Tag Archives: New York Avenue

Traffic! Traffic! Traffic! – Quick Recap of the Special ANC 5C Meeting this past Saturday

Saturday’s meeting was rife with speculation over potential and current traffic issues and at a some points over-shadowed the purpose of the meeting which was to vote on two variances:
1.  A loading Dock variance on two of the apartment buildings that would prevent semi-tractor trailer trucks from using them.
2. The variance to go from one record lot to multiple theoretical lots for individual townhomes.

The traffic issue became the main point of contention, as it should have, because it effects the way residents are able to get in and around the neighborhood.  I think it shows a failure on our governing officials behalf for waiting until after everything is built to make concessions and file for warrant studies.  This approach will only produce duck-tape results.   Moreover, the solution for addressing and coordinating these issues, which involves a meeting of about 100 angry residents and DDOT, in two weeks is still the wrong answer.  In fact, the scheduled meeting was an appearnt impulse move to calm residents by our ANC Commissioner.  I’m sure this isn’t the first time he has heard complaints regarding traffic. The developer in turn became the target for years of bad planning by city Officials, however, by the end of the meeting there was overwhelming support of the proposed variances through one of the most questionable voting tactics ever witnessed for a public meeting… (More to follow in a separate post regarding the ANC)

Back to the recap, the following is a summary of the meeting :

Development Density

The Developer is only building 20% of the allowable density for this development site.  This includes:

A.  260 apartment units with 284 Garage Parking Spaces and 36 Street Parking Spaces

B. 103 garage townhomes with driveways and 45 Street parking Spaces

Affordable Housing

48 of the apartment units will be set aside for affordable Housing (24 @ 50% of AMI and 24 @80%AMI) AMI stands for Area Median Income click the following link for more information regading AMI for affordable housing.  Click This Link for AMI for DC  All other units will be market rate.

Bob King, current ANC Commissioner wants to increase the number of affordable units to 27 and as the meeting was adjourned, and attendees started to exit, voted to petition the City Council for those 27 as well as more along new York Ave. as it develops.  No residents voted on the measure.  However, that vote shouldn’t effect this development, because it is on Federal Urban Renewal land not land owned y the city.   The push for more affordable housing which ultimately came from Councilman McDuffie is for development on city owner land.

Traffic

To the dismay of many residents Hurston Lane will be the main connector road between the new development, The Villages, and the retail.  Traffic Calming measures will need to be in place to discourage cut-through traffic, speeding cars, retail volume as well as other issues.  There is a meeting planned in two weeks to address this.  Also residents in the Petersburg noted that traffic along Ft. Lincoln drive blocks them in. ( More to follow on this… )

Other Future Development

Premium Distributors is looking to expand.  This needs to be analyzed prior to approval to ensure traffic is taken into consideration.

Besides City Homes at Fort Lincoln and the Banneker Townhomes, this will be the final residential development.

Shops at Dakota Crossing

In a separate meeting with the Developer last week, we had a more in-depth discussion regarding the entire Development and I received the following clarifications:

1. The revised layout shown in the BZA Application for the shops was in error.  The layout will remain as previously shown ( Costco on one side and the other retail on the other). See below.

retail2

2. The Contract for Lowes has been signed and the building permit issued.  Construction will start whenever it starts, I will no longer post dates or times for the start of this development. When it happens I’ll take a photo and post it.

3. Eastern Ave. is only shown as a right-of-way easement, there are no plans to open Eastern ave. along the cemetery.

After witnessing the chaos in the meeting regarding traffic, its no wonder the city hasn’t done anything to fix the traffic problems. I doubt if they have ever received a document clearly outlining what the traffic issues are, a plan on how resolve them and follow up from the ANC or anyone on its progress.  If our ANC Commissioner needs to have a community meeting in 2014 after almost 10 years of planning prior to Saturday, what exactly is he doing?  We need an effective leader who is concise, forward thinking, inclusive, has a clear vision for Fort Lincoln and a plan to execute that vision.  Moreover we need a leader who understands what the needs of the residents of Fort Lincoln are and will work to address them effectively.   Until we have that nothing is going to change and that’s no dig at anyone, it’s just the plain truth.

 

 

 

Dog Park At Fort Lincoln

 

BANDIT
Photo by RL3, Bandit waiting enthusiastically for a dog park.

 

So I reached out to Bob King, ANC Commissioner, to get the history on the Dog Park at Fort Lincoln Park and the information was not favorable.  I was informed that when this idea was proposed back in the early 2000’s, The Department of Parks and Recreation did not want to build a Dog park in Fort Lincoln because it would set a bad precedent for neighborhood specific Dog Parks throughout the city.   The compromise was to build a more centralized dog park in Langdon Park instead. So in 2011 the Dog park at Langdon park was opened to service the entire area.  It’s located 5 minutes from the Villages @ Dakota Crossing Driving, about 20-30 walking minutes.

Click Here For Langdon Dog Park Info

My opinion is that this is absurd and is reminiscent of the crooked DC politics of old ( They two councilmen who were against dog parks are now in prison). Demand for a dog park should be what drives the creation of one.   Mr. King stated that if we really want the park then he needs to see the interests. So if you are interested in getting signatures from not only your Community Cluster but from others in Fort Lincoln please let me know.  I would love a dog park but will not go into this fight alone ( I can easily just walk to Langdon park LOL ).

 

Bike Tour of New York Ave. AbandonedTrain Rails

Jim Brown, Manager of Trail Development - Rails To Trails Conservancy 10/25/13
Jim Brown, Manager of Trail Development – Rails To Trails Conservancy 10/25/13
Last Friday, I had the great opportunity of reviewing the abandoned rail lines along New York Ave. with Jim Brown, Manager of Trail Development, with the Rails To Trails Conservancy. During the Bike Tour, we looked at the possibility of safely connecting Fort Lincoln and the surrounding community from the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail to the NoMa Gallaudet Train Station with access to new development along NY Avenue. We also discussed pedestrian safety and the need to get Cycling Groups and Community Advocacy Groups involved. While this is in its infancy, I am excited to finally get a chance to express these ideas to the People who can help make it a reality.

The next step in the process is to determine who owns what property and to determine if they are willing to give easements for the Bike Trails. Luckily that’s what Jim specializes in. As for me, I will develop a strategic campaign to get the word out and to let City Officials know that this is something the community wants and for them make it a reality! If you would like to volunteer, give advice or just help out, please email me @ robertlooper3@gmail.com and let me know at what capacity you would like to help. I will post more specifics in the coming days on what the plan is, as well as some graphics to better illustrate what’s being proposed.

I’ll keep you posted.