgepeth sees a wedge issue for the city's most affluent ward.

What say you, does this, or will this make a difference either in the Mayoral race or in the Ward 3 General Election in November?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More on the Cleveland Park Giant

The recent announcement that the nearby neighbors have filed a lawsuit/appeal against the Planned Unit Development for the Cleveland Park Giant ans promoted some discussion regarding the Cleveland Park Citizen's Association:

I feel we are owed a clear and prompt explanation of the CPCA's position on this issue, and what they intend to do to stop this small group of self-interested Giant neighbors from thwarting the community's desire for an expanded and improved supermarket. As I understand it, the CPCA voted last fall for a new Board that indicated its suppoprt of the Giant expansion. I would hope that the CPCA take immediate action, such as filing an amicus brief opposing the litigants opposing the Giant expansion...

Recall that in 2009, the CPCA underwent internal turmoil when the Board and a handful of its members voted to opposed the Giant (because, in its best Orwellian justification, it supported it).

So now the question begs, given all that the CPCA and the "UNITY" slate went through as a result of this action, will it now support the will of the community and remove the official stance in opposition?

Lost in the debate over this appeal is the overwhelming trend in urban grocery stores, particularly in the District:

...a new generation of supermarkets is arriving in the city as part of mixed-use, transit-oriented developments. These grocery stores are better integrated into the dense urban fabric to offer a wider array of foods and services. They are pushed to the edge of the sidewalk instead of being recessed behind parking lots. In place of blank walls and plate glass, lively street frontage blends with the historic architecture of older neighborhoods.

This recent investment by large retailers indicates they finally consider downtown neighborhoods worth courting. In addition to Safeway Inc., familiar chains like Giant Food LLC, Harris Teeter Inc. and others are overhauling existing facilities and investing in new locations to offer more upscale and convenient shopping for urbanites.

So will Cleveland Park remain stuck in the past, with the surface parking lot, antiquated store and outmoded suburban style living, or will it help facilitate a new store, with new neighborhood amenities and new residents?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

City Paper on Adrian Fenty

The City Paper has a profile of Mayor Adrian Fenty in this week's edition. In it, there seems to be a series of telling quotes from Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh:

Not every political insider wants contracts for their buddies. A little bit of well-timed butt-kissing, for instance, might have salvaged Fenty’s relationship with Councilmember Mary Cheh, whose Ward 3 is the city’s most pro-Fenty jurisdiction.

Cheh, who joined the council at the same time Fenty became mayor, says she had high expectations for working with the young chief executive. And, she says, those hopes were quickly dashed after he made it clear that he expected a quid pro quo type of relationship, where she would support him from the council in return for favors in her ward.

Now, she says, Fenty doesn’t even extend the most routine of political courtesies, like inviting her to ribbon cuttings in her ward. “He’s his own worst enemy,” Cheh says, going a little over the top by comparing Fenty to a “Shakespearean” tragedy. “The idea that you have such promise, you had such potential, you had all that wind at your back and yet because of your own internal failings you squandered it.” In this version, Fenty’s personality doesn’t cut through the bullshit. It creates more bullshit—in this case, a feud that slows down his own agenda.

I think Many Ward 3 voters would be interested in knowing what kinds of "quid pro quo" items we lost out on due to the Mayor's alleged pettiness?

Ah, the political season, the gift that keeps on giving.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wisconsin Avenue Giant: The Saga Continues

ANC 3C Commissioner Trudy Reeves has announced on the Cleveland Park Listserv that the "Wisconsin-Newark Neighborhood Coalition" has filed an appeal on the PUD application for the Giant on Wisconsin Avenue.

The Hogan Lovells law firm filed an appeal to the DC Court of Appeals earlier this month on behalf of WNNC, Wisconsin-Newark Neighborhood Coalition, (Diane Olson, John Korbel, Peter Espenshied, Ann Hamilton, et al.) and the Idaho Avenue folks (Phil Montalto). The appeal says nothing new. Very briefly: they argue that the Zoning Commission does not have jurisdiction in this case; the PUD is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan; and Idaho Avenue is not wide enough for trucks. All of these issues have been covered before. Giant's attorneys will file their brief in the next couple of weeks; then the petitioners have about a month to respond; and then a date will be set for a hearing, which will probably be several months away."

