1) Overview committee structure and calendar of meetings 2) Appointment of six resident members to subcommittee 3) Presentation from Office of Planning on Planned Unit Developments with a focus on impact mitigation and benefits and amenities 4) Review of 2015-2016 PUD process in ANC 6B and lessons learned 5) Overview of 1333 M Street SE Project and identification of broad areas of impacts and desired benefits and amenities.
The latest drawings for 1333 M Street are available below starting with the pre-hearing statement which addresses how the plans conform with the regulations and Comprehensive Plan. The plans for “Stage 1” are the plans for the entire site but aren’t necessarily detailed. The “consolidated” plans are for the fully fleshed out plans for the building in Phase 1.
On Thursday, May 28, at 7:00 PM Felice Development Group will host a public virtual meeting to present their 900-unit Planned Unit Development (Planned Unit Developments, Explained) project to the community. The meeting will be via Zoom and all interested neighbors are encouraged to attend.
The development at 1333 M (see all related documents here) with have a minimal direct impact on the existing residents of the 1300 and 1400 blocks of L Street SE and 1100, 1200, and 1500 blocks of K Street SE. However, because the project is a Planned Unit Development, the developer must mitigate impacts of the project as well as provide items that “benefit the surrounding neighborhood or the public in general to a significantly greater extent than would likely result from development of the site under the matter-of-right provisions.” The surrounding community plays a vital role in helping shape these benefits as well as identifying impacts that are in need of mitigation. For a look at previously approved benefits and amenities, the DC Policy Center put together a great list in 2019.
This may all sound familiar to you. A previous owner of this land went through this same PUD process in 2014 and was approved for a slightly shorter and less dense project than what is being proposed now. However, those approvals expired last year and the new owner of the land is moving forward with a new application.
This meeting will be the kickoff of ANC 6B’s public participation in the PUD. In early June, ANC 6B will formally stand up a subcommittee to analyze this project and make recommendations to the project owner as well as the Zoning Commission. The subcommittee will meet multiple times in June, July, and August with representatives of the District Government and development team. Neighbors interested in participating in the subcommittee should contact me (1333M@coreyholman.com) or your ANC Commissioner. The subcommittee will likely be limited to representatives of impacted organizations and residents of 6B04, 6B07, and 6B09 (check your ANC Single Member District here) but all meetings will be open to the public and all public members are encouraged to participate.
The subcommittee report will form the base for the recommendations by the ANC by to the Zoning Commissioner. These recommendations by law must be given “great weight” by the Zoning Commission.
The District Office of Planning (OP) is nearing the end of a now four-year process to amended one of the most consequential documents in the government, the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is made up of two maps that dictate future growth and land use changes, and many chapters which detail city-wide plans as well as specific plans for neighborhoods. The changes to this plan must be approved by the DC Council. Last year, the Council approved changed to the Framework Element which is the guiding principles of this plan. In October of 2019, OP release proposed changed to the maps and remaining elements of the Comprehensive Plan.
The Comp Plan Amendment Process has called for detailed comments from ANCs. Below are my proposed comments on the Comprehensive Plan related to Southeast Boulevard, which I will be moving at ANC 6B’s February Planning and Zoning Committee. These comments are draft and have not been voted upon and do not currently represent the view of the Commission.
As part of the 11th Street Bridges Project, the District removed the stub of the Souhteast freeway from 11th Street to Barney Circle from the interstate highway system and marked it for conversion to a “Boulevard.” This process started in 2005. Unfortunately in 2013, then-Mayor Vincent Gray “temporarily” rebuilt the freeway mostly because he believe it would help speed up his commute from his Ward 7 home to the John A. Wilson Building downtown.
Given the financial constraints of the project, ANC 6B understands the needs for other municipal uses of the land below a new Southeast Boulevard, including a potential bus garage for DDOT. ANC 6B recommends codification of a process in the Comp Plan that will push the District Department of Energy and Environment to take the lead on any such use, under the auspices of the transportation, environmental, and newly adopted resiliency elements and guided by an unwavering sense of environmental justice and equity. Specifically, ANC 6B recommends detailing the potential negative impacts of a new bus garage including mitigation of impacts on air quality, neighborhood traffic, and increased noise.
A newly created Southeast Boulevard will be adjacent to Hopkins Apartments, a DCHA public housing community. All development in newly created land must be sensitive to the current uses and the improvements and benefits from the changes must be shared with all residents including those in Hopkins.
