March 10, 2016, 7:3O pm
The meeting convened at 7:38 PM. Commissioners Bender, Wallace, Hall, Quinn and McHugh were present.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Several attendees wanted to discuss Valor Development’s plans and the community’s desires for the SuperFresh site. Commissioner Bender responded that Valor Development had said that it would be at the next ANC meeting and that the Open Forum does not allow for an extensive discussion. Commissioner Hall added that Valor has presented their plans to the ANC twice and that they are currently redesigning their proposal so a discussion of the plans they previously presented to the ANC would be a moot point.
Ian Maggard, The Ward 3 Liaison to Mayor’s Office of Community Relations announced that the Mayor would present a State of the District Address at Arena Stage on Tuesday, March 22, 7:00 PM.
Andrew Huff, the Director of Community Relations at American University announced that on Saturday, March 12, AU is hosting a Dive-In-Movie where they will be showing Muppet Treasure Island while kids swim in the pool. A few spaces are still available.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt. Hill from the 2nd District provided an update on crime trends in the area. Between February 8 and March 9 there was one robbery, three Assaults with a Deadly Weapon (an increase from two the same time last year), one burglary, 22 thefts (an increase from 17 last year), 12 thefts from autos, and one stolen auto. Property crimes are down 5 % over the same time period last year. Lt Hill said he receives many questions about thieves using key code readers to steal automobiles. In about 90% of the stolen auto cases MPD has, a key was left in the car but they are starting to see some cases in which electronic key code readers are being used.
There is a new security camera initiative in the District which provides a rebate for residents and businesses to install security camera systems on their property and allow for the use of the video in police investigations. The program is run by the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants. More information about the program can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commissioner Quinn asked if the police could enforce parking regulations for the food trucks that block driving lanes during morning rush hours on Wisconsin Ave.
Commissioner Bender asked whether the police could take reports electronically on cars that have been rifled through as he had trouble filing an electronic report when his car was broken into. Lt Hill said that in the past, the police did not have a means to take miscellaneous reports but they have a new reporting system and encourage officers to take all reports. If you are having trouble filing an electronic report, you can request to have an officer come out and take the report.
Commissioner Bender also noted that after his car was rifled through, which he was sure he had locked, he noticed that his electronic key fob stopped working. Lt. Hill confirmed that MPD now believes there are thieves in the area who are able to open the locks on some cars, at least certain makes/models, with electronic devices.
Lt. Hill reminded the audience that if you witness a crime or see something suspicious call 911. For any other questions, email email@example.com
Discussion of and possible vote on letter supporting Janney 5K
Jeff Davis, Co-Chair of the Janney 5K presented an overview of the event. The Janney 5K and Fun Run will be held on Saturday, April 30th and will run the same, open-route race course as in years past. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the letter supporting the event. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on grant application for Wilson Tiger Run
The Wilson PTSO will hold the second Wilson Tiger Run (5K, 2.5 K and a fun run) on April 9th at 9 am to support the school’s track teams. At the last ANC meeting they requested a $2000 grant to support the event. Judy Corcillo stated that they have amended their application, as requested, to specify that $1800 of the grant request will pay for the timing company and the remaining $200 will pay for the runner’s bibs. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the amended grant request and issue a check. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding traffic calming audit in vicinity of 46th and Fessenden Streets
Commissioner Hall spoke about the problems at the intersection of 46th and Fessenden Streets. There are many pedestrians with children and/or dogs in the vicinity of the intersection and there is a hill that blocks the view of 46th from Fessenden. The Rock Creek West study recommends having a 4-way stop sign at that intersection but it currently just has a 2-way stop sign. Neighbors on the 4500 block of Fessenden submitted a petition to DDOT to have a traffic calming audit performed. Commissioner Quinn noted that there were a few typos in the resolution.
Commissioner Hall moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution as amended to support the traffic calming audit. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application for Class D liquor license for restaurant at Wagshal’s, 4855 Massachusetts Ave.
Commissioner Hall stated that Wagshal’s would like to amend their liquor license to allow for beer and wine service in their new restaurant. The discussion and vote on their application will take place at the next ANC meeting.
Discussion with representatives from Pepco about ongoing work along Wisconsin Avenue in support of the modernization of the Harrison Substation
Chris Taylor from Pepco provided an update on Pepco’s work along Wisconsin Avenue. They are tripling the capacity of the Harrison Street substation and the work is scheduled to be completed by June 2018. Mr. Taylor stated that they will be constructing the fence at the Harrison Street Substation and they hired a muralist to decorate the temporary wall at the station. Pepco is making its way down Wisconsin Ave, installing conduits between adjacent manholes that will allow them to run additional feeder lines to the station. This work will continue until Van Ness Street and they expect to be finished digging by June 2016. They plan on pulling cables through the conduits between the manholes from August 2016 until April 2017.
The conduit work between Ellicott and Fessenden has been more difficult than on other blocks as they have encountered underground obstructions that have forced them to dig much deeper than usual. An underground gas valve near Ellicott St. still needs to be removed by Washington Gas. Pepco will temporarily pave the block next week and remove parking restrictions until Washington Gas can remove the valve. The final work on that block will start back up in around three weeks and will last for another six weeks.
