Friday Question of the Day

Parking Lot at St. Mary’s Church, originally uploaded by Kyle Walton.

Thanks to a reader for sending the following update about the New Hampshire Ave beautification project.

“As a result of a unanimous vote last night, ANC 4C will be sending a letter to DDOT asking that the block of NH Avenue NW between Randolph and Shepherd be maintained without a traffic island, allowing First Baptist congregants to continue parking in the middle of the street during Sunday and special services. As part of traffic-calming measures, DDOT has already started the installation of traffic islands that will contain trees and other plantings on New Hampshire Avenue NW between Sherman Avenue NW and Grant Circle.”

There was also a bit of discussion on this topic over at Petworth News.

So the Friday question of the Day is: If a Church has been here for many years and has come to count on parking in the middle of the street on Sunday, then is it fair to create a beautification project that removes this parking? Personally, I’m very conflicted on this issue so I’ll be interested to hear what you guys think.

144 Comment

  • Ugh, I am very annoyed to hear this. I do not see why some churches get special parking privileges and would have much preferred the planted median. I go to church in Columbia Heights and just park on the street, legally, as everyone else has to do–we don’t get any special treatment. It’s not like the median would prevent that many cars from parking, anyway…a waste to change the plans just so 10 cars can park there for a couple hours every Sunday morning.

  • I agree. I was just saying to my wife as we drove through there last weekend that I couldn’t wait for the new median to be put in so they couldn’t park there.

  • Not only would such an exception be inappropriate, but it might even fail to pass constitutional muster. Government policy should not favor a church over a secular business — if there was a supermarket there that asked for the same privilege, would we even be discussing it? No way. I can’t believe the ANC voted unanimously on this. If there is inadequate parking, the church needs to acquire more parking, rent parking nearby on Sundays and shuttle people in, bus folks to services, or find some other solution, just like any secular enterprise.

  • I also agree. The church is just one voice of many in a largely residential neighborhood. Why should the church’s desires trump the neighborhood’s majority opinion (I assume) to have the planted median. I have a problem with a non-taxpaying- entity (whose members live outside our neighborhood) trying to dictate what our neighborhood looks like.

    Besides, did this church object to the new median when the draft plans for the beautification project were cicurculated by DDOT? If not, why the objections now?

  • This turns me off to church and the stupid Anc

  • The churchgoers should receive no special privileges.
    Let them take the Metro, or walk to a church in their own neighborhood.

  • The Randolph to Shepherd St block also happens to be the longest block on NH/ Sherman.

  • so what can we do to stop the special treatment? something besides bitch to each other on pop, or email muriel bowsers blackberry…

  • anyone know who at ddot we should be contacting?

  • This is bullshit. The fact that they already use the median for parking is bullshit, and that the ANC is going to cater to a bunch of lazy people who can’t use the metro or park a few blocks away and walk is bullshit. bullshit bullshit bullshit.

    Tell me who to complain to and I am so there!

  • I’m going to have to chime in and agree with the others and say that DDOT clearly should do what’s best for everyone and not what the church needs for a couple hours a week. How does the ANC not see it that way?

  • The ANC did it make them fix it

  • First of all. why do people still go to church. Thought we as a species were ready to put this religious mumbo jumbo in our past. Sheesh. wake up people. That being said my grandfather always used to tell me about this Chicken Farm near his house in PA. A few developers had put up some tacky housing developments around it. Bunch of people moved in. Then started complaining about the smell of chicken poo and tried to sue. Farmer won because he was there first and the residents knew this when they moved in. Im guessing the Church and the people parking in the median were there long before the Chai Latte Crowd showed up. That being said my over all hatred for religion and love of trees puts my vote squarly for the new median.

  • That argument being said, did the laws that parking illegally come before or after the people started parking on the median for church?

  • How many of the parishoners/ parkers are from DC? Check the license plates – I bet there a plenty from Maryland, who don’t pay a cent of taxes to DC, but get special permission to park illegally on a DC street. WTF?

  • I see and agree with the view that a nice median is the way to go here. BUT. This sort of thing is exactly what causes rifts in gentrifying neighborhoods. you have the old school being marginalized while the yuppies suit out the neighborhood to their needs to maximize their property values and bring in retail that the original inhabitants can’t even afford etc. That being said Im sure most of the people drving in and parking illegaly are not residents anyway. But instead of forming an angry mob why not reach out to them and examine alternatives. And maybe ATTEND an ANC meetings in the future.

  • i think we can do this without attacking religion here, as some of us still subscribe on some level to the mumbo jumbo. this isnt christian vs. non-christian…

  • Arrgghh… I guess I should go to the ANC meetings.. I mean.. unanimously? REALLY? Oh man… So, yes, whom can I email in DDOT to make an oppositive view heard?

    The church should rent a minibus every Sunday for those who cannot walk to the church.. Might do many folks good anyway to move a bit their body and not just the sould..

  • Anonymous at 9:26 has it exactly. The number of Maryland plates in the center median on Sunday well outnumbers DC plates. These $30-$50K cars belong to people who long ago abandoned Petworth for the Maryland suburbs. But they continue to inflict their opinions (through the political might of their tax-exempt church) on the rest of us. Not only should they not be allowed special parking rights, they should have to PAY for the privilege to park anywhere in DC.

    Fifty years on some people still love to speak ill of those narrow-minded, bigoted working-class whites who fled Petworth, but they have no problem taking marching orders from middle-class blacks who left just as quick when they found PG County more “hospitable” and now only concern themselves with DC on Sunday morning or whenever it suits them.

  • I have been closely involved with DDOT and this intersection/median project since 2002 after a child was killed in the GA/NH intersection. I, with a few others, have worked very hard to convince DDOT that this is a worthwhile project.

    While parking in the median is illegal, the major reason for having these medians installed is safety. There are numerous studies that show that medians are a great way of traffic calming. I suggest that the ANC please do a little research before making this closed minded decision. There are countless other benefits, but for the ANC to vote for illegal parking over safety is shameful. 365 days of safer streets far outweighs the value of 52 days per year of illegal parking.

  • I can’t believe people are more upset about this than a mcdonalds coming to Mount Pleasant Street. That news really broke my heart. I think the answer here is to A) Bomb the shit out of the mcdonalds if it opens with red paint balloons. and then B) head over to the Garden District, pick us up some trees and go plant them in the median strip by the church. Who is with me? anyone? nobody? fine you guys suck

  • GforGood – i think Joe Martin would know….anyone know how to best get in contact with him?

  • In addition to all the previously stated concerns, I’d be worried that when that area was not being used for parking (which would be 99% of the time), people would try to use the open space for U-turns and pedestrians would use it to cross. This seems especially likely given the fact that cars are constantly circulating to pick up passengers at the metro.
    It seems like there needs to be a traffic study or something to look at the potential impact of this on traffic and pedestrian flow around the subway station.

  • What I never understood is why anyone whould drive to the church instead of just walking to their neighbourhood church? What’s so special about the church 30 miles away? Isn’t the service just about the same?

  • whiners ! one day a week for christs sake…literally why dont you all walk to brunch? sure some people have moved away ect. they get together in faith, brotherhood and sisterhood, see old friends ect. god bless em cause it aint happening on this blog

  • I think its clear the ANC does not really value or wish to hear our opinions when they schedule meetings when most people cannot attend, like yesterday’s meeting that took place from 1-3pm. Who do they expect to come to that?

