From Michelle Lancaster
There’s No Kissing in Football
A number of sports references could be used here, but the story of a lesbian couple ejected from a recent Ravens game is simply too important to get lost in an analogy. The Blade has the full story, including the team’s response that the ejection was the result of a ‘stolen’ plastic cup and not a display of affection. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what is more important to a multi-million dollar franchise: a plastic cup or ensuring equal rights. There’s a lot of coverage of this event, and I encourage you to read it all, get disgusted at the nature of some of the comments and do a quick search of how to let the team’s PR staff know how you feel about this. Hint – it’s an email form.
DC City Government & Money: For Upcoming Elections – Where’s the Money?!
Who’s surprised that nearly two-thirds of the District’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions failed to file quarterly financial reports on time? Check out how each ANC did at TBD (two of the three local ANCs filed on time). As we move forward with our ANC coverage, look for this to be a question to discuss with candidates. While you’re following the money, it’s worth investigating this item from Washington Business Journal on $100,000 for Logan/U St – does our neighborhood really need budget funds?
Stuff We’re Still Following: 14th and U Plans, Rent & Economic Security
After an uproar over the plans for 14th and U’s new streetscape, DDOT Director Gabe Klein asked for new ones. Congrats to all the local bloggers, especially Greater Greater Washington, for raising specific issues now being addressed, including better civic space around the Reeves Center. On the other hand, if the local survey was right and $32,000 is enough to have “economic security” in DC, can you even find a place to rent? Urban Turf reports on the tightening of the rental market on and around 16th St.
Your Friday Food Fix
Rogue States has flipped its last burger at the Connecticut Ave. NW location, after a judge found for the plaintiff, powerhouse law firm Steptoe & Johnson. The neighboring lawyers found the grills smell a “nuisance” as it wafted in their workspaces. Check out the full story of the last hours at Washington City Paper. It may be bad news for small business, but maybe a win for us with a new location at 14th & U? While on the topic of U St., we should mention that The Saloon, the latest drinking establishment to encounter DC’s labyrinth of liquor law, applied for their tavern license on Wednesday. WCP again.
Top DC News Out of the Borderstan area: The Bay Bridge is ‘Very Scary’
Hottest story out right now is how Travel and Leisure ranked our Bay Bridge the 9th scariest bridge in the world. Speaking as one of the hundreds of Borderstan residents that have made that drive back after a long weekend at Rehoboth or Dewey, the return to reality is almost as tough as the drive across the span. Full coverage of the area’s obsession with the story is at the WCP‘s City Desk blog.
From Michelle Lancaster
What Does $32K Get You In DC?
New Economic Security Survey Says Quite a Bit
A new cost-of-living analysis for the region reported in The Washington Post indicates that for single people without kids, DC is surprisingly the cheapest living option. Though the report includes some assumptions that may not be true for all DC residents – not having a car, for instance – and most Hill staffers will admit that their first paycheck doesn’t go that far at all, the report suggests that the District is the cheapest jurisdiction in the metro area.
Going one step further, the report also includes key data on the growing gap between top earners and bottom earners that could (and should) shape future city policies to improve economic security.
Pedestrian Safety in DC
DDOT and USDOT Intervene After Rash of Pedestrian Deaths
As DC ponders ways to improve streets, the last two weeks indicate that something is amiss for those traveling on DC streets. We reported on Kiela Ryan, the young woman hit and killed in Dupont, in last week’s round up. TBD on Foot has a full recap of the additional tragedies from the past several days and today’s DOT discussion, which placed much of the blame on cell phones.
14th and U Streetscape Plan
What’s There & What’s Missing
Greater Greater Washington has the most detailed review of the proposed plans for sidewalks and streets around the 14th and U intersection. Bus bulb outs and bike lanes have garnered a lot of praise and attention, but do the plans go far enough to provide residents a better streetscape for travel and civic space? Check out the comments for a microcosm of how residents view the Reeves Center area.