The land created by Southeast Boulevard serves as the perfect buffer between the existing moderate density rowhouse neighborhoods to the north and the proposed high density uses to the south. Given the uncertainties of future ward redistricting and legislative action, ANC 6B recommends the land for Southeast Boulevard be changed in the Future Land Use Map to Medium Density Residential and Low Density Commercial rather than maintaining the existing Production & Technical Employment designation. Further, we recommend this change extend all the way to M Street SE incorporating a small but impactful triangle (Square 1024, Lot 0808) owned by CSX, whose industrial uses are incompatible with the surrounding FLUM designations.
ANC 6B is excited to be an equitable partner in housing development, and encourages OP to work with its sister agencies to expeditiously move plans forward for Southeast Boulevard.
The triangle formed by 12th St SE, Southeast Boulevard, and Water Street SE is currently zoned high intensity industrial uses. At ANC 6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee meeting on Tuesday, September 3, I will propose to rezone this land to medium density commercial zoning, to preclude any future industrial uses on this land.
Current Use and Zoning
Before delving into the history of this site and the process for rezoning, let’s take a look at the current state. There are three properties owners and one long-term ground lease holder.
The red parcels are owned by Washington Gas. After decades of remediation after life a coal-fired natural gas plant, Washington Gas entered into a ground lease with a series of entities to develop what is now known as Maritime Plaza, two office buildings. The current lease holder, which has about 85 years to run, is Corporate Office Properties Trust.
The green parcels were historic National Park Service land. The sites were transferred to the District on November 7, 2008
The subject properties are all zoned PDR-4, the highest intensity industrial zoning possible. From the DC Zoning Handbook:
The PDR-4 zone is intended to permit high-density commercial and PDR activities employing a large workforce and requiring some heavy machinery under controls that minimize any adverse impacts on adjacent, more restrictive zones and minimize non-industrial uses.
Historically, most rezoning took place as part of a specific zoning process called a consolidated planned unit development (PUD). However, because of recent legal issues, the PUD has fallen out of favor and there have been a number of simple rezoning cases lately. This is good for someone like the ANC, who really doesn’t have the capability or time to create new processes.
The rezoning process requires a series of steps, detailed later, and a legal justification for this changed based on the Comprehensive Plan for the District of Columbia. We will first focus on this.
Future Land Use Map
The Future Land Use Map (FLUM) designates areas into broad categories of where use of land should go in the future. For example, much of Capitol Hill is designated Moderate Density Residential, which is the category for attached rowhouses and small apartment buildings. In the case of the land at issue, the entire triangle is designated as both of medium density commercial and institutional.
Medium Density Commercial: Defines shopping and service areas that are somewhat more intense in scale and character than the moderate-density commercial areas. Retail, office and service businesses are the predominate uses. Areas generally draw from a citywide market area. Buildings are generally larger and/or taller than those in moderate density commercial areas but generally do not exceed eight stories in height.
Institutional: Includes land and facilities occupied and used by college and universities, large private schools, hospitals, religious organizations, and similar institutions
I mentioned earlier the FLUM designated broad categories of use. The comprehensive plan gives examples zoning for each FLUM category. Medium Density Commercial is defined as “generally do not exceed eight stories” and “generally include C-2-B [ZR16 MU-5-A], C-2-C [MU-6], C-3-A [MU-7], and C-3-B [MU-8]. These are commercially zoned mixed use districts with both development standards and use regulations that would preclude uses currently allowed in PDR zones. The current zoning of this triangles is inconsistent with the Future Land Use Map.
Generalized Policy Map
The triangle is question is designated as Land Use Change Areas in the Generalized Policy Map (GPM). Then GPM designates land into various buckets, but the land use change areas are lands where rezoning should take place. Rezoning this triangle is consistent with the Generalized Policy Map
Non-Map Elements of Comprehensive Plan
In addition to the maps above, which are likely sufficient for the rezoning to be approved, there are other elements in the comprehensive plan that further give weight to approving this application. The formal applicaiton will details these elements (it’s a lot of work), but they boil down to efficient land use, improving access to the waterfront, revitalizing neighborhood, balancing growth, and lots of other portions.
