Dear PoPville – How Do We Get an Organized Clean Team?

Dear PoPville,

I’m constantly shocked at how dirty the U St. area between 15 st and 7 st gets with trash. It seems to be mostly caused by the foot traffic and draw of the local businesses/bars. How do we do something similar to the “golden triangle” or “waterfront” where they have greeters and people who help keep the area clean. Is that something the local residents and businesses pay for?

7 Comment

  • Really?!?

    Steps to Establishing a BID:

    The first step is to meet with the Councilmember representing the ward in which the proposed BID is located. If the Councilmember supports the BID initiative, then request that the Councilmember consider introducing a bill to establish the proposed BID boundaries and the supplemental taxing rate. The bill should be introduced once steps 4 and 6 below are completed.

    Step 1: Form a non-profit BID Corporation

    Designate incorporators
    Designate the initial Board of Directors (should include at least one business owner who is a BID advocate and is influential at the District level)
    Select the BID Corporation name
    Prepare and adopt articles of incorporation and preliminary bylaws
    File incorporation documents with the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
    Apply for a federal employer identification number
    Apply for IRS recognition as a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation

    Step 2: Begin raising money for the establishment of the BID.

    Step 3: Hire an executive director or consultant who is experienced in the process of establishing BIDs in DC.

    Step 4: Establish the boundaries of the BID.

    Step 5: Develop a database of property owners and commercial tenants in the BID area.

    Step 6: Establish the mechanism for calculating supplemental taxes. It is helpful to understand why current BIDs chose their particular tax formulas.

    Step 7: Develop BID governance structure and prepare detailed bylaws.

    Step 8: Develop a business plan, including a budget and scope of services covering the first 3 years of operation.

    Step 9: Prepare and submit BID application to the Mayor for registration. The application is to include the following components:

    Signed statements in support of the BID formation by the required number of commercial real property owners and tenants in the proposed district.
    Business plan for the first 3 years of BID operation
    Map of BID area
    List of initial BID board members
    Articles of incorporation and bylaws of BID Corporation
    List of all commercial property owners in BID area
    List of all commercial tenants in BID area
    Tax formula used for BID fee and proposed first-year charges
    For reference purposes, the Adams Morgan BID application submitted by the Adams Morgan Partnership in summer 2005 is available for review.

    Step 10: Mayor makes preliminary review of BID application within 15 working days of submission.

    Step 11: Mayor issues finding that BID criteria have been met and schedules public hearing to be held within 45 days.

    Step 12: At least 21 days prior to the public hearing, the BID Corporation must submit a notice of the hearing to each commercial property owner and commercial tenant, each Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, the Council of the District of Columbia, and each major citizen association within the BID area.

    Step 13: Within 10 days after the public hearing, the Mayor shall either register the BID or determine that the BID requirements have not been met, in which case the BID has 45 days to correct the application.

    Step 14: Once the BID has been registered, it can begin operations, including assessment of established fees.

    • A BID for the greater U Street area (and perhaps also 14th street?) is a great idea. I would suggest covering the main commercial strips, so I would start at either 17th or 16th and go all the way down to 6th. I would also include the commercial blocks that come down from U:
      – 14th between V and as far south as Rhode Island
      – 9th between S & T
      – 7th to Rhode Island.

      Shaw Main Streets already covers 7th and 9th streets, so it would make sense to coordinate with them.

      Two things the U Street/Florida corridor has in common:
      – the wind tunnel effect that blows trash through constantly. Only constant clean up will remedy this

      If anyone is serious about this, I would be quite interested in getting involved. Any effort like this should be supported by all the affected neighborhood associations—ideally, putting a representative from each on the board. I live at 6th & S and organize the Shaw-Howard Neighborhood Association for the triangle inside 7th, Rhode Island and Rhode Island. There is a lot of development going in around the Howard Theatre on Florida, T and 7th, and on 7th down to Rhode Island.

  • Start here:

    “All commercial property owners within the Golden Triangle are members of the Golden Triangle BID…”,_D.C.)

    “The Golden Triangle BID was created in 1997 by the District of Columbia City Council and approved by Mayor Marion Barry.”

    So if you’re talking about forming a BID, then you’ll need to talk to your councilmember.

  • The Golden Triagle and Downtown BID are both business improvement districts that were setup. Businesses in the boundaries of those BIDs pay a fee which pays for the personnel who sweep and clean up their territory. The Golden Triangle also paid for the landscaped median down Connecticut Ave with plans to expand it up closer to Dupont Circle. I think there was talk of forming one in Columbia Heights. I would imagine the convention center area might form one once the hotels up there. U Street businesses are small. I’d be surprised if they would be willing to pay a fee into a BID.

  • My understanding from talking with CM Graham’s office is that money was found in the budget to bring the Green Team back to U St. I’m not sure how soon they will be starting, but I think it will be soon. Please be sure to thank the team members when you see them out making our neighborhood look better!

  • Quick answer to OP, “you need to pay for it.”

  • There is a simpler alternative program (Adopt-a-Block) but it really doesn’t offer much, except a formal way of recognizing that a neighborhood association or other group has taken responsibility for an area:

    The BID, by contrast, raises real money through taxation.

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