  • Nation of whiners 🙂

  • Thor, well, one would think at least the particular version of god should be the same right, as long as one goes to the same brand church? 😉 The service, i.e. the entertainment value (ok, that was a bit harsh), might be a little different with a particularly charmin priest or somenthing. But I suspect the main reason is just socializing with the old buddies.

  • Exactly Anon 10:10am, one day out of the week and it is going to effect us all in ways we don’t agree with. WE the residents of the area vs the out of towners who park on the median. Because they park there ONE DAY OUT OF AN ENTIRE WEEK our beautification/safety project has been altered in favor of your little ONE DAY OUT OF THE WEEK. To call us whiners over something we saw as a positive change that looks like it will now not happen is rediculous!

  • Anonymous @ 10:10 am –

    “one day a week for christs sake” versus

    1) Illegality
    2) Safety
    3) Beautification
    4) Precedent

  • Anonymous 10:10: no, its six days a week without a median.

    Btw, a compromise (I hate them.. lol) would be to build a “parking median” of some kind. Something that would help improve safety but let people park on Sundays ONLY. Hmm.. scratch that idea, I don’t want to compromise in this case at all.

  • maybe pop can take a picture of you guys checking plates caption? oh yeah “neighbors of the day”

  • Anon 10:10am – I do walk to brunch and if I do drive I park legally. I have no problems with people coming to DC to worship, fellowship, etc. I do have a problem with these same people illegally parking on Sundays and also attempting to deter roadway projects that will benefit the neighborhood as a whole. I live here 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, while the congregants only visit once a week for a couple of hours. I don’t think they should be dictating what DDOT or what our neighborhood wants. Let the ANC write their letter, but it will be far outshadowed by the e-mails that are going to flood Ms. Cook’s and Mr. Khalid’s inboxes.

  • The black churches have failed the black community. They are nothing short of leeches. Crime and violence has ravaged the black community. Yet, they show little attention to it. They are more focused on parking, running restaurants, and building huge shrines to themselves. Much of our insane liquor laws are due to the churches and their members lobbying to limit miquor micenses and keep liquor stores closed on Sundays.

    Every once in a while they will feed the homeless once a week or so. I am so sick of these leeches in our community wanting the law to cater to them. But no worry, as gentrification progresses, many of these black churches will be moving closer to their customers in PG County.

  • How about the enviromental impact? How much CO2 are these cars emitting driving in and out of DC? Instead, if we had trees there, they would take CO2 out of the atmosphere. (I guess i’m being too much of a tree hugger here).

  • I concur with the sentiments and will send the e-mails. We need to build community, and the church should welcome the opportunity to build its congregation from the local community it is helping to build.

  • Kalia, the ANC 4C meetings are once a month starting at 6:30pm. Not sure what afternoon meeting you’re referring to, but it must have been an exception.

  • “socializin with old buddies “they are lucky to have them. may be joy isn’t the median of your choice but celebrating the fact that people return to see old friends is. i hope years from now old friends of yours will travel many miles or just a few to spend time with you. if i’m still around and my chevy off the blocks two small cars are welcome in the front yard unless of course, you bus them in in a mini van. hugs

  • Anon 10:10: Is it illegal to get together and say “hallelujah” in Maryland? If these folks still long for a connection to Petworth why not contribute something, in the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood, instead of rolling in like huns every Sunday morning and then getting out just as fast as they can to go spend their money back in their pretty suburbs? Why should people that pay taxes here, who run businesses here, or who LIVE here have to bow to their demands?

    Like I commented on an earlier message, can you imagine what the response would be if that AME church on Grant Circle was still a synagogue and there were suburban jewish folks from out in Montgomery County trying to dictate what happened in Petworth years after they had abandoned the city?

    There would be no ill-reasoned talk about “brotherhood or sisterhood,” “getting together in faith,” or “seeing old chavarim”… nor would anyone DARE call reasonable objections “whining” on the part of local taxpayers. There would only be a lot of angry people demanding that the city stop catering to people who don’t live here.

    I don’t think it’s too damn much to ask people who don’t even live here to follow the damn law.

  • @Anonymous 9:38 am: Perhaps those Churchgoers who are trying to use the ANC to get their way should have, I don’t know attended the public meetings or commented during the comment period for the beautification project. Before you tell us all to attend an ANC meeting, perhaps you should tell the churchgoers to follow the correct procedures for something which is to object before the project starts.

    @oliveskinnednica: I’d add a number 5 to your list: “The environment.” I mean, we’re talking about a church that is 2 freaking blocks from a Metro station. If you’re driving in from MD, drive to a Green Line metro station and metro the couple stops. Save gas money. Reduce carbon emissions. Oh, and let’s not forget that planting greenery is good for the environment too.

  • Anon 10:43, so you are seriously arguing that driving 30 miles to your church is because the god is different there, and not about the atmosphere and the buddies? that was my point. not that they should socialize and that its not great that they . yes, I do have buddies that actually travel accross the globe to see me – and I do the same in return. but I don’t park illegally when I do, nor do I let them park illegally when they do. hugs and kisses.

  • Ironic in a way that NH used to have a tree-lined median before the Metro came along. As I’ve been told, people’s front yards were deeper as well, before being lopped off when the road was widened up to Grant Circle.

  • I’ve sent emails to Cook and Khalid, also sent an email to Bowser. Told them I hope their leadership on this issue will make the ANC 4C’s extraordinarily unfortunate decision a non-issue.

  • I agree with those who suggest a mini-bus or some other form of transportation. The whole issue of parking exceptions for “Christians” on Sundays has always bugged me. And now to hear that the parking concerns of “Christians” are more important that the public safety of everyone is just madding. Thanks matt91 for the contacts, hope others will contact them as well to voice concerns.

    I also don’t think it is too much to ask “Christians” to follow the law either!

  • WWJD? He’d take metro!

  • i believe that the words brotherhood sisterhood could and do apply to jews catholics muslims ect. i dont care what faith is parking on sunday or sat in the case of our fellow chavarim nor do i care if they come from md pg or other areas of d.c. wwhen it’s easy to give some one a break just do i.t let people park near their house of faith.

  • I am of the belief that you are required to attend a church in your neighborhood so that you affect your local community. The Catholics call this the Parish system. To drive miles to a church every sunday is HIGHLY controversial and pretty much a fringe belief that exists in the USA only.

    seriously, parishes, read about how that works.

  • And he said: “Let them that travel into Petworth park legally, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.”

    Crazy: you still aren’t making any case for why the people going to church get to break the law and stop the city from making the street safer and better looking. What it boils down not to their being able to worship at the church of their choosing, but to their convienince.

    I say if you can’t ride the train or park two blocks away from church you must hate Jesus.

  • Unfortunately, DDOT cannot ignore an ANC resolution, the only way to get the median in is to get the ANC to change their mind. I suggest a petition from ANC 4C residents to Mr. Martin.

  • Can the Second Amendment people with guns come out and fight for the First Amendment’s not favoring any religion?

  • ANC 4C did not have a meeting yesterday afternoon. Not sure what that comment was about.