The Rezoning Process
First and foremost, let’s recognize that ANC is exempt from filing and hearing fees related to rezoning. Without this, I would not encourage the ANC to take on this effort. A private owner would have to pay a $325 filing fee plus around $75,000-$150,000 in hearing fees. (11 DCMR Table Z § 1601) depending on the final zone.
The map amendment process goes somewhat like this:
Distribute a Notice of Intent to File to all affected property owners and the affected ANC 45 days before filing a map amendment. ANC 6D in this case would likely also have to be noticed
The applicant must attend a duly notice meeting of the affected ANC in the 45-day period. Again, in this case ANC 6D would likely be considered an affected ANC but 6B, of course, would be taking the lead on this and discussing at their meetings
A complete application including the following:
A completed application form
A certified plat of the subject property prepared by the Office of the Surveyor
A map showing the location of all properties, existing zoning, and proposed zones
A description on the amendments consistency with the Comp Plan
A statement of outreach to the community, OP, and the ANC.
The name and addresses of all owners within 200 feet of the subject properties.
So after the 45 days notice period, the ANC can file this application. Within 5 days, the office of zoning will review for completeness.
ANC 6B Should File a Map Amendment to Rezone This Land
Given the consistency with the Comprehensive plan as well as preventing future adverse industrial uses, I will encourage ANC 6B to move forward with rezoning this land at this month’s meeting. I will take feedback from commissioners and committee members to the final zone, but I want to stress this is less about adding density and more changing by-right use permissions.
What will these look like in actuality? Well we all know the G/I street contraflow lanes around the H Street Streetcar. But this rode is actually two feet wider than G/I. Instead, if we look at the 900 block of M St NW we can see the installation that will be here.
This month, I again was only able to make it to the Planning and Zoning and Transportation Committee Votes. Below is a record of the committee and commission votes I took
Planning and Zoning Case 1: 1719 C St SE, for a special exception to use the second story of a new two-story garage as an apartment. This is one part of the zoning code I simply do not understand. If you have a two-story garage that was built in 2013 or earlier, you can use it as an apartment. If you build a new garage, you can use it as an apartment only after five years. What? But if you build a garage now and want to use the second story as an apartment, you need a zoning exception?
Anyway, the applicants want to build a garage and use the second floor here as an apartment. It’s a giant lot (3400 feet), it’s a huge square, the alley is wide, they ensured a home for their trash cans not in public space. These are the kinds of buildings we want, not for the applicant to seek a second unit by building down or adding up or pushing back. Everyone wins here.
The committee unanimously supported this application and put it on the consent agenda.
Case 2: 811 E St SE
This was a straight forward case about adding a non-visible rear addition to a small wood framed building.
The committee voted unanimously to support this application and sent to consent
Case 3: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop Resolution of Support for dispposition and a 20-year ground and property lease of the B.B. French School.
There are always some cases where a hearing seems perfunctory but we appreciate CHAW coming to give us an update. This bill will give CHAW the ability to acquire financing for necessary capital improvements and to stay a pillar in our community for another 20 yeas.
Case 4: 620 C St SE
This hearing was continued at last month’s HPRB hearing. HPRB generally approved the design but requested changes and the case come back before HPRB. ANC 6B took the opportunity to also look at those changes.
At the committee hearing, the commissioners presented support the first- and second-floor changes but took no position on the third-floor, instead kicking that to the full ANC with comments to change the rear fenestration. I voted with the majority in these motions
At the full ANC, the applicant presented updated rear elevations along with more renderings and perspectives of the concept.
With little time for in depth discussion, the changes to the first floor and second floor were unanimously approved by the ANC.
Long time readers will recall I supported last month’s design for a mansard addition on the third floor. I thought it narrowly threaded the preservation regulations and should have been approved. Given that, it should be no surprise I also supported the more modern minimally visible third floor addition here, including the rear elevation. For much the same reasons, this is a commercial building on a transitional block that retains only portions of it’s original state.
The ANC first voted to oppose the third floor, a motion that failed 2-4-3. I amended a second motion to support the third floor a that passed 4-2-3.