So, given the duration of this process since last year much less 2004 and 2000, how much longer can the 'tyranny of the minority" rule the roost?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fenty Veto's Cheh Election Bill

According to reports on the Washington Post DC Wire, Mayor Adrian Fenty has vetoed legislation sponsored by Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh.

According to reports, the bill,

would have enshrined in the local code the federal prohibitions against paying someone to vote or register to vote, or accepting payment to vote or register to vote. It also made it a crime to use a false name to register to vote. Violators could be fined as much as $10,000 and face five years in prison.

According to Fenty strategist Ron Moten,

Gray and Cheh clearly passed a bill that was not clear on what the rules are and they did this at the last minute of a tight election, which is troubling".

A Gray spokesperson said, "The bill says, in the most simple of terms, you can't buy someone's vote ... the fact that the mayor wouldn't sign it speaks volumes. We knew that he had no problem bringing pay-to-play politics to the mayor's office. Now it appears he has no problem bringing it to the ballot box."

The Mayor has well over a million dollars in unspent campaign funds.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vince Gray: Good for Ward 3?

In a recent blog entry David Alpert of Great Greater Washington suggests that a Mayor Vince Gray would be good for urbanists across the city.

The entry notes that:

Gray recently walked along Wisconsin Avenue from Tenleytown to Friendship Heights with a group of residents of the area. They pointed out the many glaring flaws in Wisconsin's streetscape. There's the CVS at Wisconsin and Brandywine, where the sidewalk becomes a sharply sloped ramp to a roof parking deck leaving a 2-foot space for pedestrians between fences and telephone poles. Near the other end, there's the Western bus garage, a half-block blank wall right along Wisconsin and literally atop the Metro. And there are plenty of examples in between.

Gray nodded eagerly when residents and even his own campaign manager outlined their ideas for how Tenley Circle could feel more like a college town if more retail and housing accompanied American's plans to move the law school there. And his reaction bordered on incredulity when Friendship Heights residents told him that many people would oppose any new buildings on the site of the bus garage...

On development, Gray's approach will be to create a good plan and hear out all the opponents before moving ahead, while Fenty's approach has been to move ahead without any plans or much listening. Here, both approaches have merit, and I'd give a small edge to Gray's. Perhaps some bold planning and community engagement could have resulted in improvements along the Wisconsin Avenue corridor, where recent development has more often produced a boring low-scale bank rather than anything transformative.

But as one Smart Growth proponent recently pointed out, we are fortunate. We have two candidates who have made a clear commitment to many parts of a Smart Growth vision. They'd implement it with different styles and might focus on different elements, but four years from now, there will be more housing opportunities near commercial corridors and Metro stations regardless of who is Mayor.

I suppose if one were to really examine the management from the complex Tenley-Janney Public-Private Partnership, or the simple, one could imagine Vince Gray as mayor as a potentially better alternative to the current administration.

It will certainly be an interesting month until the September 14th primary.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Aggressive Fenty Canvassers?

A report on the Chevy Chase Listserv suggests that some Fenty re-election workers may be too aggressive:

Over the course of a month I have had visits from 3 sets of Fenty workers (I don't think I can call them volunteers because I believe they are paid for their work.) Each time I point to the "Gray" sign in my yard and tell them that I am voting for Gray. Each time they challenge my statement with heated campaign rhetoric. They want to know why I am voting for Gray and on two previous occasions I have told them why. Today they were much more aggressive both in word and physical stance. One fellow had opened my screen door and stood directly in front of me while the second fellow continued with his aggressive questioning.

I told them I was voting for Gray and that I had already explained to the two other sets of Fenty workers why I am not voting for Fenty and I did not want to got through it again. "I do not have to explain my vote to you," I said, "and now get off my porch." The one fellow said okay but just tell me one reason. To which I replied, "If you do not get off my porch I will report you for harassment." They wanted to know my name and I said you know my name because it's on your list (on their clipboard). They finally left but grudgingly.

