February Committee Meetings

ANC 6B held three committee meetings this month though I failed to attend the ABC Committee meeting (Read about The Eastern, a wine bar coming to the Hine School at Barred in DC)

Transportation Committee Item 1: Bike Racks
ANC 6B is putting together a list of needed bike racks by SMD. In our SMD, I requested back racks where room exists along Pennsylvania Avenue, near the CVS at 12th/Pennsylvania Ave SE, and at 14th/E and 14th/D. We neglected to vote on this so the list will come back to the committee next month.

Transportation Committee Item 2: Reimagining the 1300 Block of E Street SE
Beginning a long conversion, I presented to the committee an idea to reconfigure the 1300 block of E Street to the first 40-foot wide two on-street bike lane street in the city. The committee was generally positive to the idea but concerned about commercial traffic to/from Safeway and the number of turns into the alleys for parking in the new residential development. I will post in the near future more details including meeting dates and a general timeline.

P&Z Committee Item 1: Landmark Nomination for Southeast Library


(Copied from committee report) Beth Purcell represented Capitol Hill Restoration Society, the applicant of the landmark nomination. Ms. Purcell presented on the history of the building including tracing the history beginning with the Boston Public Library through the Carnegie Foundation to Southeast Library. The committee provided a list of questions in advance and Ms. Purcell provided detailed written answers (attached) as well. After a discussion about the role owners play in landmark designations, the committee recommended unanimously the ANC support this application on consent, but will be looking forward to letters of support from the Department of General Services, DC Public Library, and Friends of Southeast Library.

P&Z Committee Item 2: 411 4th St SE
(Copied from committee report) Applicant presented a design for a rear addition that will not be visible from any street and doesn’t go past the two adjoining neighbors. The committee received letters of support in advance of the meeting from adjoining neighbors. Commissioner Brian Ready praised the applicant for their outreach efforts including discussing plans with all neighbors on the street. The Committee voted unanimously to support the application

Update 2/14/19: This case will be handled at the staff level

P&Z Committee Item 3: 1322 D Street SE


(Copied from committee reports) Applicant presented the plans for a 13-foot rear addition, the last three feet being the amount that triggered the need for special exception. Earlier this year, the committee received a letter of opposition and motion was filed with BZA for party status in opposition from an adjoining neighbor for an earlier iteration of plans. After discussions with the neighbor, including exploring a third-floor addition, an agreement was reached for the 13-foot addition and the opposition dropped. The applicant indicated the other adjoining neighbor supports the project but hasn’t provided a letter. The Committee voted unanimously to support the application.

P&Z Committee Item 4: General Discussions
*The architect for 1322 D Street SE indicated that her clients were eager to reach agreement with the opposing neighbors because the Office of Zoning is taking sometimes up to 18 months to issue full orders with a party in opposition. I agreed to pull data from the office of zoning website and look into this and create testimony for performance oversight of the Office of Zoning. I will post a longer item about this closer to the oversight date, February 28.
*Jerry Sroufe, commissioner for 6B02, outlines some of his issues with the Historic Preservation Office’s handling of non-contributing buildings and he will be writing testimony for HPO oversight in the same day as OZ oversight
*I broached the subject of conservation districts. Again, this is the last of a long discussion that I will be having with affected SMDs, OP, architects, preservationists, YIMBYs, developers, and all other affected parties. See Capitol Hill Corner’s Overview here.


January 2019 311 Followup: TREES!

Street Trees! A thing we can’t live without and unfortunately requires a lot of day-to-day oversight/haranguing of DDOT’s Urban Foresty team. Winter is an especially productive time for tree requests as most services can only be performed when the tree are dormant (this is especially true for the remaining old growth elms on Kentucky Avenue). For my initial foray into 6B06’s backlog of 311 requests, I delved into all tree related requests in 6B06 in the DC Open Data set (which starts completely in 2012). There were 549 requests in 6B06 during that time.

This relatively young elm on the 400 block of Kentucky, unfortunately, will have to be removed sooner rather than later.

I presumed pruning requests from before 2017 and inspection requests before 2017 without comments were resolved. This eliminated 177 of the 549 requests, leaving 372 requests.

From here, I got to walking around the neighborhood. 351of the 372 requests were completed or presumed completed (it’s difficult to tell if pruning needs were met without leaves). Many of these had closed work orders associated with them making the job a bit easier.

Of the remaining 21, the issues broke down into a couple of buckets:

  1. Work with a pressing need to be down this winter, is overdue, or was never completed despite a closed work order
  2. Open work orders that are simply working through the DDOT system. In many cases, these trees are dying (not dead) and can probably last another season. However, I will ensure all leaf out in Spring before summer tropical weather and ensure emergency removal if they don’t.
  3. Work that requires a medium-term effort (in many cases, these involve construction-related trees). As commissioner for 6B06, I will work with all the developers to ensure they replace their damaged trees and beautify their streets when their projects are done.

These three 100-year olds will be removed form the 900 block of 14th Street SE. It’s sad to see, but it’s important to make 311 inspection requests whenever you see fungal growth, failure to left out, or physical damage.

