Learn about DDOT street improvements, review a neighbor’s request for a variance, and vote for civic association officers at the next week’s civic association meeting. The next meeting is Tuesday, May 26 at 7 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church (623 Florida Ave – enter at the rear).
DDOT will present its plan for installing green infrastructure to reduce stormwater flow into the sewers during storm events. Such infrastructure can include rain gardens and pervious alleys that absorb water.
A neighbor at 2118 2nd St NW will present her plan to add a 90-square-foot addition to her house. She will request support for a zoning variance to build her addition.
The association will also hold annual elections for officers. The positions are President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. All association members are eligible to run and vote.
President Golda Philip and Secretary Brian Footer, who is also our ANC Commissioner, have chosen not to run again. At least one person has agreed to run for each position, but we will open the floor to additional nominations (you may nominate yourself).
(Disclosure: I am now the Vice President and will run for President.)
ANC Commissioner Brian Footer informed me that DDOT will apply a slurry seal to T Street from Second Street to Sixth Street one day from May 1 to May 6. The sealant fills cracks and slows asphalt deterioration. During the special day that DDOT applies the sealant, parking will be prohibited on T Street and driveways will be inaccessible from 8 am to 5 pm. DDOT will post notices 72 hours before the work begins.
DDOT applied the same treatment to Fifth Street back in 2013. Here are some photos of the process and the results.
DDOT posted this map of DC published in 1975 to celebrate the bicentennial. The map includes a section on LeDroit Park. Notice the groovy font, the “new” Howard University Hospital, the “nice old houses”, the long-gone bakery, and the “newly reopened Howard Theatre.” The Howard Theatre had briefly reopened from 1975 to 1980.
Fall is a good time to plant trees. DDOT has released its tree-planing map and LeDroit Park is slated to receive 16 trees. The agency only plants trees in public space, meaning the trees will be planted in the tree boxes or planting strips between the sidewalks and the curbs.
- 501 T Street
- 406 T Street
- 324 T Street
- 318 T Street
- 471 Florida Avenue
- 1934 3rd Street
- 1842 2nd Street
- Opposite 1915 2nd Street
- Opposite 1919 2nd Street
- 1948 2nd Street
- 1929 2nd Street
- 329 Rhode Island Avenue
- 455 Florida Avenue
- 453 Florida Avenue
- Opposite 432 Oakdale Place
- Southwest circumference of Anna Cooper Circle
A few brief neighborhood updates:
Parking passes extended to the end of the year
The District has extended the expiration date of our visitor parking passes from September 30 to December 31.
Two groups downgrade Howard University
Moody’s, the bond-rating agency, has downgraded Howard University debt from A3 to Baa1, one notch above junk status. The agency cites worries over the financially foundering hospital, which ran up a $21-million loss last year. Other university departments, however, posted a combined $33-million surplus after the university’s aggressive cost-cutting measures last year.
U.S. News and World Report downgraded Howard University’s ranking by 22 slots to 142nd place. The magazine publishes its annual opinion of the “best colleges” in the nation, though there is plenty of criticism of the magazine’s methodology.
OP and DDOT to unveil the Mid City East draft plan Thursday
The Office of Planning and DDOT are holding an open house tomorrow to unveil their Mid City East small area plan proposal. The agencies launched the Mid City East Initiative last year “to holistically plan for transportation, commercial revitalization, redevelopment, historic resources, sustainability and parks and open space.”
The open house is tomorrow, Thursday, September 26 from 6:30‐8:30 pm at the McKinley Tech Auditorium (151 T Street NE) in Eckington.
LeDroit Park Civic Association will elect new officers next month
The association will elect new officers at its October meeting. The positions up for election are president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. Any paid member may run and vote. Not a member? Join today!
The October monthly meeting is on Tuesday, October 22 at 7 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church (enter on U Street).
A few streets became much darker yesterday evening. Throughout the day yesterday, DDOT applied a “slurry seal” to the surface of several neighborhood streets. The slurry seal is a type of liquid asphalt that is sprayed from the back of a truck and smoothed out by road workers. According to DDOT, the material “seals cracks on existing roads and protects the roadway surface from occurrences that cause normal wear and tear, thus slowing down the deterioration rate of the pavement.”