Case 1-1300 E Street Changes
As discussed in Reimagining E Street, I presented the idea of adding bike lanes to the 1100-1400 blocks of E Street SE and potentially to Potomac Ave or down Kentucky Ave. As the committee meeting, Will Handsfield of DDOT presented the idea of advisory bike lanes. The committee supported my position outlines in the above posts and tentatively supporting the advisory bike lanes, requesting a bit more information. I am authoring a post that will go up later this month or in early may on the concept. The case passed unanimously out of committee and onto the consent agenda
Case 2-Circulator Route Changes at Eastern Market
The committee discussed this cast last month as well without taking a formal position. In the end, we unanimously and vehemently opposed the concept of running the circulator down the 700 block of D and 400 block of 7th. Also I anger tweeted this about the real problem with the design.
Also this is a masterclass in pitting transit users against pedestrians and letting drivers win again. 8 lanes of car use on Pennsylvania, 4 lanes on 7th/8th, and 3 on D go untouched. PEOPLE DRIVING CARS ARE THE PROBLEM. Not the bus. Or pedestrians. Or cyclists. Or the metro. https://t.co/BWWAbNqez9
Full ANC Votes 1) District Soul Food Liquor License Renewal. The ANC moved to delay considering of this case for a month but also issue a formal notice to cure. I’m sure one of our two local newspapers will cover this story, but I could not vote to support this action because we are clearly singling out a new business rather than working with them during the renewal process. If we were two years from renewal and they had been operating this way for an extended period, sure, let’s go wild. But this is a new business in a struggling retail corridor that needs our support. I abstained from the vote because I liked the idea of delaying considering for a month while working with the applicant, but a formal notice during renewal is just unnecessary.
2) 7th Hill/Montmarte and Lavagna Liquor License Renewal Both applicants failed to appear given two opportunities so the ANC moved to formally protest the license. It’s frustrating but since ABRA functionally consolidated all opposition opportunity to the ANC and the ANC only, we need to take no shows seriously. I voted with the majority to formally protest the liquor licenses.
3) Resolution of regarding use of taxpayer dollars for sexual harassment settlements.
I’ll let’s Commissioner Krepp take the floor
Last week DC CFO shared that he doesn’t know how many DC tax $s are used to pay sexual harassment settlement agreements involving DC agency employees. Tomorrow ANC6B will vote on ltr asking him to track this data. Solving #MeToo requires action. pic.twitter.com/gqTRwVCHJF
ANC 6B Transportation Committee Monday, April 1 7:00 PM The Yard Ground Floor Conference Room 700 Pennsylvania Ave SE (next to Trader’s Joes)
Believe it or not, we’re nearing the end of the multi-year process of the dramatic changes on the 1300 Block of E Street SE. There’s no better time than now to reclaim and reimagine the curbside and street use on this block to express our values as a community. We have the chance to turn this (and adjacent) blocks from a wide cut through with industrial uses to a street that serves residents first.
What options do we have for this block?
Raised Mid-Block Crosswalks/Speed Tables: With construction finished, both Jordan Alley (south side) and Carry’s Way (north side) will be incredibly active spaces. The 1300 block is a uniquely long block for our neighborhood. We will all cross mid-block at the alley whether there are crosswalks or speed tables. Raised mid-block crosswalks will make this crossing safer for everyone.
Bike Lanes: E Street is 40 feet wide, two feet narrower than the current engineering minimum for on-street bike. However, we can push District Department of Transportation to engineer options for this block. The is currently no east-west bike lanes east of 11th and south of East Capitol. Lanes here will serve a great need as well as narrow general travel lanes to slow traffic all while maintaining existing car parking.
In-street Bikeshare, in-street scooter/bike parking: Bike lanes also would allow us to ensure the sidewalks remain for the use of pedestrians. With bike lanes, we can move the bikeshare station off of the sidewalk and into a curbside space. Furthermore, as we see more scooters and dockless bikes, we can push for racks and dedicated space not on the sidewalk and free space for strollers, wheelchairs, and families.
Pickup/Dropoff Zones: As the residential projects come online, so will demand for Uber/Lyft/Via and and delivery services. These drivers, now, usually double park. Given the expected demand from the new residential buildings, should we allocate space for these activities? Double parking is frustrating, annoying, and dangerous. Can we design our street to minimize this?
I used an online tool, streetmix.net, to mock up some cross sections for some of these ideas. These haven’t been engineered and the District may shoot them down.
Street and curb uses
Here’s something I dreamed up. I want to hear what you all think about options like that, that retain all previous residential parking (and likely increase it) and allocate road space in ways to protect vulnerable road users and keep sidewalks clear.