I believe this is harassment and a bullying form of intimidation

Has anyone else had this kind of experience with campaign workers this season?

Ward 3 Public Schools - Failing the Grade

The latestest testing results are out and the results are not exactly stellar. Regardless of your feelings about Chancellor Rhee and the Mayor's race, only 3 schools in Ward 3 met the "annual yearly progress" requirements of the "No Child Left Behind" standards.

According to the DC Examiner:

"Eight DCPS elementary schools made the benchmark, down from 29 in 2009 and 38 in 2008. Two of them -- Mamie D. Lee and Sharpe -- serve only special needs students. Of the remaining six, Mann, Key and Stoddert elementary schools are in Ward 3...

Conversely, Chevy Chase's Lafayette Elementary, attended by Mayor Adrian Fenty's twin sons, did not make AYP even though 87 percent of its students scored proficient in reading and 84 percent met the mark for math. The school failed to meet the standards because of declining scores among its black students -- reading proficiency dropped to 67 percent in 2010 from 83 percent in 2009, and math proficiency dropped to 69 percent from 83 percent.

This means highly valued Ward 3 schools such as Murch, Janney, Eaton, Hearst, Deal and Wilson did not achieve published goals.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Storm Clean-Up

The DC Department of Public Works has made the following suggestions regarding storm (and loss of power) clean-up:

We understand that you are clearing up yard waste from last weekend's severe storm and many of you also suffered the loss of electricity, which has led to spoiled food. The Department of Public Works wants to help by collecting the smaller tree limbs and branches, spoiled food, and the recyclable food containers. Check for your neighborhood's collection(s).

We ask you to do the following:

Yard Waste - Please cut limbs into 4-foot lengths, bundle them and place the bundles with your trash. In Supercan neighborhoods, yard waste will be collected on your regular trash collection day. In twice-a-week neighborhoods, yard waste will be collected on your second collection day. These collections are subject to available space in the trash trucks.

Spoiled Food - Please empty recyclable glass, cardboard (juice boxes, etc.) and metal food and beverage containers, rinse the containers and place them in your recycling bin(s) or cart(s). Place the spoiled food in your garbage disposal or a sturdy trash bag. The bagged food should be put in your trash can and placed out for collection on your next collection day. Recyclables are collected in Supercan neighborhoods the same day trash is collected. In twice-a-week neighborhoods, please put your recycling containers out on your scheduled collection day.

Of course, providing this information concurrent with actually receiving power would have avoided the mess that is now smelly alleys and other issues. At least it is here, now for future reference.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ward 3 Welcomes Bike Sharing

The City Paper has revealed a map of the expanded DDOT bike sharing program.

The larger system appears to have stations at the Tenleytown Metro, Van Ness/UDC Metro, American University and McLean Gardens. While there should be more opportunities for DDOT to consider as the program grows, this is a great start for the community.

Where would you want to see bike sharing expanded in the Ward?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pedestrian Group to Announce Results

According to an update, the Connecticut Avenue Pedestrian Action study is going to have a meeting to announce the results of the study. For more information:

6:30 Open House
7:00 Presentation

UDC Building 44 (on Van Ness Street)
Room A03

Monday, July 12, 2010

Solar Capacity in Ward 3 Doubles

Thanks to this installation on Reno Road, the Solar Capacity in Ward 3 has doubled.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Klingle "Valley": The Next Step

Greater Greater Washington covers the next step for Klingle Valley, how to implement the bike path, and at what cost.

There will be a public meeting:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010,
6:00-6:30 PM (Open House)
6:30-8:00 PM (presentation and Comments)

National Zoo's Visitor Center Auditorium
3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW (Red Line to Woodley Park-Zoo)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ward 3 Dems Straw Poll Released

From the Ward 3 Dems:

DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and DC Council Chairman Vince Gray finished in a near dead heat in a straw poll of Ward 3 Democratic voters with Gray narrowly defeating Fenty by six votes. The straw poll was held last week, but the nearly 400 ballots were counted tonight after all voters were first certified as meeting eligibility criteria. The straw poll was conducted by the Ward Three Democratic Committee.

