On Saturday afternoon, Matthew C. Shlonsky, a recent graduate of American University, was murdered on Seventh Street near the Shaw Metro’s north entrance. Mr. Shlonsky’s murder is part of a documented uptick in violence across Washington.
Crime has risen and MPD’s online data tool reveals this.
LeDroit Park, Howard University, and the section of Shaw near Progression Place are in police service area (PSA) 306. Over the past 12 months, violent crime has increased 8.1%, property crime has increased 4.9%, and total crime has increased 5.4% compared to the 12 months before that.
|Number of Crimes Reported Between|
|Crime Type||8/17/2013 to 8/17/2014||08/17/2014 to 08/17/2015||Change|
|Robbery Excluding Gun||19||24||+5|
|Robbery With Gun||17||14||-3|
|Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) Excluding Gun||20||16||-4|
|Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) Gun||2||8||+6|
|Total Violent Crime||62||67||+5|
|Total Property Crime||328||344||+16|
However, when looking at year-to-date numbers for 2015 (Jan. 1 – Aug. 18, 2015) versus the same range last year (Jan. 1 – Aug. 18, 2014), violent crime declined 8.1%, property crime tumbled 10.9%, and total crime in the fell 10.6%.
|Number of Crimes Reported Between|
|Crime Type||1/1/2014 to 8/18/2014||01/01/2015 to 08/18/2015||Change|
|Robbery Excluding Gun||11||12||+1|
|Robbery With Gun||10||6||-4|
|Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) Excluding Gun||11||10||-1|
|Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) Gun||2||5||+3|
|Total Violent Crime||37||34||-3|
|Total Property Crime||202||180||-22|
Mr. Shlonsky’s murder, though tragic, is rare. In the past five years, the only other person murdered was a man found with stab wounds in car that crashed on Florida Avenue in the early hours of May 1, 2012. He was believed to be driving himself to the hospital.
Residents concerned about crime are encouraged to attend the ANC 1B public safety meeting on Thursday, August 20 at 7 pm at the Thurgood Marshall Center (1816 12th St NW).
[This post has been updated to include year-to-date crime numbers.]
Mark your calendars for the annual spring celebration in the park on Sunday, April 26 from 11 am to 2 pm. The LeDroit Park Civic Association and Common Good City Farm are putting together an event that includes activities for kids and opportunities to learn about the farm.
- spring egg hunt
- seedling planting
- face painting
- tree watering and mulching
- park clean-up
- dogpark clean-up
- community garden work day
- Tours of the farm
- Sign-up for income-qualifying weekly vegetable program
- Seedling sale: kale, collard greens, lettuce, basil
More details will come as the event approaches.
Photo: Tulips on the 200 block of Elm Street. April 2012.
Mayor Muriel Bowser attended last night’s meeting of the LeDroit Park Civic Association to announced her priorities and take questions from the audience. During the question period, the Association’s parks committee chair discussed the shabby state of the field at the Park at LeDroit. Ms. Bowser directed her two Ward One staff liaisons to add this to their “hotlists”.
The company that constructed the fields at the four-year-old park layered sod on top of construction fill that they piled over old asphalt pavement. The result has been a patchy field with areas of dead grass and protruding construction material. During the fall tree planting with Casey Trees, volunteers broke several pieces of Casey Trees’ equipment trying to dig holes into which the 45 trees were planted.
In May of last year, I led a neighborhood walk-through with then-Councilmember elect Brianne Nadeau and we stopped by the field to inspect its poor condition. Don’t give up hope! The Civic Association is building a campaign to get the field repaired for good.
Earlier today DDOT installed LeDroit Park’s first Capital Bikeshare station. The station is located at the south entrance of the Park at LeDroit at Third and Elm Streets NW. This station fills a conspicuous hole in the city’s bikesharing map. The station was scheduled to be installed last fall, but delays from the Montréal-based supplier and confusion as to which District agency controlled the park meant that nothing happened until today.
As for the last bit of confusion, we give special thanks to residents like Mr. Hamilton and our ANC Commissioner Marc Morgan (1B01), who pushed the city to resolve the issue and install the station this month.
Here is the map with the location of the new station.
LeDroit Park Civic Association President and ANC 1B01 candidate Marc Morgan has confirmed that our neighborhood is on the short list to receive one of the 15 new Capital Bikeshare stations this fall. The station will likely go at the Park at LeDroit on the Elm Street side.
The District and Arlington continue to buy stations and expand the system, filling in more gaps throughout the densest parts of both jurisdictions. Sure, we don’t quite match the richly bespeckled station density of Montréal or Paris, but local annual budgets include capital line items to purchase more stations.
