07/30/14 10:35am

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From DPW:

“The Department of Public Works announced today that weekly mechanical sweeping of certain residential blocks in the Bloomingdale neighborhood will be suspended through the end of residential street sweeping season, October 31 while DC Water’s First Street Tunnel construction project is underway. As a result, DPW also will not issue parking tickets to vehicles that remain parked in these blocks during posted street sweeping days.

The affected area encompasses the northern half of Bloomingdale bounded by and including the unit block of Channing Street, NW on the far north, the 2000-2400 blocks of North Capitol Street, NW on the east, the unit and 100 blocks of Rhode Island Avenue, NW on the south, the 1900-2200 blocks of 2nd Street, NW on the west, the 100 block of Bryant Street, NW on the north, and the 2400 block of First Street, NW connecting back to Channing. Other blocks within that perimeter that will be affected include the 100 block of Thomas, the unit and 100 blocks of U, V, W, Adams, and Bryant, the 1900-2300 block of First, and the 2000 to 2200 blocks of Flagler Place.

07/29/14 2:45pm

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From a press release:

“Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray signed the “Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2014” into law, which advances several key sustainability initiatives including banning the use of polystyrene (Styrofoam) in the District effective January 1, 2016. The law will require restaurants, carry-outs, food trucks and other entities that serve food to use compostable or recyclable food service products. Styrofoam is harmful to fish and other organisms in the District’s waterways. Other cities that have banned polystyrene to preserve the environment include Seattle and San Francisco.

Mayor Gray also kicked off a multi-million dollar, multi-year effort to clean up the Anacostia River. The effort, called For a Cleaner Anacostia River, will sample and analyze sediment in the river bed to determine the extent and source of contamination and provide recommendations for the best approach to clean up the river.

The “Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2014” will enhance the natural and built environments, invest in a diverse clean economy, and reduce disparities among residents to create an educated, equitable, and prosperous city. Specifically, the bill will (more…)

07/28/14 8:51am

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Photo by PoPville flickr user mixedeyes

UPDATE from MPD:

“Today Judge Scullin issued a stay in the case Palmer v. District of Columbia regarding possession of handguns. In light of this, members of the Metropolitan Police Department will resume enforcing all laws related to firearm regulation and crimes. Below is the teletype that was issued to the force this afternoon.

Court Issues Stay of Palmer v. District of Columbia Order

At approximately 1330 hours on July 29, 2014, Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. of the U.S. District Court, issued a stay of his order of July 26, 2014, in Palmer v. District of Columbia. Implementation of his order is delayed for 90 days while the stay is in place. Therefore Teletypes 07-137-14 and 07-138-14 are rescinded. All laws related to firearms regulation and crimes remain in effect.

Although the stay takes effect immediately, we must recognize that members of the public may not be aware that all firearms laws in the District are one again in effect. Officers are reminded to handle all matters regarding firearms with caution, while relying on their professionalism and training to support sound judgment while both serving public safety and respecting the rights of individuals.”

Thanks to all who emailed and tweeted us links to articles about this – from the NY Times:

“A federal judge on Saturday overturned the Washington, D.C., ban on carrying handguns outside the home, saying it was unconstitutional. The court ordered the city to allow residents to carry handguns outside their homes and to let nonresidents carry them as well.”

From the Washington Post:

“However, the D.C. attorney general’s office said it would seek a stay of the ruling while the city decides whether to appeal.

In an order approved by Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, police were told that District residents are permitted to carry pistols if the weapons are registered. Those who had not registered their handguns could be charged on that ground, the instruction said.” (more…)

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Wayan Vota

“Dear PoPville,

I have had Zone 1 parking for the past 6 years. A year ago I won an ADU (affordable dwelling unit) lottery. For those of you who are unfamiliar with ADU, your rent is based off your income. This provided us a home that we could afford that wasn’t “managed” by a slumlord. I waited until my car registration expired before changing my address at the DMV. Just this was more financially feasible for us at the moment then to pay multiple fees at multiple times. The DMV told me that even though the surrounding streets are zone 1, that my block in particular is not allowed to have the RPP permit. Just my block. The apartment building had made a deal with the ANC that they wouldn’t allow residents to have RPPs and that they would keep the block strictly commercial.

I completely understand where the ANC is coming from, but now I have a major problem. Parking used to be about 165$ for the entire year to have zoned parking, and I was able to park in multiple locations in the zone. Now I am being forced to either park illegally on the street or pay $200 per month to park only in a garage (which I cannot afford). Neither one of these are options for us at the moment. Neither is getting rid of my car. My apartment building never mentioned in the lease or verbally that we would be forced to have garage parking.

Has anyone been able to work themselves around this type of problem? Or have any ideas of who I can talk to that can help us with at least finding affordable parking if we can’t have RPP? (Does ADU parking exist?) Or just any advice in general about this?”

