Near Southeast DC: Past News Items - August 2010
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Breaking Ground at Canal Park
Aug 31, 2010 12:25 PM
The Usual Suspects gathered today at Second and M streets, SE, for Canal Park's ceremonial groundbreaking (at last). Mayor Fenty, Ward 6 council member Tommy Wells, Deputy Mayor Valerie Santos, Christopher Smith of W.C. Smith, and Chris Vanarsdale of the Canal Park Development Association each said a few words, with the words "school buses" being uttered a number of times as speakers talked about the previous life of these three blocks in the middle of Near Southeast. [The mayor even went off-script during his remarks to ask a startled neighborhood blogger how many photos of school buses are in the blog's archive; "about a thousand," came the response, which sounded flip but which is probably true.]
Here is a quick assemblage of photos from the event; if you want to know more about the park (or see old photos of school buses), my Canal Park project page is worth peeking at, as is the official Canal Park web site. Construction is expected to take 12-14 months, so look for the park to open in Fall of 2011.
For those who haven't been following along, Canal Park will stretch from I to M streets SE along the two parts of Second Street--some people may know this location as the open field across from Subway and Five Guys, about three blocks northeast of Nationals Park. The park has been designed to be a showcase of low-impact design and "green" features, including a sizeable stormwater management component. The southern block, across from the US Department of Transportation headquarters, will have a large plaza, a "significant water feature" that will transform into an ice skating rink in winter, and a large two-level pavilion that will be home to a cafe and observation area. The middle block has a rain garden, a children's play area, a small performance stage, and an open lawn. The northern block, the "most pastoral of the three," will have an open lawn, and the slight grade of the block as it slopes upward toward I Street has allowed the designers to envision this as an informal amphitheater, for events like summer movie nights and whatnot. There is also a "linear rain garden" that runs along the eastern edge of the park's three blocks. (Note that K and L streets will still be open to traffic, though there will be well-marked crosswalks.)
[PS: And, yes, I absconded with one of the shovels. But it was donated, not stolen!]
UPDATE: Here is the press release from the mayor's office on the project.
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Sneak Peek of the Almost-Open Yards Park
Aug 27, 2010 12:23 PM
What a gorgeous morning. A morning perfect for taking photos. Perfect for taking photos along the Anacostia riverfront. At a park that's less than two weeks from opening. And so here's a gallery of Yards Park photos, with construction work still very much in evidence but with the site looking in pretty good shape. At more than 5.5 acres, there's a lot of park to photograph, so I left a lot of good shots on the cutting room floor, but hopefully this gallery will give you a good idea of what you'll see when the park has its Grand Opening Weekend Sept. 10-12.
One other piece of news to pass along--I was told today that it's expected that work will begin on the Boilermaker Shops rehab by the end of this year. As with the Foundry Lofts (which is getting restarted now), work on that much-anticipated retail space will take a year or so. (If you need a Yards primer, see my project page.)