    ANC 4C meetings are broadly publicized in print and electronic media. The meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month starting at 6:30 pm until about 8:45 pm at 801 Shepherd Street NW. Our agendas are just about always printed on the internet and in the Northwest Current. The Northwest Current always covers out meetings (the version distributed in about half of Ward 4) and occasinally DC North and the City Paper cover ANC 4C.

    I welcome constructive comments. Email me at: [email protected]

    FYI, there are four ANCs in Ward 4. ANC 4C has ten Commissioners and we each represent about 2,000 people. (Do you know your Commissioner?)

    In general, we need more people to be involved and to maintain a commitment — and it is a commitment — to work in several areas: economic development, land use issues, public safety and neighborhood clean-ups and beautification projects.

    By the way, there were several people at our meeting from the immediate neighborhood around First Baptist because we had the traffic-island issue and Sweet Mango’s public space permit application on the agenda. All the residents favored the decision we made. I asked for a show of hands for either this question or the Sweet Mango outdoor cafe question or both. I don’t recall off the top of my head. In any case, no one spoke out against what we were doing.

    As anyone who comes to our meetings knows, I am extremely fair as a chair and allow everyone to speak and often ask for the read of the room on issues. Officially the meetings are meetings of the Commission and not town halls, but, as chair, I tend to keep things very informal, moving issues along, but routinely consult residents for their thoughts, ask where in the neighborhood they’re from and make sure they get introduced to their own Commissioner if they do not know him or her. I routinely, actively encourage involvement.

    We had a lengthy discussion of the traffic-island issue for the seond month in a row. The Commissioner for the area, Timothy Jones, in fact, opposed ALL public safety improvements (traffic islands and bulb outs) last year, and on Tuesday Jones asked us to consider a resolution to halt the installation of traffic islands and bulb outs on NH and to reverse our previous endorsement of DDOT’s traffic-calming, pedestrian-safety plans. We opposed Jones’ hope to reverse our previous position.

    DDOT came to two ANC 4C meetings in a row to discuss the pedestrian safety plans for New Hampshire last year. There have plenty of public opportunities for residents to provide input.

    It’s helpful when residents find out who represents them on the various ANCs and provides input to their own Commissioner and to us as a group. We have a community comment period at every ANC meeting.

    If you are interested in running for ANC, go to the Board of Elections website for more information: The elections are this November.

    It’s easy to vent on a listserv, so easy. I welcome sustained commitment for workable solutions that are sensitive to everyone in the neighborhood, and I emphasize the words “sustained commitment that are sensitive to everyone in the neighborhood.”

    First Baptist and their congregants are among our friends and neighbors. Let’s not forget that. One previous Commissioner who passed away was a member of First Baptist as is Commissioner Timothy Jones. As I wrote previously, I know many church members in my immediate neighborhood including many who are very old seniors. They matter, too.

    I also want to state for the record that the Church did not ask us to act as the ANC did.

    There will be other issues emerging pertaining to DDOT plans for Georgia Avenue and Upshur Street. Please watch for notices of meetings about.

    There is a community group nicknamed U.N.T.S. that meets monthly except during the summer at Petworth Methodist in Grant Circle that deals with issues in the area around that part of Upshur, New Hampshire. Taylor and Shepherd (hence UNTS). There used to be a Petworth Neighborhood Association or Petworth Civic Association that died out some years back. Consider forming your own group even if it’s a block club.

    There are more than enough opportunities to help. The numer of people who want to show up and do the work tends to be few and far between. We need your constructive involvement.

    I took time off from my day job to attend to family matters. Allow me to return to that.

  • Since this is an ANC matter, I would prefer that emails be sent to [email protected]

    Consider joining my Yahoo Group. I tend to post a lot there about neighborhood and ANC issues:

    In fact, once you join, go the “Files” section and download a PDF file about the New Hampshire Avenue DDOT pedestrian safety plans. If you do not want to stay on the Group, you can then cancel your “membership (free).” Yahoo requires you to join to access the files folder (but not to read postings).

    My personal cell is 202-309-1817. Thanks.


  • If the church can stop the development for people to park there for one day a week, why not let sweet mango know about this? Sweet Mango has been losing tons of business due to people not being able to illegally park in the median directly in front of the building! Remarkably, Sweet Mango (and other establishments along NH and Sherman) have been able to continue to operate. Why, you ask? Well, people who don’t live within walking distance to the establishements have to, are you ready for this?…..find a parking spot in the area!

    If the ANC supports the wishes of the church establishment, we may as well get rid of all medians and trees in the city to allow for patrons to go to their favorite restaurants, convenience stores, and yes, churches, without having to break any laws. Heck, why not go one step further and allow anyone, anywhere, to just park wherever they please 🙂

  • Yet another fine example of the tyranny of an ignorant, distant majority upon the lives of residents.
    Bravo, church-goers, bra-vo. Your fairy tales are more important than the actual lives of people, once again.

  • I rather have them park on the median and not on my space. Yes, before you say, the do that anyway, by the time I wake up on a Sunday morning, they are gone.
    Protecting the environment is important, however a tree-lined median is not the only solution.
    Even if instead of a church, let’s say a farmer’s market was there, I’d still prefer to leave things as they are.
    There’s always room for everyone as long as we play nice. Your Mom was and is right.

  • Dear Play Nice, if they are gone by the time you wake up, it is likely your car was already in its space, right?

  • I appreciate that residents can’t always attend ANC meetings. Feel free to contact me or your own commissioner directly about any issues.

    202-309-1817 cell
    [email protected]

    Commissioner address on our site:

    As an aside, we need help with the site. Webmasters welcome. One of our many tasks is to make the more appealing and user friendly with all commissioners’ contact info. Commissionerships are volunteer positions. For a while this past year, we issued a monthly newsletter that went to every home in all ten districts in our ANC. I would like to see that start up again. There’s always much to be done.

    Back to the issue at hand:

    Let’s say you were there Tuesday night. What alternatives would you suggest? Shaw/Logan have angled parking some permanent (11th Street near R), some just on Sundays (9th Street NW north of P). Your transportation-planning best thoughts, please.



  • Joe (and everyone else) – the afternoon meeting being discussed is probably the one about the AFRH development. And no, that is NOT an ANC meeting.

  • Well first, as a transportation-planning proposal I would suggest that whatever it is, it be legal and not just a bunch of cars parking on the median because they feel entitled to do so. Second, it is the city, everyone here knows parking is limited, which is why we have the metro bus and rail system. This church happens to be extremely close to the metro and if the DDOT’s plan goes through, will be a much nicer walk from the metro to the church. Carpooling and ride sharing are also good ideas for places that people regulary attend with limited parking, perhaps the church can promote this idea during one of their regularly scheduled sunday meetings. I don’t think any parking places should be added by the city for this church unless it also wants to do it for all the other local businesses that actually contribute revenue to DC or the church gives up its tax exempt status.

  • Saf and everyone else, ANC included, that was my bad. I apologize. But I stand firmly that the ANC’s decision should be overturned.

  • Oh, now I feel foolish! I see that it is all our fault (by “our” I mean all of us “whiners” who apparently hate old people and christians from Maryland).

