Notes from the ANC 2A – Foggy Bottom/West End – Meeting 1/16/19

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At the ANC 2A Jan. 16 meeting:

* The commission greeted three new members: Nicole Goldin, Jeri Epstein and Trupti Patel. Golden said she works in international development. Epstein said his major concerns are local traffic problems, safe sidewalks and well lit streets. Patel said she hopes sidewalks and the sense of community can be improved. 

* Commissioner William K. Smith was re-elected chair, Patrick Kennedy was re-elected vice-chair, Phillip Schrafer was re-elected secretary and new Commissioner Trupti Patel was elected treasurer. All were elected unanimously.

* Metropolitan Police Commander Duncan Bedlon reported an adult tried to grab a 6-year old girl, who escaped. The suspect is under arrest on other charges. Bedlon urged parents to always have a way their children can contact them.

     Lt. Latoyia Heath reported there were no area homicides or sexual abuse cases in the past 30 days, the same as last year. Robberies increased to 2 from none. There was one burglary, none last year. Motor vehicle thefts fell to 0 from 2. Thefts from auto jumped to 17 from 7. Other thefts increased to 24 from 20.

* Police Lt. Darren Haskis, who used to cover the Foggy Bottom/West End area, was unanimously honored for his superior neighborhood service.  

* Richard Livingston introduced Mayor Muriel Bowser’s new liaison with the commission, Nicole Goines. They reported the mayor’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year will be discussed at 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the Wilson Building. 

* Sarina Loy of Ward 2 City Council member Jack Evans’ office reported that he remains chair of the Council’s finance committee and also serves on the Public Safety and the Business & Economic Development committees.

* A representative of the Department of Public Works asked residents not to bag discarded Christmas trees or to leave any lights on them so they can be easily mulched. He said there is a $25 fine for residents who do not clear their sidewalks of snow and a $150 fine for commercial businesses.  

* The commission unanimously commended former Commissioner Marco Guzman’s service. It unanimously named former Commissioner Florence Hamon the commission’s special representative for the Stevens School project. 

* Commission Chair William Smith pointed out that George Washington University has not officially commented on the new hospital branch approved by the City Council to be built in the St. Elizabeth’s complex in Ward 7. 50 rooms were added by the Council to that site, and 50 reduced from the new tower adjacent to the George Washington hospital. Howard University’s medical school will be involved as will some University Medical Center employees. 

* Linda Greenan of PEPCO reported the company started work on Jan. 8 on its 21st & F St. project which will assure Georgetown has electric service after one of the feeders to that community under the Potomac River was lost. 

* Marina Streznewski of The Foggy Bottom Association announced that Chief Gregory Dean of the Fire & Emergency Service will speak on Tuesday, January 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the West End Library, 2301 L St., NW.

* Marianna of the Foggy Bottom Snow Team is looking for volunteers to help shovel sidewalks. It will supply the shovels.

* Ben Turner of the Anacostia River Keeper needs volunteers to take water samples to help make the river fishable and swimmable. There will be two 3-hour training sessions on April 3 and April 10. Potential volunteers can get further details from ben@anacostiariverkeeper.org.

* Lauren Kowall of MRP Realty discussed planned innovations to a 2000 Pennsylvania Ave. townhouse style commercial building. The firm is working with George Washington University and the Office of Planning.

     Most changes will be internal. When L’Enfant first laid out the District, the Western Market was located where 2000 Pennsylvania is today. MRP plans to bring it back with a group of small grocers in the building, which will be surrounded by townhouses and be in front of a 1980 office building. The typical tenant will have about 500 square feet. There will also be several small “eateries” and hopefully a butcher shop. Duke’s Grocery plans to open its third District location there in March selling hamburgers and alcoholic beverages.

     Commissioner James Harnett, a George Washington student, said the university “has worked for years to revitalize the building.”    

     MRP is also working on the 10th story of the office building behind 2000 and the townhouses.

     The commission unanimously supported the application for the plans. A soft opening is planed for December, 2019 and a grand opening early in 2020. 

* The commission unanimously supported Davis Construction’s request to work during holidays on its 2050 M St. and Stevens School projects. Holiday working hours would start at 8:00 a.m. Regular working hours start at 7:00 a.m.

* The Foggy Bottom Market was unanimously approved to continue its 20-year tradition of offering local farmers’ products on Wednesdays starting in April and ending the day before Thanksgiving on 24th Street. The organization agreed to work with the Foggy Bottom Association to deter rats.  

* The commission unanimously recommended that the District Department of Transportation install a protected bike lane on 20th Street rather than 21st or 22nd streets in the segment between New Hampshire Avenue and I Street south of Pennsylvania Avenue. 21st Street would be the preferred alternative for a protected bike lane between Virginia Avenue and Constitution Avenue.

     It suggested four possibilities for the lane to “jog” between the two arteries: the 2000 block of I, F, or E streets and the sidewalk south of the E Street Expressway which connects 20th Street to 21st Street.

* The commission unanimously recommended approval of the District Department of Transportation’s proposal to ban turns on red at numerous intersections in its service area to protect walkers, bikers and scooter users. Six people were killed by cars or trucks in Ward 2 in 2018. Several commissioners said Mayor Muriel Bowser’s efforts to reduce traffic deaths have not succeeded. 

* The commission unanimously endorsed a public space application by BoltBus for a new intercity bus stop occupying five metered parking spaces at 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue for a one year period which could be renewed.

* The commission unanimously approved a working group to make recommendations on the WMATA budget all of which must be unanimous. 

* The commission unanimously recommended approval of the Lawyers Have Heart 10K and 5K races on Saturday, June 8 and the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 27. 

* The commission unanimously approved its 2019 first quarter financial report, its participation in the 2019 ANC Security Fund, its 2019 meeting schedule and the addition of its officers as signatories on its checking account. 

* The next commission meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 20th.