Canal Park Groundbreaking Pushed Back One Day
Aug 25, 2010 9:15 PM
Just a quick note that the Canal Park groundbreaking scheduled for Monday, August 30, has been shifted to Tuesday, August 31--it's still at 10:45 am, and still with the mayor expected to be in attendance.
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More Ward 6 Council Debating and Nats Park Events
Aug 25, 2010 8:37 PM
Guess yesterday's post with all sorts of tidbits on debates and goings-on at the ballpark wasn't enough! Here's more items that have come across the transom:
* If you missed Tuesday night's debate between Ward 6 Democratic candidates Tommy Wells and Kelvin Robinson, or if you haven't listened to today's forum with Wells and Robinson on the Kojo Nnamdi show, you've got still another shot: on Thursday night (Aug. 26) there will be yet another face-off between the two, this time in Southwest, at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church at 600 M St., SW at 7 pm. Mark Segraves of WTOP will again moderate, along with Sam Ford of ABC7. This event is sponsored by the Southwest Action Team (SWAT) and a number of other organizations.
UPDATE: And there's *another* one, on Sept. 1 at 7:30 pm, sponsored by the Fair Budget Coalition.
I already mentioned the blood drive at Nationals Park on Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm. But there's a bunch of other events this weekend that may be of interest:
* Friday brings the First Annual Hard Times Cafe Wing Eating Contest--fans 21 and older who think they've got what it takes should e-mail the Nats with their bonafides, and the top responses will receive two tickets to the game and a spot in the contest.
* Friday is also the last Peanut Free game of the season at the ballpark, with tickets available in a special scrubbed-down and cordoned off section to allow children with peanut allergies and their families to get to the ballpark when otherwise they might not be able to.
* Saturday's game is the "Fan's Choice Bobblehead" night, and the fans have spoken: Pudge!
* Sunday's 1:35 pm game is the second Pups in the Park event, with all manner of special canine amenities as well as a "Pup Parade" around the warning track prior to the game. The Washington Humane Society will also be bringing adoptable dogs to the ballpark for the Third Annual Adopt-a-Pet event.
* Also on Sunday is "Me and a Friend," a new initiative by the USO that offers military children complimentary tickets so that they can bring a friend to the ballpark.
Here's all the information on these events, as well as the other promotions and whatnot going on over the weekend at the ballpark.
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A Tag Cloud (and a Nicer Archive) for JDLand Blog Posts
Aug 25, 2010 1:46 PM
I don't know what got my adrenaline flowing to finally do this, since I've known for a long time that digging into the vast pool of JDLand content can be pretty unwieldy, but I've now added a "tag cloud" to the right side of the JDLand home page, beneath the calendar. This now gives readers easy access from the home page to the archive of blog posts on the many projects and topics I've written about over the past not-quite-eight years. I also created a separate Tag Cloud page, plus the cloud appears on the main Blog Archive page (where you can also browse my blog posts by date).
I also did some tinkering with the display of archived blog posts to make it easier to browse from page to page, and to get to my project pages. Plus, I finally added the tags for each blog post to my RSS feed. (The tags have appeared in the "More Posts" spot right under each of my entries on the site for a couple years now.)
I don't suppose anyone has to actually look at the cloud to figure out which topic I've written the most about. I'm now up to 1001 posts on it since the first one on Sept. 21, 2004. (Of course, about 400 of those are some variation of "Here are the latest photos I've taken of the construction....")
I won't pretend that my blog tagging has been 100 percent fabulous over the years, and I do tend to err on the side of overtagging posts rather than undertagging (how unlike me!), but I'm digging through the archive in fits and starts to clean it up, and to add new tags as well. The blog is searchable as well, of course, if you still can't find what you're looking for.
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ANC Race, Ward 6 Forum, Youth River Sports Day, and This Week's Ballpark Events
Aug 24, 2010 10:31 AM
A hail of bullets on a rainy morning:
* The ANC 6D07 race has another possible candidate, with David Garber now circulating his petitions to get on the ballot. It's more likely you know David as DG_Rad, the blogger at And Now, Anacostia; although he has continued ties east of the river, David moved to Near Southeast at the beginning of the summer, and has thrown his hat into the 6D07 ring. His web site for the race is VoteGarber.com. David joins Capitol Quarter resident Bruce DarConte in challenging current commissioner Bob Siegel (assuming they all get their required 25 petition signatures). And there's still a few weeks left for other candidates to pop up.
UPDATE: I understand via David that Bruce DarConte is not going to run after all.
* The Ward 6 Council Democratic Candidates Forum, an opportunity to hear from Tommy Wells and Kelvin Robinson about their position on issues of interest to Ward 6 and the city, is scheduled for tonight (Aug. 24) at 6:30 pm at the Southeast Library at 403 7th St., SE. According to The Hill is Home, it will be hosted by WTOP's Mark Segraves.
UPDATE: If you can't make the forum, or if you're reading this after it's over, the two candidates will also be debating on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on Wednesday (Aug. 25), at 12:06 pm.
* And although the Anacostia Community Boathouse's operations have moved to temporary space just far enough upriver that they're not technically in Near Southeast anymore, I'll still pass along that they are having their 4th Annual Youth River Sports Day on Sunday, Sept. 12, from 11 am to 3 pm. It's free, and it gives kids (and adults) a chance to try their hands at rowing and paddling. The Anacostia Watershed Society will also be giving tours of the river in their pontoon boat. Here's the photos I took at the 2008 event.
There's also a number of ballpark-related events this week:
* On Wednesday (Aug. 25), Nationals Park gets on the "Craft Beer Week" bandwagon with a Leinenkugel pregame beer sampling at the Miller Light Scoreboard Walk. For $22, fans receive a Scoreboard Pavilion seat and a voucher for four complimentary Leinenkugel beer samples from 4:30 pm until first pitch. To purchase tickets, go to nationals.com/craftbeerweek.
* Also on Wednesday is the Top Chef episode filmed at Nationals Park, as the six remaining contestants are charged with making game snacks for fans, with guest appearances by John Lannan, Adam Dunn, and {sniff} Matt Capps, and with guest judge (and Top Chef Masters winner) Rick Moonen. It's at 10 pm on Bravo. Here's a snippet of some of the arguing going on in one of the food bays during the challenge.
* Saturday, Aug. 28 is the second blood drive of the summer at the ballpark, from 8 am to 2 pm. Blood donors will receive two tickets to a future Nationals game, a limited edition Build-A-Bear Workshop bloodhound and the opportunity to meet a Nationals player. Appointments to donate blood are required. Interested donors should call 1-866-BLOODSAVES (256-6372) or visit www.inova.org/donateblood, click "schedule an appointment" and enter sponsor code 7665.