I’ve written a letter to DDOT’s arborist for Ward 6 requesting the tree issues in bucket 1 get addressed before the end of winter. Those trees/stumps are at 1414 E Street SE (side/Elm tree removal), 1356 G St SE (overdue removal of maple), stump removal and replant at 542 14th St SE, and a request for a quick replant at 1402 E St SE,

After leaf-out this spring, I will revisit this task in an effort to add more planting/removal/pruning/inspection requests for every street tree in 6B06

Link to Spreadsheet

January 2019 Full ANC Meeting

Phew, what a night. In many ways, I feel ANC 6B was lucky to host a community meeting between our neighbors and MPD regarding the stop-and-first incident of three children in December. Recognizing my place in this system, I ceded any role in this conversation to those whose lived experiences trump mine.

Rather than recap, I will point to multiple sources:
News: Captiol Hill Corner | WUSA9 | FOX5 | Hill Rag
First hand twitter threads: Zach W | SURJ DC

Onto the business and votes, with my rationale for each vote

ANC 6B did not hold an alcoholic beverage committee meeting this month, hearing the only case (ABRA-096910) to extend Sunday patio hours for Little Pearl to 11:30. I voted on this case knowing it could be compared to our negotiations with patio hours for the 1401 Pennsylvania Ave/Neighborhood Restaurant Group project. I didn’t vote lightly on this. In the end, the patio’s location towards Pennsylvania Ave and the immediately adjacent neighbors presenting no opposition, I voted to amend the settlement agreement and support a stipluated license to extend Little Pearl’s patio hours to 11:30 on Sundays.

There were three planning and zoning committee items on the full agenda. I voted to support the HPA applications for 628 A St SE (HPA #19-079)  and 302 South Carolina Ave SE (HPA #19-140) as detailed in my committee post.

121 7th Street SE came to the full meeting with a new design. As detailed in the committee post, no amount of work will change the fact that the building is ugly (though less ugly than at committee). However, it’s clear the building is consistent with the preservation law and regulations. The ANC voted 6-4 to oppose the application on narrow grounds of front and rear fenestration. I think in the end, the motion could have been identical just changing a word from oppose to support. I voted against the motion to oppose because I believe the addition, while ugly and needing some fenestration changes, is consistent with preservation law.

The latest iteration of 121 7th Street SE.

No other votes of consequence were taken at the meeting. The new officers were unanimously elected and business votes related to budget matters were taken.

January 2019 Committee Meetings

My first meetings as commissioner! ANC 6B had four properties (and five items) on the planning and zoning agenda as well as four items on the agenda for the transportation committee. Let’s get to it.

P&Z Case 1: 628 A St SE (HPA #19-079)
Nothing exciting here, a side addition to fill in a side yard, set back 25 feet back from the front facade. I voted to support and the resolution passed 10-1.
Link to HPRB filing: https://app.box.com/s/dhn9muwq7e6fqor5v5v40hn1w7yanfma/file/377063749958

P&Z Case 2: 302 South Carolina Ave SE (HPA #19-140)
This was, in my opinion, a relatively simple application. Rear additions are acceptable in a historic district when compatible. It doesn’t matter if it’s visible from a street or not. The level of scrutiny should be higher and this project meets it. I voted to support and that passed 11-0
Link to HPRB filing: https://app.box.com/s/dhn9muwq7e6fqor5v5v40hn1w7yanfma/file/375008432748

P&Z Case 3 and 4: 121 7th St SE (HPA #19-078, BZA #19898)

Anything you do to this building won’t make it pretty, unless it’s getting rid of a the garage and curb cut.

Historic Preservation: In this case, an applicant is proposing a large upper and rear addition to a non-contributing building. In my opinion, this building is ugly and will always be ugly as long as the curb cut and ground level garage are retained. No amount design will get around this problem. I voted to against a motion to oppose this project. The motion passed 6-4. I am unsure of my vote in the full ANC and will spend some time studying the existing preservation law. Why? Because applications for non-contributing building in historic districts are similar to what I would envision for conservation districts so I want to get this right and see what historic district-lite is like in practice.

Zoning: We spent a fair amount of time on this and I was the only vote against a resolution of no stance on this case as I would have voted against this application for a special exception for cornice removal. I felt the applicant didn’t do a good job explaining why a historic district property should get this relief while so many non-historic district properties have to set their upper additions 3-4 feet back. After doing some research earlier today, I came around to support the cornice removal special exception after figuring out the standard employed by OP and the BZA on removal of rooftop elements. In the end, it appears the BZA application will be pulled, but this zoning discussion was a great learning experience.
Link to HPRB/BZA filing: https://app.box.com/s/dhn9muwq7e6fqor5v5v40hn1w7yanfma/file/377025869189

P&Z Case 5: 156 Duddington Pl SE
A straight forward zoning variance case whose exceptional practical difficulty is an small lot (891 square feet). I voted in support and this case will be on consent. It may or may not come back to ANC for historic preservation review.
Link to BZA filing: https://app.dcoz.dc.gov/Content/Search/ViewCaseReport.aspx?case_id=19933 (click on “View Full Log on the right)

Transportation Committee Item 1: Reversing 700 Block of D Street SE (In front of Hill’s Kitchen and adjacent businesses)
Unfortunately this was supposed to have more information but turned into more of a catch-up session for new commissioners. Soon, DDOT will present final plans to reverse traffic on this stub of D Street and there will be a longer public meeting and discussion of this. Click here to see the last plans that were available, from mid 2018, showing the potential traffic and circulation flow around these blocks.

