Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E held its monthly meeting for July 2021 on Tuesday evening, July 6. Due to the restrictions on public meetings caused by the Coronavirus crisis, the meeting was held as a virtual conference. Commission Chair Rachelle Nigro (6E04) called the meeting to order with Michael Eichler (6E01, Vice Chair), Alex Lopez (6E02, Secretary), Frank Wiggins (6E03, Treasurer), Patrick Parlej (6E05), Denise Blackson (6E06) and Kevin Rogers (6E07) in attendance. There was a quorum to conduct official business.
Police Service Area (PSA) Reports
Captain Dorrough of the First District started by saying the previous month’s statistics looked good, with only two violent crimes and a decrease in property crimes. There was still a concern with stolen autos, a citywide problem.
There had been a homicide a few days earlier on the 300 block of K Street. It involved a 17-year-old who lived in the neighborhood. A dispute led to a shooting. All the participants have been identified, but no arrests had yet been made.
Lieutenant Daee of the Third Police District reported on a shooting on the 1400 block of Ninth Street, which had been cleared by an arrest. There had been some robberies by juveniles that also ended in arrests. There was also a gun recovery and arrest on the 1300 block of Fifth Street. Police deployments in the ANC 6E area of the Third District appeared to be deterring crime.
Commissioner Lopez said he had gotten complaints about noisy vehicles, some of them being All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), which cannot be driven legally in the District. Daee said that police policy was to record ATV drivers, not chase them. Commissioner Eichler complained that there was a lack of a visible police presence, which might encourage violent incidents. Daee responded that police officers have specific beats and should not just be sitting in their cars.
US Postal Service Concerns
The ANC requested that someone from the US Postal Service (USPS) come to address some of the problems that neighborhood residents had receiving mail and packages recently. USPS DC Community Coordinator April Jackson came to address complaints.
One resident said that a package that was coming to him was tracked in Hyattsville June 16, then moved to DC June 22 before it disappeared in the system. Jackson asked for a tracking number to investigate the mystery. Commissioner Blackmon said that she had been notified that she would get a package one Sunday, but then it was actually delivered on Monday, something that has occurred more than once. There was another complaint that customer holds placed on the delivery of mail were never honored.
Jackson noted that there had been backlogs in the delivery of mail, but that the backlog has now been cleared up. Plans were made to have the DC Postmaster attend the next ANC meeting in September.
DC Art Grant Requests
Two groups came to the ANC to get support for their applications to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for grants to install artwork in the neighborhood. Commissioner Eichler introduced the request of Shaw Main Streets to support Public Art Building Communities Grants for two murals in ANC 6E. One would be facing the French Street Park, reflecting the area’s past as a vegetable truck farm and its current role as a butterfly waystation. The second mural would be on the side of the Lincoln Westmoreland apartment building. The application includes a third mural that would be in ANC 1B. The grant request is for a total of $125,000. There were no comments from the commissioners or the community on the request. A motion to support the grant application passed unanimously.
The Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District also had an application for a Public Art Building Communities Grant for a mixed media/photography installation in Prather’s Alley. They had conducted a charette to determine the ideal site for the artwork. It has the support of the owners of all three properties involved. A motion to support the grant request was approved unanimously.
Ninth Street Cycletrack Presentation
Commissioner Eichler introduced a presentation by the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) explaining how the District wants to install a two-way, protected bicycle track along the east side of Ninth Street, from Florida Avenue to downtown. The increased safety provided by a protected cycletrack will encourage more people to bike. The track will also meet a sustainability goal that the District has established.
Plans for a cycletrack to downtown go back to the Move DC study in 2016. The study looked at possible locations for the track in Shaw from Fourth Street to Ninth Street. DDOT made a suggestion to locate it on Ninth Street in 2018, but the plan was not approved until recently. The plan requires taking the existing east parking lane for the cycletrack and moving parking to the adjacent north-bound lane of traffic, leaving only one northbound lane. Rush hour parking on the west side of the 1900 block of Ninth Street will be eliminated, along with 80 parking spaces, including five resident-only parking spaces on the 1500 block.
DDOT will issue to a Notice of Intent to the appropriate ANCs in late fall that they are about to execute the plan. Construction would start next summer and take about two months. DDOT will hold a virtual forum on July 29 to explain the plans for the Ninth Street cycletrack to the community.
Commissioner Rogers, who uses a wheelchair, complained that DDOT did not make proper provisions for the disabled when they built the K Street cycletrack. The addition of the K Street cycletrack now requires those with mobility problems to go out into the street in order to catch the bus. DDOT said that they are aware of the problem and that they are installing platforms to correct it.
Commissioner Eichler introduced a resolution to support improvements proposed by the Near Northeast III Safety and Mobility Study along 11th Street and Rhode Island Avenue. The resolution requested some modifications to aid a business at the intersection of the two streets and accommodate the access of school buses to Seaton Elementary School. A separate resolution supported the study’s plans for the intersection of 11th Street and Vermont Avenue.
Commissioner Eichler introduced a resolution to support DDOT’s NOI to install a four-way stop at the intersection of Eighth and R Streets, near the Shaw/Howard Metro stop. The resolution passed unanimously.
The commission also approved the following actions:
- Support for a DDOT public space application for a hotel at 317 K Street NW, including provisions for bay windows and a curb cut.
- A letter of support to the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to allow Springfield Baptist Church to conduct a school backpack distribution on July 31 at Kennedy Recreation Center. DPR suggested that support from the ANC would help in the approval of the application.
- Support for the redevelopment plans at 899 North Capitol Street, NE. Although the project is in the adjoining commission, ANC 6C, the developer hoped to present ANC 6E’s support when they went before the Zoning Commission for design review.
- A resolution to the DC Council requesting that after the pandemic public health emergency ends, the ANCs be allowed to hold meetings in a hybrid format, where the commission could officially conduct business in-person and virtually.
ANC 6E will not meet during the month of August. It will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, September 7 at 6:30 p.m. Plans are to hold this meeting as a virtual conference. Visit www.anc6e.org for more information.