November ANC 6B Report

Update on Pennsylvania Avenue SE Bike Lanes

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The final stage of improvements to Pennsylvania Avenue SE will complete installation of a protected bike lane and relocate bus stops along the avenue. After that, permitted parking times and patterns along the road will be affected. Image: DDOT

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B met on Nov. 9, the birthday of Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04). As a gift, they gave her their shortest meeting in their collective memory, lasting just a few minutes over one hour.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 6B) met virtually via WebEx Oct. 11. Commissioners Jennifer Samolyk (6B01), Gerald Sroufe (6B02), Brian Ready (6B03), Kristen Oldenburg (6B04), Steve Holtzman (6B05), Corey Holman (6B06), Edward Ryder (6B07) and Denise Krepp (6B10) were all in attendance. ANC 6B08 and 6B09 are currently vacant.

Progress on Pennsylvania Avenue SE Bus Lanes

Jennifer Samolyk (6B01) noted that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) had distributed information pamphlets to area residents, and summarized the update on the Pennsylvania Bus Lane project. Lanes are currently being painted; once complete,  bus line signage will be installed. Although it will change once the project is completed, as of right now, private vehicles may drive in the bus lane outside of AM or PM rush hour.  Parking continues to take place at the curbside.

Elevated bus platforms are to be installed through winter and into spring 2023. During that time, parking will remain at the curb, but there will be additional restrictions at temporary bus stops and where platforms are being constructed.

In spring 2023, a protected bike lane will be installed at the same time as bus stops are relocated. Once the bike lane is installed, parking is permitted within the bus lane outside of AM or PM rush hour (7:00 to 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 to 6:30 p.m.)

You can learn more about the Pennsylvania Avenue SE project at www.pennavese.com/projectupdates/

Support for Barracks Row Open Streets, But…

ANC Voted 7-1 to send a letter in support of the concept of an Open Streets event along Eighth Street SE in early 2023. Currently, ANCs 6A and 6C are in the process of asking DDOT to approve an Open Streets in early 2023 along the entire length of Eighth Street SE and NE, from Florida Avenue NE to M Street SE. They asked for ANC 6B support.

The letter recommends support but raised questions about the impact of such an event on residents and commercial interests on Capitol Hill. In particular, commissioners were concerned about closing the intersection of Eighth and Pennsylvania Avenue SE; about restricting movement and curbside parking for residents living in the area; about safety if traffic is redirected onto the 800 block of D Street SE; and about ensuring that it is still easy to access Eastern Market and the surrounding street markets. There was some discussion about whether these details should be included in the letter, or whether the ANC should weigh in further along in the process. In the end, the ANC included these as concerns, rather than conditions.

I-695 Ramp Study Design

The ANC voted unanimously to send a letter to DDOT about the 11 Street SE I 695 ramp study and 30 percent design. DDOT has plans to widen the D4 Ramp, make improvements to the D3 Ramp, add a two-way bike path between I and O Streets SE, as well as make numerous safety improvements for pedestrians, including extending the Virginia Avenue bike/pedestrian path from 9th Street SE across the northern edge of Virginia Avenue Park to 11th Street SE.

Commissioners said while they were generally supportive of changes to the pedestrian walkways and cycle paths, they are still worried about the widening of the ramp from three to four lanes, arguing that the additional lane will increase speed and include more traffic on the ramp, reducing reducing the safety of pedestrians cyclists crossing where the i-695 ramp intersects with 11th Street SE.

Krepp Asks Commission to Follow Reservation 13

Outgoing Commissioner Denise Krepp (6B10) said that during the redistricting process ANC 6B commissioners were often told that what was happening —or going to happen— on reservation 13 is not their business because they were not then in Ward 7. Krepp said, following redistricting, which put her SMD in Ward 7, ANC 6B Commissioners and residents are still being cut out of discussions, just “in new ways”.

“A lot of nagging, a lot of nagging,” she acknowledged, “[but] sadly a lot of folks on the other side of the river haven’t been forthcoming with the information.”

Krepp encouraged commissioners who will remain in office in single member district (SMD) 6B to continue to build relationships with 7D and others moving forward regarding activity on the property.

Alcohol Beverage Committee

The ANC voted to take no action on an application to the DC Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration for renewal of a Class “C” tavern license from the Tune Inn (331 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), citing their long history on the street. Samolyk, the commissioner for the area, said the Tune Inn has never had a settlement agreement (SA), but that during her eight years as commissioner she was unaware of any issues. However, some commissioners were uncomfortable supporting an application without a SA.

The ANC supported an ABRA application for a Class “C” tavern License with entertainment endorsement for Rose’s at Home (721 Eighth St. SE), amending the SA to include a requirement for indoor trash storage. The committee had questions about trash management, saying that the establishment had trouble executing according to the current SA. Representatives said that the owners had agreed to store trash indoors until pickup, which happens four times a week.

Commissioner Samolyk was elected Vice Chair at the outset of the meeting, filling the role vacated by Alison Horn when she resigned after moving out of ANC 6B09. Samolyk chaired the meeting after her election. Chair Corey Holman (6B06) was on the call, but not able to lead the meeting.

The next full meeting of ANC 6B is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13. Find details at anc6b.org. It is the final meeting of this ten-member version of the ANC 6B commission; ANC Commissioners elected to the newly-redistricted ANC 6B on Nov. 8 will take office in January 2023.