Harry's 'Upscale' Liquor Store on Track for Fall Opening
Aug 23, 2010 5:21 PM
Today was the day that the city's Alcohol Beverage Control board was to have had its hearing on a liquor license for Harry's, the new "upscale wine and spirits" store looking to open on the southwest corner of New Jersey and I, SE, in the ground floor of 909 New Jersey. However, there were no protests filed, so all systems would appear to be "go" for this store to open. I talked with one of the owners, and she told me that they are looking toward somewhere in October-November time frame to open, and that construction work should start to be visible within a few weeks, and some "Coming Soon" banners should appear before long as well.
I wrote in detail about their plans for the store a few months ago--the owners are the same people who currently own Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., SE, and previously they ran the Harry's liquor store that was in Waterside Mall until about five years ago. The hours would be 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday (or possibly 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays), and closed on Sunday. They would sell beer, wine, and liquor, as well as milk, sodas, juice, cheese, and other "quick stop" items, and are very much wanting to emphasize that this is going to be a "community" store, with higher-end products, wine tastings, and other offerings beyond what people normally think of when they hear "liquor store." This is a similar path to that being taken by the owner of the soon-to-be Parkway Wine and Spirits at Second and K (on the site of the late lamented Little Red Building), which is also looking to open by the end of the year.
Whether the neighborhood in its current incarnation (and size) can support both stores plus Cornercopia remains to be seen, although each store's location could be said to have its own "sphere": Harry's will be positioned to serve the foot traffic to and from Capitol Hill/Capitol South along New Jersey Avenue as well as the residents from the three I Street apartment buildings; Parkway will have the Courtyard guests, nearby office workers, and Canal Park visitors; and Cornercopia will have its existing loyal clientele as well as the ever-growing Capitol Quarter population (and also Capitol Hill foot traffic and Canal Park-goers).