In the final straw poll tabulation, Gray received 174 votes to Fenty’s 168. Leo Alexander received four votes. Eleven voters indicated they were undecided. 27 ballots were disqualified.

Additionally, the Ward Three Democratic Committee voted formally this evening to officially endorse Councilmember Kwame Brown for DC Council Chairman. In order to win an official Committee endorsement, a candidate had to win at least 75 percent of the total vote. The Committee also voted to endorse Councilmember Mary Cheh for reelection as Ward 3 Councilmember and Shadow Representative Mike Panetta for reelection as the U.S. (Shadow) Representative.

ANC Commissioner Doug Sloan surprised many by falling just short of winning the Committee’s endorsement over incumbent Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Sloan won 65 percent of the vote. Norton won only 30 percent of the vote.

The Committee did not endorse any candidate in the Mayoral race, but Gray won just over 60 percent of the vote. Councilmember Phil Mendelson led his challengers in the vote for Councilmember-at-large with 60 percent of the vote, but also fell short of the threshold required to win an official endorsement. U.S. Senate (Shadow) Senator Michael Brown proved the spoiler winning 22 percent of the vote. Clark Ray won 15 percent of the vote.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mayoral Candidate Forum Review

The Washington Informer provides an additional review of the recent Ward 3 Dems Mayoral Forum.

DDOT and Bikeshare

Courtesy of Greater Greater Washington DDOT has unveiled the opportunity for residents and potential users to suggest locations for an expanded Bikeshare program.

Wouldn't Bikeshare be a great addition to Ward 3?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reno School Saved?

According to the City Paper the Reno School in Tenleytown will receive close to $1 Million in city monies to help stabilize the structure.

The Reno School received landmark designation recently from the Historic Preservation Review Board after the Tenleytown Historical Society submitted an application. The structure served as the school for the African American enclave, Reno City, which was in the Tenleytown area in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The development was cleared out to make room for the Alice Deal and Woodrow Wilson schools. Councilmember Mary Cheh was able to get the City Council to reprogram the monies after savings were found in another area.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Future of Politics and Prose Uncertain

The Washington Post reports that the owners of the fabled NW icon Politics and Prose are exploring options regarding the sale of their store.

This could have a huge impact on the greater Chevy Chase community.

Friday, May 28, 2010

DDOT Livability Study

Please join us to discuss your neighborhood’s transportation safety and quality of life.

From the DC Department of Transportation:

When: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Where: The Methodist Home of DC, 4901 Connecticut Avenue NW

How: Accessible from Metrobus routes L1, L2, L4, and M4

3/4 mile from Van Ness-UDC and Tenleytown-AU Metro stations

Limited off-street parking available; we encourage carpooling and alternative travel modes

We want to hear from you!

The District of Department of Transportation (DDOT) is hosting a public meeting for the Rock Creek West II Livability Study. At this meeting, you will hear about the study and have an opportunity to talk about your streets and let us know what works and doesn’t work. Your feedback on specific issues and hot spots will help determine the focus and recommendations of this study, which will be discussed in future meetings.

About the study

DDOT Livability Studies will take a “big picture” look at our street network and identify concrete actions to increase transportation safety and options. For more information about the study, please visit the site after June 4, 2010.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chevy Chase ANC About Face?

According to the Northwest Current, the Chevy Chase ANC (3/4 G) has approved a request from the residents of the 5100 block of Chevy Chase Parkway for speed humps. The Katie Pierce article suggests that DDOT recommended 3 humps for the block, but that the Commission decided to lend its expertise to the traffic planning realm by suggesting fewer humps than DDOT recommended.

This is not uncommon for this ANC after Military Road and Morrison Street.

The question presents, what is different about the request from Chevy Chase Parkway residents, that the ANC supported a safer street, but not for Morrison Street, which shares the characteristic of being on the block feeding Connecticut Avenue adjacent to a busier street (McKinley for Morrison, Fessenden and Nebraska for Chevy Chase Parkway)? Both sets of residents claimed speeding cars, not traffic volumes as the reason for the traffic calming measure. Both sets of residents relied on DDOT policy, which favors the residents in all cases related to speed humps. Has this ANC softened on the issue?