‘Sex Test’ Raises Furor
Or Does It?
Georgetown Dish filed the initial report, citing parental outrage at the “graphic” nature of a “sex test” survey administered to Hardy Middle School students. TBD’s Amanda Hess has the response from sponsor Metro TeenAIDS, whose director takes issue with the number of complaints. Check out both reports. What do you think about the survey? Let us know in the comments below.
Top DC News Out of the Borderstan Area
DC Cop Hits Transformers 3 “Bumblebee”
The filming of several scenes for Transformers 3 has several city streets shut down this week. Despite posting all the closures, it appears that a DC police SUV made it through the closures while responding to reports of a suspicious package. While en route, the SUV was T-boned by the yellow ‘Bumblebee’, one of the “good guys” (or Autobots, for those of you watching cartoons in the ’80’s). I am trying to ignore the irony, since in the first movie, a “bad guy”/Decepticon was a police cruiser. DCist has the video and report.
From Tom Hay
Residents and business owners turned out to fill the second floor community room at the Reeves Center Wednesday night to hear details on the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) plans for the transportation and streetscape improvements on the 14th Street NW corridor. Attendees were given a 25-page color handout of the Powerpoint presentation and scale drawings with block-by-block details were available on site.
The project does not take into account the possibility of a streetcar lines on 14th Street.
By the Numbers
The budget for the federally funded project is $8.5 million. The stretch of 14th Street from Thomas Circle to Florida Avenue that the project covers about a mile, 0.94 mile in fact. Currently the design process is at the 65% complete stage, with a scheduled design completion date of November 2010.
14th Street is 70-feet wide and plans call for:
- two 11-foot lanes of traffic in each direction
- 5-foot bike lanes–both north and south bound, adjacent to the traffic lanes
- 8 feet of parking/bulbouts on each side of the street.
What is a bulbout?
The project will incorporate many “bulbouts” at intersections and crosswalks. Essentially they are curb extensions at the corners of an intersection. Bulbouts allow for greater pedestrian visibility and safety by shortening the crosswalk distance. Bulbouts also expand the sidewalk area allowing more room for bus shelters, bike racks, streetlights, even outdoor café seating.
From Tom Hay
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host a community meeting on the 14th Street Streetscape project on Wednesday, September 29. Time is 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the 2nd Floor Community Room of the Reeves Center at 14th and U NW.
Attendees will be shown the intermediary design followed by a public input session. The long-awaited project covers the stretch of 14th Street NW from Thomas Circle north to Florida Avenue. The streetscape project got its start back in 2007 with presentations by DDOT at a series of public meetings. The final report was released in 2008.
Some of the objectives of the 14th Streetscape plan are:
- To reinforce and define a sense of place and uniqueness of the 14th Street corridor.
- Establish a flexible, demand-management parking strategy.
- Encourage the use of public transit.
- Create a safe, inviting and interesting neighborhood that supports diverse uses and activities.
“Streetscape” is a broad term to include all the physical elements that we encounter when moving around the city by foot, bike, car or public transit. Elements of the project include bus shelters, crosswalks, trees, curbs and gutters, bike lanes, public art and signage.
Streetcars? U Street?
What is not on the agenda is any discussion of DDOT’s ambitious streetcar plan, which would include this portion of 14th Street as well as a U Street line. When you click on the DDOT streetcar map, be sure to click on Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the master plan.
Also not included in this streetscape project are the blocks of U Street just off 14th Street. If you’ve walked the U Street between 9th and 18th Streets, you know they are in desperate need of refurbishment. The sidewalks are extremely narrow in some places in addition to being in bad shape and simply dirty.
Projects on 17th and P Streets
In Dupont Circle we have recently seen two DDOT Streetscape projects. The 17th Street NW project, which started last year and just finished up (be sure to check out our story on the 17th Street Festival to celebrate the completion). A few years ago the blocks of P Street west of Dupont Circle also underwent renovation in what turned out to be a costly interruption for many of the local merchants.