Canal Park Groundbreaking Ceremony Next Week
Aug 23, 2010 2:19 PM
Here's a news item that people have been waiting on for a good long while--the official Canal Park groundbreaking ceremony has been scheduled for Monday, August 30 Tuesday, August 31, at 10:45 am, with the mayor expected to be in attendance. Construction on the three-block publicly funded park is expected to take 12 to 14 months, so look for it to be finished in probably late 2011--just in time to get a lot of use out of the ice skating rink.
[Here's a slightly edited version of a description I wrote a few months ago] For those who haven't been following along, Canal Park will stretch from I to M streets SE along the two parts of Second Street--some people may know this location as the open field across from Subway and Five Guys, about three blocks northeast of Nationals Park. The southern block, across from the US Department of Transportation headquarters, will have a large plaza, a "significant water feature" that will transform into an ice skating rink in winter, and a large two-level pavilion that will be home to a cafe and observation area. The middle block has a rain garden, a children's play area, a small performance stage, and an open lawn. The northern block, the "most pastoral of the three," will have a large open lawn, and the slight grade of the block as it slopes upward toward I Street has allowed the designers to envision this as an informal amphitheater, for events like summer movie nights and whatnot. There is also a "linear rain garden" that runs along the eastern edge of the park's three blocks. (Note that K and L streets will still be open to traffic, though there will be well-marked crosswalks.)
If you want to know more, visit the park's official web site. Or my page, if you want to see lots of photos of schoolbuses from the old days. And this report from the National Capital Planning Commission goes deep into the design, if you want to know *still* more. And you can read all my old Canal Park blog posts, back to the beginning, to relive the long road to this groundbreaking.
This groundbreaking will be just a week before the opening of the neighborhood's other new signature open space, the Yards Park, just a few blocks to the south, along the Anacostia River.
UPDATED: The groundbreaking has shifted by one day, to Tuesday, August 31.
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Donatelli, WMATA Break Off Chiller Site Plans
Aug 20, 2010 9:06 AM
It was only a few weeks ago that I discovered (much to my embarrassment) that WMATA had been negotiating for nearly two years with Donatelli Development for the rights to build on the southwest corner of Half and L, on the Navy Yard station's "chiller site." Metro's web site on the proposed plan said that the development agreement is now "expected to be executed in the summer of 2010."
However, the WashBizJournal reports today (subscribers only) that the two have now "cut ties," with Donatelli receiving a certified letter from WMATA ending the deal. The article says that, while originally Donatelli proposed 84 apartments with 5,300 square feet of ground-floor retail, the development company last year tried to "reframe the project" as a boutique hotel, but couldn't find financing. WBJ quotes Donatelli as saying "There are too many apartments there already[.] The whole area was getting saturated, and it didn't look like condominiums were a viable alternative," which brought a "perplexed" response from Michael Stevens of the Capitol Riverfront BID: "We think [residential has] been one of the greatest successes of our neighborhood[.] Mr. Donatelli does this for a living, but I don't know what numbers he's looking at."
WMATA says that they won't be putting the small-ish 14,000-square-foot site immediately back on the market for development. (Note that the parcel housing the taxi company at 37 L is not part of the WMATA land.) The lot has office buildings 20 M and 1015 Half to its south and north, and (eventually) 1100 South Capitol to its west.

Foundry Lofts at the Yards to Restart
Aug 19, 2010 3:02 PM
Jonathan O'Connell of the Post has just sent out two tweets saying that the DC Housing Finance Agency and Forest City Washington have closed a deal to finance the affordable housing component of the Foundry Lofts project at The Yards, which will allow this stalled renovation of the old Building 160 (stopped in late 2008 when the original affordable housing financing fell through) to restart within the next two to three weeks. The building, when completed, will have 170 residential units, 34 of which are slated for tenants earning less than 50 percent of the area median income. The old industrial building, which will also get two new floors on top and will have 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, sits two blocks east of Nationals Park, between the US Department of Transportation headquarters and the soon-to-open Yards Park on the Anacostia River. My understanding has been that, once restarted, it will take about a year for the building to be finished.
UPDATE: Here's a WBJ story with more information on the bond financing that was pulled together, not only for the Foundry Lofts but other projects in the city that needed money to start and/or finish apartment projects with affordable housing.
UPDATE II: And here's the full WashPost story. And Forest City's press release.

Tiny Followups For Yesterday's ANC/Yards Park Posts
Aug 19, 2010 12:10 PM
Guess I should have been lazy (er, lazier than usual) and waited 24 hours on each of my posts yesterday, because there's small tidbits to add on both:
* While the Yards Park "official opening weekend" is set for Sept. 10-12, invitations have now begun landing in mailboxes for a ribbon cutting/dedication ceremony on Sept. 7.
* There is now at least one challenger to ANC 6D07 incumbent Bob Siegel--according to the DCBOEE, Capitol Quarter resident Bruce DarConte has filed his paperwork to run. And I'm hearing rumors of at least one more resident planning to jump into the race as well.
In other non-followup news, eagle-eyed readers might notice in my DC permit feeds an approved public space/excavation permit for its planned 1111 New Jersey office building site. But don't read too much into it--there's still no announced plans to start construction anytime soon.
UPDATE: Oh, and a PS: The Top Chef DC episode filmed at Nats Park back in the spring is coming up next week (Wednesday, Aug. 25, at 10 pm, on Bravo). It appears to be a stadium-food challenge, with the "chestestants cheftestants" cooking and serving in the various food bays along the concourse.

