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It was a busy ANC 6D meeting on Monday night for Near Southeast-related issues, so I'm going to put it all in a series of posts:
* New Jersey Avenue Underpass Art: The Capitol Riverfront BID gave an update on the "Water Pylons" art installation, which is now moving forward after being "dormant" for about a year. This is the project partially funded by a grant from the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities that will paint and light the pylons holding up the Southeast Freeway in a "modern representation of water that announces New Jersey Avenue, SE as a gateway to the Capitol Riverfront community." The reflective blue paint should go up in July, followed by light fixtures in August, and the installation should be dedicated in September, which will be right around the time that DCCAH moves into its new nearby digs at 225 Virginia/200 I. Passers-by may note that new fences and LED overhead lighting have already been installed along New Jersey as part of the transformation of the underpass. The BID's presentation to the ANC, with more information about the project, is here.
* Parking Parking Parking: There was a discussion about issues with game-day parking in the neighborhood, specifically the prohibition of parking along K and L streets, as well as other restrictions that have made residents unhappy. Damon Harvey of DDOT says that the agency is "reassessing" the current configuration, to figure out how to provide better access to residents while not allowing stadium-goers to then hog all the parking. He expects that changes will be announced in a month or so that will allow for "greater residential protection during games." One other non-game day change for residents has already gone into effect: meters are now turned off at 6:30 pm (but still 10 pm on game days).
However, those who came to the meeting hoping to hear about changes in the Residential Parking Permit system that would allow residents in the high-rise buildings west of Canal Park to park on the street throughout Ward 6 were disappointed, as DDOT continues to hold that large residential buildings in mixed-use neighborhoods will not qualify for RPP. (Harvey used the Ellington on U Street as a specific example of this being the case elsewhere in the city, but there are more buildings in this situation than just that one and the Near Southeast ones.)
Also, in somewhat related news the ANC unanimously passed a resolution protesting the plan in the mayor's new budget to redirect most performance parking proceeds to other areas, such as Metro, rather than their being used as originally intended, to fund non-automotive transportation improvements in the neighborhood.
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ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (5/15/12 10:39 AM)
What's the update on Canal Park Construction?


JD says: (5/15/12 10:44 AM)
That would be what I meant by "series of posts." Not able to get to all of it at once.


202_cyclist says: (5/15/12 11:07 AM)
The Atlantic Cities blog has a great article this morning about the Southeast waterfront neighborhood.

link


Boris says: (5/15/12 11:44 AM)
JD, did they give an "official" reason for this? I mean we all know the city cut some kind of deal with the developers, but what is City Hall saying about it?

"However, those who came to the meeting hoping to hear about changes in the Residential Parking Permit system that would allow residents in the high-rise buildings west of Canal Park to park on the street throughout Ward 6 were disappointed, as DDOT continues to hold that large residential buildings in mixed-use neighborhoods will not qualify for RPP. (Harvey used the Ellington on U Street as a specific example of this being the case elsewhere in the city, but there are more buildings in this situation than just that one and the Near Southeast ones.)"


JD says: (5/15/12 12:03 PM)
It's not a "deal with developers"--it's how parking is handled in a mixed-use area, to prevent every parking space from being perpetually taken by residents, meaning that businesses, restaurants, etc., would have little expectation of visitors being able to park. As I said, there are multiple big apartment buildings in the city where residents don't get RPP stickers. This was a position supported by Tommy Wells when the plans for ballpark-area parking were first laid out, btw.


Boris says: (5/15/12 1:20 PM)
Tommy Wells, wrong again? Say it isn't so. My point is (and then I'll shut up) that renters on or near 7th or 8th get stickers and the same argument could be made in those (commercial) areas of the Hill. And I thought the point of having a metro station in the neighborhood was to discourage people from driving into our area? Lastly, I personally don't want a sticker to park in our neighborhood. I want it to park in those areas of the Hill I can't walk to and have to pay for now. I'll stop now.


Parking4Us says: (5/15/12 2:33 PM)
Our area was built with substantial public and private parking available to ensure that the businesses in the area have visitor/high turnover spots available. It also has an immense amount of street parking available for residential parking. The city however has artificially reduced the number of parking spaces usable by residents in our area which burdens us disproportionately when compared to both existing and potential commercial entities. There probably is not a vast conspiracy between the city and the developers but it certainly does imply they are not paying attention to the REAL needs of the neighborhood as a whole. We want neighborhood visitors to come to the businesses in our area just like the surrounding areas (barracks row, eastern market, etc.) want us to visit theirs. Increasing zone 6 RPP will only increase that commerce in the larger SE, not hinder it. Non-neighborhood visitors will utilize the commercial lots and remaining metered parking anyway so this would not affect them.


Shogungts says: (5/16/12 2:37 PM)
The only meaningful thing that would happen if they expanded RPP to the high rises is that people that live in Capitol Quarter* (and perhaps even some parts north of the highway when other high rises are built) would not have a place to park as they would be flooded with cars from the high rises. Now I am sure there are some examples somewhere, but I can not think of any areas in DC, Arlington, or any other locations which give high rises parking permits for zoned residential areas.

Parking4Us point about other parts of Zone 6 is actually an interesting one, but I imagine it would be quite an ordeal for the city to figure out zoning in that manner. For example, how do they zone so that person A can park in all of zone 6 be except for part 1 (b/c they are in a high rise in part 1) and person B can park in all of zone 6 except for part 2 (b/c they are in a high rise in part 2) and person C can park anywhere in Zone 6 b/c they are in a row house. All of this so you can drive to other parts of Zone 6?

In my opinion, if you live in an high rise, you should plan to secure parking through your building. If your building has a bad parking deal (looking at you Capitol Hill Towers), it is not the city's fault.

*Disclaimer, I do not live in Capitol Quarter.


Shogungts says: (5/16/12 2:40 PM)
As for Boris's comment:

"And I thought the point of having a metro station in the neighborhood was to discourage people from driving into our area?"

It's also to lessen your need for a car.


JD says: (5/16/12 2:45 PM)
... And once you allow Ward 6 parking on more streets in the neighborhood, you'll suddenly find a whole lot more people from Ward 6 driving to baseball games, fighting for the spaces as well. That's one of the reasons that Capitol Quarter people can have trouble finding street parking during games. (It's an issue that the streets just across South Capitol in SW deal with, along with people handing out their Ward 6 guest parking pass to ballpark-goers--all of which takes away parking from residents.)



PJY03 says: (5/16/12 6:27 PM)
We're arguing over two separate things here. Its fairly obvious that there's never going to be enough Zone 6 parking for resident's of high rise buildings to rely on it as their primary parking resource. Even if they opened up a lot more zone 6 parking, you'd have to be out of your mind thinking you could reasonably count on this to meet your residential parking needs. This is why I bought a garage space in my building. You need one if you live here.

So the quantity of parking isn't the issue. I could care less whether they increase the number of zone 6 parking spots available in the neighborhood. I just want the right to the same damn sticker every other tax payer of the ward has. How hard is that? If they have the theoretical right to park in my neighborhood, I should have the right to park in theirs. Its not about opening up more spaces for zone 6 residential parking. Its about treating residents of high rises fairly.

The market will allocate the limited number of spaces efficiently on its own. But you have to treat all city residents fairly.

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