American University: Long Range Plan

Neil Flanagan covers the long range plans for The American University. Preliminary drawing show development to the south of Nebraska Avenue between Ward Circle and New Mexico Avenue, and the relocation of the Law School from the Spring Valley commercial strip to the former Immaculata Campus on Tenley Circle.

Will this be another case of the infamous "Tenleytown NIMBYs" fighting in-whole another opportunity to remake the community, or will cooler heads prevail to reshape the University and the entire stretch of Wisconsin Avenue from Van Ness to Tenleytown?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mayoral Face-off: June 10th

DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and DC Council Chairman Vincent Gray have agreed to participate in a Neighborhoods Mayoral Forum in Ward 3 on Thursday, June 10 at 7:30 PM at St. Columba's Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle Street NW. All residents of the community are invited to attend. The forum is sponsored by the Ward Three Democratic Committee and the Federation of Citizens Associations of the District of Columbia. A mayoral straw poll also will be held that evening.

CPCA: An Update

Many may recall the contested campaign and election last year between the Unity Slate and the Reform Slate for the leadership of the Cleveland Park Citizen's Association. The Unity Slate won, ostensibly because of the endorsement and support of the previous leadership in the form of direct campaigning by former board members and interested members, and rides to the polling place for selected voters.

According to sources, after the better part of 9 months, there has been little to no progress in many of the promises made by the Unity Slate to provide open discussion and rule making for the organization. The conditions are so dire that one long time Cleveland Park resident and community archivist has decided not to run for an office this spring.

Part of the rationalization is that Many people have told me that I am wasting my time with what is really a club for 30-50 home owners on Newark and surrounding streets that get to play with the dues of almost a thousand others and pretend to represent all of Cleveland Park.

This has been a wasted opportunity for an activist community to show the District of Columbia how good governance can prevail in a small neighborhood setting. It is certainly chilling for the prospects of an organization that will certainly try to speak for the community again in the future.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

DC Mud on Walgreens

The Walgreen's invasion of Ward 3 and the District has begun. The new store in the former Yenching Palace site in Cleveland Park appears to be open for business. However, the Van Ness store may require some more thought according to DC Metro Urban Diary.

It certainly seems like a lost opportunity not to maximize the site across the street from the Van Ness Metro.

Friday, May 07, 2010


Controversy has been festering over an event the Georgetown Day School recently hosted at its upper school in Tenleytown. The school held a Go-Go concert, a common and annual occurrence among GDS and its peers.

In response to community questions, ANC Commissioner Jonathan Bender posted this response from GDS Head Peter Branch:

The Go-Go event at GDS on May 1 did not create 'a disturbance.' We are aware of two separate mugging incidents which occurred off campus and were perpetrated by individuals with a prior record upon students who were on their way to the dance. However, it is as provocative to categorize the Go-Go which the students sought to attend as "associated with a number of criminal acts" as it would be to blame the Kennedy Center if you were to be assaulted on your way to see the Washington Ballet.

We do not notify the police in advance of the daily calendar of GDS, nor of every dance. As it happens, notification was given in advance in this case. During the dance, the Fire Marshall's Office certified this event as in compliance with all fire codes, including occupancy capacity. The number of our security staff, including police officers and GDS security, and the number of chaperons were as usual for a dance of this size. Even before the dance began, additional police support was enlisted by our security staff.

I am sorry you have been so misinformed regarding this event. I hope you will convey these facts to anyone still confused about the evening.

Members of the community were sufficiently outraged for calling into question the safety and preparation implemented (or not) by GDS.

Commissioner Bender has shared a follow-up from the Metropolitan Police Department:

we will be serving this school today with a letter and bill for mass MPD services that had to be pulled from 3 different police districts that night - there was no coordination or notification to MPD on this event - also they charged a fee and dont possess a public hall permit --

over 300-400 youth had to be turned away from the front by the Fire Dept due to overcrowding ..we had a youth beaten and robbed for his gogo ticket as well ... this was totally a public safety threat... no regard to community around them.. very irresponsible on behalf of the organizers.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cheh Proposes Soda Tax

DCist reports on a $.01/ounce soda tax proposed by Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Macomb Playground Needs Your Help

From R.O.M.P:

If you appreciate Macomb Park, and/or just want to do some community volunteering, please drop by the park next Saturday (May 1) any time between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. We're thrilled with the restoration of the gazebo and hope to spruce up the rest of the park as well: raking, pruning, cleaning, and some painting and planting as well!