E Street with Two Bikes Lanes
Note, here, the drive + parking lanes are 30 feet. This is a standard condition in Southeast Capitol Hill and the streets all tend to be very low speed. Some examples, for context:
16th Street between East Capitol and Kentucky
K Street between 12th and 15th
D Street between 14th and 19th
9th Street between Independence and G
E Street between 4th and Pennsylvania
E Street with one bike lane and sharrows
If engineering prevents two bikes lanes, we can explore a westbound lane with sharrows the other way. Again, this will narrow the roadway, slow traffic, and reallocate space to vulnerable road users. And will allow wider traffic lanes.
A full agenda for both Planning and Zoning and Transportation
Planning and Zoning
124 11th ST SE (BZA 19976, HPA 19-137), 1639 Potomac Ave SE (BZA 19948), 522 6th St SE (HPA 19-189), 1225-1227 Pennsylvania Ave SE (BZA 19957) These were relatively uncontroversial plans that passed through committee unanimously and onto consent at the full ANC.
This is the sidewalk occupancy for The Eastern Wine Bar. It complies with all the regulations and the owner agreed to widen the clearance between the tree boxes and fence from the minimum six feet to eight feet. This application passed the committee unanimously and was placed on consent for the full ANC.
This is a complicated application that I ran right into a Robert’s Rule cluster of motions and amendments. In the end, I voted in support of the motion to support the first floor fenestration changes and voted against the motion to take no position on the visible third floor.
The building, an original one-story blacksmith shop from 1882, is currently being used as an office. The applicant presented evidence that the first-floor exterior is far from the original layout and the design is restorative in nature. A motion to support these first-floor changes passed 10-1-1 and I wholeheartedly support those changes.
The third-floor mansard, on the other hand, is more controversial. In committee, I opposed this addition. However, after reconsidering everything, I think a visible mansard rooftop addition is compatible with preservation law and the addition is compatible with the Capitol Hill Historic District. It’s a huge ask, but here’s how I got there:
1) This house is adjacent to a commercial area, next to some surface parking lots, and the rear of opposing houses. To quote the preservation regulations, “Pertinent considerations about the relationship of a project to a historic district include its compatibility with its immediate context and not merely its consistency with conditions found elsewhere in the historic district. “ (10A DCMR 2001(c)). The immediate context here is a one-off commercial building breaking up two identical rows of houses across the street from a surface parking lot and adjacent to the brutalist Rumsey Pool.
2) Commercial buildings in a residential zone play a unique role in the Capitol Hill Historic District, but at the same time they are apart from purpose-built residential rows. Their design is often utilitarian and most are not in their original state. This building was originally a one-story commercial building and a second floor was added. At first glance this building seems to be a materially intact, it exhibits a fair amount of change. Regulations state “Pertinent considerations about the historic property include its relative importance, nature of significance, condition, and degree of material integrity.”
Stepping back from the regulations, the adopted law says the intent of preservation is “To retain and enhance those properties which contribute to the character of the historic district and to encourage their adaptation for current use;“ and “To assure that alterations of existing structures are compatible with the character of the historic district” (DC Code 6-1101 2(a)).
To that end, I will make (or support) a motion to support the third floor addition.
The applicants in this case filled in a side yard and added a rear addition four or so years ago. They’ve returned to make changes to the areaway to add a basement entrance as well as redo the entry stairs to create a safe set of stairs and add a larger landing at the door. The committee voted unanimously to support this application.
While we recognize the process wasn’t great and (shock of shocks) DDOT issued permits it wasn’t supposed to, the actual plans for the area way are consistent with the intent of preservation law and in character with the Historic District. The exterior had been redone and regraded many times. The house is not in a continuous row of similar retaining walls at the sidewalk and is next to a non-contributing apartment building. Again, context and integrity (and safety related to aging in place) lead me to support this even though the areaway changes do not strictly conform to design guidelines
This Notice of Intent is to allow the new L’Enfant Plaza-Eastern Market Circulator to turn around without dead-heading to 4th Street. While this design looks good on paper, there is one fatal flaw and I will support any ANC resolution to oppose this change.
Buses are at their most dangerous when they’re turning. And while this change will reduce the number of left turns by one, it does this by remove two signalized left turns into one unsignalized, unprotected left turn right next to a metro station and a heavily trafficked cross walk. There is no way I will support a design that adds an unprotected left to a bus route.