    It’s our fault for not attending ANC meetings, held every odd-numbered Thursday night, when the moon is three-quarters full, in the basement of a randomly selected rowhouse — you need only speak the secret password and knock three times while you do the hokie-pokie to gain entrance. We also have failed to subscribe to the ANC Super-de-Duper Webletter. I knew I should have subscribed, but those e-mails from Nigeria promised me riches, and I am concerned also about male enhancement. I’m very busy.

    But let’s face facts, we are generally bad neighbors and probably bad people too, especially since we have dared to suggest that it is asinine to continue to provide free parking in the middle of a city street for people to deposit their $50K Lexuses when they come in from Maryland to get their church on — all because they are apparently too “spiritual” to find a parking space like everyone else in this entire city — including people who still actually LIVE and PAY TAXES in the city.

    Silly me. I *foolishly* thought that our elected officials were thusly anointed by popular vote to reasonably resolve such issues and keep in mind what makes the most sense for the neighborhood. That’s what School House Rock taught me. I thought we elected Joe and his cadre of fellow ANCers to handle this stuff for us — I mean, they said they wanted to do it, right?

    Joe has put me straight. They are apparently there just to take the headcount — so it’s not their fault. If we aren’t going to show up in the meetings, join the garden club, or run for election ourselves what’s an ANC member to do? Certainly not the logical and reasonable thing.

    And as Joe points out, you don’t even know who your commissioner is, you dumbass.

    And should you be under the impression that the church is getting special treatment, put that right out of your head. No sirree, this is not an example of the ANC members taking the path of least resistence rather than face the work involved in pointing out that public safety, the environment, respect for the law, and improvement of the neighborhood are more important than allowing people to continue to flaunt such rules and regulations so they don’t have to be inconvenienced after a hard drive in from PG County.

    After all, old people driving their hulking SUV’s to church are way more holy than old people trying to cross the street without being hit.

    But I’ve learned an important lesson here — I now know you suckers don’t go to these ANC meetings, so’s I’m going to petition to build a huge neon cowboy on my roof next month. With me and the dog there it’ll be two votes to none and you’ll be stuck out! Woo-hoo!

    Isn’t representative democracy great?

    And stop with the comments, will ya? It’s very easy to complain about what might appear to be a complete cave to a powerful church in the face of public safety, lawful behavior, the environment, and the improvement of New Hampshire Avenue — but all you smartypants with snarky comments, just you try and count heads at a sparsely attended meeting — you’ll see it’s not as clear cut as you think.

  • PlayNice,
    So you are basically saying its ok for people to break the law and take what they feel they deserve so long as it does not affect you?

  • First, let me thank Joe Martin for his time and efforts as an ANC commissioner and 4C chair. That said, based on the resounding opposition to this ANC 4C letter and position, I feel it is warranted that ANC 4C revisit this issue before any letter is issued. If there are 10 commissioners and each represents approximately 2,000 people, that is 20,000 total constituents. It is unfortunate that the the “several” constituents that made it to the 4C meeting were assumed to be representation the opinions of the masses. Granted, it was a tough call for the commissioners to make, they can only work with what they have.

    I also concur with Joe’s comments that many of the First Baptist congregants may be our friends and neighbors. However, that does not provide justification for their fellow congregants and non-ANC 4C residents, to essentially be granted special parking privileges (that we don’t have the legal authority to grant anyway); and thus, derail a long-planned street beautification and pedestrian safety project that benefits the entire community, not just a congregation.

    Finally, if Commissioner Timothy Jones is a congregant of First Baptist, he has a clear conflict of interest on this subject matter, and I hope he excused himself from the 4C vote on whether to send the subject opposition letter to DDOT.

  • I just spoke with Mr. Khalid. He explained that they were probably going to honor the ANC’s request. He was going to talk it over with his associates to make the final determination.

    I urge that all of you that oppose or support for that matter, the ANC’s resolution email Mr. Khalid [email protected] and voice your opinions. This is important and illegal church parking should not be driving this decision!

  • Ward 4 has the largest number of seniors per capita of any ward, I’m told. I know seniors who belong to neighborhood churches who carpool and who cannot walk to their churches. They do not have the physical ability to walk very far. I know seniors whose children live in Maryland who, in turn, may drive them in to take their parents to church, to shop. There are any number of possibilities. Keep this is mind.

    In the end, we need to think of a practical solution, and that’s all we were looking for. Creative solutions will move this forward.

  • Joe, to directly answer your question “What alternatives would [I] suggest?”: the congregation at the church should have to obey the same laws as everyone else.

    It’s a very simple concept, hence the complete exasperation at your answers.

  • How about a bus stop in front of the church then?

  • [Grrr.. I wrote a longer version of this but was told by the stupid machine I am posting to quickly and I should slow down and lost it.]

    Joe, possible solution to ponder: elevated median paved with bricks on top that let grass grow through holes on them. Some trees should fit in too. Parking would be allowed on it during Sunday service only. Improved safety as it would separate the lanes and make crossing for pedestrians easier. Parking could still continue at least in limited numbers. Some greenery would go in. Reasonable compromise? Added bonus: those SUVs mentioned earlier could finally get their tyres on some dirt.

    Again, I do think that the church should not be given this special treatment, but since you asked for ideas…

  • Joe – Did anyone at the ANC meeting suggest parking diagonally like the church downtown on 9th Street? Not a great solution, but much better than eliminating a block of medians.

  • In talking with a colleague, he noted that he has seen ‘mounded’ medians that provide the same pedestrian protection, and can support trees, but which can also accomodate limited parking that may be permitted for single days (he had seen Sunday/church-only signs lining these medians). Not sure if the width of the street/median would accomodate that, but it is a compromise option. I tried searching for examples on the web, but haven’t found any. He said he had seen them in either Cape Cod or Sea Island (??).

    I would suspect that the transportation planners at DDOT would be able to find and design such accomodations.

    This does not mean I take any position on this – just trying to help what appears to be a bona fide effort on Joe Martin’s part to seek compromise. Half way is often better than ‘losing’ entirely – which seems possible, based on the geep’s post of Mr. Khalid’s comments.

    From what it sounds, authorizing double parking in this area would likely lead non-church going residents to get boxed in, so that’s not a acceptable option. Another possibility would be to permit parking at a local parking lot for the church goers, with a shuttle to-from the lot to the church. Perhaps one of the closing school lots would be proximate enough.

  • joe,

    what about making a good portion of the street parking in front of the church handicap parking only on sundays? then the seniors wouldnt have to worry, as long as they had the tags

  • Good suggestions. I have no doubt DDOT will be looking at every conceivable solution. And to the point that we were ONLY responding to the people in the meeting, each of us is aware of the concerns of the range of people in our districts. I very much had in mind the thoughts of lots of people when I deliberated over this issue.

  • You also have four at-large council members who can be involved: Phil Mendelson, , David Catania, Carol Schwartz and Kwame Brown, the last two of which are standing for reelection this year. Now, they can all park wherever they want with impunity (another problem, I think. . .), but let them know the church parking is a neighborhood and city problem.
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

  • The solution is really quite simple. There is enough parking within a block or two of the church to accommodate the 20 or so cars currently parking in the middle of NH Ave on Sundays. The minister of the church needs to ask that his able bodied parishioners park a few of blocks from the church, so the less able bodied parishioners can park in the spaces close to the church. There are enough spaces in the immediate neighborhood around the church for this to work. And don’t be fooled, on any given Sunday, many, if not most of the people parking in the middle of NH Ave are fully capable of walking a few blocks.

