- ANC 6B’s October meeting is tonight (10/13), 7 pm at the Hill Center. Meeting materials are available at www.anc6b.org. The commission will be considering raze permit requests for 1620-1622 E Street SE, a letter to Mayor Bowser on the Events DC RFK Stadium Redevelopment study and a resolution on homelessness.
- The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, a great nonprofit organization that works to provide playtime and learning opportunities for children living in temporary housing, is currently constructing a new preteen and teen space at the DC General Family Shelter. While they have plenty of volunteers signed up to help with the construction, the Playtime Project is still raising funds for the new space. You can donate or learn about other volunteer opportunities on the Playtime Project’s website.
- This Sat., Oct. 17 is the 15th Annual Renovators House Tour, an event that raises funds for the Capitol Hill Cluster School. The tour, which goes from 10 am – 4 pm, kicks off in my Single Member District (6B09) with stops along Kentucky Ave SE and E Street SE. You can purchase tickets for the tour at http://renovatorshousetour.org/.
- In case you missed it, the Washington Post had a great feature article on Historic Congressional Cemetery!
Around 15 Hill East residents attended the July 22 meeting with the District Department of Transportation to discuss improving safety at the intersection of 18th Street SE and Potomac Ave SE. Attendees did a great job of pointing out the two major problems with the intersection:
- The failure of vehicles to yield to pedestrians at both the 18th & Potomac and E & Potomac crosswalks, both of which lead to the main gate at Congressional Cemetery. The problem is particularly pronounced during rush hour – a peak time for dog walkers at the cemetery and commuter traffic along Potomac Ave.
- High rate of vehicle collisions due to Potomac Avenue’s transition from a two-way to one-way street at 18th Street SE. Drivers typically move over to the left lane prior to 18th Street, leading to collisions with drivers turning west on to Potomac Ave.
Here is the tentative plan for improving safety at the intersection:
- Request and install pedestrian pylon signs at both crosswalks.
- Improve signage at the intersection.
Short-to-Mid Term (3-4 months)
- Conduct a traffic study of the intersection. I’ve encouraged DDOT to review data gathered from the previous 17th & 19th Street Safety Improvement Study.
- Install “No Turn on Red” signs at the intersection of 17th Street and Potomac Ave SE. This would help tremendously with pedestrian safety at both the 17th & Potomac and the 18th & Potomac intersections. Drivers consistently fail to stop when turning on red.
- Implement traffic calming measures based on results of traffic study. Options may include adding raised crosswalks, installing a signal/flashing light and/or installing a roundabout.
- Conversion of the 1800 block of Potomac Ave SE from one-way to two-way. Ultimately, getting rid of the two-way to one-way transition at 18th Street would do the most to improve safety at the 18th & Potomac intersection. Such a change would need significant support from residents living on the 1800 block of Potomac. One potential issue would be the lack of vehicle access to westbound Potomac Ave SE, which leads to the next long-term discussion item
- Conversion of 19th Street SE from one-way to two-way. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of discussion about this idea during the 17th & 19th Street Safety Improvement Project. The safety improvements that DDOT has already implemented along 19th Street are modest – repainted crosswalks, new signage and an electronic “your speed is” sign. Converting 19th Street to two-way would reduce traffic speed and volume along the corridor and improve access to the new Hill East/Reservation 13 development from the north.
Both of the long-term solutions would need significant support from the neighborhood. I plan to work with my ANC 6B colleagues to start the conversation now.
Thanks to DDOT’s Connie Wheeler and Adolfo Nino for attending the meeting and providing great suggestions. And a big thanks to all residents who were able to attend and/or contacted me with comments. I’ll keep you updated!
- The Barracks Row Fall Festival is tomorrow (Sat., Sept. 27) from 11 am – 4 pm on 8th Street SE. Always a good time with great food and activities. I’ll be at the ANC 6B booth from 1-3 pm near District Doughnut. Be sure to stop by and say hello!
- The Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development’s Office has announced an Oct. 29 surplus meeting for parcels F1 & G1 at Reservation 13/Hill East Development. I’ve posted some additional information about the meeting.
- On Thurs., Oct. 2, I’ll be holding a meeting on the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE project at 7:30 pm at New York Pizza (1401 Pennsylvania Ave SE). Greg Selfridge of NOVO development will be on hand to provide updates on the construction and answer questions.
- Beginning Monday, Sept. 29, the District Department of Transportation will be conducting a roadway improvement project on the 1400 block of Potomac Ave SE. The project, which is expected to last 3 weeks, will include a much-needed resurfacing of the roadway and repairs to sidewalks, curbs and gutters and wheel chair ramps. Note that traffic will likely be reduced to one lane on this block during construction hours.
- The Department of General Services has scheduled a second building tour for development teams interested in responding to the Eastern Branch Building RFP. The tour will be on Tues., Sept. 30. from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm I’m working with DGS to schedule a separate community tour date and time.
- If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to register for the Dead Man’s Run 5K on Saturday, Oct. 4, 6:00 pm at Historic Congressional Cemetery.
- On Wed., Jan. 8, ANC 6B’s Transportation Committee will be discussing the commission’s formal comments to the District Department of Transportation on the proposed design concepts for the Barney Circle-Southeast Boulevard project from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE). If you have not yet had a chance to weigh in on this important project, please attend the committee meeting or send your comments directly to DDOT at email@example.com. Thanks to all who have already attended meetings and/or sent comments.