Now, technically, this NOI is only for the road changes. I’m fairly agnostic on those. I find the discussion about relieving congestion on 8th street to be a classic failure of DDOT’s engineers looking at level of service for people driving cars, not people walking or cycling. In many ways, a heavily congested 8th street is a feature. I don’t want cars to be able to quickly get to speed with so many pedestrians and cyclists using the street. But, that being said, I’m not sure changing the 700 block of D Street will have that much of an impact on either 8th street congestion or adding cars to the neighborhood.
The committee took no position on this and will have DDOT back next month to continue this discussion.
As expected, it took me one meeting to fall behind on logging my votes. Anyway, February’s ANC 6B meeting was relatively light. Here are the votes.
Captiol Hill Classic: Due to my misunderstanding, the organizers of the Capitol Hill Classic were not invited to the Planning and Zoning Committee meeting. As a neighborhood staple, this vote was relatively perfunctory as nothing changed from last year. The ANC unanimously voted to send a letter to DC HSEMA in support of the planned event routing.
Southeast Library: My feelings are expressed in the committee report but this is a pretty straightforward application, given existing preservation law. The ANC unanimously voted (with three abstentions) to send a letter in support of this application to HPRB.
Office of Zoning Oversight: I will put up a longer post on my testimony, but I voted for and the ANC supported this testimony.
Office of Planning Oversight: Commissioner Sroufe put forward some testimony regarding HPRB’s treatement of non-contributing buidlings in historic distrcits. I agree with him that HPO’s treatment of non-contrbuting buildings is somewhat inconsistent with preservation law. It’s a gray area that needs more legislation or regulations though I think we disagree on preferred outcome (the lax guidelines employed I think are the right option, but clearly not in line with the law as written). I voted to support this testimony but the full ANC opposed it; Commissioner Sroufe will testify as an individual commissioner in lieu of officially representing ANC 6B.
On Friday, February 15, I testified in front of Mary Cheh’s Transportation and the Environment committee on the performance of the Department of Public Works. As a resident of DC, I believe effective parking enforcement is critical for two reasons.
One, many parking violations are a direct threat to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Oftentimes, like parking in a crosswalk or bike lane, the threat is observable and direct. But often times, especially in our commercial zones, lax enforcement leads to commercial delivery trucks using adjacent bikes lanes or general travel lanes to make deliveries. In these cases, it’s hard to fault the truck drivers when the dedicate commercial space is taken for non-commercial uses.
Second, we live in a relatively dense environment and there’s a unwritten compact we all enter when we move in to be good neighbors. Often times, bad actors take advantage of this compact and lax parking enforcement doesn’t help. All day nonresident parking, parking in alleys, parking in crosswalks, parking too close to corners, failing to register your car in DC, and so many other things violate this compact and it’s up to DPW to enforce them.
Anyway, here’s my testimony: My name is Corey Holman, ANC
commissioner for SMD 6B06. I am here today presenting my own views and not
presenting the views of ANC 6B or any other commissioner in 6B.
Before delving into criticism, I
was to highlight one positive aspect of the work of DPW. Fort Totten Transfer
Station. The employees are a treasure to the city and should be praised for
their work. To make the city dump a clean, easy, and safe environment is not an
easy task and they manage to do it.
Ok now to the reason I am here:
parking enforcement. I will present four major points
1. DPW simply isn’t issuing enough parking tickets 2. DPW isn’t adequately enforcing stopping/standing in bike lanes 3. DPW booting and towing is fundamentally broken 4. Most importantly, DPW’s abdication of parking enforcement is dangerous and antithetical to Vision Zero.
DPW Simply isn’t issuing enough tickets.
OCTO has made nine calendar years of parking ticket data available publicly. That dataset commingles DDOT and MPD parking tickets. Throughout this testimony, I will refer to parking tickets per workday, which removes the days where many tickets are issued by MPD and DDOT. I recognize these numbers will not match DPW’s provided numbers, but I can almost assure you the trends and percentages are about right. And if DPW and OCTO want to update their historical datasets, I wouldn’t complain.
Fiscal Year 2018 saw the fewest
tickets issued of any fiscal year with data available. 4,934 tickets issued per
workday, 17% fewer than any other fiscal year. And before you think this is an aberration,
things aren’t better in FY19. The first quarter in FY19 was saw the fewest
tickets issued per workday of any available quarter, even though that month
included the Vision Zero ticket blitz.
