From the Forum – Business Improvement District for U st? Or volunteer litter removal groups?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Clif Burns

Business Improvement District for U st? Or volunteer litter removal groups?:

“Happy New Year, everyone! I wanted to start New Year’s day fresh and good spirits when I woke up on Thursday morning, but I quickly soured when I saw all the garbage and litter floating around U st. (I have a short temper…working on it in the new year).

I realize the benefits of living on U come with some of the burdens of trash, but sometimes the trash lingers for days on the street, becoming an unattractive mix of food wrappers, pizza boxes and leaves. When the wind kicks up, even trash that’s been responsibly thrown away gets blown out since the bins are almost always filled to capacity.

So rather than simply complain, can we come up with a solution, and can we come up with any strategies to implement the solution? A few quick thoughts:
– Could we solicit U st. business & condos to start a business improvement district (much like Golden Triangle or Downtown BID) so there’d be funds for more frequent clean-up efforts? How could we go about getting that started?
– Could we start our own clean-up group? Maybe volunteers meet up every Saturday and Sunday morning to clean up the streets between 14th and 9th streets? (the simplest solution, but perhaps the most difficult to implement). I would provide the coffee!
– Could we ask the city to install garbage bins that have a lid on them, or install the solar powered trash compacter so that at least the garbage thrown away doesn’t pop back out when the wind kicks up?

Any other ideas? Or please chime in if you’re willing to be a clean-up volunteer – that could be the easiest and quickest solution.”

You can see all forum topics and add your own here. If you are having trouble uploading your question  please email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail

16 Comment

  • You can do the Helping Hands program with DPW… for starters. They provide gear ( shovels/ rakes/ big bags) and will come by to pick up the bags etc after the clean up. Maybe they would have valuable info on organizing or getting something more regular going.

  • At one point there was a push to start a BID for the businesses of 14th St NW and U St NW:

    The businesses should pony up and pay for trash pickup just like they do in Adams Morgan.

    • I have to say, living in Adams Morgan, that the trash pickup is fantastic. There is so much trash and junk covering the streets at 6 or 7 am on Saturday and Sunday mornings that is completely gone by 8 or 9. The workers are generally friendly, despite the nasty job they have to do, and are thorough on both main streets and side streets.

  • the law already requires businesses to be responsible for all clean up in front of their property to the curb line, even if its public property. A BID is great but they require a LOT of revenue. A good BID needs to be creating at least a million in revenue per year. thats a shit ton of money to raise from a bunch of small businesses. Anything less and you just can’t staff up properly. Another option is a CID and then you tax all the residents as well (Mnt Vernon is a CID). Or just figure out why the city doesn’t write tickets for these type of infractions. bring it up with the ANC. Make a liquor license contingent on NO litter violations.

  • I’d recommend reaching out to your ANC SMD (Single Member District) rep — I’d imagine that the BID idea has been floated at some point.
    You might also want to attend the monthly meeting for your ANC area, and/or find out if there are neighborhood groups.

  • We pay enough taxes to have DPW do its job and clear trash cans on a more regular basis and pick up trash in commercial areas outside BIDs. Call the mayor, your councilman and DPW and demand it.

  • ” becoming an unattractive mix of food wrappers, pizza boxes and leaves.”

    The leaves are blown, thrown, tossed into the street. DC DPW fail to pick up the leaves in many neighborhoods. Every year I rack my street full of leaves and trash a few times because the site of it is depressing. The leaves combined with the trash makes it horrendous. I’d advocate for a new leaf disposable program. The current one ain’t working.

  • I agree that something needs to be done. I also advocated publicly for the creation of a BID or Community Improvement District (CID) for U Street during my 2014 ANC race and will continue to pursue for one as an ANC Commissioner. At this point, my understanding is that there is seed money from the JBG’s 13th and U Street PUD package to form an exploratory committee dedicated to researching a BID. I have recently reached out to members of this committee and will provide updates once I hear more.

    I hope this helps. Formation of a U Street BID or CID would improve our neighborhood and be a dream come true.

  • BIDs sound great but they are ungodly expensive to run and all too often they are grossly mismanaged little fiefdoms with no oversight and no one to hold them accountable.

    The city is generating a huge amount of revenue from sales taxes. Invest just a little bit of that in targeted enforcement where needed and street cleaning and the problem is solved.

    Also, my personal view is that the great majority of trash is generated by careless people, not by businesses.

  • hHow did the relatively desolate areas like NOMA and the Capital River Front get BIDs? They don’t have nearly the number of businesses or traffic as U and 14th.

  • We should start taxing all the 20-somethings that come over from Virginia every Friday and Saturday night to drink and eat at Ben’s Chili Bowl…

  • I don’t know, picking up the litter tells the litterers that it’s OK to drop it on the ground, because somebody will come along and pick it up. What we need are some plainclothes police to patrol the area, and maybe ticket these pieces of crap who think it’s fine to litter.

  • As an apartment (coop) owner in the U street area i do not want to pay MORE assessment fees to clean up the garbage generated by the businesses and their drunken patrons from all of over the city, Maryland, and Virginia. its ridiculous the accommodations this city government makes at the behest of developers and businesses.

Comments are closed.