- Construction on the two-story commercial building at 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue SE is almost complete. Douglas Development plans to finish the building this month. Still no word on potential tenants, though Douglas hopes to have some news to share soon.
- Goldstar Group is seeking a parking variance for their proposed 41-unit residential building at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Goldstar plans to provide the required parking for the building (21 spaces) but needs to include 8 compact spaces. Under the current DC zoning code, compact spaces can only be counted in garages that have more than 25 parking spaces. The Board of Zoning Adjustment will consider Goldstar’s variance request at a hearing on Feb. 25. ANC 6B will consider the variance request during our February meetings – the Feb. 3 ANC 6B Planning & Zoning Committee meeting and the Feb. 10 full commission meeting. I’ll share more information later this month.
- NOVO Development group plans to begin construction on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE sometime in February. I’m working to schedule a community meeting to discuss construction, etc. with nearby neighbors.
- This week, the National Symphony Orchestra will be holding a series of free concerts around Capitol Hill and H Street NE, including a chamber music concert on Sunday, Jan. 12, 12 pm – 1 pm at the Congressional Cemetery Chapel (1801 E Street SE). The events are part of the “NSO in Your Neighborhood Program” which runs from Jan. 7-13. You can learn more about the program and view a full schedule on the NSO website.
- After attending the concert, stop by my office hours on Sunday, Jan. 12 from 2 pm – 3 pm at Curbside Cafe (257 15th Street SE). No formal agenda – just an opportunity for you to share feedback, questions and concerns with me.
- Construction is underway on the new two-story retail building at 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, the old KFC site. At last week’s ANC 6B Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, Paul Millstein of Douglas Development, said that they expect construction to be complete by December. The company has been contacted by potential tenants but does not have any leases signed as of yet.
- A liquor license for District Taco (656 Pennsylvania Avenue SE), a fast food exception for Southeast Market (1500 Independence Ave SE), comments on proposed alternatives for the re-construction of Virginia Avenue Rail Tunnel and proposed testimony on Reservation 13 for an upcoming DC Council hearing are among the agenda (pdf) items for tomorrow’s (Tues., Sept. 10) ANC 6B September meeting. The meeting begins at 7:00 pm at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE).
- A big thanks to Jennifer Howard, Nike Opadiran, Ross Parman and Claudia Vilato for volunteering to represent 6B09 as Resident Members on the ANC 6B Hill East Task Force. Their appointments will be voted on by the full commission at the Sept. 10 meeting. I’m still looking for a volunteer to serve as 6B09 representative to the ANC 6B Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee. If you are interested, please contact me.
- I’m really excited that Curbside Cupcakes is moving into the old Crepes on the Corner space at 257 15th Street SE. Owners Kristi and Sam plan to open in the next month or so and will be offering more than cupcakes. Should be a great addition to 15th Street SE and Hill East!
- Mark your calendars! I’ll be holding a Neighborhood Town Hall meeting on Thursday, October 10 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the Chapel at Congressional Cemetery (1801 E Street SE). More information to come!
- Speaking of Congressional Cemetery, the first Day of the Dog Festival will take place at the Cemetery on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10 am – 3 pm. The festival is open to the public and will include contests, music and local vendors.
Historic Congressional Cemetery is hosting two big events this weekend.
- On Saturday, May 4, the Cemetery is hosting Sousa Palooza, a tribute to the great American conductor and composer John Philip Sousa. Attendees can participate in a scavenger hunt, participate in a free docent-led tour and enjoy musical performances throughout the day. The event runs from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Should be a great time!
- On Sunday, May 5, the Cemetery will host another Notes from the Crypt chamber music concert at 4:00 pm at the Chapel. Tickets, which are $20 ($15 for students and seniors), can be purchased online or at the door. Proceeds go to the Association for the Preservation of the Historic Congressional Cemetery. I highly recommend attending this concert – its a great way to end a beautiful weekend.
Finally, Congressional Cemetery is competing with 24 local historic sites to win a $65,000 grant in the Partners in Preservation program. You can help the Cemetery win a grant by voting each day until May 10 at https://www.preservedmv.com/. You can also earn additional points for the Cemetery by using social media to encourage others to vote.
Thanks for supporting Congressional Cemetery!
A second, follow-up community meeting to discuss plans for an 80-84 unit residential building at 1550 Pennsylvania Avenue SE will take place Monday, March 25, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at the Historic Congressional Cemetery Chapel (1800 E Street SE). Attendees can enter the cemetery via the 17th & G Street SE or 18th & E Street SE gates.
NOVO Development will share updates on their building plans and answer resident questions. In addition, representatives from the District Department of Transportation will be present to answer questions related to the variance requests and traffic flow around the site. My recap of the first community meeting on the plans has additional information about the project and the developer’s zoning requests.
ANC 6B will consider NOVO Developments variance and special exception requests in April. The commission’s planning & zoning committee will hear the case on Wednesday, April 3, 7 pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington (1901 Independence Avenue SE). The full commission will then consider the committee’s recommendation and take a final vote during its April 9 full commission meeting, 7 pm at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE).