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Photo by PoPville flickr user bajidc

From DPW:

“The Department of Public Works announced today that residential mechanical street sweeping will resume Monday, March 2. Signs are posted that identify the days of the week and hours of the day when parking restrictions will be enforced so the sweepers can clean the streets effectively. The fine for violating this restriction is $45.

The program represents a true commitment by residents who have committed to move their vehicles when sweeping is underway. “To become part of the program, we require 80 percent of the residents to sign a petition pledging to honor the parking restrictions,” said DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr. “Their cooperation is what makes the program successful.”

Mr. Howland noted DPW established March 1 through October 31 in 2012 as residential street sweeping season and this information appears on the signs where the program is in effect. He asked motorists to obey the times parking is restricted. “A supervisor follows behind the sweeper and may require the block to be swept again, so don’t park until the end of the posted sweeping period,” he said. Beginning March 2, parked cars also may be towed to allow the sweepers access to the curbside. Generally, parking is prohibited for two hours while sweeping is underway.

DPW street sweepers cover about 4,000 lane miles monthly, removing litter and pollutants by brushing them onto a conveyor system, which transports the material into a debris hopper. The sweeper also emits a fine spray of water to help control dust. In addition to sweeping residential streets during spring, summer and fall, DPW also sweeps commercial streets overnight year-round (weather permitting), and parking restrictions also apply.”

FullSizeRender
Photo courtesy PoPville resident Danny Collier

DPW reminded some listserve folks of DC’s alley plowing policy (from 2009):

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Department of Public Works (DPW) want to remind residents that as a policy the District does not plow alleys.

“The District does not plow alleys,” said DPW Director William O. Howland Jr. “We do not have the resources and in the majority of the alleys there is no place to push the snow. It would be too difficult and labor intensive to plow any type of alley, whether narrow or wide, in the District.”

“We are receiving numerous requests from residents, higher than in years past,” said DDOT Director Gabe Klein. “Our crews are focused on clearing the District’s 1100 miles of roadway, in particular the residential and side streets. We just do not have the resources to plow alleys.”

On twitter @creolebeth shared her frustration with @PoPville about trash pick up:

“Trash pickup alt #1: train drivers to drive in snow/ice.

Trash pickup alt #2: ask alley homes to put trash on street for pickup when snows.

Trash pickup alt #3: have trash pickup walk down alley to get trash.

Trash pickup alt #4: place dumpsters in parks for residents to bring trash.

Trash pickup alt #5: create trash drop off sites in accessible areas for the trash trucks.

Trash pickup alt #6: extend dump hours so people have place to store trash.

Trash pickup alt #7: pay some over time and work extra hours on days between storms.

Trash pickup alt #8: do nothing until residents decide to store trash at city hall.

Trash pickup alt #9: Do what you did in 2014 — lots of snow and trash was still collected.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Zhou Jia

From DPW:

“Regretfully, we continue to have problems with regard to the icy condition of many of the alleys and how this affects residential trash/recycling collection. We truly regret the inconvenience of having to hold onto your trash and/or recyclables until the next collection day when weather conditions create unsafe circumstances for our collection crews.

We ask our drivers to use their best judgment when driving their routes, keeping uppermost the safety of the crew and the public. All our drivers must possess a Commercial Driver’s License to be employed by DPW in this capacity; and they can lose their license, and livelihood, if they are determined to be at fault in an accident. The drivers also weigh the risk to employees who collect the cans when determining if an alley or street is too icy to navigate. Injury to the crew or the public as well as property damage, weigh heavily on a driver’s conscience even if an accident is not his or her fault.

Again, we do recognize we are inconveniencing the residents when trash and recycling aren’t collected timely and hope that we have no more winter weather to impede our work.”

legal_pot_dc

Q. When will Initiative 71 become law?
A. 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, February 26, 2015.

From the Mayor’s office:

“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Police Chief Cathy Lanier and other administration officials outlined the District’s plan to ensure the safe, responsible administration of Initiative 71.

“In November, residents of the District of Columbia voted to legalize small amounts of marijuana by adults for personal, in-home use in the District,” said Mayor Bowser. “We will uphold the letter and the spirit of the initiative that was passed last year, and we will establish the Initiative 71 Task Force to coordinate our enforcement, awareness and engagement efforts and address policy questions as they arise.”

Implementation of Initiative 71 represents an incremental change from the District’s law which decriminalized marijuana. The Bowser Administration has laid out clear expectations for what is lawful and what remains illegal.

Under Initiative 71, individuals 21 years of age or older will be able to lawfully:

· Possess two ounces or less of marijuana;

· Use marijuana on private property;

· Transfer one ounce or less of marijuana to another person, as long as:

1. no money, goods or services are exchanged; and

2. the recipient is 21 years of age or older; and

· Cultivate within his or her primary residence up to six marijuana plants, no more than three of which are mature.

Under Initiative 71, it will remain a crime for anyone to:

· Possess more than two ounces of marijuana;

· Smoke or otherwise consume marijuana on public space or anywhere to which the public is invited; including restaurants, bars, and coffee shops;

· Sell any amount of marijuana to another person; or

· Operate a vehicle or boat under the influence of marijuana. (more…)

parking_enforcement

A reader sends:

“This guy parks here a lot. On John McCormack Dr. just north of Michigan Ave, right in front of Catholic U Metro. As you can see, when he/she is parked there (sitting in the car, btw, blatant “No Parking” on that whole side of the street) it is impossible for traffic to get through in both directions. It was all backed up behind me onto Michigan.”

From the Mayor’s office:

“Today, Mayor Bowser released a new web video outlining her Administration’s commitment to working with residents to develop strategies to close the District’s quarter billion dollar gap while developing smart solutions to support our key priorities, like investing in education, job training, infrastructure and affordable housing. The video comes a day before Mayor Bowser will hold her first of three Budget Engagement Forums, which are designed as interactive discussions where DC residents can provide input to help shape priorities.

Mayor Bowser and Administration Officials have been attending dozens of community meetings across the District this month to discuss the Mayor’s budget priorities. The Budget Engagement Forums are scheduled for Thursday, February 19 at Wilson High School, Saturday, February 21 at Anacostia High School, and Monday, February 23 at Dunbar High School.

For more information and to register to attend a Budget Engagement Forum, click here.

SCRIPT:

Hi – I’m Mayor Muriel Bowser.

A month in, I could not be happier and prouder to be your Mayor.

On the campaign trail, I promised to deliver the District a Fresh Start and that’s what my Administration is doing.

We have brought on top talent and are laying the groundwork to grow the District’s economy and leave it in a better place for future generations.

Our city is on the move. We have the fastest improving urban school district in the nation. A thousand new residents are making DC home every month and our communities are thriving.

While we are a city with great opportunities, we also have big challenges.

When I came into office I inherited past successes, failures and overdue promises.

For example:

· We have a streetcar line that never had a plan to launch effectively.

· We have housing costs rising at such a pace that many long-time residents can’t afford to live in their own city.

· And on top of that, our city faces a quarter billion dollar budget gap.

That’s right – a quarter billion dollars.

How did we get here? (more…)

speed_camera

From MPD:

“The Metropolitan Police Department announced today the deployment of new photo enforced locations beginning on or about February 17, 2015. The deployment locations for the Photo Enforcement Units will be sites where speeding and pedestrian safety has been identified to be a problem.

The 30 day educational phase, or “warning period”, will commence on or about February 17, 2015. During this period, violators will receive warning citations. After the 30 day warning period, MPD will begin issuing live moving citations to violators. The new photo enforcement locations are [above].”

photo 1

“Dear PoPville,

This truck and trailer have been blocking the SW bound lane of the 3900 block of Kansas Ave NW since the early, early morning hours of Saturday 2/14. It initially had a patrol car stationed behind it until midday Saturday, but as of Sunday night, it has a ticket on it and calls into 311 & 911 have simply been met with responses of no idea what to do and that the district doesn’t have the equipment to tow a tractor trailer. Since traffic has to move into the oncoming NE bound lanes to get around the truck and visibility to the east bound traffic on Randolph is almost completely blocked, this is a traffic accident waiting to happen. How does one get the truck moved?”

Ed. Note: MPD is aware of the situation and is conferring with the Department of Public Works. MPD does not have a crane that can tow a tractor trailer.

UPDATE: After MPD alerted DPW and the Mayor’s Office – the truck has been removed.

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

“Dear PoPville,

When did MPD become an advertising mouthpiece for a private security company?!

