After 8 months of poking and prodding, DDOT has found a solution that will allow pedestrians to move in and out of the circle without stopping in the median. Expect changes to the signaling by the end of the month.
Second, my colleague Kishan Putta and I have been pushing DDOT to repave the 15th Street Cycle Track since November. After several exchanges between Jack Evans, Mary Cheh and DDOT, they finally got the message that the most used bike lanes in the city are in need of repair. Planners are finalizing the placement of new signage and markings and the lanes will be repaved by the end of the summer.
This is on the south end of Dupont Circle right before you get to Connecticut Ave (and right after you start considering getting a Krispy Kreme). This signal has been out over a week. Some might think the 2nd signal behind it has the same time as the one that’s out. Not true. The 2nd signal could have 40 seconds on it and the first one is actually on “don’t walk.”
This is my walk to work, so I’m used to it. However, someone not really thinking might assume both are on walk and will get dinged by a car going around the circle. Even when the light is working I’ve seen too many near misses from cars zipping through the roundabout and not seeing the signal.
Councilmember Tommy Wells issued the following statement after yesterday’s guilty plea by former Councilmember Michael Brown on bribery charges and last evening’s presentation of facts by U.S. Attorney Ron Machen.
Councilmember Wells’ statement:
“This is pay-to-play laid bare.
The culture of corruption appears deep and pervasive — and it has broken the public trust with our city’s elected leaders.
This is why I continue to call for tougher medicine for DC elected officials. The Council passed the buck on meaningful ethics reform and it must be fixed. This Council voted 12-1 to defeat every effort to curb pay-to-play that I put forward and instead chose to protect business as usual, and protect their privilege. Nothing can stop our communities’ progress faster than a continued culture of corruption.
This is the time for leadership. This Council must move forward with strong and aggressive reforms that have real teeth to fill the gaps where so-called reform left the city coming up short.”
Brown accepted $55,000 in return for helping what he thought was a business seeking contracting opportunities. In reality, representatives of the business were undercover FBI agents. Mr. Brown faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, although sentencing guidelines call for less.
This morning, Councilmember Tommy Wells, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety took a tour and on-site review of the Office of Unified Communications.
“Earlier today, I visited the District’s 911 call center. During my visit, I learned that there were only 3 medical transport units available to respond to an emergency for the entire city – and all 3 were located in the northwest portion of the city. As I have stated previously, recent failures of Fire and EMS to provide transport quickly point to gaps in accountability, fleet management, and staffing.”
At Council hearings this year, the Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) leadership has repeatedly stated that a fleet of 39 ambulances are needed to cover the city. However, at today’s visit to the Office of Unified Communications by Councilmember Wells at 10:30 am — a non-peak time as defined by FEMS — 31 of those vehicles were on a response call or at a hospital, with 5 of the remaining 8 ambulances unavailable for various reasons and only 3 available to respond.
Adding to concerns about the city’s emergency preparedness and ability to respond to crisis, the FEMS Inventory Report, submitted to the Council on April 29th, showed that more than 40 percent of the city’s ambulances are inactive.
“This is exactly why we must take a long, hard look at the proposed ambulance redeployment plan. The prevailing issues with our Fire and EMS fleet readiness are of grave concern to me, the Council, and the public. My committee is looking into these issues in conjunction with a full report on the “Fire and Emergency Medical Services Ambulance Redeployment Act of 2013”.”
We just found out today that the District Department of Parks and Recreation and the Citi Open Tennis Tournament are co-hosting a French Open Watch Party this evening at Takoma Station located at 6914 4th St NW. There will be complimentary food buffet (until 7pm), drink specials all night and prizes will be raffled off as well. So, if you are a tennis fan or want to check out a Ward 4 gem, do stop by and enjoy!!
The District wants to surplus The McMillan Park Reservoir Historic District. Not only that, but it supports the plans of its development consultant, Vision McMillan Partners, to destroy 90% of the historic structures that make the site special. After a door-to-door community survey and close to 2,000 petition signatures that mean nothing to Councilmember McDuffie, community members say “Stop VMP! Stop the Surplus”
WHAT: The District Government holds a public hearing in the neighborhood to listen to the community’s views on it plans to declare McMillan Park Reservoir Historic District to be “surplus” public real estate. There may be possible appearances by Councilmember McDuffie, Mayor Gray, and Deputy Mayor Victor Hoskins.
The Friends of McMillan Park and concerned local citizens will voice their concerns. They are calling on Mayor Gray to stop the surplus, stop VMP’s development plans from going forward, and to consider alternatives that preserve and repurpose the above- and below-ground historic structures of this national landmark park.
WHEN: Thursday, June 6, 2013, 6:30pm WHERE: All Nations Baptist Church, 2001 North Capitol St. NE (North Capitol & Rhode Island)
MPD’s Fifth District issued a detailed email about fireworks in DC:
Public Safety Approach
The Metropolitan Police Department and DC Fire/EMS will again team together to ensure that inspection, regulation and safety measure are in place concerning the possession, storage and sales of Fireworks within the District of Columbia.
Captain Mark Beach will be the Metropolitan Police Department’s Fifth Police District will be this years coordinator for education, inspection and enforcement. Captain Beach can be reached on 202-698-0118, 202-345-1313 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Members of the Fifth Police District have begun conducting periodic surveillance and inspection of fireworks vending stands located in our community. We will ensure vendors possess proper permits, have No Smoking signs displayed, sell only fireworks manufactured by TNT, and have an employee roster on site.
MPD will also be enforcing existing laws concerning possession and detonation of illegal fireworks by citizens within our neighborhoods. Detonations of illegal fireworks endanger those lighting the device and those in close proximity of the Firework. Once lit and discharged, illegal Fireworks endanger nearby homes and structures, our pets and pose a real risk for our children. Please review and share with others what type of Firework can be possessed and those listed below that are deemed to illegal.
Illegal Fireworks in the District of Columbia and Penalties
In general, any firework or firecracker that explodes is illegal in the District of Columbia. Any person found using or in the possession of illegal fireworks in the District of Columbia could face fines and penalties of up to $2,000 and/or arrest for further prosecution. The Metropolitan Police Department and Fire/EMS seize illegal fireworks products that are discovered within the District and destroy them after 30 days.
Illegal Fireworks Characteristics
• Any fireworks that move.
• Any fireworks that explode.
• Any fireworks that emit a spark or flame greater than 12 feet.
• Any fireworks that have a side mounted fuse or a fuse inserted at any point along the length of the product’s surface.
• Any fireworks that contain mercury, arsenic, magnesium, phosphorus, or any other highly oxidizing agent.
• Any fireworks that the Fire Marshal considers to be dangerous to the safety of any person or property.
Examples of Illegal Fireworks (after the jump.) (more…)
Relief is here for the many visitors along the scenic C&O Canal and those who live, work or play anywhere along the 50-mile long Potomac Interceptor sewer. DC Water, the National Park Service, Cabin John Citizens Association, Palisades Citizens Association and other community and environmental groups today cut the ribbon on the first of six odor-scrubbing facilities.
Using technology to “scrub” the air at these six points along the large-diameter sewer enabled DC Water to remove most of the vents that have for years emitted sewer gases to the open air above. In addition to the District of Columbia facility at Fletcher’s Boathouse, three Maryland facilities have also been completed. Two more begin construction in Virginia in the coming months.
“This solution has been many years in the making,” said David Lake, DC Water Board member and Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection Special Assistant. “DC Water, the National Park Service and community groups may have come to the table from different viewpoints, but worked together for the success we celebrate today.”
General Manager George S. Hawkins added, “DC Water studied the problem, analyzed potential solutions and set about building these facilities. It took many years and dozens of permits, but in the end, we have a series of buildings that blend with the environment, serve to scrub the odors and provide public restrooms for those enjoying the parks.”
National Park Service Superintendent Kevin Brandt said, “The C&O Canal is a regional treasure that attracts hundreds of visitors a day. Restoring fresh air gives visitors a natural, refreshing outdoor experience. We thank everyone who had a hand in this project.”
The ribbon cutting was held at the Fletcher’s Boathouse building on the C&O Canal. The buildings will control odors and preserve the sewer line from corrosive sewer gases. Most of the vents from the sewer are being removed, but the remaining few vents are necessary to create the vacuum effect that keeps the sewage flowing in this gravity-fed sewer. The total construction cost of the six facilities is approximately $19 million.
The Potomac Interceptor (PI) sewer was constructed in the 1960s by the Federal government to connect Washington Dulles International Airport and several suburban jurisdictions to the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant. After, complaints surfaced about the odor coming through the vents, especially along the picturesque C&O Canal, a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
From The Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington:
Food trucks today thanked members of the DC Council Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (BCRA) for rejecting Mayor Vincent Grays’s proposed new food truck regulations.
“We’re deeply grateful to Councilmembers Graham, Grosso, Alexander, Cheh and Committee Chairman Orange for their strong support,” said Doug Povich, Chairman of the Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington and co-owner of Red Hook Lobster Pound-DC.
“We’re ready to work with the District and community to make the needed revisions to the current proposal. We hope the Council will be able to consider an improved version of these regulations as soon as possible.”
If adopted as currently written, May Gray’s proposed regulations result in fewer choices, less competition, food trucks closing and food truck employees losing jobs.
“The committee is absolutely right to recommend that the full council reject these anti-competitive regulations, which contain harmful and unnecessary restrictions on food-truck entrepreneurs’ ability to serve their customers and earn an honest living,” said Bert Gall, director of the Institute for Justice’s National Street Vending Initiative. “We urge the city to take this opportunity to create commonsense regulations that are focused only on the government’s proper role in protecting public health and safety, not the unconstitutional purpose of limiting competition.”
I saw something strange out my window Wednesday night (10th and Otis NW) and I was wondering if PoPville knows anything about firemen drills on city streets- because that is the only explanation for what I saw. (either that or it was a weird comedic performance).
About 10:30pm, a firetruck came racing down 10th with lights and sirens full blast. The truck stopped in the the intersection of 10th and Otis and firemen in full gear came racing out and started unravelling a hose. They then dropped said hose in the middle of the street, got back in the truck, and raced down Otis to 11th. Then they turned around and came back down Otis (going the wrong way on a one-way), jumped out of the truck again, put the hose back in the truck, got back in, and drove away. It was quite perplexing. Have DC firemen been known to conduct hose-drop drills on residential streets?
Ed. Note: An email inquiring about this incident to the DCFD was not returned.
I had the great pleasure of touring many of DC’s new and/or renovated libraries with Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper. We visited libraries in Shaw, Georgetown, Tenleytown, Petworth and Mt. Pleasant. Thank you Chief Librarian Cooper. You will be missed.
DPW To Collect Residential Trash/Recycling Starting at 6 AM, for Remainder of Week, May 30-June 1, Due to High Temperatures
The DC Department of Public Works announced today that its trash and recycling crews will begin their collections an hour earlier, at 6 am, for the remainder of the week, Thursday – Saturday, May 30 – June 1, due to predicted 90° and above temperatures and unhealthy air quality (Code Orange reported by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments). Residents may put their trash and recyclables out for pick-up starting at 6 pm on the day before their collections. Trash and recycling containers should be removed from public space by 8 pm on the collection day.
Throughout the summer, when the temperature and heat index are 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.