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14th and U Street, NW

Thanks to @chinaterrell for tweeting us a link to the info from Ward One Democrats:

“The Ward One Democrats now offers monthly programs for voters. Please participate in our discussion this Wednesday, September 24, at 7:00 pm in the Reeves Center Community Room, 2000 14th Street NW (14th and U St. NW).

Our guest speaker, Camille Sabakhan is the General Counsel for the Department of General Services. She will discuss the process the District currently uses when deciding to redevelop public property — whether through sale or swap or other means. She will also discuss existing avenues for community involvement. The Department of General Services manages the District’s property holdings. Its mission is to promote the efficient and effective management of our city’s real estate investments and interests.

As a group, we will discuss whether the current process is sufficient and how the District should involve the community when redeveloping public property and space. Illustrative examples will include Grimke School, Bruce Monroe, and the Reeves Center.

Date: September 24
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center – Community Room
2000 14th Street NW”

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“Dear PoPville,

I live in a rowhome in 16th St Heights, in where the alley is so narrow that it is barely wide enough for a vehicle. That means that the only way for DPW to access your trash bin is for you to open your gate, and push the bin right up to the alley way. Within the past year, the trash collectors have wizzed by on a number of occasions, driving through the alley and never picking up any trash. When I called repeatedly for a special collection, they say that I MUST put the can in the alley way. Been there, done that. What happens is that the private trash collecters (that service the retail/apartments down the road) barrel over the cans left in the alley for special collection, leaving them debilitated and full of trash. Trash is strewn all over, and the cycle of trying to remove the trash and debilitated bins removed continues. I call the DC service center to report dumping and to request special collections. Nothing happens. I then get multiple fines for “dumping,” and in most cases was never actually alerted to these alleged notices that I received. The DC service center conveniently loses my call records (although I have been keeping my own). I keep fighting these fines on the grounds that they can’t fine me when they don’t do their job or properly notify me. This has escalated to the courts and they have put the onus back on DPW’s, and they continue to allow the same problems to fester (meanwhile I’m still uncertain whether I will be held responsible for hundreds of dollars in fines).

Recently DPW has stopped collecting my trash, but seem to take the neighbors. Retaliation? This week, while my gate was left open to allow them to try to collect my bin (without it running the risk of being barreled over by another truck), someone snuck in to my backyard, broke into my shed and stole my brand new $900 bike, that was securely locked to a bike rack and probably removed with a lock pick or bolt cutters. The police responded to my call to report the theft and were extremely helpful, and suggested that DPW should be to blame for consistently leaving me vulnerable….ehm!

My attempts to resolve the trash collection issue have not been resolved. I have contacted Muriel Bowser’s office but still no resolve. And because I must leave my gate open to allow for collection, I was at greater vulnerability to theft. Or perhaps targeted, since the trash people seem to apparently have some disdain for me now… Does anyone have a recommendation for a competant and responsive human being in DPW to resolve this?

All I want is for my trash to be collected, to be able to maintain better security of my back yard, AND I want my beautiful new bike back. It’s truly distinctive and I’ve attached a picture of it. So if anyone sees someone riding it around DC, it’s likely that they stole it. Please let the cops know because you don’t want your property to be next.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user JoshBassett|PHOTOGRAPHY

“Dear PoPville,

I just got a ticket and I can’t understand why, or what to do about it.

My parents live just outside DC, and I occasionally borrow their car for a few days at a time and leave it parked on my street. This morning I had a $100 ticket for “failing to secure DC tags” despite a valid Visitor Parking Pass clearly visible on the dashboard. The pass doesn’t expire until Sept. 30.

The ticket also claims that they issued a warning on July 29th, though I never saw it. I don’t know if they put it on the car (in which case it must have blown away) or mailed it (in which case it must have gotten lost in the mail).

In any case, does that really mean that a car with Maryland plates can’t visit the District twice, 6 weeks apart? Since I had the parking pass I don’t know what else I could have possibly done. Does this mean my parents risk a ticket every time they drive and park at my house?

It wouldn’t be too inconvenient for me to visit the courthouse and argue the ticket in person, do you think it’s worth a try?”

Side Note: Another reader sends yesterday:

“I can’t say I’m in the habit of reading government reports, but this one caught my attentionDC’s office of the inspector general started looking into the red light cameras, speed cameras, and parking tickets issued by various agencies. One senior official in DC is quoted as saying that the traffic ticket system means that you are “guilty until proven innocent…and this system has worked incredibly well for us [DC? elected officials?].” Anyway, I thought it may be of interest to POPville readers, as many of us get tickets we think we don’t deserve, but pay anyway…and, as it turns out, we might be right.”

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“Dear PoPville,

On July 28th, a driver backed a mini-van onto the sidewalk in front of Marx Cafe on Mount Pleasant St, incident which was covered here on PoPville. Luckily, no pedestrians were hurt or killed and the restaurant narrowly avoided serious damage. However, there was one casualty – parking sign pictured here.

I took this picture on September 8. It’s nearing 2 months since the sign was knocked over. I walk by it almost every day. Once in a while I’ll tweet it to @DDOTDC or @DCDPW but day after day, the sign remains dejectedly on the ground as people walk by, my tweets lost in the abyss of bureaucratic morass.