Leigh Catherine Miles from Tenleytown Main Street and Lori Rolnick from PetMac spoke about the negative effects the street work has had on businesses on that block. Mr. Taylor responded that they are currently working from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and they are exploring options that will allow them to work until 7 PM as it provides for economies of scale that would allow Pepco to greatly speed up the project. Ms. Miles and Ms. Rolnick both stated that they did not want the work to continue past 3:30 because the businesses are relying on the evening hours with no construction. Ms. Miles asked if Pepco could work overnight instead. Pepco cannot work overnight because of noise issues. Commissioner Bender asked if by dedicating more workers to the task the project could be done more quickly with the same work hours. A Pepco representative said that might be possible if they could work from both ends of the street, and that he would explore options for doing so. Commissioner Hall suggested approaching Safeway about letting customers park there to at least address the lack of parking along Wisconsin Ave during the daytime construction.
Commissioner Bender stated that constituents have reported that the tree boxes on the block have been damaged and asked if they will be replanted. Mr. Taylor replied that they will replace anything they have damaged. Commissioner Quinn stated that there have been noise complaints about steel plates. Mr. Taylor replied that they are working on cushioning the plates.
Presentation by DDOT on Vision Zero program to enhance pedestrian safety
Jonathan Rogers from DDOT spoke about the Vision Zero initiative to provide safe streets for all users with a goal of zero traveler fatalities by 2024. The program uses police crash data and input from many city agencies and programs and surveys to find dangerous intersections, particularly with respect to pedestrian and automotive “near-misses.” The initiative focuses on the areas of Education, Enforcement, Evaluation & Data, Engineering & Infrastructure. To make streets safer, they have looked at lowering speed limits, increased enforcement and photo enforcement, engineering of the roadway to discourage speeding, and removing parking spaces to increase visibility. The Vision Zero office has a tremendous amount of geographical data that can be used to produce various maps and analyze routes.
Commissioners noted that there have been many safety studies done in our ANC over the years with very little actual implementation. They asked many questions about Vision Zero with respect to budget and the ability to implement safety recommendations. Questions were asked about making pedestrian safety measures (high visibility crosswalks, bulb-outs, medians along main thoroughfares, etc.) a standard part of street work.
Commissioner Quinn pointed to the inherent conflict of interest between traffic engineers who want to keep rush-hour traffic moving and pedestrian safety concerns. He noted that many commuters are from MD and VA but Commissioner Quinn would like to slow down traffic to make the streets safer for local residents.
Commissioner Wallace asked what role the ANCs will have under this initiative. There will be a traffic safety liaison from each ANC to coordinate efforts with DDOT.
Commissioner Bender raised concerns about the thoroughness of police investigations when pedestrians are struck by cars but not gravely wounded. Mr. Rogers agreed that his understanding was that if a victim struck by a car is not killed or likely to die, the police do not dispatch the major crash unit to the scene to do a thorough investigation. Commissioner Bender noted that a large amount of data that can help the Vision Zero Initiative is being missed by MPD in these investigations, and that. Mr. Rogers asked Commissioner Bender to provide more details on what investigations he would like to see and Mr. Rogers will follow up with MPD.
If you have questions, comments or concerns or would like data, Mr. Rogers can be reached at Jonathan.firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-741-5960.
Discussion of and possible vote on a resolution regarding bill pending in DC Council that would enhance training for special police officers and permit university police officers to enforce university rules against students in nearby off campus areas
The DC Council is considering a bill that would authorize university police officers to enforce the student code of conduct on students off campus. Commissioner Bender noted that although most American University (AU) students are good neighbors, there seem to be a very few group houses that cause severe neighborhood problems. He stated that some of the problem behaviors encountered in off-campus houses are difficult for MPD to address under DC law But campus police could enforce rules under University Codes of Conduct. He explained that under the proposed legislation, a University could submit a public safety proposal to MPD to allow campus police to operate in off-campus areas who would approve the plans. The draft resolution asks MPD to hold public meetings when such powers are requested and notify the ANCs of such requests.
Andrew Huff, the Director of Community Relations at AU stated that AU and the other Universities do not support the bill in its current form. Students are required to report where they are living and the University keeps track of homes with multiple athletes or members of Greek organizations. Currently, they cannot respond to off campus incidents unless MPD asks them to. When they do, they are there in an administrative capacity only to enforce the codes of conduct. When a student is cited, they have a student conduct review that could result in probation, expulsion or other actions depending on the severity and the number of infractions. The original intent was to bring the law up to date to reflect current practices. They do not want to change how they are currently operating.
Commissioner Bender stated that he would like to have university police be able to drop by off-campus, problem homes randomly to check up on the students which they currently do not have the legal authority to do. Mr. Huff encouraged the ANC to have MPD write citations for nuisance behaviors.
Commissioner Quinn noted the bill would allow Universities to do what they do now and that MPD cannot press authority on the Universities; the Universities are required to ask for enhanced powers, if so desired. Commissioner Bender offered a few edits to the draft resolution.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the resolution as amended to support enhanced training for special police officers. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of February 2016 meeting minutes. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the February 2016 minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of expenditures. Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve payments of $525.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support and $68.97 to FedEx Office for copying services.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:07 PM.