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Summer News You Might Have Missed

School is back in, and all around us the Hill resumes regularly scheduled programming. Many folks travelled this summer, but the news marches on despite the sun. Here are some stories you might not have caught over the summer:

Happy 150th Anniversary, Eastern Market!

Our neighborhood cornerstone, Eastern Market (Seventh Street at North Carolina Avenue SE) celebrated 150 years this summer. Atlas Brewery created a special beer, and Charles Allen toasted a century and a half. Eastern Market is the longest continually operating, publicly-own fresh food market in the United States.

Openings and Closings

Clothing, style and community shop Bitter Grace relocated from Eighth Street SE to Union Market (1325 Fifth St. NE) Dance studio Studio One has new digs –they’re moving from 11th Street SE to Seventh Street SE. The Fridge, the alley art gallery located behind Belga Cafe on Barracks Row, is up for sale. And signs at Neighbors Cleaners, at 11th and C Streets SE, indicated it will close Sept 28. The location at 11th and Pennsylvania Avenue SE will remain open.

Sala Thai opened their fourth Thai restaurant at 1901 C St. SE  near Stadium Armory Metro station August 21. Meanwhile, Kitchen Cray announced they would close on H Street NE, citing opposition from the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission (via WUSA9).

And, it looks like a Popeyes plans to reopen on Eighth Street SE, in the same location as a viral video was filmed at a Popeye’s under prior ownership.

The Folger Shakespeare Library (201 East Capitol St. SE) originally planned to reopen in November of this year, but the intersection of historic building and modern improvements has pushed that to early 2024. But in icy cool news: Moorenko’s Ice Cream (720 C St. SE) reopened in late August, finally resolving red tape around their business license that had kept them closed since late spring.

East Capitol Street market The Cupboard (1504 East Capitol St. NE) has changed hands and is now P.S. Mercantile. The hair salon at 205 Pennsylvania Ave. SE reopened as Capitol Hair Salon. Zen Renovations is slated to open on Seventh Street SE, near Eastern Market and right next to the Sephora. And Della Barba Pizza (1382 East Capitol St. NE) is offering coffee and breakfast bites from Tuesday to Sunday starting at 8 a.m.

A segueway makes full use of Pennsylvania Avenue SE bike lanes, May 2023. Here, cars are legally parked in the south side red lanes, which are restricted from bus priority from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Photo: E.O’Gorek/CCN

Bus-Camera Parking Enforcement

On  July 24, Metro initiated the Clear Lanes Project. The project uses automated camera technology to identify vehicles driving in bus lanes during bus-only hours, or are illegally parked and stopped in dedicated bus lanes, transferring info to DDOT for enforcement.

The 45-day warning period began July 24. Metro anticipates that the Clear Lanes project will be ready to roll out for good in Fall 2023, at which point the program will issue fines as opposed to warnings. Fines are $100 for vehicles driving in bus-only lanes (except turning vehicles) and $200 for those stopped or parked outside permitted hours.

This includes Penn Avenue SE. Where + When can’t you park on Penn Ave? During the morning rush hour, when the red lane on the north side (westbound, towards the Capitol) becomes a dedicated bus lane from 7:00 a.m. through 9:30 a.m. In the afternoon, the south side or eastbound red lane will be bus priority from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) at a March 2022 press conference about development on the RFK site. Photo: E.O’Gorek/CCN

RFK Slated for Change?

With the announcement that the Commanders had been sold, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) held a press conference announcing a team in the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) that would focus specifically on sports. The team has been charged with doing research to determine the best way to build a stadium in the District, widely seen as an effort to bring the NFL to RFK.

School News

DC has initiated the process of redrawing school boundaries, which determine by-right schools within a specific area and the feeder patterns from elementary to high school. Two town halls are scheduled for September during which the public can offer input.

Tyler Elementary has selected their preferred new name. It is Shirley Chisholm Elementary School. The school community initiated the renaming process this summer. Tyler was named for former President John Tyler, who was named to the Confederate Congress in 1861.

New MPD First District Commander Colin Hall. Photo: DC MPD

Changes in Police Districts

Inspector Colin Hall was appointed to Commander of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) First District. Former Commander Tasha Bryant was promoted to Assistant Chief of Patrol Services South. The promotions were announced in July, after Pamela Smith was officially announced as Interim Chief of the DC MPD (her role must be confirmed by DC Council).

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