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.
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.
(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
(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.
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.
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:
Work with a pressing need to be down this winter, is overdue, or was never completed despite a closed work order
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.