07/24/14 11:05am

“Dear PoPville,

Yesterday I was driving to work, the exit from 395 to 295 North in DC is going through a lot of construction and a rod came flying at me. The car in front of me dodged it but I couldn’t. I ended up hitting the rod and it took off my car’s front bumper. Today I drove (my boyfriend’s car) on the same road and the rod is still there. and I got a closer look and it looks like the rod part that holds up the yellow construction signs that’s all over that area. I called DDOT and they transferred me to risk management, but obviously no one picked up when I called. Anyway, I think this is pretty dangerous considering if it flies up when hit then it can go through someone’s windshield and kill someone. If anyone knows the number to call to file a complaint, I would really appreciate it.”

07/22/14 1:20pm

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@MrsARodriguez tweets us the photo above:

“Parked a few spots down, didn’t see vendor sign. Happened 2 another guy 2. Lesson learned I guess! $30 ticket on top of having to pay $120 to get his car from the towing company.”

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“Dear PoPville,

I did not realize until Sunday morning that drivers wanting to park along streets that have Sunday-only back-in parking near churches in Shaw were required to park that way during those times. I just figured it was permissible but not required. I was wrong. In other words, residents must move or adjust how their cars are parked by 7am on Sundays along many streets in Shaw. When I walked by 7th St NW Sunday morning two MPD officers were ticketing cars that were not properly parked (backed in, protruding into one lane of traffic).

What’s more, I understand that MPD will not ticket vehicles that remain backed in and blocking one lane of roadway after 3pm unless a complaint is called in.

By the way, the churches have petitioned the city to extend back-in parking on 6th St NW until 9pm Sundays. The city extended the hours while doing a study earlier this year. The study found that extended hours parking was unsafe but the Universal House of Prayer has hired an attorney to petition the city to allow the extended parking to remain. This extended parking makes it more challenging to find a place to park for residents as, even if they find a spot along that road, they need to move their car/adjust how its parked at 9pm…”

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07/16/14 2:30pm

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“Dear PoPville,

Not sure if any information is out there, but encountered a “new rule” while swimming laps at Francis pool.

While swimming laps today I was told, everyone out of pool for 15 minutes, every hour, new rule. Kids, I can see needing a break, but adults swimming laps. This is like going to the gym and being told to get off a machine or stop using the equipment. Lifeguards were nice,but just sat around for 15 min. Frustrating, burned up a half of lunch swim time.
Emailed DC Parks and Rec, no response.

Any idea where to get more information with this new rule?”

UPDATE: DPR responds:

“Regarding the 15 minute safety break. In a municipal pool setting, 15 minute safety breaks are very standard. They are in place for several reasons. The CDC Healthy Swimming tips recommends this practice in pools that serve a high number of children. During the break, parents take that opportunity to use the restroom which has drastically reduced the amount of water contamination closures. Secondly, our pools often hit capacity and traditionally we see large numbers of guests leave during the break and then we can accommodate more of the public. Third, some of our outdoor pools have small staffs and there needs to be an opportunity for them to check the restrooms, water chemistry, make adjustments, and simply refresh themselves to remain optimal vigilance.

As a lap swimmer myself, I know it would be difficult to get a good workout with these breaks taking place. To remedy that, we have published designated lap swimming times and the safety breaks do not occur. Also our network of indoor pools are available for lap swimming without interruption. The outdoor pools by design are for community use by all. The indoor pools have public hours but also have more availability for other usage such as learn to swim class, self directed fitness and water exercise.

The 15 minute rule has been the policy here at DPR for some time. We are just ensuring it is consistently enforced which I am learning has not always been the case. As I begin to review and revise procedures in the aquatics division, I welcome feedback from the public.”

07/15/14 2:30pm

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“Dear PoPville,

Is it legal for construction sites to close the sidewalk but provide no safe way for folks to walk without being forced to walk in the street without any protection? This picture from 14th street at S St, NW”

Ed. Note: WAMU recently reported on a group called All Walks DC:

“All Walks DC is a citywide pedestrian advocacy group for the District of Columbia.”

07/11/14 1:20pm

From Mayor Gray’s office:

“Mayor Vincent C. Gray today vetoed the “Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014” and returned the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request Act of 2014 to the Council with three line-item vetoes. Mayor Gray cited significant problems in a number of areas of the Council’s budget, and asked the Council to delay their summer recess for 30 days to work with the Executive Branch on a compromise budget that best serves the interests of District residents.

I cannot, in good conscience, sign a budget that hurts seniors, taxes wellness, dramatically delays and drives up the cost of the D.C. Streetcar system, and ties the hands of future Mayors to respond to fiscal problems,” said Mayor Gray. “I am asking Chairman Mendelson and the other members of the Council to work with me so we can craft a reasonable compromise that resolves these problems and better serves the 647,000 residents of our city.” (more…)