More Info on Yards Park Opening Weekend Festivities
Aug 18, 2010 2:35 PM
The Capitol Riverfront BID is gearing up for its job as maintainer, programmer, and promoter of the soon-to-open Yards Park by sending out this flyer with details on the festivities planned for the park's opening weekend, planned for Sept. 10-12.
Live music, food tasting, and a "beer garden" will be available all three days, along with special activities such as an art show by the Art Whino gallery, fitness classes, a Trapeze School demonstration, contests at the dog run, and a fireworks show on Saturday (in addition to being a new spot to watch the Nationals' postgame fireworks on Friday).
The events, which are free and open to the public, run from 3:30 to 11 pm on Friday, Sept. 10, 9 am to 10 pm on the 11th, and 10 am to 1 pm on the 12th.

No ANC 6D07 Candidates Officially, But Siegel Running Again; WP Story on Wells vs. Robinson
Aug 18, 2010 10:54 AM
A few readers have noted to me that, as of last week, no one from ANC 6D07 had turned in any nominating petitions for this year's elections. The Sept. 3 deadline is still a few weeks away, and while he hasn't done his paperwork, current and longtime 6D07 commissioner Bob Siegel has confirmed to me that he will be running again. It will be interesting to see if anyone else from the neighborhood decides to run--especially now that 6D07 has considerably more residents than it had for many years, meaning that the pool of potential candidates is a lot bigger.
If I've kickstarted the community politician in you and you decide you want to run, Frozen Tropics has a nice run-down of how to become a candidate. And the qualifications are pretty simple: you must be a registered voter and have lived in your SMD for 60 days (in other words, having moved into 6D07 no later than July 5, 2010) before submitting your nomination petitions.
I think the more interesting time in 6D07, however, will be in 2012, when the city goes through its once-a-decade realignment of ANC boundaries. Each ANC single-member district (SMD) is supposed to represent about 2,000 residents, which means that 6D07--with a population now up to around 3,500 thanks to the multitude of new apartment buildings north of Nationals Park as well as the Capitol Quarter townhouse development--will very likely be broken up into two districts. And, beyond that--would the Near Southeast SMD(s) remain part of 6D, which otherwise is completely within the boundaries of Southwest, or would one or both new districts possibly end up being moved to ANC 6B, the southern Capitol Hill ANC. (A small part of 6B is already south of the freeway, from Seventh Street over to 11th Street down to M Street.)
In other political news of note for the neighborhood, this Mike Debonis piece in the WashPost on Tommy Wells and his challenger Kelvin Robinson is a good look at the issues swirling in the Ward 6 council seat Democratic primary, particularly whether Wells' focus on "liveable walkable communities" and other new urbanism ideas (like the plastic bag tax) are interesting to Ward 6 constituents who aren't necessarily on the streetcar/multimodal bandwagon. And CP's Housing Complex blog also looks at the story, commenting that "Instead of painting a picture of a rosy future, Wells might be better advised to depict the absence of excellent transit and walkable communities as a current ill that must be rectified, putting those deficiencies on the level of crime as a pressing issue."
The DC primary elections are on Tuesday, Sept. 14. No matter what your leanings are, be sure to vote.
(I haven't written hardly at all on the mayor's race because, well, there's a billion other people doing that.)