  • well I think its a slippery slope to begin allowing illegal activity just because a lot of people all do it regularily. Why not make littering legal. And if we start making exceptions what happens when someone says:

    “Well I want to park there once a week on Tuesdays so I can go to sweet mango because I dont believe in the church nor do I attend or support it, but I do support local business and jerked chicken.”

    How are you going to compromise with that?

  • joe martin, thank you for your hard work, a voice of reason and compassion for all citizens of ward 4. some old traditions ( parking illeaglly on sunday by church goers) are are difficult to grasp. even so i believe they should be addressed with empathy, respect and concern for all involved. the truth and the answers are usually always in the middle. once again, thank you

  • Joe,

    You can’t favor a religious institution in the implementation of a project paid for with public funds. The fact that you’re providing free parking to churchgoers would be akin to providing financial assistance and is unconstitutional. No one else is allowed to park in the median. Therefore, leaving that section of NH Ave without a median serves no secular purpose. I hope DDot recognizes this and acts accordingly. Otherwise, someone is marching into Superior Court in the near future to enjoin the city from leaving that section without a median.

  • I know if I were taking my grandmother to church I certainly wouldn’t make her get out in the middle of New Hampshire Avenue!

  • Why does DDOT have to “look for every conceivable solution” when they already have a plan in place to create new medians? Why can’t people from the church follow the law? Petworth is filled to the brim with old folks who would like to go different places, are we going to allow median parking everywhere? When does it end?

  • Geez – from the way folks are commenting, it would seem that no one has ever parked illegally in their lives. No one ever get a DC parking ticket??? The ne’er do wrong Petworthians?

  • DDOT cannot overturn an ANC resolution and has to give it “great weight” according to municipal law. At this point, only the ANC can withdraw their resolution or Ms. Bowser can tell DDOT she wants that median in.

  • How many churches closer to their home do they past to get to our neighborhood to park illegally? And another thing, if a church tacitly approves of breaking the law and parking illegally, how can they teach others to obey the law?

  • Anon 3:04pm, that is exactly the point, we probably have almost all gotten parking tickets, but yet these people park illegally every sunday and they get nothing. Why should they have any exception which allows them to park illegally? And why should their illegal parking influence us getting our beautiful and safe medians with trees?

  • Anonymous @ 3:04 pm –

    Of course some of us may do that. However, we don’t block safety and beautification projects. That’s the difference friend.

  • “DDOT cannot overturn an ANC resolution and has to give it “great weight” according to municipal law. At this point, only the ANC can withdraw their resolution or Ms. Bowser can tell DDOT she wants that median in.”

    Joe –

    To anonymous’ point above, as ANC commissioner, can you inform us of the process by which we are to hold another vote? Perhaps a petition?

  • Anon: “Tradition”? Really? It’s like saying my people “traditionally” store spare 350 short blocks and front clips from ’67 Firebirds in the front yard (a Texan cultural thing, you wouldn’t understand), so the laws about creating a (super sweet) ’60’s musclecar junk yard in Petworth don’t apply to me. Some “traditions” just aren’t worth respecting. Including parking where you are not supposed to. I understand that parking illegally is rampant in DC, and will be for a long time, but to *change* city proposals to improve the neighborhood and make crossing New Hampshire safer simply to accommodate the “tradition” of parking wherever the heck you want? Why is this so hard to understand?

  • I find it hard to believe that “DDOT cannot overturn an ANC resolution and has to give it “great weight” according to municipal law. ” even when the ANC resolution is intended to endorse an illegal activity.

    How can 1) ANC support something that is clearly illegal 2) not only support it but actively try to stop a public works project to allow it to continue 3) DDOT simply say “ok, what ever ANC says even if its illegal”?????

  • Yeah Joe, Do you think the ANC might want to revisit this before the torches and pitchforks come out? 😉

  • As changes come also to Georgia Avenue, we all might want to consider a model used in Shaw and Logan, a parking task force. It involved residents, merchants, churches and anyone else who wanted to weigh in on the range of parking issues. The group brought about some of the solutions in use there (angled parking, etc.) today.

  • Joe, can you answer my question please? I may have understood it wrong. But if I haven’t, can you explain how ANC can endorse an illegal activity + try to change a public works plan to allow it to continue?

    Thanks in advance! 🙂

  • Oh, live and let live, you whiners. There are exceptions to parking rules made all over the city on Sunday mornings (Look for the “No Parking except 6AM-6PM Sunday” signs). So what if they park on the median — if they’re not blocking other cars from leaving let ’em have their day a week. And maybe everyone else can find something important to get pissed off about, rather than becoming parodies of their yuppie selves.

  • according to the 4C ANC website, the single member district 4C06 is vacant. If you live there, maybe someone reading this can run, it really only takes about a dozen or so votes to get elected because people don’t bother to vote for an ANC, but you represent 2,000 people and the government takes you 2000 times more serious in your requests, that’s the perk of being an ANC.

  • Hey, I grew up in Boston politics, grew up in a tough neighborhood where my father taught the Bulger brothers to play baseball, and I worked for years as a policy staffer for Congressman Barney Frank, a friend who now chairs the House Committee on Financial Services. Tough, demanding, brilliant boss. Very tough, one who did not suffer fools.

    In legislating, one can be best of friends on one issue, and be opposites on another. It’s the nature of the beast.

    I then went onto work with the top tier of Hollywood for years as a location manager (“The West Wing,” “Spy Game,” HBO’s “K Street”, numerous other features and network TV series and producer and on smaller projects (like HBO’s “Mr. Conservative” about Barry Goldwater, for Vanity Fair and Vogue still photo shoots.)

    The Hollywood gang was also tough and demanding, not unlike bloggers, Domku and Looking Glass customers and iPod/iPhone-users.

    Legislating and policy-making are dynamic processes, and it’s been helpful to have input.

    Now, can I ask everyone to use their real names here? Or is that transparency and accountability asking too much?

    What’s good enough for the goose…

    Serious, how about a parking task force? Who’s up for it? Real names required.

    Email me: [email protected]

  • SMD 4C06 is not vacant, but I believe the person who represented that district moved. She showed up at one meeting and year and a half ago. That’s another whole story. I am not a fan of people who get elected and then don’t show up.

    Elections for all of the ANC seats come up this fall. Again:

    Glad to see the interest.

  • irving streete, i wonder if you take the same careless attitude to all issues of legality in the area?… this isnt some stupid matter, like a homeowners association squabble over a house being 2 shades off from the allowed beige… this is something that means a lot to a lot of people, and your pointless comment does nothing but fuel the anger that everyone is feeling over this (everyone but you and the morons that share your ‘live and let live’ view, that is) … why dont you move on to a posting with little relevance to the advancement or our community (garden of the day, perhaps?) and leave these important issues to people who have more than a half assed thought on the matter

  • Joe Martin, I have emailed you separately using my name. I choose not to on a public blog like this. Now, I am not sure if you were trying to answer my question with your bio. I hope not – as impressive as it is. So, please, can you explain how ANC can endorse an illegal activity? OR do the parkers there indeed have an exception such as those mentioned by Irving Streete? OR have I misunderstood – which more than likely of course. 🙂

    Thanks once again in advance.