These posts telling ordinary citizens to be more cautious and afraid have a real effect on the 99.5%[1] of us that are not victims of crime every year. The only person that is to blame for a home invasion, a mid-gas-pumping car theft, or an abduction of a child walking alone, is the criminal and not the homeowner, driver or parent; no matter if we leave our doors open, or allow our children to walk alone to the park.

It’s great that not enough real crime is happening so we have to manufacture fear with the theoretical. Please please just focus on catching criminals, rather than telling us all to be scared and suspicious of our neighbors.

[1] http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/crime-statistics-citywide”

Following is the email sent MPD 4D listserv, links removed go to Ackerman Security:

“We’ve Been Robbed!”: 6-Point Checklist of What to Do After a Home Break-In

It’s an unsettling experience.

Many homeowners feel so violated after a home break-in that they either panic or just don’t know what to do.

It’s not surprising. After all, your seemingly safe sanctuary has been invaded, and your sense of security has been crushed.

However, you need to be level-headed in this crucial moment.

By mentally preparing yourself ahead of time, you can act quickly, increasing your chances of catching the burglars and getting your stuff back.

Here’s a 6-point checklist of things you should do after a home break-in.

1) Call the police

Contacting the authorities is priority number one. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to catch the burglars and/or get your stolen items back.

If you have security monitoring with Ackerman Security, we take care of this for you. Once we get a signal that your home was broken into, we contact the police and give them your location.

2) Write down everything ASAP

Were you home when the burglar entered? Did you see them? Write down everything you can recall about them as soon as possible because you may forget. This will assist the police in finding the culprit(s).

Details you should write down include:

· How many intruders there were
· Sex
· Age
· Race
· Clothes they wore
· How they entered (and what property they damaged to enter)
· Where they went

It’s even better If you have a security camera. Then you don’t have to recall anything—the security camera does it for you and in more detail. Let the police know if you have a security camera and make sure they see the footage.

Learn more: Top 3 places to install security cameras to catch burglars.

3) Take pictures—but don’t disturb anything

It’s important you don’t disturb the crime scene until the police arrive. You need to show them the conditions of your home as close as possible to how you found your home after the crime.

With that in mind, take pictures of the crime scene without disturbing anything, including areas where items were stolen and entrances burglars used to get into your home. You’ll need this for insurance purposes to prove certain items were stolen and that certain areas of the home were damaged.

It also helps it you have pictures or receipts of the items before they were stolen.

4) File a report

When the police arrive they should give you your filing options, including going down to the police station and filing a report or filing the report online.

5) File an insurance claim

Once you have your police report, immediately contact your home/renter insurance company.

It’s important to file the police report first because your insurance company will need the report number and a lot of information that’s in the report, including the point of entry, property damaged, items stolen, etc.

Later, an adjuster may come out. All your work before will pay off now, because you’ll need to explain your situation, provide receipts and/or pictures of items stolen and property damaged.

6) Identify your security weak points and strengthen them

Now that you’ve done all you can to get your items back, it’s time to repair and strengthen your home so this never happens again.

So, here’s the good news if you’re reading this and your home has not been broken into: You can strengthen your home now and save yourself the trouble of steps 1-5.

Here are 3 articles showing how to strengthen home entryways that burglars usually use to break into a home:

· Warning: Your Windows Are a Security Weak Link—Here’s the Solution
· Why You Need to Kickproof Your Doors…Even if You Have an Alarm System
· Top 3 Places to Install Security Cameras to Catch Burglars

Want to beef up your home’s security?

Talk to one of our security consultants for help. They’ll find your home’s security weak points and find the right solution to strengthen your home against attackers.

Lieutenant Michelle Ridlehoover
Metropolitan Police Department
Fourth District PSA 405
6001 Georgia Avenue NW

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Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

From Mayor Bowser’s office:

“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Acting Director of the DC Department of Human Services (DHS) Laura Zeilinger, and Interagency Council on Homelessness Director Kristy Greenwalt held a press conference at the Virginia Williams Resource Center to announce an innovative initiative to help homeless families find quality, affordable housing.

The initiative allocates funding for a variety of programs designed to help families exit homelessness by providing the services and financial assistance needed to regain stability in housing.

The District will assemble a team of leasing specialists, inspectors, social service professionals as “housing navigators” who are charged with identifying housing opportunities and matching units to clients based on need. (more…)