Urban Igloo Interview on JDLand and the Neigborhood
Aug 16, 2010 6:01 PM
Just posted on the blog at UrbanIgloo.com is an interview I recently did with them about my blog and about the current state of Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard/Ballpark District/NatsTown/That Area South of the Freeway. There's probably not anything in it that will stun the regular readers of JDLand, but it might be worth a moment or two of your time as you try to come up with ways to fritter away the final days of summer....
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Summer Doldrums Bullet List (Light Tower, Traffic, Hula Hoops, Signage, BID Survey, DC Blogs)
Aug 13, 2010 12:37 PM
Hasn't been much swirling around lately worthy of a full blog post, but here are a couple items so that people don't think I've shut down (though most of them have already been seen on my Twitter feed, aka the "I'm Too Lazy to Blog" feed):
* The light tower at the Yards Park is being installed today, about four weeks in advance of the scheduled grand opening on Sept. 10. I hope to have pictures at some point.
* Greater Greater Washington reports that MPD fanned out around Nationals Park on Wednesday night, ticketing drivers and pedestrians and handing out flyers on safety. GGW also brings up the public meeting held by Tommy Wells back in March about the notion of reworking M Street under the "Complete Streets" principles of creating road networks that work for pedestrians young and old, cyclists, public transportation users, and drivers. by doing things such as adding dedicated bike lanes, creating safer crosswalks, etc. At that meeting, residents of Southwest were unimpressed with the possibilities, but the few Southeast residents in attendance seemed more open to it.
UPDATE: TBD reports that the truck driver in last week's incident is not being cited.
* The Post did a video feature on Hoopernatural, the hula hooping fitness outfit. They are running classes for mixed-levels of hoopiness during August at Canal Park, on Saturday mornings from 10 to 11 am.
* The Capitol Riverfront BID is running a survey to get feedback from residents, workers, and visitors on the types of events the BID holds (concerts, outdoor movies, farmers' market, etc.). Let your feelings be known here.
* While my griping about the bad signage on the SW Freeway (highlighted again by the Post on Thursday) is technically out-of-boundaries, it is on topic to also mention to DDOT that the various blue "services" signs for the South Capitol Street exits on I-395 probably need to get rid of the gas station icons, since the days of having three gas stations right on South Capitol and two within a few blocks to the east are long gone. (But @DDOTDC has put me in a time out after Thursday's flurry of transit-related tweets, which also included this good suggestion from a reader about the need for a left-turn signal on northbound Third Street, SE at Virginia Avenue, for people needing to get onto I-395 southbound.)
* And I stumbled across this study by the New America Foundation about "online-only" news outlets in DC. It counted 61 of them, noting that the "city's oldest local blogs that still command an audience began to spring up in 2003," with JDLand being one of the "original few," thanks to my January 2003 vintage. The piece looks at DCist, GGW, Prince of Petworth, And Now Anacostia, and TBD (though it hadn't yet launched), along with a few nice words about this site. But I have been thinking a lot lately about how I'm an old lady compared to the rest of the DC neighborhood blogosphere, and this article (coming on the heels of my [redacted] birthday) certainly reminded me of it. :-)

Restricted Right Turn on Red Coming to First and M
Aug 10, 2010 12:10 PM
From TBD.com's On Foot blog, the news from that DDOT director Gabe Klein and his staff have spent some time watching the traffic at First and M, where two trucks have struck pedestrians this year, killing one of them. The article says:
"They noticed that 'trucks coming north on First Street are just not stopping' when they make the right onto M Street, [DDOT spokesman John] Lisle says. 'They maybe take a quick glance, and they're really just making that right turn without a full stop.' That's the intersection where a pedestrian was hit by a dump truck last week. Lisle says they now plan on making right-on-red illegal at that corner from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"'That area is still pretty industrialized, even though a lot of people live there and work there,' Lisle says, adding that a couple of asphalt companies are based in the neighborhood. 'There are still a lot of trucks circulating right through.'
"Lisle says the city will probably deploy some mobile speed display signs along M Street as well."

Transportation Secretary LaHood Meets with DC Officials About Pedestrian Safety Near USDOT
Aug 6, 2010 4:43 PM
(h/t to reader JL) US transportation secretary Ray LaHood just posted on his "Fast Lane Blog" an entry about the recent accidents on M Street, SE near the USDOT headquarters that have resulted in one DOT employee being killed and another being seriously injured after being hit by dump trucks. He writes that he is "really, really worried about our employees' safety," and that he met today with DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier, DDOT's director Gabe Klein, and staff from both agencies to talk about ways to prevent future pedestrian injuries.
He writes: "We agreed to work on a plan that attempts to solve this problem from a variety of angles. Some ideas under consideration include: Extended crossing-guard hours; Stepped-up pedestrian and vehicle enforcement; Pedestrian training and education; Speed trailers (the roadside digital signs that display a driver's speed); Prohibiting "right turn on red" in the Southeast Federal Center area."
But, he also reminds everyone that "the quickest way I can think of to prevent more accidents like these is for employees and visitors walking to and from our building to, please, stay alert." As he says, "[W]hether you're a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or a driver, having the right-of-way does not guarantee your safety."
Judging by the comment thread in my post about Wednesday's incident, there's a lot of concern about pedestrian safety in Near Southeast, not just on M Street but on most of the other streets, as well.

Rearview Mirror: A Horrific Crash on M Street, SE
Aug 5, 2010 3:06 PM
(A sadly well-timed edition of my series of posts looking back on the "old" Near Southeast)
On August 25, 1984, 24-year-old Sandra Scott of Anacostia went on a birthday visit to her mother, Maudie McBrayer, at her Capper apartment at 920 Third Street, SE. Sandra brought her husband, Theodore "Teddy" Crisp, and their three children, five-year-old Chanta, one-year-old Sophia, and six-week-old baby Tandra.
The family then went to a Metrobus stop on the south side of the 200 block of M Street, SE, standing on what was at that time a narrow sidewalk with the long red brick wall left over from the Navy Yard days behind it. Also at the bus stop were 18-year-old Charron McKethean and her six-month old daughter Charquita, who lived at 210 L St., SE, in the Cappers; they were going shopping with Charron's best friend Linda Taylor and Taylor's boyfriend Willie Callihan for an outfit for Charquita's christening the next day.
As they waited at around 6:15 pm, a Plymouth Valiant going eastbound at an estimated 70 to 80 mph in the westbound lanes struck the median, went airborne, landed in the eastbound lanes, partially hopped the curb, and struck all nine people waiting for the bus. The car then flipped, crashed, and burst into flames near Third Street.
The Washington Post described rescue personnel calling the resulting scene "one of the most gruesome they had witnessed," with some of the victims having been crushed by the car against the wall and a lamppost on the sidewalk. "I've been 21 years on this job, and I've never seen anything like it," said Fire Capt. James Thorn, saying that the driver had "just ground [the victims] right into" the lamppost and the brick wall.
Seven of group were killed: Sandra Scott and her entire family died, as well as six-month-old Charquita McKethean and Linda Taylor, who was 18 and lived in the 200 block of M Street, SW. It was believed to be the deadliest car accident in the city's history to that time, and appears to still hold that title today.
The driver of car was 41-year-old Robert Lee Williams, whose blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was .10 and who admitted to having used heroin about 25 minutes before the crash. He had been paroled six weeks earlier after serving less than four years of a 20-year sentence for a 1980 bank robbery conviction in Alexandria, and was also on parole in the District for a 1977 armed robbery conviction. There were also convictions for housebreaking, robbery, and grand larceny on his record.
In 1985, Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter while armed (with a car) and five counts of manslaughter, along with a count of driving while intoxicated. He was sentenced to 35 to 105 years in prison. At his sentencing, he told the courtroom that he was sorry and would give his "own life to save those kids." Charron McKethean, one of the crash's two survivors and mother of one of the youngest victims, was in the courtroom with her 2 1/2-month-old baby, and told the Post, "I couldn't look at the man that killed my daughter. The sentence was reasonable, but it is not going to bring back any of our lives."

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City to Move 225 Virginia Avenue, So to Speak
Aug 5, 2010 1:31 PM
While wandering around the web site for the city's Department of Real Estate Services, I found out that the deadline has been extended until noon tomorrow for the request for offers to lease data center space at the revamped 225 Virginia Avenue (aka the old Star/Post Plant). They've also posted a Q&A about the RFO that may or may not hold any nuggets of interest.
But what broke my heart is the last sentence of a press release from mid-July touting the financing deal that's allowing construction to begin on the project late this year:
"In related news, the address for 225 Virginia Avenue, SE will change. The new address will be 200 I Street, SE."
Waaaaaaahhhhh! It will always be 225 Virginia to me!
But, looking at the rendering of the redesign, it appears that they're moving the main entrance to the south side of the building, facing Canal Park, hence the I Street designation.

Pedestrian Struck at First and M; Driver to be Charged
Aug 4, 2010 4:39 PM
Those who don't follow my Twitter feed may not be aware that a pedestrian was struck by a dump truck at First and M streets, SE, today, necessitating a helicopter landing at Canal Park in order to transport the female victim to Washington Hospital Center. According to WTOP, she was in a crosswalk, and charges are pending against the truck driver. The victim has not been identified, but a tweet from a reader indicated that she is a USDOT employee. ABC 7 says that her injuries are not as serious as initially thought. I'll update this post with additional news as it comes along.
This is the second serious incident involving a pedestrian being struck on M Street this year--on April 29, 42-year-old Amy Polk of Takoma Park was killed near First and M.
UPDATE, 8/13: TBD reports that the truck driver in this incident was not be cited.
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