  • Kalia is my real name. You want the last its Kinser. There you go Joe. Kalia Kinser, and still strongly opposed to the ANC advocating illegal parking for an establishment that doesn’t pay taxes and effects us all.

    and Irving Streete, the argument is less about the parking and more about what giving into these people means. It means that the projected project of the DDOT for beautification and safety is not going to be met. Yes the illegal parking is an issue but it is a sub point to the argument of why we don’t want the ANC to write a letter to the DDOT supporting the illegal parking.

  • Well, Cristobal, you’re surely bringing a thoughtful and adult approach to this discussion – I think your frothing might backfire on you, though, by inadvertently making “live and let live” seem like a more desirable lifestyle choice than bilious ranting. I confess that I do have a somewhat lax attitude towards the brutal scourge felonious church parking. Possibly because no one I know has ever been mugged by a minister, beaten by a deacon or sexually assaulted by a church lady. This is a hardy old discussion — church parking has been discussed many times over the years — sometimes the churches have a point, sometimes they don’t. But rhetoric that likens parking to an invasion of gat-wielding crack-dealers and the wraps itself in self-righteousness just makes real debate and decent solutions impossible.

  • No one has likened this to that. This is about the reconstruction of NH Ave to be a safer and more beautiful place for everyone. But the integrity of the ANC process has also be preserved. That’s were the illegality of the activity they are endorsing becomes relevant.

  • Joe, that’s a very polished non-answer (Barney taught you well), but some of us probably don’t have the thirst for office[*], just a thirst for the truth…

    … and maybe a thirst for some beer (mmmm beer).

    Creating a “compromise” position when the original position is dead wrong is not an answer. Taking a poll at an under-attended ANC meeting or off a unrepresentative blog isn’t effective leadership. There’s a right answer (following the law and common sense) and a wrong answer (bypassing a difficult decision that’s gonna piss off a church full of cranky old folks). Thar ain’t no compromise, that dog just won’t hunt.

    While I’m not surprised the ANC didn’t want to rock the First Baptist boat, telling us there is a “compromise” to be had, or that it needs careful study by a blue ribbon parking committee isn’t the answer.

    I don’t want to be an ANC, it’s clearly a thankless job, but apparently you *do*. As a *small* baby step, perhaps you could suggest that the church follow the law like everyone else in the city. Jus’ saying.

    I also don’t want to be on a parking commission to determine whether the traffic laws ought to apply to everyone in DC, I already have a firm position on the matter: THEY DO.

    [*] folks, don’t forget to write in “Hon. Oden Delacroix Hippolyte Tecumseh Paddington, III” for ANC 4C10 come November. A reform platform that includes fireworks for the youngins, the forceful repatriation of Virginians and Marylanders, and free city-sponsored BBQ’s every week (no North Carolina sauce).

  • I downloaded the election forms for 4C06, and I may put my hat in the ring if I can get the needed 25 signatures. Is anybody else more qualified thinking of running? David

  • I think the real travesty would be if the medians are not install, but at some point in the near future, the city comes to its senses and properly bans this sunday parking all over the city. Then we’ll have no median (and of course no remaining money to have it installed) and no one “benefiting” from the median parking…

  • Do I have a problem with a few churchgoers parking on a flat median strip once a week in order to attend services in the area?
    No, not at all.

    Do I have a problem with the cognizant ANC, one of whose members is also a member of the church in question, going out of their way to urge DDOT to alter an already agreed-upon safety-and-aesthetic transportation improvement plan for the sole purpose of allowing a small group a once-a-week (illegal) parking privilege, thereby depriving the surrounding community of the subject improvement for 7 days a week?
    Big fat YES.

  • Non, amen! 😀 Well put indeed.

  • Irving Streete, Church parking is just a symptom of a “bigger” problem: Sunday hats.

  • David: you go, girl!

    I don’t live in 4C06, but I’ve illegally vote for you as many times as you want.

  • I emailed a bunch of the above listed people to voice my opinion on this matter. I got a nice email response from Anna Chamberlin inviting me to call her to discuss this issue with her. I thought she was extremely nice and helpful. She said the best people to send emails to however are Ms. Bowser and Mr. Khalid.

    Hopefully with all of the opinions voiced today against the ANC’s resolution from yesterday’s meeting the ANC will rethink sending their resolution or will hold another meeting where we can all attend and vote against this. Joe Martin, I understand you work hard to be the voice for us in Ward 4, I hope you will take into account our voices today when you and the rest of the memebers of the ANC decide whether or not to send in yesterday’s resolution.

  • tradititon be respected yes.. the only possible way to reach an aggreable compromise on any issue is to start from a palce of respect..understand that while you dissagree with the illegal parking that goes on on sunday there is a compromise in here somewhere.. church people will have parking , n.h. ave will get the beautification it needs and deserves to quote a 70’s ad “don’t get mad get glad” before i do that myself…whiny whiny babies….

  • It is disrespectful for people to feel they are entitled to break the law when it suits them-very similar to people who feel entitled to litter in public space. Why they do it, because they feel they are above the law for whatever reason. -disrespectful.

  • Slight side note – the commissioner for ANC 4C08, which covers NH/Randolph is Timothy Jones (who does attend First Baptist I’m told, certainly would seem like a conflict of interest). He has a rather impressive record of opposing just about everything, from grants for school-related projects to tree-plantings to road improvements like the NH median. About the tree plantings in the little park south of Grant Circle, I personally heard him ask ‘who’s going to rake the leaves?’. It’s been a problem for years, and under his chairmanship ANC 4C almost became defunct a few years ago. There was a City Paper article about it, probably Google-able.

    Joe Martin and others stepped up and ran and have brought 4C to much more respectable standard. Though Jones is still in there, and while he is now simply outvoted most of the time, he does have a constituency. I ran against him two elections ago and lost pretty decisively. My neighbor Michelle Escumbise ran against him last time and lost narrowly. Maybe third time’s a charm if a new challenger is out there…

  • Bill: Out of curiosity, do you (or does anyone else) know the scoop on Kevin Hummons (4C10)? Has he been on the ANC for a while? What’s he like? Is he involved in the community? Does he like ice cream? Does he dance? Is he a Gemini?

    I ain’t never seen him (but I have seen Joe wandering about).

    You can e-mail me at “[email protected]” if you are afraid of the ANC4C Storm Troopers.

    Maybe I’ll adopt David, move him into my basement, run him against Kev and have my own personal ANC just like a modern day Boss Tweed!

  • kalia stop really the issues with ,church pking all over d.c. are in no way as simple as littering please talk with your neighbors…those who have resided here over 10 yrs or more…maybe your perspective will be a little less harsh and judgmental may be not p.s. any good lawyer will tell you the law isn’t always what it should be hence exceptions and compromise

  • I agree with Bill’s post above. Timothy Jones has indeed opposed just about everything having to do with safety or truly bettering the community. I was a community adviser for the Great Streets project a few years ago and he was there and was full of negativity and no-can-do. I’ve seen people scream at him for denying grants for flower bed replacements. Fresh blood is certainly in order…

    I’m so glad to see so much interest in this project. It’s been a long time coming… 115 posts and counting must be some kind of POP record!