Bring your work gloves and your green thumbs. Folks from the DC Department of Parks and Recreation will be on hand, and it would be great to reciprocate with an equal or greater turnout from the community.

All are welcome!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ward 3 Crime Forum

Given recent concerns about crime in Ward 3, Mary Cheh is convening a town hall meeting Monday, April 26th, 7:30pm, at St. Columba's Episcopal Church in Tenleytown(4201 Albemarle Street NW). At the town hall, we will receive updates from MPD, National Park Police, and WMATA Transit Police. Several ANC Commissioners will be also be in attendance. I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Drinking Water Emergency

From WASA, the water in NW Washington currently has elevated levels of chlorine and should not be consumed.


The UPDATED boundaries of the area in question are indicated below.
* West Boundary: Western Avenue, NW
* North Boundary: River Road, NW
* East Boundary: Connecticut Avenue, NW
* South Boundary Nebraska Avenue, NW
Updated Map:

Updated Press Release:

The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority is advising
customers in a specific area of Northwest not to use water until further notice
because of a higher-than-normal chlorine concentration.

The boundaries of the area in question are indicated below.

West Boundary: MacArthur Boulevard, NW
North Boundary: Western Avenue and Eastern Avenue, NW
East Boundary: Amtrak railroad
South Boundary (east side of Rock Creek): Upshur Street, NW
South Boundary (west side of Rock Creek): Calvert Street to Observatory Circle to W Street

The spike happened early this morning at DC WASA's unmanned Fort Reno facility when it was offline for routine maintenance disinfection. At 7:30 this morning, operators at the DC WASA Bryant Street Pump Station identified a drop in the reservoir at Fort Reno, which indicated the possibility of a chlorine spike. DC WASA immediately dispatched staff to confirm a higher-than-normal chlorine concentration in the water, which they determined had happened at approximately 5 a.m.

Customers who used water with excess chlorine may have noticed taste and odor problems. While unlikely, the chlorine may also cause a reaction in individuals with sensitive skin. Anyone who observes such a reaction should contact a physician.

DC WASA notified the United States Environmental Protection Agency Region III immediately upon learning of the chlorine spike. Water-quality crews are monitoring the system across the entire affected area and will advise the public when the water supply has returned to normal. Our staff is also assessing the causes of the problem.

Wilson Teacher Abducted, Released by Student

In an amazing twist of chance and circumstance, a Wilson teacher was allegedly abducted by a Wilson student late on Saturday, according to an account in the Washington Post.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Overlay in Play?

The City Paper covers a community meeting held on April 14th in Woodley Park. The topic on hand is the restrictive overlay which exists in 4 communities in the District (three of which are in Ward 3). At issue are the number of restaurants in a commercial strip.

Opponents of the overlay suggest that it is time for its repeal in order to revitalize neighborhood centers.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boston U expands Woodley Presence

DC Metro Urban Diary is reporting that Boston University will lease the residences currently under construction atop the Debonair Cleaners establishment in the heart of Woodley Park.

Originally slated as condominiums, this is a smart move by BU to provide much needed housing for its students who are studying and interning in the District.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Giant: Here we go again

According to a Cleveland Park Listserv post:

WNNC (the group opposing the Giant PUD) asked the Court for a delay pending the Zoning Commission's issuance of the final written order on the Motion for Reconsideration. Giant opposed this delay. The Court denied their request, and told them to file their brief by April 6. However, two weeks ago, WNNC asked for additional time to file their brief. Giant opposed them again, but the Court granted their request and allowed them until May 3rd to file their brief, which will apparently appeal the Zoning Commission's decision. So on it goes.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Safer Connecticut Avenue

From the Cleveland Park Yahoo Group:

Connecticut Avenue Pedestrian Action (CAPA) is comprised of residents from Woodley Park and Cleveland Park to Forest Hills and Chevy Chase. We need everyone in the community to participate on two fronts. First, we would like residents, visitors, employees and employers to fill out a simple survey and interactive map on our website . Second, we are recruiting volunteers from up and down the corridor to help with the audit process. This will require training at a short session in late April and then a few hours of time during the study period in May. If you have interest in pedestrian safety, community activism and solidarity with the other communities along Connecticut Avenue, this is a great opportunity for you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Great History of what never was

Douglas Willinger provides a terrific account of the freeway that ended up not coming through Bethesda and Ward 3 on the way to downtown DC.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cheh Challenger

According to sources, Mary Cheh will have a Republican challenge in the November election. The candidate is David Hedgepeth, a litigation manager whose twin daughters attend Murch Elementary School.

Unknown at this point is the fate of any potential primary election challenge.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Bike Lanes in Glover Park

According to Greater Greater Washington, the DC Department of Transportation is going to install (PDF) bike lanes in Glover Park in concurrent with recommendations from the Glover Park Transportation study.

Hopefully this is a first step to more widespread use of bike lanes in the Ward.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Examiner on Wisconsin Avenue Streetcars

The Washington Examiner provides some insight into the push for Streetcars along Wisconsin Avenue.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Wilson High School Landmarked

The Historic Preservation Review Board supported the landmarking of Wilson High School (PDF).

In a unanimous 8-0 vote, the board adopted the staff report for the 1935 Colonial Revival structure. Opponents of the historic application argued that landmark status would handcuff DCPS in developing and programing a renovated school. A similar argument was made when Janney Elementary was landmarked in November.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Clevleland Park Pedestrian Action

ANC 3C Commissioner Leila Afzal has announced funding for transportation improvements in Cleveland Park:

The DC City Council has identified Connecticut Avenue between Macomb and Porter streets as particularly hazardous for pedestrians. The Council has allocated $1.5 million specifically to address this concern and has directed DDoT to develop and implement a plan to use this money.

DDoT has come to the community for input and has requested that The Connecticut Avenue Coalition serve as the conduit for our ideas. The Coalition is made up of representatives from the Cleveland Park Citizens Association, Cleveland Park Historical Society, the business community, local residents, and the ANC (represented by Roger Burns (ANC3C04) and me). Each group within the Coalition is reaching out to its constituency to get as broad a level of participation as possible.

Please identify locations and conditions that you believe place pedestrians at particular risk. (e.g. crossing Conn. Avenue at Ordway). If you also have a suggested solution, that would be very helpful too.

Please limit your concerns to the area along Connecticut Avenue between Macomb and Porter Streets. The authorizing language is very specific and restricts where the money can be used.

I will compile the comments from constituents received either via email or at our meeting and forward them to the Coalition. The Coalition will add them to those received from the business groups, CPHS, and the CPCA and forward them to DDoT.

DDOT will then produce corresponding options for solutions to the concerns identified, as well as a price tag, and present them to the community at the April 13th CPCA members' meeting. The CPCA has arranged to break the meeting into small groups and decide how we as a community would recommend spending the $1.5m "DDoT bucks."

The ANC will then review The Coalition recommendations as developed on April 13 and any other community input it receives at its April 19th monthly and make a formal recommendation to DDoT.

Comments should be directed to Commissioner Afzal.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Zoning Commission Issues Giant Order

The District of Columbia Zoning Commission issued its order for the Giant on Wisconsin Avenue (search Notice ID #165208). The delay was due in part to Giant seeking clarification on some ambiguous conditions, and also in part by a brief filed by opponents of the development.

Once the order is published in the DC Register, opponents will have a short window to file another appeal. Time will tell how soon the ground breaking will take place.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cheh to Cleveland Park: Build a Garage

A contributor comments on a Northwest Current article (PDF) in the Greater Greater Washington blog regarding the trial balloon Councilmember Mary Cheh has floated regarding a new municipal parking garage in Cleveland Park.