Despite the fact the system is approaching its second birthday, many news outlets misunderstand the purpose of the system. The annual fee of $75 allows subscribers to rent the bikes at no additional charge for an unlimited number of 30-minute trips.
The 30-minute free period— there’s a charge for longer trips— is supposed to discourage riders from taking out the bikes for hours on end. In fact, the intended purpose is not joy-riding around town, but to facilitate trips that are slightly too long to walk and slightly too short for driving or transit.
For instance, I find CaBi to be to most convenient way to get between LeDroit Park and Dupont Circle. No need to wait for buses or trains, no need to transfer at Gallery Place, no need to hunt for parking.
Stations already exist near LeDroit Park, at 7th and T Streets NW and at First Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW. The new station will finally put LeDroit Park on the CaBi map.
Mayor Vincent Gray is visiting LeDroit Park on Friday night at 7pm. The LeDroit Park Civic Association has moved its June meeting to Friday, June 15 at 7 pm to accomodate the mayor’s visit. The mayor will address various questions from neighbors and about the neighborhood. The civic association has forwarded on to the mayor several questions regarding the park and regarding crime in the neighborhood.
Please join us for this special civic association meeting in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church. We are hoping the mayor will join us afterward for a brief neighborhood tour if his schedule permits it.
All residents are encouraged to attend.
The Park at LeDroit was built on the site of the Gage-Eckington School. The school, built in the 1970s, was itself built over streets, houses and apartment buildings.
At the time, 3rd Street extended north of Elm Street and dead-ended just before reaching V Street. Oakdale Place extended eastward from its current terminus at the park to dead-end at what is now the eastern boundary of the park.
Two apartment buildings on the site, the Linden and the Harewood were named after local streets. Before the city changed the neighborhood’s street names, 3rd Street was Harewood Avenue and 4th Street was Linden Street.
We found this 1901 description of the apartments. What’s most notable is that the apartments are marketed to black Washingtonians and thus reflects the neighborhood’s turn-of-the-century transition from a white neighborhood to a black neighborhood.
THE LINDEN AND HAREWOOD FLATS
Le Droit Park—Corner of Harewood and Oak Streets.
The Colored American
January 5, 1901
Mr. Banes the the real estate dealer has erected two of the most modern flats in Washington situated in Le Droit Park. The situation of these flats is an ideal one, on Third street, two doors from the Fourt street car line. The finish of the flats is elegant, and they have a preposessing appearance. They are three stories high, and each floor has three flats of four rooms each and bath. The whole flat is heated by steam, thus saving the necessary expense of buying fuel. Each flat has a parlor, dinning [sic] room, bed room, kitchen, and bath room and private hall rooms, and halls are heated by steam. The kitchens have a modern gas range, hot and cold water, cupboards, pantry attachment. These flats are no doubt, the best in the city. Persons having a large family can easily rent two adjoining flats saving the enormous rent of an entire house. They are thoroughly and artistically finished. The walls are papered and frescoed, and glasses of a large size, supported by a modern mantel piece are in each parlor. Le Droit Park has become a pleasant part of Washington in which to reside and these beautiful flats are a happy addition to the residences there. Mr. Banes has spared no pains in making these flats comfortable and inviting and already applications are being made for retals thereof. Colored people with first class reference who desire a beautiful part of the city in which to live, and at the same time occupy comfortable and improved apartments without renting a whole house, and paying high rent, can find a happy medium in these flats. The terms are easy. The buildings are open daily for inspection. For further information call at the office of Mr. Charles E. Banes, corner of 14th and G sts. n. w.
It’s official. At its legislative session on Tuesday, the DC Council officially named our new park the Park at LeDroit.
Here is a short video of the bill’s passage:
While strolling around our new park, you might have noticed this landscaped depression near the mural.
This is a rain garden. The storm drains within the park empty into this garden so the ground has an opportunity to absorb rainwater. Obviously there’s a limit to what the ground can absorb in a downpour, so the grate at the bottom of the photo carries the overflow into the sewers.
Under each street in areas of the city built before 1900 is a single pipe that carries both sewage and storm water. The problem with this combined system is that heavy rain storms force the combined system to overflow at 53 discharge points into Rock Creek, the Potomac, and the Anacostia.
Building these rain gardens helps alleviate the pressure on the sewer system during storms and thus helps protect the water quality of our rivers.
Last Friday the fences came down and the new Park at LeDroit finally opened.
DCPS closed Gage-Eckington Elementary School in 2008 and the process began to transform the site into something other than a vacant building. Now, three years later, the park is open.
Though the playground, garden plots, and walking paths are open, please stay off the fenced-off field so the grass can take root. The dog park is expected to open in the coming days.
Mayor Gray will attend the official dedication on Friday at 12:30.