  • Tim Jones initially opposed the tree median because he was concerned that tree roots might grow into the Metro tunnels. I am not joking.

  • great article. I am glad that timothy jones is no longer the chair, but it sounds like he needs to not be re-elected this year. I do not live in his smd or else I would run against him, but I would urge someone else to!! there are plenty of young anc’s through out the city, i believe trinidad and h street have two twenty-somethings as anc.

  • maybe without timothy jones, we could get a resolution to support a liquor license for the Yes! market

  • Re: Yes Market, I’ve heard murmurs of positive movement, fingers crossed. Everyone keep up the pressure via emails etc…

  • … to Muriel Bowser especially… sorry to be OT…

  • The contact form for Marc Fisher of the Washington Post is listed below:

  • Parking wherever you want and putting trash wherever you want does boil down to the same thing…unwarrented self entitlement. It is the same sort of attitude of “I deserve this because the alternatives are too hard, or far away or I don’t like it… etc, therefore I will do what I want and take what I want regardless. I don’t really care that they park there on Sunday, I don’t like it, but whatever, but if it is going to impede something that is good for pretty much everyone to serve the maybe 10 cars that park there for a couple hours out of one day a week it is a problem. I am clearly not the only one who thinks anon or we would not have over 100 comments about this topic.

  • if you dont really care why all the fuss? a compromise can be reached . it has in other areas of d.c. i repeat littering and the parking issue arent the same. im going to rip someone a new one the next time im behind them in the line at wendy’s and they pitch their trash out the car window . totally a different situation than allowing parking in a normally no parking allowed zone to attend their house of worship “for a couple of hours” urban life is genereally about sharing more than most of would like sometimes myself included i forgive my neighbors in frequent rowdy as hell parties they inturn have been understanding of the atomic barking of my dog as he senses me near the door or in the drive give alittle

  • I am not even certain where this thread is going, but I had to chime in regarding Sweet Mango. I would guess 80% of their customers, including on-duty Metro bus drivers double park illegally on NH Avenue every day of the week including Sunday. I don’t think there is any regulating to be had on parking around here. as much as folks might like it. There are signs all up and down NH ave prohibiting parking and everyone does it anyway.

    Then again, perhaps Sweet Mango chicken, qualifies as a religious experience….

  • I have found the conversation to be helpful. Thank you to everyone.

    By the way, we didn’t make our decision based on the small number of people in the room. I certainly didn’t.

    I was and am looking for a way to address the parking issue. We made a decision that may have been not so good in the short run, but I didn’t want to set up a confrontation with Sunday church parkers. If it had been a mosque or synangogue or social club where there was a habit of parking in the middle of the block routinely, I probably would have responded the same way for a short-term solution and looked for a better one in the not too distant future. Maybe angled parking on New Hampshire on Sundays is the answer. Feel free to have a conversation with First Baptist to get their thoughts. Email me your thoughts or send them to DDOT.

    There are a lot of issues we face on the ANC on a regular basis. I can’t speak for how my fellow commissioners come to their votes, but I can speak for myself. I routinely speak to a variety of neighbors, long time and new, and I often ask, in general, what their hopes are for the future. I ask specific questions about a range of things. I read online neighborhood blogs and discussion groups daily.

    In my three plus years as a commisioner, most of us have gladly approved public space permit applications for outdoor cafes. I like to think those add to the quality of life and to public safety, i.e. more eyes on the streets. Most of us have lent support with our votes to the apartment and condo buildings that are being built on Georgia or are still in planning between Upshur and New Hampshire. (In every case, no existing homes or apartments were demolished. No residents displaced. We have dealt with educational issues and public safety/crime issues.)

    ANC 4C has given a small fortune away in grants, last year about $26,000, after previous ANCs spent little, for whatever reason, leaving us with a bundle. Volunteers in the neighborhood worked on a newletter that went to every household in our ten SMDs for a period of time. I wanted to see a different newsletter in time, and I deeply appreciate the tremendous effort of the tiny few who put that newsletter together for free. I am still hoping for a monthly newsletter, one in the form of an insert into the Northwest Current become a reality with others sent by mail.

    I am constantly looking for small businesses to who may want to come our way. I have spoken several times to Gina and Mark, the people who own Logan Hardware and other hardward stores around a time when I learned they were possibly looking on Georgia Avenue for a place to open a garden center. I have asked Andy Shallal, the owner of Busboys and Poets, to consider coming our way. Have known Andy for twenty years. Gary Cha has told me the letters and emails of support from all of us made THE difference in his wanting to open up a Yes! Organic Market in Petworth. Our continued support for him and his store continues to have an impact.

    My apologies for stirring up a little storm, for my wise-guy, inconsequential bit of a bio posted earlier and for my occasional impatience.

    I want, like and appreciate the input. Your voices are always needed.

  • Joe, IF there really is not sufficient parking in the neighborhood (and I think there is) and alternative would be rather than stopping the construction of the median, to allow double-parking on Sundays only on one of the side streets (Shepherd or Randolph). I think that’s what they do for the church across the street from the ROC.

    Personally, I want the planted median and no concessions for church parking (as I have pointed out before, I park legally when I go to my church on 16th St in Columbia Heights which gets no special concessions, and yes we have a lot of elderly churchgoers as well). There have to be some options that allow the median to be planted.

    I also attended the ANC meeting in June because this issue was on the agenda but it was tabled (not discussed) at that meeting. I have attended several of the Great Streets planning meetings and have seen the plans in print many times and have very much been looking forward to these improvements. While I respect the right of the ANC to make a statement on this issue, in fact there has been a long process leading to the decision to make these street improvements that many of us have participated in all along, and I am very disappointed to have them undone at the last meeting.

  • All, if I can get the signatures needed to run, what does everybody think about the slogan “Responsible Development, Responsive Neighbors”? If anybody would like to help, I can be reached at [email protected]. I think it would be a true honor to serve all our wonderful neighbors, and I believe one of the first things would be to increase the information available to the neighborhood, perhaps by helping Joe post things to the internet like police reports, neighborhood police patrol profiles, profiles of our terrific trash guys, links to all our neighborhood schools, etc.

  • David, which SMD do you live/would you be running in?

  • Hello ZetteZelle! I’m in SMD02 4c06.

  • Joe Martin, your normally and ok commissioner but your response is lame. I’m only a block out of your district, but I will be telling my neighbors behind me why this project is halted. The ANC should be ashamed!

  • I am a little curious, I wonder if any of the people who are offended that someone from Maryland or Virginia attends a tax-exempt church in DC ever drive and park in Maryland or Virginia? Should federal taxes paid by people in Maryland and Virginia still go to heavily subsidize the DC government? Go to any shopping mall or grocery store in Virginia and you will see plenty of DC tagged cars going to save a few pennies of sales tax…

  • no, ive never been sexually assaulted by a church lady, irving streete, but i have also never been shot at by the little girl on my street who throws her juice boxes down on the sidewalk every other day… i guess i should ignore the litter since she seems so nice and sweet? if youre going to make the argument that church folk deserve a get out of jail free card just because theyre church folk, then im going to have to start carrying around my certificate of baptism and see what i can get away with…

    this isnt even a discussion on actions anymore, in my humble opinion, but one on principle…so people park the grand scheme of things, i am much more worried about shootings, rape, burglaries, etc. BUT when the officials youve elected into office see fit to not only favor a small minority (where it doesnt ultimately do anything for the greater good), but to favor a blatantly law breaking minority over progress that benefits everyone in the community, thats where i have a problem.

