News from ANC 6C Meeting, November 2019

ANC 6C Urges District to Leadership Role in Union Station Expansion Project

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Photo: ANC 6C commissioners at their November 2019 meeting. L to R: Joel Kelty (6C05), Jay Adelstein (6C03), Christine Healey (6C01), Karen Wirt (6C02), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), and Drew Courtney (6C06). Photo: E.O’Gorek/CCN

Commissioners of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C reported on concerns in regard to the significant expansion of Union Station that is in the planning stages.  The expansion is happening at the same time as planning for a new neighborhood called Burnham Place at Union Station, a three million square foot development that will be built over the Union Station rail yard.

According to the Federal Railway Administration (FRA), improvements are needed to address rail capacity, reliability, safety, efficiency, accessibility, and security, for both current and future long‐term railroad operations at the historic station. Some facilities are already at or in excess of capacity and others are not adequate to serve existing or projected future passenger demand. The Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC), the non-profit organization that oversees the station, wants to expand and modernize the station together with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) in order to make these improvements as well as to integrate plans with the adjacent neighborhood and their planned development.

ANC 6C has previously written to object to what FRA alternatives could mean for traffic around the station, noting there had been no traffic studies, and raising the possibility that the alternatives will diminish the Union Station experience, noting that the station is a historic building.

At an October 29th community meeting sponsored by Commissioners Jay Adelstein, Drew Courtney and Christine Healey, representatives of the Burnham Place developer displayed 3-D models of the FRA alternatives and showed how these alternatives related to the Burnham Place project. An additional alternative was expected to be presented at a Nov. 19 meeting attended by commissioners after the Hill Rag had gone to press.

Commissioner Healey said that a primary concern was how to encourage more community involvement in project planning. The commission voted unanimously to send a letter to DC Council, the Executive Office of the Mayor (EOM), FRA and the developers to ask the District to take a leadership role in the project to facilitate co-ordination between the projects as well as community involvement.

Further details of the Union Station Expansion Project can be found at https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0866

Report on Community Outreach from Revel Moped

Transportation Public Space (TPS) Committee Chair Christy Kwan conveyed information the committee had received from Revel DC Community Manager Yassin Khalid. Revel is a shared electric moped service. Kwan said that Revel had reached out to the committee in order to answer questions about the four month pilot launched recently in the District.

Khalid said the mopeds are motor vehicles with a license plate and operate on the street. They are not permitted to operate or park on sidewalks or bike lanes, and are regulated separately from dockless scooters. Each is equipped with a GPS tracker.

The mopeds are programmed so they cannot achieve a speed greater than 30 mph. Users must be a minimum of 21 years old with a safe driving record. Helmets and hairnets are provided and helmets are disinfected every two days.

Residents should report issues directly to Revel, either via the Revel App, by calling 855-690-9180 or emailing [email protected]. There is also a hotline listed on a sticker placed on the dashboard of each moped. Khalid said the company resolves 85 percent of concerns within two hours or less. Learn more about Revel mopeds by visiting gorevel.com

Second Call for Safety Improvements at 700 2nd St. NE Parking Garage

The commission voted to resend a letter to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). The letter was originally written in December 2012 to make recommendations for improvements at the garage for 700 Second Street NE, including speed humps, upgraded lighting, signage and mirrors. These were not fully implemented largely due to resistance from property owners. In the new letter, the ANC recommended the installation of ‘speed stars’, round rubber dots installed into the ground to encourage vehicles to slow.

In October 2019, sidewalks along Second Street NE between F and H Streets NE were striped to continue the Metropolitan Branch Trail. At least one community member experienced a minor collision bicycling along the trail when a vehicle turned left to enter the garage for 700 Second St. NE, just south of the H Street Bridge. The commission noted in the current letter that the site continues to be dangerous for people who walk and bike, and that the findings from 2012 are still relevant and necessary.

Consent Agenda

Commissioners voted to support items on the consent agenda, including:

• a petition to install speed humps on the 900 block of Seventh Street NE between I and K Streets NE. All but two neighbors signed and submitted a petition to DDOT Customer Service Clearinghouse. There has been an uptick in traffic and speed because ride share applications direct drivers along Seventh, and because the traffic light at Seventh and K is short and northbound drivers speed to make the light.

• proposed rule making to amend public-school zoning regulations, which amends standards for floor area ratio, parking, and bicycle parking as well as to make technical changes.

• a modification of significance to a consolidated Planned Unit Development (PUD) at 901 H St. NE in order to allow veterinary hospital use within ground floor retail space, including grooming but not including overnight boarding.

• authorize testimony at a Committee of the Whole hearing on the Implementation of the Short-Term Rental Regulation Act.

Other Business

The commission voted to:
• protest a new liquor license application from King Street Oyster Bar (22 M St. NE) and Allure Lounge (711 H St. NE) in pursuit of a Settlement Agreement (SA).

• support liquor license renewals for Bar Elena (414 H St. NE), The Big Board (421 H St. NE), Columbus Club (50 Massachusetts Ave. NE), The Dubliner (4 F St. NW), Club Elevate (K St. NE), Hamilton’s (223 Second St. NW), Irish Times (14 F St. NW), Laos in Town (250 K St. NE), Lounge 201/201 Bar (201 D St. NE), We Work (810 Seventh St. NE), Red Bear (209 M St. NE), Solid State Books (600F H St. NE) and Wunder Garten (1101 First St. NE).

All six members of ANC 6C were present at the November 13th meeting: Christine Healey (Secretary, 6C01), Karen Wirt (Chair, 6C02), Jay Adelstein (6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (Vice-Chair, 6C04), Joel Kelty (6C05, Treasurer) and Drew Courtney (6C06).

ANC 6C meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month (except August) in the ground floor conference room at the Heritage Foundation (214 Massachusetts Ave. NE). ANCs do not meet in August. The next meeting of ANC 6C takes place 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11. Learn more at anc6c.org.