The median income in Fort Lincoln will have you scratching your head ( approximately $33,000) with the apparent influx of high earners to the community. However, with a population of close to 1,500 it will take more than 400 new town houses to make a difference to demand the retailers that we need.
The now closed Thurgood Marshall School, which once stood for a symbol of progress in Fort Lincoln, is now a symbol blight and poses a continued threat to public safety. Everyday, the graffiti, break-ins, homeless squatting, and now loitering of youth has engulfed this facility. In the past year, I have called emergency personnel for serious violations consisting of everything from busted water-mains in the winter, homeless squatting, drug & gang paraphernalia, open live electrical boxes, burning cars and more. This is all taking place within a few hundred feet of a senior citizen residential building, the recently completed Villages at Dakota Crossing and is across the street from another residential development under construction with homes prices starting at $600,000. Moreover, the damage to this school is beyond vandalism; it is also structurally degrading. The roofing membrane has been ripped up, mortar between bricks have been washed away, window are broken, and concrete is now chipping away on structural members. The District Government has reacted to short term resolution of some of the issues as they arise; however, this only happens after I observe, call, and tweet the issues while walking my dog during daylight. With the earlier sunsets and absence of lighting around the facility, days go by before I observe anything. At this rate, the entire facility will be covered in graffiti by the beginning of the new year 2016. I once even observed amateur photographers taking pictures of the graffiti who were from Maryland, I might add. The developer has petitioned the city since the Gray Administration about the conversion of the School to a YMCA . This conversion would take advantage of the indoor pool as well as having another City Agency occupy the remaining space. Today, we are no closer to moving in a suitable tenant or having the city appropriate funding to stop the degradation of this valuable asset. As district residents do we not deserve better than this? What would you do if this was happening in your community?
Below are photos from vandalism and decay at the school which is adjacent to Fort Lincoln Park.
I have drafted the comprehensive plan based on the first 6 months of service to the community. I have been working diligently to address the major concerns of the community and am now ready for the city to provide resources to fund them. Below is the Fort Lincoln Comprehensive Plan Draft to be considered for the upcoming budget proposal 2016 to the Mayor. Additional comments are welcomed however, please note that not all comments will be added at this time however, as we resolve the items listed in the plan we will add the new ones. Thanks again for electing me to work for you.
WMATA has posted it’s notice of Public Hearings for BUS Cancelations Please click the link below. This includes the cancellation of the B8/B9 Bus Service from Fort Lincoln to Rhode Island Avenue Station.
The list of bus cancellations is below. Please review for instructions on registering to speak during the hearing. Fort Lincoln B8/B9 service is being cut prior to the construction of nearly 300 new apartments and townhomes in addition to a shopping center and access to key senior services. The current route does not properly service the community, for starters the nearest bus route is more than 1000′ from my home. This is a premature action that we must strategically oppose from happening.
Click The Link below for the September 17, 2015 Hearing Notice.
The previous B8/B9 revision above capitalized on upcoming development, however the new route is completely cancelled, disregarding the lack of service already to this community. Nothing has been done to improve the service given the recent residential development until May of this year through the Single Member District and now it’s slated to be cut to provide service where bus service is already coupled with either metrorail, current bus service, street car, bicycle infrastructure and more walkable communities. This is an injustice to residents given that, again, no enhancements to the service has been made to improve it before cutting it. Not all decisions can be made by just looking at the numbers.
Cutting the service undermines the current increase in density currently under construction in Fort Lincoln, as well as the ability for residents especially seniors from getting access to basic services given the changes in local retail. The Shops at Dakota Crossing once featured a Target & Shoppers Food Warehouse however, given changes in market conditions is now a Lowe’s & Dick’s Sporting Goods. Cancelling the B8/B9 will now take away the nearest grocery and pharmacy option which is in Colmar Manor, Maryland, I might add, for those most at risk. Costco is a members only, wholesale distributor and should be confused with or compared to a grocery store. Not everyone can pay $13.00 minimum per item or have the ability to waste food due to over-sized quantities expiring.
Given the shear number of upcoming residential/retail developments, also with inaccessibility to major entertainment venues already in place, more emphasis should have gone towards, enhancing the service versus cutting it. Be sure to attend the hearing and reach out to City Council to prevent this from happening.
For those of you who have been following my blog since 2013, you know how passionate I am about the lack of safe pedestrian connections from Fort Lincoln/Gateway to the rest of the city. We also know that it’s not just a Fort Lincoln/Gateway issue but affects surrounding neighborhoods such as Woodridge, Brentwood & Langdon. A year and a few months later, you have elected me as your ANC Commissioner and now we have the opportunity to push for the immediate connection of our rapidly developing communities to safe, pedestrian friendly, Walking & Biking Trails.
In our last ANC 5C Meeting, I introduced a resolution that would give the residents of the Gateway Neighborhoods of Ward 5 the opportunity to have a walking & biking connection to Kenilworth Segment of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. This connection is vital to making the rapidly developing, car-centric community (including NY Ave.) , safely accessible to the rest of the city by alternate means of travel. With over 300 new young families in Fort Lincoln alone, this connection will provide multi-modal options for residents who could safely bike or walk to work, provide recreational opportunities to the river, and bridges the transportation gap between the Washington Gateway neighborhoods in an environmentally friendly manner. This connection is also aligned with the MoveDC Multimodal Transportation Plan.
In addition, the funding to making this connection a reality would be minimal because:
1. The right-of-way is already leveled and will require minor cost to configure into a walking biking trail.
2. The right-of-way travels along power poles which will minimize excavation cost for safe lighting of the trail.
3. The bridge across the Anacostia River, the most significant cost , is eliminated by placing barriers along the shoulder of the Rt. 50 overpass, similar to the 14th street bridge. This can be accomplished for only a fraction of the cost.
This resolution passed unanimously by the ANC 5C Commission and was enthusiastically received by the Developer of Fort Lincoln. We need your help to make this a reality by contacting DDOT and letting them know that it’s time to #maketheconnection!
Our first Single Member District Meeting is coming soon. Find out where you fit in and where you can help out.
If you are a interested in making a difference, have leadership experience, a specific skill or resources that can benefit the residents of Fort Lincoln, or would just like to see your idea come to life, please email me at
email@example.com or call at 202-750-1ANC.
I want to hear from you!
Disclaimer- Skills and resources are limited and subject to applicable laws governing the ANC. Just to be clear.
The Washington Business Journal reports that the Hecht Warehouse District is expanding. This development is shaping up to be a Washington Gateway landmark destination. Below are some progress photos compared to renderings of what’s to come. Click the link for the full story. – WBJ ( Click This Link)