The first chart I included on page 3 shows monthly tickets per workday with a 12-month moving average to remove some of the cyclicality. The moving average shows that in the last 12 months, DPW has issued fewer tickets that any 12-month period with data available. I want you to look at that chart if you can. What is going on here?
DPW isn’t adequately enforcing bike lane violations
In FY 2018, DPW was issuing about 2
tickets per bike lane mile per month. Two per mile permonth. Let that sink in. In FY 2018, that
translates to 2,188. Sure, that sounds like a lot. But thattranslates into two tickets per bike lane mile
per month of workdays. This data is on the secondchart on page 4.
Chairperson, when I put this testimony together, I paused here for multipledays. You bike. You’ve seen what it’s like.
Multiply your bike commutes over a month. Do youonly see two
cars per lane mile per month during the workweek?
And the not-so-shocking thing is, in chart three when you stop looking at per mile numbers, the total number of bike lane violations is down, despite adding over 35 miles of bike lanes from the beginning of the chart to the end. How does this work? That’s chart 3/page 5.
DPW Booting and Towing is Fundamentally Broken
Ok, I presented a lot of data but
indulge me for one anecdote. On February 4 I reported to 311 and tweeted at DPW
at 8:21 AM of a car in a crosswalk at Kentucky Ave and Barney Circle. That car
had $1100 in outstanding tickets and they were old enough for immobilization or
impounding. At 12:37 PM, the car was still there. At 1:16 PM, I received notice
that my 311 request closed with no violation found. At 5:26 PM, naturally, the
car was still there. At 8:43 on the way home from an ANC Planning and Zoning
Committee meeting, the car was still there. At 9:42, MPD Commander Morgan Kane
of the First District copied me on an email tell Johnny Gaither of DPW the car
was still in the crosswalk. Dan Ridge, a neighbor and former ANC Commissioner,
noticed the car in the crosswalk around midnight.
Can you imagine receiving an email
from a District Commander and ignoring it? Well DPW can.
The next morning, this car was not
in the crosswalk so yay. But it was simply moved forward out of the crosswalk
(by whom I don’t know). I put in another 311 request and the car was impounded
that day. Not for blocking the sidewalk but for outstanding tickets and expired
out-of-state registration. How does a car spend the entire day in a crosswalk,
even after being reported through 311? How?
Believe it or not, I don’t want to
do this! But there are countless other violations I’ve reported to DPW, with
the state and license plate to show the car is eligible for boot/tow. In those
cases, why doesn’t DPW send a tow truck or boot team straight there, rather
than a general enforcement person who then has to request the tow. How can I, a
private citizen, be able to better leverage technology like How’s My Driving DC
to determine boot and tow eligible vehicles better than DPW dispatch? It’s just
preposterous. Why am I entering license plate information into 311 requests if
that information isn’t cross referenced against a list of boot/tow eligible vehicles
to determine who to send out?
And one more suggestion to improve
boot and tow operations. Why isn’t there a booter with ROSA enforcement? In the
last week, I’ve requested enforcement three times and tickets were issued overnight.
Great, that seems to be working. But two of those three times the car was eligible
for booting or towing. I would implore you to ask Director Geldart if booters
are included in ROSA enforcement and, if not, why not?
DPW’s abdication of their core responsibility is an affront to Vision Zero
Not let’s thread data and anecdote. While it’s easy to brush off my testimony as someone screaming into the wind about rules or revenue, it’s not. Parking enforcement should be a core part of Vision Zero. I’ve attached four pictures on page 6 of cars parked in the 600 block of 1st street NE commercial loading zone all from different days forcing commercial trucks to park in the bike lane. Starting in 2016, four months after the protected bike lane was installed, only one ticket is issued every 2.8 workdays. Do you know what this means? A never-ending parade of commercial vehicles parked on the sidewalk and in the protected bike lane because DPW can’t be bothered to enforce the commercial loading zone. Time after time, cyclists and scooterists are forced into the general travel or onto the sidewalk violators go unpunished. This data is in chart 4/page 7.
Before finishing, I want to point out this testimony along with pictures, charts, Excel workbook and python source code for pulling the data is available on my website, coreyholman.com, and I can provide the code and data to the committee or DPW if requested.