Many new and long time residents in our community look around and wonder where are the value added amenities you see in the city core and other dense areas. From the circulator to bike share, from a trendy grocery store to riverfront parks the question is always posed why don’t we have the same thing in Fort Lincoln and surrounding communities. Well before reading further understand that I don’t have all the right answers and many will probably disagree but one thing that is certain if we sit around and expect others to do the work and planning for us we will be waiting for the next 30 years to see the progress that the rest of the city is seeing today. We have to start by taking advantage of resources that we have, such as metro bus, current bike lanes and trails, & supporting local business.
Many of us in the newer developments do not take the bus. Personally it adds more than an hour to my commute time to get to work and limits my flexibility to get from Anacostia to Gaithersburg and back to Anacostia then home to Fort Lincoln. However, there are other times when I take shorter driving trips that while not convenient can be taken using the bus. The point of the story is that we can’t begin to request Circulator Service when we don’t use the current bus and we can’t ask for better service if we don’t have the demand. So we all need to make a better effort to use the metro bus to increase the demand.
Bike Trails & Lanes
I’ll be the first to say that we are more than a decade behind the rest of the city when it comes to bike lanes and trail infrastructure. It’s unsafe, il-planned and might as well not exist, however, we can bring attention to it by inviting advocacy groups such as WABA to help with planning and scheduling cycling events. When I first moved here, there were many of us who bike, now we don’t because it is unsafe. As your ANC, I am committed to supporting these types of initiatives, however, I can’t lead every charge. So if someone steps up I can provide all of the support and help you would need to make the connections, and get the word out. You have to be passionate, dedicated & have the time to commit. If you wait for me to spearhead this, these are 2nd and 3rd term issues because there are more pressing priorities during this 1st 2 year term.
Supporting Local Business
Fort Lincoln is surrounded by a wealth of small businesses and start ups who all provide services that we need. I am planning a marketplace event to showcase local businesses so that we all know where they are and what they provide. We need to all be sure to come out and support local business because we are not a tourist destination(yet) and know one will want to open new businesses here if we aren’t going to spend the money to help keep them open.
We must take control of the progress and development of our community. We have the talent, the resources and the buying power to out do many communities in the country, but I need your support and sweat to make it happen. Keep an eye out for meeting notices in the next two weeks. I’m expecting 100% support from all of Fort Lincoln, if you don’t step up, then you have to to deal with what’s been given to you.
At this point I’ll digress but thought it was worth while to share given the challenges I’ve faced in the first 5 months serving our community.
Robert Looper III