  • Again, I appreciate the productive responses. I will be talking to DDOT again, First Baptist and my fellow commissioners.

    In the end, I didn’t want to see a confrontation with a long standing institution with many neighborhood congregants by the installation of a traffic island without at least working out a parking plan with First Baptist. On that one, I am genuinely interested in hearing from First Baptist.

    I have very much appreciated the input from so many.

    Who is available to help with leg work on this issue and setting aside time for a meeting or two? Please email me.

    If you are ever at any ANC meeting and don’t feel you have had the opportunity to say what you want, please contact your commissioner or me. You can always ask for time on your agenda, if you like. I would like to see us get a better website where people can post as well.

    Keep in mind that there are many, many people in our neighborhoods who are not online. We have to continue to find ways to reach out to them and find out what our non-online neighbors think on a range of issues.

    In my own case, I woud say that no less than 18 times in the three years that I have been on the ANC, I walked a newsletter door-to-door around my entire SMD, 55 sides of blocks, and talked to plenty of people I have never seen at a community meeting, nor walking down the street and who often don’t always use computers. Some do, some don’t; I ask. It’s been invaluable in so many ways.

    Joe Martin
    ANC 4C Chair /SMD 4C09 Commissioner
    202-309-1817 personal cell
    [email protected]

  • Hold on! I went to no less that 4 meetings about these islands and the plan that DDOT was doing was pretty much the result of those meetings. Andrew from the UNC ran most of them and they were well attended. You mean the ANC just decided on their own to overrule that? The churches should have been involved back then, if they weren’t then don’t override what the people decided, tell them they should be involved. Joe Martins response is basicly saying “we’re weak leaders and don’t want to upset anyone”.

  • …and we don’t care about past meetings the neighborhood had, we’re going to override that

  • The amount of misinformation, here and there, is a bit silly.

    “The project is halted.” WRONG. It’s continuing.

    “Stopping a beautification project” or some variation of that. WRONG.

    File under “Entirely Seperate Issue ‘ – Great Streets.” That’s about Georgia Avenue, not New Hampshire… GREAT STREETS will be proceeding. (And I’m working with Kera Carpenter, Domku owner, to re-establish a farmers market on 9th at Upshur.)

    The ANC supported the traffic islands and bulb outs for beautification and traffic-calming purposes in two votes last year. I repeat: The ANC supported the traffic islands in two votes last year (excepting Timothy Jones).

    We had several meetings over the last few years devoted to a range of DDOT issues. (I was accused of holding too many DDOT “seminars” by a former commissioner.”) This vote last week was intended to address only that one block and a parking problem that would have been created as a result of looking the other way and giving a nod for the installation of a traffic island on that one block. (Check out the double-parking at 8th and Shepherd on Saturdays caused by church parking. Not good.)

    I would say our vote last week was strong, and, as my fellow Commissioner Ron Bland said to me by phone: We were dealing with the reality of the situation and problems that would have resulted.

    By the way, I will ask First Baptist if they have alternatives for those cars. Fair question.

    Anyone up for using real names in these postings, and tell us where you live? You would have a level of credibility you don’t have by anonymous postings.

    Again, you always have the choice of running for a seat on the ANC. It takes only the signatures of 25 registered voters in your single-member district to get on the ballot. The elections for ANC will be in November. We each represent about 2,000 people.

    There are always significant issues that face us. It’s work. It takes a solid commitment and being responsive to a large number of people in your neighborhood. Too often I have seen the most hot-headed people disappear when it comes to doing the work. It is a two-year commitment if you win a seat, requires a lot of work, and you don’t get paid a cent, and you owe it to the 2,000 people you represent to stay committed, do the work and be responsive to them constantly.

    Board of Elections:

    As for the issue at hand, it’s best to send emails to DDOT and your own ANC 4C commissioner.

    I would like to know how many writers posting here live in 4C08, the SMD represented by Commissioner Timothy Jones that we are discussing here. Recall he has twice tried to stop the entire project including last week. My motion addressed only one block and attempts to address a parking issue.

    Real, verifiable names. Real, verifiable addresses from here on out on this discusssion. That’s fair to ask, I think.

    And if you were addressing this issue, what would you say to the Pastor Tucker at First Baptist and to the residents in the immediate neighborhood affected by church parking? Those are the specifics that need to be addressed.

    It’s fair and reasonable to have a civil, mutually-respectful discussion about this issue. No more wise-guy remarks from me, either.


    ps Am a big support of Domku and Looking Glass and am a member of iTunes, speaking of my past wise-guy remark.

  • Joe et al, the name is David Tumblin near 13th and Quincy, 4C06. I think I will run if there’s support. For those who want to run, see the deadline from Muriel’s newsletter yesterday: “People interested in running for ANC commissioner positions can pick up petitions beginning Wednesday, August 6, 2008. Petitions are due September 5, 2008.”

  • My name is Heather Hamilton and I live on the 600 block of Quincy. Joe, thanks for trying to do the right thing, but I have to chime in and let you know that the ANC’s decision does cause me consternation, largely because of the question of delaying a public safety project so folks can park illegally. Cars in the median, old folks walking across a busy street – this is not a good civic decision. I would encourage you to continue trying to find a solution that helps those who really can’t walk the few blocks from the plentiful parking spaces in the neighborhood while respecting the fact that one religious institution’s convenience shouldn’t override the greater public good.

    That said, I thank you for your service. You’re dealing with a very difficult situation here and, heck, you’re willing to serve.

    I am an 8-year resident of 4C08 and would volunteer my time this fall to help someone other than Timothy Jones get elected. He has consistently made decisions that do not represent either the will of, or the needs of, the community. I would run myself but have conflicting responsibilities. That said, I’d love to help pull together an effort to elect a commissioner who has a positive, constructive view for the ANC that balances the needs of all its residents, old and new. If you do hear of someone running, please do let me know. heatherbrie [at] gmail

  • Frankly, I’m not happy about people stepping out of their cars mid-block either, and I see that point.

    I am looking for a solution, as I repeat ad nauseum. I have been pleased when this conversation has been respectful, creative and productive. All our neighborhood issues need helpful input as has been provided here.

  • If the majority of the congregation has moved out of the area and is now living in MD or VA I don’t understand why District residents have to be inconvenienced so that people who do not live in the District can drive in and illegall park to go to church.

    I am not an anti-religion person but this kind of traffic/parking situation does not occur during the week. Residents of MD or VA cannot drive into District neighborhoods and park all day while they go to work – like they used to be able to do when I was growing up in DuPont Circle. I remember my father and neighbors coming home from work and having to double park and wait until all of the folks with out-of-state tags came from their jobs and moved their cars. This is the reason why we have neighborhood parking stickers today.

    Drivers are not allowed to park downtown all day (meter or not), drivers are not allowed to park on the side streets of the stadium on game day, parking is restricted on many other occasions and situations but not for out-of-town church goers.

    If you don’t live in the City and you don’t pay taxes here, I am not so much in favor of providing you with services that inconvenience District residents.

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