ANC 6B Report - September 2015

6B wants to connect residents with the police department

Given the crime spike that happens every summer and 2015’s unexpected rise in violent crimes,  6B sent a letter to Jeff Brown, the commander of the Metropolitan Police Department’s 1st District, with ideas for how the MPD can strengthen its relationship with residents.

The letter thanked Brown for the extra meetings he and his department have recently held, as well as for the support and special attention he has given particular events and problem areas. But it also asked him to up his agency’s involvement.

“We continue to receive numerous emails from constituents asking for information on how MPD is addressing increased criminal activity,”it read. “Many residents are unaware of monthly Public Service Area meetings, the First District listserv, and other ways that residents can stay abreast of MPD activities.

The letter proposed three ideas for building “a stronger, more constructive and communicative relationship between MPD and Capitol Hill residents:”a few times per year, MPD representatives could provide updates at ANC 6B meetings; MPD could host a public safety meeting in the spring to help residents get ready for the annual increase in crime; MPD could provide regular reports on “problem areas,”and that its crime reports include 2-3 sentences about the incident at hand rather than just stating type of incident.

6B asked Brown to meet with Commissioner Brian Flahaven, the chair of the Outreach and Constituent Services Task Force, to discuss moving forward.

Summer crime stats

In an email to constituents, 6B chair Kirsten Oldenburg outlined summer crime data for the police PSAs that cover 6B, which the police department recently released. PSA 106 saw 39 crimes in August compared with 57 in July (there were five violent crimes, one burglary, 19 thefts, 13 thefts from auto, and one stolen auto). PSA 107 saw 125 crimes in August compared with 119 in July (13 violent crimes, six burglaries. 58 thefts, 40 thefts from auto, and 8 stolen autos).  PSA 108 saw 64 crimes in August compared with 77 in July (12 violent, six burglaries, 25 thefts, 15 thefts from auto, and six stolen autos). Through September 17th, PSA 106 had seen three violent crimes, 107 had seen zero, and 108 had seen 10.

The Virginia Avenue Tunnel reconstruction could mean more park space

CSX is tearing up Virginia Avenue SE so it can rebuild the railroad tunnel underneath. 6B sent a letter to the District Departments of both Transportation and Parks and Recreation asking that when the land gets rebuilt, a small piece of land along 11th Street SE be added to the eastern edge of the Virginia Avenue Park, which sits between 9th and 11th Streets, just where Virginia Avenue ends.

The land is currently a construction staging area and formerly a place DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration used for planting trees. Adding it to the park would allow a dog park slated for the park to be placed a bit farther away from residents on Potomac Avenue SE, who already have two private dog facilities nearby, as well as closer to both residents on 11th Street and a coming Washington Humane Society office.

Related, the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Project recently released plans for what Virginia Avenue will look like once the street is rebuilt. The street will get a new sidewalk and protected bike lane between 2nd and 9th Streets SE, and in the future those will connect to 11th Street. A connection to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail might follow.

You can read more about the plans for Virginia Avenue at http://www.virginiaavenuetunnel.com/.

The 11th Street Bridge Park team wants to work for existing communities

The 11th Street Bridge Park team recently released its Equitable Development Task Force plan for making sure the project will bring economic opportunity to neighborhoods by the park (ie: the Navy Yard and Anacostia) while not displacing current residents. The plan includes 19 recommendations for how to do this, from working to grow the local workforce and support small businesses to pushing for an increase in affordable housing stock.

The team will present its plan and receive feedback at an October 3rd community meeting at THEARC (1901 Mississippi Avenue SE). You can also read more at http://bridgepark.org/equitable-development-task-force.

DC is getting started on next years budget

DC Budget Director Matthew Brown visited 6B’s regular meeting to let constituents know the FY17 budget process is getting underway. There will be a series of community meetings this fall and in early 2016 where residents can give feedback and input before Mayor Bowser submits her budget to the DC Council in April. Brown noted that the FY17 budget will be tight given that the Council stipulated that the District must cut $150 million in taxes.

The Circulator might make fewer stops

DDOT is looking at ways to make the Union Station - Navy Yard Circulator route better. Removing some of the route’s stops, especially because many of them are close together and cutting them could make the buses run on time more frequently. There will be a public meeting to brief customers on current operations and performance, and to solicit rider feedback, as part of DDOT’s semi-annual open house on October 6th at 1200 L Street NW.

ANC 6B’s next full meeting will be Tuesday, October 13th at the Hill Center, which sits at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.


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