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Photo by PoPville flickr user John M

On the one hand:

“I’ve seen quite a few posts on Popville about little or no notice when posting emergency parking signs, but not much about enforcement. I recently moved between apartments within the district and found the enforcement to be essentially non-existent.

New rules have been put in place to help avoid ticketing and towing when the signs are not posted at least 72 hours. Now the signs must be posted in advance and verified by DDOT in order for vehicles parked in the reserved spaces to be ticketed and towed. Well, at least in theory…

During my recent move, I had my signs up on a Sunday in advance of a Friday morning move. The exact start time was 5 PM on a Thursday as I anticipated vehicles would be parked in the spaces regardless of hanging the signs for the moving truck. I was right.

At 10 PM the evening before my move, I called to request the four cars to be ticketed and towed. The next morning, I got up at 6 AM. No tickets. No towing. I called to follow-up on the status of my request and was informed that there is a bizarre Cinderella rule and my request whether addressed or not was closed at midnight and that I would need to file a new one.

Subsequent to filing a new request, I was informed that the city workers who can actually write tickets would not be clocking-in for work until 7 AM and that I should then allow 2 hours for them to arrive. In addition, the police are not able to write tickets now because they do not have access to know whether the signs were verified as hung at least 72 hours in advance.

In short, there is absolutely no way to enforce these signs for an early morning move and I essentially paid $55 in order to avoid a larger ticket for having a moving truck blocking the street. Not being able to park in the designated spaces also complicates the moving process and can increase the amount of time professional movers are on the clock (i.e., I pay more). I’m wondering if anyone else has a similar experience, especially with getting a refund. I’ve contacted DPW, Office of the Mayor, and two city council members with little progress.”

and on the other hand:

“I live on a block that manages to have a lot of resident turnover – brownstones with group houses and apt buildings. It follows that there are frequent moving trucks and no parking signs. A few between trees is to be expected and understood. Moving sucks and you don’t want to have to lift or move furniture and items any farther from your house than need be. But recently I have noticed people stretching out their private moving zones longer than the Middle East peace process. Just tonight someone thought it within their right to rope off almost 90 feet of public parking space to enable their move. That’s just shy of seven average car lengths, a full three more than I believe DDOT allows. I took down one of the signs in order to call the offending party, but I am curious if PoP folks have grumbled about this recently. My car has been towed several times when people throw the signs up a day or two, or even the night before they move, when they are supposed to have them up, what five days in advance? Just strikes me that this issue is ripe for debate. How many others are riled? Having a car in the city is a luxury, but the oversight over the moving sign industry is certainly lax, in my experience.”

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“Dear PoPville,

I know there are massive problems with massive potholes in DC, but I have never seen anything like what happened to my street. The stretch of Belmont St. NW between 13th and 14th NW was paved a few months ago, with one giant exception: the 100 feet or so that intersects 14th St. NW was prepped and coated weith gravel then abandoned. During the past 2 months winter has wreaked havoc on that area, to the point now where it looks like it’s been bombed. I wrote to DDOT and received a standard “thanks for letting us know, we’ll pass your concern along” for email. (The reply took about a month.) Any other suggestions regarding how to get DDOT to act? Maybe they need to wait until spring to pave again? It’s just odd that they paved the entire block and left this one portion to be destroyed by the elements.”

Ed. Note: Perhaps Potholepalooza will return in April?

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From the Mayor’s Office:

“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser named Gregory M. Dean as Chief of the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS).

“The safety and well-being of District residents is my top priority and FEMS is at the frontlines of this effort. Chief Dean is a proven, collaborative leader who led a department with an international reputation for its fire-based EMS performance. I am certain that he will work with our emergency first responders and the community to move the department forward in exciting ways,” said Mayor Bowser.

“I look forward to working with Mayor Bowser and FEMS providers to deliver efficient and compassionate fire and emergency medical services to the residents in all eight Wards,” said Dean. “We will build on the Department’s strengths and bring a data driven approach that will ensure we are delivering top-notch services 24/7.”

Dean previously served for 10 years as the Fire EMS chief for Seattle, Washington, where he led the administrative and operational functions of a team of 1,150 employees with a $175 million budget. He brings homeland security expertise and a reputation for working well with residents, labor and other stakeholders. (more…)

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Katie Yaeger Rotramel

“Dear PoPville,

DC has parking time limits in many areas, but the ParkMobile app keeps letting you pay. Unfortunately, this resulted in a ticket. Sketchy on my part, perhaps, but I do find it ridiculous that the city continued to take my money through the app only to ticket me. I protested the ticket but lost and will pay it, since I’m a decent citizen (I guess), but frankly I see a serious problem here. Either the app can alert you that you can’t stay in the zone, or a ticket is unfair — can’t have it both ways.

Perhaps others have had a similar experience.

Update:

I heard back from ParkMobile; I emailed them explaining the situation and this is what they had to say when explaining that the app keeps allowing you to extend your time and pay: “Our zones are configured in the way DC dictates and they haven’t asked us to restrict parking for this regulation.” It seems the app has the technology…but DC chooses not to use it, I’m sure for their benefit.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr.TinDC

From the Mayor’s office:

“Mayor Bowser announced the appointment of D.C. based restaurateur and chef Spike Mendelsohn to chair the District’s newly created Food Policy Council (FPC).

“Spike’s leadership will be a tremendous asset to the D.C. Food Policy Council,” said Mayor Bowser. “The District’s food landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade. Policy makers, non-profit service providers and other sectors of the food system should be equal partners in our efforts to create a nourished D.C. I look forward to Spike’s leadership and expertise as we work collectively to transform our food system.”

As Chair of the Food Policy Council, Spike Mendelsohn will spearhead efforts to promote the food economy and entrepreneurship, improve food access and equity in all 8 wards, and promote urban agriculture and production. (more…)

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From the Mayor’s office:

“Today, the Bowser Administration, with the support of union leaders from American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) announced an “All Hanks on Deck” effort to catch up on trash collection that has been delayed due to hazardous conditions on weather-impacted alleys.

Additional trash collection crews will hit the roads tomorrow and throughout the weekend to collect trash that has not been collected. As part of the effort, the District has allocated the following resources:

· additional crews from the leaf team will be activated for trash collection;
· additional crews from private companies will be engaged to add capacity; and
· an unprecedented effort to salt alleys to make them passable for trash collectors.

“We apologize for the delay in service. We are committed to providing the best service possible to the District’s residents. This winter has been particularly challenging, but the District’s government and our employees are rising to the challenge,” said City Administrator Young, Department of Public Works Director Howland and AFSCME Leaders Andre Lee and Barry Carey. “Our crews are going all hands on deck and will work through the weekend to ensure that all trash is picked up in the next 72 hours.”

Due to public health concerns, crews will co-mingle trash and recycling to ensure that all cans are emptied as quickly as possible. Some winter precipitation may occur early next week; therefore, the start of the weekly residential street sweeping program will be postponed to Monday, March 9, 2015.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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…)