Here’s a photo of truck applying the material to 5th Street. The white stop line, granite crosswalk line, and various utility holes were covered in removable tape to prevent them from being paved.
The truck now applies the final strip of slurry. Notice how shiny it is when it’s freshly poured:
Here’s a close-up of a freshly poured section. The ends have to be manually smoothed out and feathered by road workers.
The seal runs over onto the brick gutter in a few places, but it otherwise smoothes over the cracks and cuts in the street pavements. The streets now sport a fresh, even surface like a freshly frosted cake.
Speaking of asphalt, did you know that the man who founded LeDroit Park later became the “asphalt king” of America? LeDroit Park was founded in 1873 by Amzi Barber, who quit Howard’s Board of Trustees to go into real estate in DC. After a decade, Barber quit the real estate and started a business to spread a new technology: asphalt road paving. Though it seems ubiquitous now, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that governments started paving streets with asphalt. In 1888 Barber moved his asphalt business to New York, where it took off. He was so successful that his 1909 obituary in the New York Times described him as the “man who founded the asphalt industry in this country.”
After much neighborhood lobbying, DDOT installed a new traffic signal at Florida Avenue and R Street NW in Bloomingdale. The light includes a pedestrian signal that will make it easier to cross Florida Avenue. Before DDOT installed the light, pedestrians had to pray that drivers on Florida Avenue would obey the law and yield at the crosswalks.
In unrelated news, two vintage transit buses are parked on the vacant lot at the northwest corner of the intersection.
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.
An email exchange on the neighborhood listserv discussed lobbying DDOT to install a Capital Bikeshare station in the neighborhood. When DDOT, which oversees the bikesharing system, published its expansion plans for last year, we noted that the system had made it to the neighborhood’s periphery, but not its center.
But where could we fit a CaBi station in LeDroit Park? As one neighbor rightly noted, LeDroit Park’s sidewalks are typically too narrow to accomodate bikeshare stations. Indeed, most of the neighborhood’s sidewalks cannot accommodate bike states while maintaining the minimum 4-foot clearance for wheelchairs. Another neighbor suggested installing a station at the Park at LeDroit, which is District-managed property.
However, the easiest answer is sitting right under our wheels: the street!
In several tough places, DDOT has wisely moved the bikeshare stations into the parking lane. In the 600 square feet of public space it takes residents to park three cars, residents can dock 22 bikes. If managing scare public space means optimizing its use for the greatest number of residents, a bikeshare station is a clear winner in efficiency.
Marc Morgan, President of the LeDroit Park Civic Association, is running unopposed for ANC 1B01, the seat that covers most of LeDroit Park. Myla Moss, our current ANC commissioner, has decided to retire from the seat she has held since January 2005.
Since I serve as Mr. Morgan’s campaign chair, I will share with you reasons you should vote for him in November.
For the past two years, Marc Morgan has served as President of the LeDroit Park Civic Association and has worked to bring the residents of the neighborhood together by hosting a mix of social activities and informational programs. Additionally, Mr. Morgan has been a strong advocate for the neighborhood by lobbying District agencies, including the DC Housing Authority, DC Water, and the District Department of Transportation, to better respond to problems facing residents in LeDroit Park.
For example, Mr. Morgan coordinated meetings between the residents of the Kelly Miller apartments and the DC Housing Authority to address crime, building deterioration, and youth engagement.
Last fall Mr. Morgan also coordinated the first annual LeDroit Park Oktoberfest, a neighborhood celebration that highlighted LeDroit Park’s diversity and offered activities for residents of all ages. Additionally, he has created a monthly neighborhood happy hour that provides neighbors an opportunity to meet and talk in a relaxed setting.
More recently, Mr. Morgan has work with the Metropolitan Police Department to address crime in LeDroit Park. Mr. Morgan continually pushes for increased police presence and responsiveness. Mr. Morgan also advocates measures to prevent crime and has consulted local residents and businesses to identify and report suspicious activity.
Within the next few weeks, he plans to roll out a new initiative that calls for increased police presence, identification of criminal hotspots, and crime prevention education in both LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale. The overall objective is to reassure residents that LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale are safe, thriving neighborhoods.
Outside of community activism, Mr. Morgan is the Director of Development for the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), a non-profit dedicated to promoting the use of renewable energy.