The security enhancements promised below will be helpful only if actually implemented and done so with a sense of urgency. I live at the corner of Flagler and Adams Streets, NW. Last night, two nights following a homicide a half block south of the Adams/Flagler DC Water construction staging area and following the promises made below, I noticed that the east-side sidewalk on the 2200 block of Flagler Place is still almost completely dark as one walks north towards Adams Street –see attached photo. Additionally, the sidewalk dead-ends due to DC Water project fences that continue to block access to Adams Street. This morning, I walked down the stretch and could see that the light fixture on top of the DC Water fence is missing lightbulbs –see attached photo. It’s beyond my comprehension that such a situation would exist given what has happened in this area in recent days. I noticed this fixture missing lightbulbs only because it is near my house. I suspect that if I walked the perimeter of each of the three DC Water construction staging areas, there would be other fixtures in similar condition. I ask that DC Water increase the sense of urgency given the promises made below.”
I am deeply saddened to hear about the recent street robberies and the shooting death of a resident in Bloomingdale. I know the fear that such acts engender – I was held up at gunpoint several years ago in a nearby neighborhood – and members of the community are rightly concerned about these horrific crimes. We are also concerned for the safety of our workers who are in the neighborhood every day building critical new infrastructure to safeguard Bloomingdale against flooding.
We have strived to be good neighbors during our First Street Tunnel project, and we will uphold that commitment until the work is done later this summer. I have called Chief Lanier to offer our assistance to try and deter crime in Bloomingdale. I have also asked our team to explore any and all measures to enhance security around our construction sites in the neighborhood. Working with the project’s contractors, we are taking the following actions:
· Checking and repairing lighting – During the project, lights were added to better illuminate sidewalks around our construction staging areas. Residents have reported some of these lights are out. Electricians are checking to ensure the lights are functioning properly, and if not, making the necessary repairs.
· Improve visibility – Beginning immediately, workers are removing the noise blankets that shield nearby homes from the construction areas. This will hopefully increase visibility and eliminate blind spots that could allow criminals to surprise victims or escape capture. The blankets can be rehung as needed for noise suppression during heavy construction.
· Additional patrols – DC Water is working to supplement security around the construction staging areas. This will include off-duty police officers or private security personnel.
· Free transportation for residents – The tunnel project continues to offer free rides in the neighborhood on request for residents who call the 24 hour hotline at 1-844-FST-INFO [1-844-378-4636].
No one should have to fear walking down the street in their own neighborhood. We will continue to work with MPD to respond to this very troubling and tragic series of crimes.
CEO and General Manager