On Tuesday June 6, 2017, the Crestwood Citizens Association and Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) Single Member District 4A08 held a joint quarterly meeting at Grace Lutheran Church. Pastor Wendy Moen kicked off the meeting by thanking everyone in attendance and noting that she makes herself available to anyone that would like to meet, chat, take a walk, or otherwise connect with her.
There was a good turnout, especially from Blagden Avenue neighbors, including what must be one of Crestwood's very youngest residents whose parents should be commended for teaching the importance of civic involvement from such a young age!
The agenda for the meeting can be found here.
Blagden Avenue and Mathewson Drive Sidewalks
Jim Sebastian and Ted Van Houten from DDOT attended the meeting and presented an update on the status of the Blagden Avenue sidewalk design. Ted explained that the September 2016 Livability Study recommended a sidewalk be installed on Blagden Avenue to facilitate safe access to Rock Creek Park, and that the Study was part of the "planning phase" of the sidewalk. Ted further explained that DDOT is now in the "design phase" and will be conducting a field study and looking at other issues such as the location of utilities and catch basins in order to prepare a design for the sidewalk.
DDOT will later be looking into other additions to Blagden Avenue such as a bicycle facility and a slow zone. However, at this juncture the sidewalk is the focus of DDOT's efforts. There is a possibility that the bicycle facility could consist of a shared use path/sidewalk.
Ted and Jim confirmed that no final decisions have been made with respect to whether the sidewalk will be built on the existing roadway or on DC's public right of way. The option of the sidewalk being constructed entirely in the existing roadway is still on the table. Wherever the sidewalk is build in the roadway, Blagden Avenue will be narrowed and will lose one of the two existing parking lanes. DDOT is not able to provide a timeline for the design or construction of the sidewalk at this time.
Crestwood residents were able to share their views and opinions regarding the Blagden Avenue sidewalk. A few of the comments were as follows:
Next Steps: When the design has come along further, DDOT will connect with the CCA and the SMD 4A08 Commissioner for comment. Crestwood residents will have an opportunity to provide comments regarding the proposed design. Jim noted that the input of residents, as well as the ANC and other criteria, are taken into account when DDOT makes its design decisions, with the ANC's position to be given "great weight."
Mathewson Drive: There also will be a sidewalk constructed on Mathewson Drive. Initially it was to be constructed on the south side, now it looks like it will be on the north side. DDOT will issue a Notice of Intent for comment. Currently, the funding is only for Mathewson Drive, not for any portion of the sidewalk on Upshur - it was noted that adding a sidewalk to one house on Upshur St. would alleviate the current gap that exists and would provide continuity to the new Mathewson sidewalk.
Beach Drive Phase II Construction
Residents noted that the access to the path at the intersection of Blagden and Beach drive is very dangerous, for both bicyclists and pedestrians. It is expected that this issue will be addressed as part of Beach Drive Phase II.
Jim and Ted said that they would look into the status of the ANC 4A's request that Phase II of the Beach Drive construction be split into two segments to allow Crestwood residents continued access to cross Rock Creek Park from Blagden Avenue during the construction of Phase II
DC Comprehensive Plan
Commissioner Black provided thoughts on the DC Comprehensive Plan as it affects Crestwood that have been presented to ANC 4A . Any Crestwood residents that have additions or comments should send them to the Commissioner or the Association ASAP. One resident noted that the future of Carter Barron should be addressed, which Commissioner Black agreed with.
This comment period (which will not be the only comment period) closes on June 23. The Association will be endorsing these comments unless it hears otherwise.
Councilmember Todd's Office
Dolly Turner from Councilmember Todd's office presented updates on DC Budget items that benefit Ward 4 including funding for school modernizations and capital improvements, childcare vouchers, Upper 14th Street Green Team, and for the Safe at Home Program for District Seniors. She noted that the Councilmember is following the DDOT issues closely. Ms. Turner also fielded requests for information and questions from residents for review by Councilmember Todd's office.
DC LED Street Lights
On June 19 ANC 4A passed a Resolution on LED street lights, which tracks the resolution previously approved by the CCA. The Resolution recommends that DDOT use warm-white 2700 Kelvin LED lights for street light installations rather than the current 4000 Kelvin blusih-white lights.
- Speeding is a huge issue on Blagden Avenue. Signage hasn't helped. A stop sign camera was installed near the area where the sidewalk will be installed, and it issued 963 tickets in a recent month. Yet, the speeding has not abated. Constructing the sidewalk on the roadway and narrowing Blagden Avenue (referenced as a "road diet") would act as a traffic calming measure since the roadway would be narrower. In addition, constructing the sidewalk on the roadway would result in no loss of impervious surface and the loss of no trees.
- If Blagden Avenue is narrowed, DDOT should make sure that the Fire Department knows about it in case it affects how fire trucks can move along Blagden.
- If the sidewalk is constructed partially on the public right of way and partially on the road, there will be areas where the sidewalk curves out into the road. Given the speeding issues mentioned above, there is a risk that a driver could not see where the sidewalk curves and end up jumping the curb, especially on a dark and/or rainy night.
- If the sidewalk is constructed in the road, snow plows would plow snow right onto it, making it even more difficult for residents to shovel the sidewalk.
- The lack of timeline is an issue - there are a lot of children that use the area, and the current conditions, with people being required to walk on the street, are very dangerous.
- There would be benefits to having the parking lane be adjacent to the sidewalk, not on the other side of the street. For example, the safety of people exiting parked cars and of pedestrians and a mitigation of the snow plow issue mentioned above.
- It is important to remember that bicycles also use Blagden Avenue and for this to be considered in design considerations.
- The gaps in sidewalks throughout Crestwood are an issue, especially for the safety of children.
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About ANC SMD 4A08: ANC Single Member District (SMD) 4A08 covers all of Crestwood and is the equivalent of census tract 26. The ANC 4A08 Commissioner is Gale B. Black.
About the Crestwood Citizens Association: The Crestwood Citizens Association was formed in 1941 and corresponds to the Single Member Advisory Neighborhood Commission District, ANC 4A08. Its purpose is to enhance and protect the quality of life in Crestwood while giving residents a voice in city and community affairs. Learn more about the CCA at www.crestwood-dc.org.
THE CRESTWOOD CITIZENS ASSOCIATION IS SUPPORTED BY YOUR DUES. WE ENCOURAGE ALL CRESTWOOD RESIDENTS TO SUPPORT THE CCA BY JOINING THE ASSOCIATION.
EMAIL INFO@CRESTWOODDC.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION
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