Notwithstanding the budgetary implications or issues regarding placement, this proposal raises several issues. Parking has long been a concern for Cleveland Park merchants, particularly given the recent spat of vacancies. However, one has to better analyze the problems to arrive at appropriate solutions.

On the issue of vacancies, many neighborhood activists would suggest that this was a result of broader economic issues surrounding national chains (Blockbuster, 7-11) while others blame the lack of parking. The Commercial Zoning Overlay, which limits to 25% certain food establishments, is blamed for many of the problems. Either way, in the short term, it appears that vacancy rates are not an issue in this upscale neighborhood.

Instead, the problem is the high demand for a limited number of parking spaces, by residents, retail employees and commuters. The RPP zone system was implemented, in part, to address the issue of Maryland Commuters parking for free on residential streets during the workday. Now, however, commuters with legal zone stickers are taking those precious spots.

It seems as if a hybrid parking system which encourages the use of meters and a sub-zone system should be piloted in Cleveland Park. Certainly the market based system employed in the ballpark district of Southeast and Southwest could be tried as well.

Either way, the idea of spending millions of dollars for a parking structure in one of the most transit-rich communities in the region is absurd and certainly not an environmentally responsible solution normally supported by Councilmember Cheh.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tenleytown Insurrection

Greater Greater Washington covers the great Tenleytown Snow insurrection of 2010.

Aimed at shoveling scofflaws, the goal is to make passage for pedestrians easier while also shaming property owners into doing the right thing, as well as complying with the law.

Stay tuned, as current weather conditions may postpone the anticipated 4:00 meeting time at the Tenleytown Metro station.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Sustainable Forest Hills Needs Your Help

The Forest Hills area has been working with the DC Office of Planning on a Neighborhood Sustainability Indicators Study. The program needs input per the information below:

Voting is your opportunity shape the direction of this community-driven process and to help us form working groups to take action on things like energy efficiency, water quality, biking, and many other areas.

Renters, homeowners, business owners, students, and workers of the study area (see map on our website) are all invited to vote

All voting closes Sunday, February 14th, so please vote now and spread the word!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Community Appears to Favor Mixed Use at Safeway

The Tsarchitect has revealed a poll circulated to discern the sentiment of the community where the Tenleytown Safeway is concerned. Sponsored by the Alliance for Rational Development, the poll is purportedly meant to provide a snapshot of support for the most recent plan released by the food store.

One cannot imagine that the current results showing a 68% response in favor of a mixed-use development (despite the obvious biases) is what the ARD had in mind when it created this survey.

As noted in the Tsarchitect blog:

ARD doesn’t represent the silent majority, and they don’t even represent a significant minority. The secretive organization is nothing but sound and fury crippled by ineptitude and a lack of web savvy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Streetcars on Wisconsin Avenue?

At the January 14th ANC 3B (Glover Park/Cathedral Heights) meeting, the Commission discussed the issue of Streetcars on Wisconsin Avenue. DDOT has begun the infrastructure construction for a streetcar system in parts of Wards 6, 7 and 8. The system map shows transit lines crisscrossing the greater downtown and 'East of River' areas. The Ward Map Boards" (PDF) show a possibility for a future extension from Georgetown up Wisconsin Avenue.

One Glover Park Listserv contributor has outlined several reasons why this is a good idea and how it can work. This is an exciting opportunity to bring the areas of Glover Park, and possibly upper Northwest "Back to the Future" by returning streetcars back to communities that once had them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tenleytown Safeway on Hold

As a follow up to a previous entry regarding Safeway, the Zoning Commission granted an indefinite postponement to the grocery store. The DC Metro Urban Diary has a recap of the issue.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

New Meter Rates for Wisconsin Avenue

DCist picks up on the new guidelines for parking rates in "premium demand zones" throughout downtown and selected neighborhoods.

According to the guidelines, Wisconsin Avenue from Van Ness Street to Western Avenue qualifies and will be subject to rates totaling $2.00/hr. The kicker is that enforcement here will be in effect until 10:00 PM.

Unless the corresponding Residential Permit Parking times are also adjusted, this may simply make parking in residential areas harder in high-traffic areas such as Friendship Heights and Tenleytown.