From the Forum

by Prince Of Petworth May 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm 51 Comments

Traffic patterns on Harvard Street impeding emergency vehicles: will it get worse?

Hello, I live on the 1400 block of harvard and was wondering if anyone in MPD or the fire department was aware of the problems that parking congestion on Harvard is creating for emergency vehicles?

On May 9th I saw an ambulance coming from Adams Morgan that couldn’t get through on Harvard due to double parking on the 1500 block. On May 11th, I saw a near traffic accident as someone veered from a parking spot on the south side of the street to a spot on the north side. on May 12th, an ambulance had trouble picking up a medical emergency at All Souls Church due to no legal or illegal spaces near the building. On May 27,th a fire engine was unable to turn right onto Harvard because someone was illegally parked at the corner of Harvard and 15th Street NW

The reson I’m asking is that a developer is seeking to build an 8 unit apartment building on Harvard Street, NW and they are asking the board of zoning to waive the parking requirements to have parking for their building. We submitted over 70 signatures and 10 letters of opposition today, but apparently the planning department is planning on supporting this application.

It is my feeling that worsening the parking problem on Harvard street will effectively cut off access to local hospitals for residents in Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, and Columbia Heights, and will make it impossible for the fire trucks in Adams Morgan to help out at fires east of 16th street. Irving Street (the other eastbound thoroughfare) is effectively useless to EMS vehicles due to the traffic congestion caused by the DC USA. Fire officials from the Lanier Street station

Approving this parking variance would open the door to approval of other parking variance on the street (there are three more condo conversions -from single family homes in progress right now), and therefore in the long-term would create a very real public safety issue for this neighborhood.

There is a hearing on Tuesday June 4th the the DC Board of Zoning. If you would like to express your concern, please refer to application #18563 / MCSKA, LLC. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. at 441 4th Street N.W., Washington, DC 20001 in Room 220 South.


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