Notes from the ANC 3/4G Meeting on March 25th


ANC 3/4G – Chevy Chase

At the March 25th meeting:

*Commissioner Rebecca Maydak invited residents to a public safety meeting for transportation at Lafayette Elementary School on April 9th at 6:30pm.

*Community Relations and Services Specialist Gabrielle Priest of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of Community Relations and Services reported that new legislation is being drafted to alleviate the sales taxes on diapers. A resident proposed this be extended for adult diapers as well, to which Priest said will be considered.

Priest announced that through Mayor Bowser’s proposed fiscal budget of 2020, the DC Circulator bus system will now be free. Priest mentioned that Bowser is pushing for a new route to serve Ward 7 residents.

Potholepalooza, a month-long program focused on repairing potholes throughout the District, has begun. She asked residents to report potholes worth adding to the program to 311 or to her email at [email protected].

*Co-chair Brian Doyle of Ward 3’s Feeder Network said the master facilities enrollment plan in Wilson Feeder Schools has a total projection of 3,185 students in the next ten years. Doyle noted that although this is only a projected number, students will arrive, regardless of capacity available. He mentioned that short-term plans, such as the extension of a partnership where high school students can take college-leveled classes at the University of the District of Columbia, have been considered. Remarking that Bowser introduced legislation to extend a fifty-year lease for The Lab School’s ownership of The Old Hardy School, Doyle recommended public usage of The Old Hardy School as the most beneficial option to alleviate overcrowding. He said this proposition could happen as soon as next week with the Council’s history of declaring emergency legislation when extending leases.

Commissioner Chanda Tuck Garfield questioned how much making the Old Hardy School public would actually help school overcrowding. Doyle said no other solutions have been given on the Mayor’s behalf, and that four buildings would be gained, making it a good place to start.

*Supervisory Civil Engineer Zahra Dorriz reported that a reconstruction project of Oregon Avenue on Military Road to Western Avenue NW has been advertised for construction in January. Dorriz said the public should anticipate a three-month process to revise submissions and clearances. They will be recruiting a construction contractor, manager, and a public outreach personnel during this time period.

She mentioned that construction will begin early fall and will be completed fall of 2021. Residents and Commissioner Chanda Tuck Garfield said they were skeptical about these dates because this project has been ongoing with delays for nine years.

Dorriz said a monthly newsletter will be issued out to update the community. Commissioner Abraham Clayman requested a weekly newsletter be put out instead. He also asked for better communication, for projects to be completed on time, and for an overall disruption decrease from the District Department of Transportation. He recommended that the project’s website be updated now due to its dissemination of inaccurate information.

Commissioner Garfield said resolutions in writing have been approved by the commission in the past, yet the District Department of Transportation has consistently not held up their part. She said that construction plans tailored directly to communities are necessary.

Commissioner Clayman asked Dorriz to return to the June Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting to update the community with facts, since on multiple accounts Dorriz reported that there was not yet enough information to notify residents. Dorriz said she plans on attending the June Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting with the project’s hired staff.

*Deputy Associate Director Steve Strauss of the Transit Delivery Division and Project Manager Raka Choudhury proposed an on-demand transit system that will only affect the A6 bus route. Choudhury mentioned that the N4 bus is not up for consideration in this plan. The aim of these medium-sized small vehicles is to save public transportation while competing with ride-share services. The implementation would go into low-density areas and would provide frequent service at what Strauss said he hopes will be the same cost as ride-share services.

Commissioner Gerald Malitz said he envisioned ride-share services being significantly cheaper than this proposition, and noted that they also take riders to their exact desired location rather than this plan. Strauss said this solution is only a trial.

Commissioner Abraham Clayman said he thinks this proposition is only to get rid of the E6 bus. One resident said the E6 bus is terribly important to him, and that a substantial amount of taxes are paid for this bus. Another resident supported the on-demand transit system because he claimed that the E6 bus is the most inconvenient.

Choudhury said there is no current funding to implement this proposition, but said hopefully next year their team will ask for such.

*The commission unanimously passed a resolution to accept testimony from the Council’s budget hearings calling for better communication between commissioners and constituents, and requesting $100,000 for a direct feedback app.

*The commission unanimously supported a budgeting proposition for the Department of General Services to have a particular amount requested and allotted for community completion work that is to occur in upcoming years. A specific amount of money was not requested by the commission at this time.

*The commission unanimously supported a request for the Council to provide at least another $200,000 to look for more places to locate certain future construction programs.

Commissioner Speck he was not impressed with the earlier presentation from the District Department of Transportation and said he hopes funding will alleviate future construction programs.

Tori Powell contributed to this section