TC Item 2: RPP Only parking on one side of the street
As the rulemaking expanding the regulatory authority for RPP-only parking winds its way through the bureaucratic morass, ANC 6B is leading the way on understanding the implications and seeking consensus from constituents to move forward. DDOT Presented on the process and indicated the final rulemaking will mostly match the proposed rulemaking.

For SMD 6B06, I am not ready to move forward with a request and instead will reach out to residents on all blocks to gauge interest. To be quite frank, I’m disappointed in these rules and think it papers over the actual problems with residential parking. Passing the onus from DDOT to ANC commissioners is abdicating responsibility for effective curbside management. Those who best know DC Municipal Regulations should not get their way; DDOT should proactively promote responsible regulation. At no point in this presentation did we discuss whether we should make RPP only blocks, just how to do it.

I outlined my views on RPP in my candidate statement to Greater Greater Washington on RPP, which details more of my issues with the current regime.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DutV8-LW4AM9Etb.jpg


TC Item 3: No Right on Red at Four Intersections in ANC 6B
For a committee that is gung ho for Mayor Bowser’s tepid steps into Vision Zero, it was not a surprise ANC 6B’s Transportation Committee unanimously voted to support with these proposals.

TC Item 4: ANC 6B Bike/Scooter Parking Needs
As I mentioned on Twitter, I sought out to to get support for bike racks on-street in every commercial block in ANC 6B. When it was obvious there wasn’t the appetite for such a move, as it would take away parking and require a formal Notice of Intent process, I backed off. We ended up deciding to compile a list of more locations for standard bike racks (in the “furniture” zone between the sidewalk and curb). I believe much of the low hanging fruit has been picked by DDOT and the Capitol Hill BID so this list won’t be very long. When we get more dockless bikes with lock-to requirements, I have a feeling we will quickly be revisiting this.

That’s it for committee meetings this month. Please join us at the Hill Center on Tuesday, January 15 for our first ANC meeting of the year. MPD will be there to address the incident at Frager’s last month.

2019 Goals and Action Items for ANC 6B06

It’s the beginning of a new years so it’s a good time to take stock of the existing neighborhood and what we can accomplish in the next year. When dealing with bureaucracy and vested interests, it’s best to be realistic about time tables. With that in line, here is a semi-comprehensive list of my goals as ANC Commissioner next year:

Help craft a Settlement Agreement with Neighborhood Restaurant Group
The new food hall/restaurant/bar at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave SE from NRG should open this summer. While I feel that the building and bar is a huge net plus to the neighborhood, patio hours on the 14th Street side of the building are already proving contentious. The patio would be across the street from a residential mental health care facility as well as two row houses. Appropriate hours of use of the patio will be different in this context than if it were facing Pennsylvania Ave or another commercial block.

Pennsylvania Avenue Bike Lanes
The MoveDC plan presented an ambitious future for the District to vastly increase non-automotive mode share. Taking them up on their plan, ANC 6B initiated step one of this long-term process getting DDOT to include the lanes in the long range plan for the Metropolitan Washington Coalition of Governments. The next steps will be concept designs and a long vigorous outreach program to the commercial property owners and operators along Pennsylvania Ave. By the end of 2019, I hope those concepts are publicly available and the dialogue of getting buy in starts.

Conservation Districts
Most of ANC 6B06 is adjacent to the Capitol Hill Historic District and some historic preservation groups have argued for Hill East to either be part of an expanded historic district or a new separate historic district. I firmly believe this is is the wrong process for our neighborhood. Through the next year, I will continue to reach other to preservation advocates, elected officials, and administration officials to push for Hill East to be the city’s first conversation district. Often referred to as historic district-lite, conservation districts will allow for design review, development standards, and other positive aspects of preservation without requiring rigid adherence to subjective standards or limiting development potential. By the end of 2019, I hope to have an ANC-led working group on establishing a conservation district for Hill East, working collaboratively with the preservation AND development communities.

Ensuring Community Benefits are distributed quickly from New York Pizza, Watkins Alley, and Bowie’s PUD projects
As part of the zoning flexibility provided to the projects at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave and the south side of the 1300 block of E Street SE, the developers proffered a limited set of community benefits. These projects should all deliver this year and require the benefits to be distributed before they can receive their certificate of occupancy

Residential Parking Issues

  • Residential Parking signs on the 400 block of 12th Street SE, and 1300 blocks of D and E Street SE around the new development projects
  • Add named alleys to the Residential Parking Permit (RPP) system or otherwise allow alley residents to get residential and visitor parking permits. Our neighbors who live in alley dwellings shouldn’t be treated as a separate class when it comes to allocating public curb space.
  • Currently, regulation prevents RPP only parking east of 11th street SE. However, DDOT has signaled recently they are open to changing this and there is a rulemaking pending to allow this. If the regulations change, I will seek to see if there’s a consensus supporting that change and request it for ANC 6B06

Southeast Boulevard
in 2019, DDOT should issue a final environmental assessment on Southeast Boulevard and Barney Circle redesign. This is a project that is very important to the city and should be a huge win for our neighborhood. This year should be limited to the Environmental Assessment and comments on the proposals.