Lately there have been a few comment threads on your blog discussing the tepid business environment on Mount Pleasant St, while other areas of the city are in the midst of investment bonanza. The symbolic nature of this sign sitting the ground for weeks was not lost on me, as I personally feel it represents the malaise and mediocrity of the entire corridor and seemingly few people willing to do much about it.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

From DPW:

“The DC Department of Public Works announced today that its crews will begin trash and recycling collections one hour earlier, starting at 6 am, Wednesday through Friday this week, due to a forecast of 90° and above temperatures.

Since collections were suspended Monday, September 1, when DPW observed Labor Day, trash and recycling will “slide” one day. Monday’s collections were made Tuesday, and so on. In twice-a-week neighborhoods, Monday/Thursday collections will be made Tuesday and Friday, while Tuesday/Friday collections will be made Wednesday and Saturday.

Residents may put their trash and recyclables out for pick-up starting at 6:30 pm the night before collections and their containers must be returned to their property by 8 pm on the collection day.

Throughout the summer, when the temperature is predicted to be 90˚ or higher or the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments announces unhealthy air quality (Code Orange or Code Red days), DPW collection crews will begin their work at 6 am to avoid health or environmental issues.”

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14th and S Street, NW

Over the years I’ve had tons of emails asking/applauding about the crosswalk at 14th and S St, NW. If memory serves (maybe textdoc can find it in the archives) this was an experimental crosswalk by DDOT that never got implemented any other streets. Folks def. love it though. So I was sad to see half of it had already been paved over. Enjoy the other half while it lasts!

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From DDOT:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today announced the publication of proposed rules that will modify the annual Visitor Parking Pass (VPP) program, and clarify the process for eligible households to receive, and use a 2015 visitor parking pass. The rules are open for a 30-day comment period, and DDOT welcomes comments on the proposed regulations.

The VPP program allows guests of District residents to park for more than two hours on residential blocks. The current 2014 passes, which would have expired on September 30, 2014, have been extended, and are valid until the end of the year. Starting January 1, 2015, DDOT proposes that the annual VPP be effective for a calendar year.

These proposed rules will require eligible households (within Wards 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F) to register either online at http://vpp.ddot.dc.gov, or by phone at (202) 671-2700 to receive an annual VPP. The revision to the program will help DDOT better manage the demands, and evaluate program needs going forward. Depending on the outcome of the comment period, DDOT anticipates opening up registration in late October 2014.

Additionally, the proposed rules clarify the privileges and restrictions of a VPP, that it provides temporary residential permit parking privileges to a vehicle, as long as that vehicle displays a valid pass on the driver’s side of the vehicle’s dashboard, and is used only within the ANC boundaries indicated on the pass.

“We appreciate that this has been a popular program in areas that use the passes,” said DDOT Acting Director Matthew Brown. “These regulations will enable us to streamline the program, expand the eligible recipients and improve the management of the program. We encourage the public to weigh in on the rules.”

To view or to comment on the proposed rules, please visit the following website: http://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Gateway/NoticeHome.aspx?noticeid=5065357

Written comments may be sent to  Samuel D. Zimbabwe, Associate Director, District Department of Transportation, 55 M Street, S.E., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20003. However, comments sent to DDOT’s Public Space Policy Office, are encouraged.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user nici161

From DPR:

“The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) released the Outdoor Aquatic Facilities Closure Schedule for the 2014 summer season. DPR will implement the first phase of Outdoor Pool closures starting on Sunday, August 10, 2014.

All Outdoor Pools will close in waves beginning on Sunday, August 10, 2014. Pools will close for the season at 6 pm on their respective Sundays.

All Children’s Pools will close for the season at 6 pm on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

All Spray Parks will close for the season at 7 pm on Labor Day, Monday, September 1, 2014. Please note that select spray parks will undergo renovations after September 1.

East Potomac Outdoor Pool will close for the season at 6 pm on Sunday, October 19, 2014.

Below is the comprehensive closure schedule for the 2014 season. Pools are listed by type (Outdoor, Children’s and Spray Park) and then by date. Please call DPR’s Aquatics office at (202) 671-1289 should you have additional questions or need further assistance.

2014 OUTDOOR AND CHILDREN’S POOLS CLOSURE SCHEDULE (more…)

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From a press release:

“Complaints of discrimination against District taxicabs are easier to report because of a new complaint form and process launched Tuesday by the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR) and the DC Taxicab Commission (DCTC). The complaint form – now available on both agency websites – simplifies the information required for reporting possible discrimination and simultaneously files the complaints with both agencies. The new process makes filing complaints easier and addresses potential confusion about where to file, while placing drivers who discriminate at greater risk for punitive measures from both agencies.

“Hailing a taxicab is often a challenge for people of color and people with disabilities,” said OHR Director Mónica Palacio. “We have many excellent taxicab drivers in the District, however those who discriminate against passengers because of their race or disability must know we will not tolerate it. Our new complaint process makes it easier to file a complaint when discrimination occurs, and ensures both the Office of Human Rights and the Taxicab Commission can investigate the complaint when it’s received.”

The collaboration between the two agencies began after an OHR Director’s Inquiry revealed only a small portion of complaints filed with DCTC included allegations of discrimination. The low number was in stark contrast to media reports and anecdotal evidence showing people of color and people with disabilities are often ignored by available taxis or treated unfairly after entering a taxi. OHR records also indicate that historically, few complaints of taxicab discrimination are filed with the agency. DCTC and OHR decided to streamline the complaint filing process and expect that drivers facing potential fines from both agencies will be further deterred from such behavior. (more…)