Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D met on May 8 via Zoom. Commissioners Bob Link (6DO1, vice chair), Ronald Collins (6D02, treasurer), Gail Fast (6D03), Andrea Pawley (6D04), Ashton Rohmer (6D05), Bruce Levine (6D06, secretary) and Fredrica (Rikki) Kramer (6D07, chair and Rhonda Hamilton (6D08) were in attendance.
DC Dept. of Transportation Director Everett Lott visited the commission to present Mayor Muriel Bowser’s FY 2024 budget. After Lott provided a general overview with some specific references to his agency, Chair Kramer directed his attention to the commission’s own agenda, which included the following objectives:
- Buzzard Point residential access during game days;
- game route changes for the 74 bus;
- expanding the catchment area of DDOT’s Traffic Operations and Parking Plan (TOPP);
- remediation of the Fourth Street SW protected bike lane design;
- the redesign of South Capitol Street;
- Comprehensive street safety in Southwest DC.
Chair Kramer began with Buzzard Point. On game days, she pointed out, there is no street parking. Residents themselves report difficulty gaining vehicular access to their buildings and no provision has been made for their visitors. Traffic control officers are being deployed on game days to facilitate access, Lott stated. DDOT is working on partnering more effectively with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) the DC Dept. of Public Works (DPW), which handle curbside and traffic enforcement.
The TOPP’s enforcement footprint, Chair Kramer pointed out, does not cover the entire area impacted by game day traffic. It does not sufficiently take into account the congestion issues created by events at The Wharf or Yards Park.
Buzzard Point residents can’t get in and out, stated Commissioner Hamilton. Emergency vehicles have trouble accessing the neighbor.
“Let’s look at Southwest as a whole from the perspective of traffic management,” Vice Chair Link suggested, echoing the chair. He requested DDOT collect data on the TOPP’s effectiveness to prepare for a 2024 revision, which he hoped would be more collaborative. The TOPP process could be more interactive, Lott admitted, and requires better coordination with enforcement agencies.
Treasurer Collins asked about Protected Bike Lanes (PBLs). Are they federally funded? he asked. They are locally funded, Lott stated.
What is the completion date for the I Street PBL? Commissioner Rohmer followed up. Lott could not provide a firm timeline.
What steps is DDOT taking to reduce traffic speeds in Southwest? Rohmer queried.
“We are really trying to force individuals to slow down,” Lott said. The agency is focusing on high entry points in the city’s road network. It is planning to deploy over 342 new speed cameras.
Does The District have reciprocity agreements with Maryland and Virginia concerning traffic fines? asked Treasurer Collins. The administration is now working getting such arrangements in place, Lott said.
DDOT does a terrible job consulting with local stakeholders and residents, stated Secretary Levine. The agency needs a more consultative approach that better balances the needs of curbside parking, bike and pedestrian safety and traffic flow. In particular, Levine complained about drivers speeding recklessly near the Fish Market.
DDOT needs to emphasize pedestrian safety particularly with cyclists, Commissioner Hamilton added.
Director Lott promised to follow up with the commission on the issues raised in their discussions.
MPD Captains Justin Roth and Kevin Harding briefed the commission on the public safety report. Property crime is up and violent crime is significantly down, they said. In response to a query from Commission Fast about recent robberies of construction workers, there have been no recent incidents, they said.
The commission voted to:
- support a Cotton Annex project’s Modification of Consequence for the Cotton Annex project located at 300 12th SW;
- establish an eight-member Special Committee to liaison with Safeway officials, providing community input;
- withdraw its protest against a liquor license for Milk and Honey, 677 Maine Ave. SW, given the successful negotiation of a community agreement with the establishment;
- protest the liquor license for ZOOZ, 633 Maine Ave. SW, in the absence of a cooperative agreement;
- oppose the mayor’s proposal to eliminate the Southwest Circulator.
Treasurer Collins appointed Michael King as his single member district’s representative on the commission’s Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee.
The commission voted unanimously to request $5,000 in expert assistance from the DC Office of Advisory Neighbor Commissions (OANC). The money is needed to aid in its applications for reconsideration of Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) for 807 Maine Ave. and 899 Maine Ave. SW. Commissioner Fast, an OANC Program Analyst, voted in support of the measure.
ANC 6D meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of every month. The next meeting is June 12, 2023. For more information, visit www.anc6d.org.