At the commission’s June 20 meeting:
- Metropolitan Police Dept. Lt. Darren Haskis reported there were 2 assaults with a dangerous weapon in the commission’s area this past month. Both have been solved and arrests made. Robberies jumped from 4 last year to 5 this year, but thefts from autos fell from 11 to 5.
- The West End Library will welcome gifts of books from residents on Saturday, July 7. Sonya Street of the Department of Public Works said her department will replace trash containers or just their lids if they are damaged by rats. Her department has issued 3,242 fines this year for improper storage of solid waste.
- Commissioner Patrick Kennedy said he would support banning motorized bicycles from sidewalks. For pedal bikes, it should depend on the situation. Council member Jack Evans has asked Ward 2 commissioners to let him know what they think about banning all bikes from sidewalks in Ward 2, as they are now banned from the downtown area.
- Will Handsfield, transportation director of the Georgetown Business Improvement District, discussed possible alternatives for connections to and from Rock Creek Parkway in the area between K Street and Virginia Avenue, which now suffers from severe traffic congestion. The BID is planning a pilot study this summer in coordination with the National Park Service. The commission voted 6-0-1 to support a traffic study on the lines the Georgetown BID has proposed with the proviso that the impact on pedestrian and bicycle traffic should be included. The commission allocated $2,000 to help the BID finance the study.
- The commission voted 6-0-1 to write a letter of support for lighting improvements in the southern section of Edward R. Murrow Park at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue, 19th and H streets. Dualio Passariello reported the lighting, which he designed, is working in the northern section of the park. The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District has maintained the northern section, but the southern section is currently outside its service area.
- The commission took “no action” on liquor licenses for North Italia and Flower Child restaurants which plan to open at 2112 Pennsylvania Ave. North Italia will have indoor seating for 190 patrons and a sidewalk cafe for 40. The indoor hours will be 10:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m. and the outdoor hours from 10:00 a.m. to midnight. It will feature “casual Italian dining.” Flower Child will offer “fast casual cuisine.” Under District law, deliveries may not be earlier than 6:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m. Trash must be picked up by 10:00 p.m. and not before 6:00 a.m.
- The commission agreed unanimously to support an application for GW Hillel to build a 4-story building plus a penthouse at the corner of 23rd and H streets. The third and fourth stories will be leased to the university. Plans have been modified so as not to affect St. Mary’s Church next door.
- The commission unanimously supported plans by George Washington University to locate two mid-block crosswalks in the 2100 block of H Street, which is under review by the Department of Transportation. Commissioner James Harnett, a George Washington University student, said many students are currently concerned for their safety as they cross the street. He was relieved when he was told that food trucks could not be located near the crosswalks for visibility reasons. When Harnett suggested moving the crosswalks to a location that might attract more students to use them, Commissioner Patrick Kennedy said the Department of Transportation is very difficult to negotiate with. “Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.”
- The commission unanimously recommended that the late Commissioner Rebecca Coder be honored on the West End Library’s Wall of Honor. It also supported installation of a “moment” honoring her at Francis Field at 25th and N streets.
- Gary Griffith of the Friends of Francis Field told commissioners the field is over permitted given the lack of maintenance. Often several different neighborhood teams are using it at the same time, often being entertained with boom boxes. Much of the field is the property of the National Park Service. Commissioner Patrick Kennedy inserted in the commission’s unanimously approved letter to the Department of Parks & Recreation that School Without Walls should have priority as to its use. The letter called for amplified music to be prohibited unless specifically allowed in a permit, that groups must have fewer than 50 participants unless they have support of the ANC and that the maintenance be reviewed.
- An Army representative announced the Sunday, Oct.7 Army 10-Miler will change its first 4 miles to eliminate the Watergate, Virginia Avenue and Memorial Bridge. Runners must run at a speed of at least 15 minutes a mile or be taken off the race course.
The commission’s next meeting will be held Wednesday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the West End Library, 2301 L St., NW.