Penn/Potomac Redesign
This year, I hope to see this project fully funded in FY20 and construction starting by the end of the year.

311 Request Followup
Data on 311 requests and resolution is publicly available. As we move forward throughout the year, I will focus on portions of the 311 request backlog and try to get some of the long standing issues finally resolved.



ANC 6B Requests New All-Way Stops

On Wednesday, December 5, the ANC 6B Transportation Committee unanimously approved a motion to convert four intersections from two-way stops to all-way stops. Tuesday, the full ANC passed this resolution by consent (letter to DDOT at end of PDF here)

The impetus for this request was a meeting between the Executive and Council on October 23 following a tragic and deadly summer of deaths on District roadways. At this meeting, the District Department of Transportation presented new projects and initiatives to increase efforts to reach the Mayor’s target of zero road deaths by 2024. The packages were expansive and many items would require legislation or regulatory rule changes to implement. The following links have more information.

One of the engineering initiatives, four-way stops at “local/local” intersections, can be implemented without study or delay. This request from ANC 6B asks to convert all four-way local/local intersections with two-way stops in ANC 6B to all-way stops.

(Local roads are a technical term, using functional classification of roads by DDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. Local roads receive no federal money for upkeep or control. Because of this, DDOT can make changes to these intersections without clearance form FHWA. Click here to see an map of functional classifications; if a road is not colored in it’s a “local” road)

The intersections are, from west to east:

5th St SE & D St SE

10th St SE & South Carolina Ave SE

12th St SE & G St SE

14th St SE & South Carolina Ave SE

The ANC evaluated only the four-way local/local intersections that aren’t two way stops. The ANC will continue to push for all-way stops at non-local two-way stops and push for engineering solutions to challenging and complex non-local roads. Where necessary, we will also push for study of local and non-local three-way stops, but the case for all-way stop is less readily apparent for those intersections. 

Hill East Parking Enforcement, December 2018

In the summer of 2018, ANC 6B’s Hill East Task Force and ANC 6B10 Commissioner Denise Krepp held a meeting with the Department of Public Works to discuss what she perceived as short comings with parking enforcement. To assist Commissioner Krepp, I used DC’s Open Data to put numbers and visualizations to the problem. As discussed in the Hill Rag, there was a huge spike in enforcement city-wide for most of calendar year 2016 and recent numbers were return to pre-spike levels. After the media attention, increased 311 requests for enforcement, and cajoling from elected officials, I was curious whether enforcement increased recently. Using newly released data for June-September 2018, it’s clear there was a small but noticeable increase in residential parking enforcement in Hill East. However, those increases were not visible across the city or in other parts of ANC 6B. It seems for all the attention, parking enforcement efforts were not increased, they were simply shifted to Hill East from elsewhere. (For all of this data, unless otherwisde noted, I will be talking about average number of non-ROSA tickets issued per non-holiday workdays per month. Enforcement is minimal on Saturday and relegated to MPD on Holidays and Sundays.).

Overall Trends

Above is the raw count of non-ROSA parking violation, the last three months you’ll see a slight dip in tickets in September but mostly a stasis in the last four months. Also plainly evident here was the huge spike in tickets from March 2016 to December 2016. I still have no idea why that happened but clearly was a policy decision that was reversed.

Hill East Residential Parking Violations

What you see city wide, however, was not the story in Hill East (For ease, I’m going to use ANC  6B06, 6B08, 6B09, and 6B10 combined). In this area you can see below that residential parking tickets increased steadily the last three months. Why? I think a combination of the ANC attention as well as, an oft overlooked aspect, 311 requests for enforcement.

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: RPP Enforcement in Hill East

Here’s a look at a stacked chart showing the percentage of residential parking tickets issued in each Ward 6 ANC, by month. Look to the right. ANC 6B’s share of enforcement in ward 6 was mostly steady in the last three months. And here’s a look at tickets by SMD. ANC 6B06 had a noticeable increase in the share of tickets the last three months in ANC 6B. Sure, there’s lot of construction and opportunities for tickets, but that was true before this spike. What’s going on recently?

311 Requests: Do They Actually Work?

One of the things residents of DC constantly hear is to put in a 311 request for things that can’t be immediately resolved. For residential parking permit enforcement, this is often frustrating because most people don’t stick around for two-plus hours to see if enforcement actually occurred. However, with DC’s Open Data we can cross reference 311 requests and parking violations by SMD. Looking at this data for the first nine months of 2018, we can see an obvious spike in both residential parking violations and enforcement requests in SMD 6B06, starting in June. I think after looking at this data what I can tell the residents of ANC 6B06 and DC as a whole, is it seems like 311 requests result in more parking violations. As in so much else, the squeaky wheel wins again. However I must caveat, this is small amounts of data over a small amount of time. As I move forward as an ANC commissioner, I plan to continue to use the 311 Requests Open Data to ensure city agencies are responding to and appropriately closing requests.

DDOT Proposes Fixes for 15th/Kentucky/Potomac/G

Last week, DDOT issued a Notice of Intent for changes to the complicated intersections of 15th, G, Kentucky, and Potomac. DDOT issues notices of intent when any proposed changes remove parking spots or change traffic patterns. This Notice of Intent does both. DDOT will likely present these plans at the ANC 6B Transportation Committee on Wednesday, November 7 at 7:00 (location TBD, the default room at the Hill Center may be too small). Everyone is encouraged to attend and let their feelings be known on these proposed changes.

Below, I Will walk through the changes in this and some of the rationale.

NOIOverview

Area A: 15th/Kentucky

Let’s get the bad out of the way. This NOI does not add the missing sidewalk on the west side of 15th. This NOI involves low cost implementation and has no budget to add a wheelchair ramp in section A. If a crosswalk isn’t ADA compliant it can’t be installed. Fixing this omission is definitely towards the top of my to-do list and I will lean on DDOT as much as I can to install it. Of course we all know that people (myself included) will continue to cross Kentucky without the sidewalk. These changes should make that crossing safer and easier.

The other changes here are great. The main goal at these intersections is to make the right turns from Kentucky onto 15th more acute. This can’t be done without removing parking from areas B and C. Daylighting corners, especially at diagonal intersections, is a major safety improvement and losing four spots is not just a reasonable tradeoff. It’s a tradeoff I believe we should make throughout the city.

Note in section D the addition of a trough bike lane going contraflow onto the next block of Kentucky. I’ll cover this more in Area D.

Area B: Kentucky, Potomac, and G (East Side)

In section a, the giant bumpouts will serve to slow eastbound traffic from Potomac onto G. The spaces removed in section A and D are crucial for visually narrowing Potomac Ave traffic. Note the addition of a left only and straight lane from Kentucky, since it’s narrowed to one lane north of the intersection.

Area C: G Street Stub and Western Approaches

By far the biggest change in this NOI is the closure of the stub of G Street between 15th and Kentucky (Section A). This goal of this change is to stop cut through traffic on G Street connecting to Pennsylvania between 13th and 14th. Furthermore, turns from Potomac onto that stub of G were too fast and the stop sign/traffic light combo at 15th and G was confusing. Connections to G street can still be made by going north on Kentucky, making the near U-turn onto 15th street southbound, then right onto G. In the Spring, I would hope to have a mini block party to celebrate these changes.

The parking space remove in section C is similar to the other in area B where it’s about visually narrowing the road. The parking space change in section B I think won’t be implemented. The turning movement from the B2 likely makes these difficult.

Area D: Kentucky between 15th and Potomac

The changes on this block are minor. Going from two lanes to one won’t have any real impacts on traffic and makes the reduction down to one lane to the north happen in a safer manner. The addition of the contraflow bike lane is step one in formalizing the informal nature of the bike route that connects this area with the Anacostia River Trail at Barney Circle. Applying this design to the 700 and 800 blocks of Kentucky is the obvious next step and I will continue to push DDOT to install this design to those blocks as soon as possible.

 

Respose to Metro DSA Questionnaire

As part of their 2018 General Election Coverage, Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America sent out a questionnaire to all ANC candidate. Unfortunately, the questionnaire only allowed for Yes or No answers. I gave the “wrong” answer in their eyes a couple of times, but I’m taking the time to give details here.

Though not a member of Metro DC DSA, I agree with a vast majority of their positions and think the work they and other DSA chapters are doing is going to pay dividends in 2018 and beyond. I do think the following questions

Public investment for the public.
The District must focus on dramatically increased public investments, both by bringing in increased tax revenue from the wealthy and by creating a public bank to fund investments in our communities (instead of doing business with Wells Fargo).

Yes. I don’t know much about public banking, but any steps to counteract the predatory nature of national banks is a great idea. Raising tax marginal tax rates, of course, is a great idea at both the federal and DC level. In tax season, I volunteer for Community Tax Aid to prepare returns for low- and moderate-income families and individuals. Seeing these returns really drives home the regressive nature of the DC tax code. Things have improved dramatically since the recommendations of the DC Tax Revision Commission have been implemented, but marginal rates raise too fast, the rates are too high at low incomes, credits phase out too quickly, and medium and top marginal tax rates are too high. I am encouraged, however, at the recent decoupling of the DC Estate Tax exemption from the federal estate tax exemption and the DC health care penalty.

Public investment for the public 2
We should not be offering public money to Amazon to construct HQ2 in DC, and I will oppose any attempt to site HQ2 in my neighborhood.

No. This is complicated. I don’t believe DC should offer any public money to Amazon, but I would wholeheartedly support Amazon HQ2 moving to Reservation 13. Of course, the first part is the bigger part of the questions but I couldn’t say no. DC or any community would be better off with HQ2, as long as the Comprehensive Plan adjusted for the increase demand for housing for high-income neigbhbors.

Sanctuary for all
All immigrants are welcome and an integral part of our city. I support a robust sanctuary policy in DC and will work to keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) out of my neighborhood. We must provide legal aid and defense against deportation to immigrants in our community.

Yes, obviously.

Black lives matter
I support policy to dismantle systemic racism and its effects, including mass incarceration, militarized policing, overpolicing and surveillance of Black spaces, and residential and school re-segregation. I will hold the Metropolitan Police Department, Metro Transit Police Department, and other special police forces publicly accountable when they violate the civil rights of our residents, and advocate alternatives to policing wherever possible. I support the construction of truly affordable, integrated social housing in wealthier and whiter neighborhoods. I will work to ensure businesses in my neighborhood do not violate the city’s Ban the Box legislation, and will defend the rights of our returning citizens.

Yes. This one speaks to me, especially the creation of housing in wealthier and whiter neighborhoods. The DC Fiscal Policy Institute recently showed that less than 1% of dedicated affordable housing in being built in Ward 3. This can’t stand. However, that doesn’t mean ward 6 or ANC 6B is doing enough. At any opportunity, I will fight for private developments to include more dedicated affordable housing. And any development on public land, like Southeast Boulevard in ANC 6B06, will have a huge hurdle to clear before I support land disposition.

Healthcare for all
Universal healthcare is a right. Reproductive healthcare is healthcare, and I support the operation of and free access to clinics that provide abortion and medically accurate sexual health and education services in my neighborhood.

Yes, obviously.

Support the working class
Support the working class. We must make DC a city that works for the working class by supporting higher wages, equitable development without displacement, and increased protection for tenants. I support a living wage for all, and will work to defend renters’ right to safe, properly maintained, and affordable housing in my neighborhood.

Yes. And though it wasn’t asked, I’m an enthusiastic supporter of Initiative 77 and believe two classes of workers is anathema to a just society.

Commit to climate justice
Our planet is facing climate catastrophe. I will support policies for a just and equitable transition to a zero-emissions local economy as soon as possible, including 100% renewable energy in the District by 2035. I support taking cars off the road by building human-scale public transit, safe bike lanes, and walkable neighborhoods that make the city accessible for all residents. I will work to fully implement the Vision Zero plan to eliminate road deaths in my neighborhood.

Yes

Support for sex workers
Sex work is work, and I support the right of all workers to make a living in a safe workplace, free from wage theft, and without fear of harassment or stigma. I will work to decriminalize sex work in the District and ensure sex workers cannot be turned away from city services or housing in my neighborhood.

Yes.

Education for everyone
All students have the right to a good education in a safe environment. We must end the school-to-prison pipeline, so I will work to ban out-of-school suspensions and to remove police from campuses in my neighborhood. A healthy school environment includes the well-being of educators and staff, so I support unionization and will defend collective action to secure a living wage for all workers at schools in my neighborhood. I support making admission to the University of the District of Columbia’s undergraduate and graduate programs free of charge to all District residents.

Yes, especially the right to unionization and collective action and free UDC tuition.

Response to Greater Greater Washington ANC Questionnaire

Each ANC election season, Greater Greater Washingtion sends out a questionnaire for ANC candidates and endorses candidates in contested elections. While I am running unopposed, I still took the opportunity to respond. The questions really helped organized a lot of my thoughts on various issues. Below are my responses, slightly edited for clarity and grammar.

What are your hopes and/or concerns with the 11th Street Bridge Park and its Equitable Development Plan?

The Bridge Park group and its nonprofit partner, Building Bridges Across the River, have been around and active in the community for over four years and have done great work in ANC 6B specifically with residents and facilities at Hopkins Apartments and Potomac Gardens. While less visible, the Equitable Development Plan (EDP) is also a great contribution to the neighborhood and city as a whole.

For ANC 6B, the EDP should be a framework for similar projects and. The Southeast Boulevard land disposition and development, for example, will require a Comprehensive Plan amendment (likely through a council-approved Small Area Plan). Any such amendment and RFP process should look at the work of the EDP as a baseline for community involvement and support for existing residents.

Specifically within the EDP, the Workforce Development and Small Business Enterprise Elements will be non-negotiables for any city-owned or city-funded project like the 11th Street Bridge Park. The Housing Element of the EDP relies strongly on leveraging the Housing Production Trust Fund and working with existing organizations to build, create, and retain affordable housing. I am encouraged that corporate partners are signing onto this aspect of the EDP as evidenced by the recent contribution by JPMorgan Chase.

I really hope the Bridge Park is eventually built and I would urge ANC 6B to help facilitate the building of the park where possible. Equally important, however, is the EDP. I will use that as a benchmark for the redevelopment and excessing of land at Southeast Boulevard and any other similar projects that come across ANC 6B.

What are your hopes and/or concerns regarding the plans for the redevelopment of Southeast Boulevard (including DDOT’s and OP’s plan to create a bus garage) and the Barney Circle redesign?

There are very few opportunities available for the city has to create developable land, fulfill a municipal need, and increase bike and pedestrian connectivity to the Anacostia River. This is a transformational project and one I will support at every turn.

I have been involved in Southeast Boulevard discussions since early 2013. Given the geography of the area, the needs of the city, and financial realities of infrastructure creation, there are two options for Southeast Boulevard. One is the status quo freeway-in-all-but-name that exists now. The other is a subterranean bus garage with a two-lane road and developable land on top of the garage. I categorically reject option one or any similar proposals, such as DDOT’s 2013 plan to rebuild the highway at grade. The second plan represents four years of compromise while accomplishing most of the goals of the immediate neighbors, the wider Capitol Hill neighborhood, and the city as a whole.

Over the last four years, DDOT has convinced me that there is a need for new bus garages in the city. This site minimizes impacts on neighbors and does not crowd out higher and better uses of the underlying land. If there’s one spot for a bus garage in the city, this is it. As we move forward, however, I will continue to encourage DDOT to remove support facilities for gas- and diesel-powered buses. This garage should be the harbinger of a cleaner non-fossil fuel bus system.

Above the bus garage, we have a unique opportunity to build more city. At the Comprehensive Plan level, I would advocate for remapping the boulevard area to a combination of moderate density residential and low density commercial. Because of the broken PUD process, there is only one chance to zone this land right, and I would support RA-2 zoning (matching the existing zoning to the north L Street SE) with a block of MU-4 zoning along 14th Street from L to a new pedestrian ramp across the CSX tracks.

What are your hopes and/or concerns about the future of the RFK Stadium site?

My futile hope is that the National Park Services disposes the land and we build more city in the non-floodplain areas. However, the Bowser administration and Events DC has shown no imagination with this project.

Given that the Bowser Administration will be in charge of this project for another five years, it’s time to accept that they will continue to push a football stadium or basketball arena. Within those confines, ANC 6B needs to continue to advocate for the community-serving aspects of this project and get EventsDC to prioritize those. The Capital Riverside Youth Sports Park group demonstrates exactly the project that I would push ANC 6B to prioritize and support. The one aspect of the existing designs that should come first is the pedestrian bridges to Kingman Island (prioritizing the bridge to River Terrace). I would also urge ANC 5D, 6A, 6B, and 7D to come together and oppose any construction of a riverside road connecting Barney Circle and Benning Road.

ANC 6B recently passed a letter outlining their concerns about DC’s historic district process. What is your stance on this issues, especially in the context of the proposals to expand the Capitol Hill Historic District to encompass all of 6B?

I firmly believe the historic district designation process is fundamentally broken. The Kingman Park designation started the recent discussions about the process, but it’s the Bloomingdale designation that has shown the need for HPO/OP and the Council to rethink completely this process. HPRB approved that nomination with ANC opposition, household survey opposition, and a nomination from a non-neighborhood affiliated organization. It’s clear that well-connected and well-funded groups and residents are using historic preservation in this city to thwart development.

As a commissioner in ANC 6B, I would push for the following changes to historic preservation, through resolutions or comments where appropriate:

  1. Encourage OP to restart their study of conservation districts and push the council to introduce legislation allowing conservation districts. I would also push for the non-historic district parts of ANC 6B to be the first neighborhood to be covered by this new regime.
  2. Require OP to calculate the loss of development potential in new historic districts and offset that lost potential in upzoning of noncontributing buildings and along mixed-use corridors in the district. If OP cannot offset that lost potential, then HPRB should deny the historic district nomination.
  3. Remove solar systems from the list of permit types that trigger historic review
  4. Require HPRB actions to be full legal orders, including addressing concerns from the ANC and affected parties. Further, require HPRB and Mayor’s Agent cases should use the Office of Zoning’s Interactive Zoning Information System (or similar), to ensure all documents and comments are easily available to the public.
  5. Require transportation, sustainability, and equity issues to have weight in HPRB orders.

Residents increasingly requests Ward 6 zone only parking on their blocks. How would you approach this situation as a commissioner? What is the right balance between parking for immediate residents and parking for people visiting the neighborhood?

The RPP system is broken and resident only parking is a Band-Aid over the real problem.

In August of 2014, DDOT issued a Curbside Management Study that laid out potential solutions to the problem. The solutions that would most appeal to me as a commissioner are the following:

  1. Increase RPP prices for each permit after the first.
  2. Increase RPP prices if you have off street parking.
  3. Dramatically increase the number of distinct parking zones with a concomitant reduction is size of zones.

I like to use my family as an example. My wife and I each came into our marriage with a car. We would park both on the street despite having an off-street parking space, dutifully paying out 10 cents per day for the privilege. We maintained this situation for two years, despite never using both cars at once and rarely using the off-street parking space. When we did use a car, it was often to travel within Ward 6 for free parking near Yards/Canal parks and near H Street. This situation repeats itself all over the city.

Residents in buildings without parking and visitors are not the problem. I, and so many people like me, am the problem. I should pay for the problems I create for others. If our second parking permit were more expensive because we had two cars, more expensive because we had off-street parking, and less useful for intra-ward usage, we would have consolidated down to one car right away. Depending on the price of the first RPP, we also would skipped getting an RPP for that car. Making more parking available for the exclusive use of families like mine is the exactly the opposite thing we should do.

If there were a way to improve bus transit of bike infrastructure in your neighborhood, but it required removing on-street parking, how would you approach this situation? Give a specific example.

I would wholeheartedly support any increase in transit of bike infrastructure even if it required removing off-street parking. As a member of the ANC 6B Transportation Committee, I brought up the topic and made the motion to request DDOT begin studying protected bike lanes on Pennsylvania Ave SE from Barney Circle to the Capitol. That project would remove off-peak travel lanes and peak parking spaces from Pennsylvania Ave SE. Because of ANC 6B’s ask, the facility was included in the most recent constrained element of the MWCOG long-range plan. As commissioner, I will continue to push DDOT to move this project forward. Furthermore, I supported the removal of parking spaces on the 400 block of 14th street SE to bridge a gap in bicycle lanes.

The MoveDC transit element includes high capacity transit lines along Pennsylvania Ave SE from the Maryland border to 8th street SE. As commissioner, I will ask that this part of the MoveDC plan moves forward. Not being a transportation planner or engineer, I have no clue how to design those lanes, but I’m sure DDOT and its contracts can design something that works. If parking has to go because of those high capacity bus lines, I would obviously support that

Where would you like to see new bicycle lanes, sidewalks, or other infrastructure to make it safer for residents, families, and seniors to walk and bike? What are you top Vision Zero priorities for your community?

Bike lanes in ANC 6B should be on every diagonal and on all one-lane streets. Luckily, for ANC 6B, most of the neighborhood two-way streets are so narrow the level of stress on bicycle is minimal. So given that, I would support the MoveDC bicycle element’s inclusion of protected bike lanes along Massachusetts Ave SE, Pennsylvania Ave SE, and converting the striped lanes on 4th/6th Street SE to a protected lane, even if parking must be removed near intersections.

As for non-bicycle elements of Vision Zero, there are the ideal and then there are short-term politically feasible priorities. Ideally, I think DDOT should ban right turns on red. I think the default speed limit should be 15 unless otherwise signed (instead of 25). I think speed, red light, and stop sign cameras should blanket the city, with fines reduced and issued within 24 hours to affect change. As for actual short-term options, the following are my priorities:

  1. Push DDOT to add flexposts at all non-right angle corners to sharpen and slow turns and support them when proposed. Specifically within ANC 6B, DDOT will soon be issuing a Notice of Intent to rework the intersection of 15th/Kentucky/Potomac/G. These changes will slow traffic and increase pedestrian connectivity, but remove parking. These are the projects I will push for and support.
  2. Make non all-way stops into all-way stops. Currently as a member of ANC 6B’s Transportation Committee, I am using DC’s open data to document our most dangerous intersections and get four-way stops there as soon as possible.
  3. Remove one parking space closest to intersections in commercial areas and replace them with on street dedicated bicycle parking. This will remove bikes from the sidewalk, increase the amount of parking, and help daylight corners for turns.
  4. Work with bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations to highlight our most dangerous intersections and push DDOT to implement fixes instead of waiting for death or serious injury to make changes.
  5. Remove automated traffic enforcement and parking from the purviews of MPD and DPW respectively. Give those capabilities to DDOT.

What role do you think your ANC could plan in addressing housing affordability challenges? How can you neighborhood contribute its fair share to our growing city needs?

ANCs have limited direct power to address housing affordability challenges. What we can do is foster an environment where housing affordability for both current and future residents is a paramount concern in development projects that come before the ANC.

With the broken PUD process, the ANC will also have less input on large projects, but there are opportunities for the ANC to weigh in on citywide issues. For example, further Comprehensive Plan amendments will at some point be available for comment and I would support the ANC focusing its comments on housing affordability for current residents and accommodating growth for future neighbors.

What is the biggest controversy in your neighborhood not already listed on the questionnaire and what is your position on it?

We have already covered most of the major projects and controversies in ANC 6B. Southeast Boulevard, Pennsylvania Ave bike lanes, major PUD projects coming online and related construction issues, and resident parking issues are or will be import discussions in ANC 6B over the next two years.

Why do you think you are the best person to represent your SMD? What is your vision for the next two years?

Through my work on the ANC Transportation Committee, I am already familiar with many of the ANC processes and can jump into the job on day one. I will doggedly follow up on resident concerns and actively seek to solve problems before the happen.

In two years in ANC 6B06, I am excited to see all six major development projects in the SMD completed, the Pennsylvania/Potomac intersection work well underway, and funding for Southeast Boulevard secured including a vision for major investment in affordable housing on the site. For the larger ANC, I see ANC 6B continuing its roles as a professional and efficient ANC. I imagine the ANC will continue to work with DDOT to identify and rectify traffic safety concerns in residential areas and ANC 6B will be a leading example in the city for traffic calming measures.

Sometime community members advocate for a position that is in their narrow interest but is counter to broader citywide interest and is high problematic position if all communities across DC were to act that way. How will you lead in such a situation?

Neighborhoods are parts of cities and cities need land and services to meet the needs of all of its residents. This is not a controversial stance to take. However, in many situations it is easy to fight against these services and land use rather to seek to accommodate it. In fact, much of our regulatory infrastructure and history with controversial items rewards the loudest most organized group of people who say no.

In situations like this, it is easy for an ANC commissioner to join the chorus of no’s. However, I will not do that. Let’s look at Southeast Boulevard Bus Garage as an example. At every turn and every iteration, I have supported this project. DDOT has demonstrated a need for a bus garage. DDOT has sought a site that will have minimal impact on its neighborhood and pledge to mitigate concerns. The immediate neighbors, of course, would be better off with an at-grade Southeast Boulevard with no bus garage underneath. However, we have a unique opportunity to accommodate a city need and I believe ANC 6B will continue to support this garage (though pushing for electric only instead of diesel- and gas-support facilities). As commissioner of ANC 6B06, I will continue to engage with impacted residents and DDOT to provide the least impactful bus garage while allowing full functionality that will support all residents of DC.