Photo by Go Interactive Wellness.
Last night the ANC met for its May session (GM forgot to give you a preview; sorry about that). Here’s what GM could stick around long enough to catch:
The lawyer representing the landlord of the space that was once occupied by Govinda Gallery (the corner of 34th and Prospect) was there requesting a change to zoning. The block in question (the Govinda space, as well as the other shops on the corner) is zoned residential. All the commercial uses in that space exist simply because they were grandfathered in since the 1950s. But non-conforming uses (as such grandfathering is called) can only be what it always was. Thus if a building has housed a market, new markets may open in that space, but a barber wouldn’t be permitted without zoning relief.
The owner of this block would like to sign up a yoga studio to take over the old gallery space and some of the other vacant space. Since there wasn’t a yoga store there already, they need zoning approval.
The ANC recognized that all things considered, yoga studios are pretty low impact. Most customers walk to the studio and they don’t create much noise. But as originally drafted, the applicant was seeking approval to conduct instructional classes. This would cover yoga, but it would also cover karate and spin classes. Both much louder uses.
The ANC negotiated with the attorney that the request would be limited to just yoga and a small retail store selling yoga clothes and equipment.
They then negotiated over hours, finally settling on a 9:30 pm closing time. Continue reading
Photo by Jason Pier.
Back in November, DDOT moved the Capital Bikeshare station, that was on the sidewalk of Wisconsin Ave. by the canal, about 20 feet south and into the street. This was reported at the time by the Patch. DDOT explained that with the eventual construction of the new condo building where the Verizon parking lot is, there would not be enough space on the sidewalk for the station.
Moving the station into the street would necessitate eliminating three metered parking spots. To mitigate the impact of that change, the ANC requested that DDOT convert a loading zone across the street into a metered space and to introduce multi-space also across the street to enable more cars to park there.
When the parking spots were removed, the grumbling began. Most of it originated from Grace Episcopal, in front of which the parking spaces were removed. A church bulletin read:
While Grace supports the Bikeshare program (we have members that frequently bike to services), many members of our congregation rely on convenient access to street parking to attend services here. They include older members with health issues, families with young children and others for whom cycling to church is not an option. The loss of these three spaces is already being felt.
ANC chair Ron Lewis mentioned at the ANC meeting Monday night that he expected a compromise to be found whereby the station would be moved somewhere else. And GM is happy to support a compromise that each side can live with. But this situation presents a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate just how disproportionate the impact car parking has versus bike parking. Continue reading
Last night GM finally had a chance to ride on some of the stretches of the completed construction on P St. And he can happily report that the new cobblestones a incredibly smooth and very bikeable.
Prior to the constructions, O and P Streets west of Wisconsin were basically a no-go zone for bikes. You could ride on the cobblestone (or more accurately: the Belgian blocks) but it was really uncomfortable and, between the blocks, the patches and the tracks themselves, not terribly safe either. And it was technically illegal too since there was a sign saying not bikes. Continue reading
Photo by Ajfroggie.
Last week, DDOT presented to the Bicycle Advisory Committee its map of bike lanes that it expects to construct in 2012. In the map released by the BAC, it showed the highly anticipated M St. bicycle track (it’s a two way, separated bike lane that looks like the lanes on 15th st., shown above). But the version released on Monday showed the lane not going west of New Hampshire Ave. in the West End.
GM followed up with DDOT to ask why the lane won’t make it all the way to Georgetown. Turns out the map was wrong; the bicycle track will extend right up to Pennsylvania Ave.
Photo by AJFroggie.
As reported by GGW, it appears as if the proposal to bring cycletracks to M St. (and L St.) is on hold, if not dead. This is bad for Georgetown.
A cycletrack is a special bike lane where parking spots are moved away from the curb and a two way bike path is put there instead. There is a very successful cycletrack on 15th St. from Pennsylvania Ave. all the way up past U St.
Cycltracks are a great way to give bikers a safe and comfortable ride on city streets. GM takes the 15th st. cycletrack home from work frequently, even though it is somewhat out of his way. And installation on a street like 15th St. has little effect on car traffic since the street was not congested prior to installation.
DDOT has had plans on the books to bring crosstown lanes to compliment this north-south route. The most recent plans called for installation of the lanes on L and M Streets from the Mt. Vernon Square area all the way to Georgetown (or Foggy Bottom in the case of L St.) This would hugely benefit Georgetowners as it would provide a quick and safe bike route to and from home. Plus, the ANC is strongly pushing for the installation of a bikeshare station at the south end of Rose Park, which would be right at the west end of the M St. Ultimately, GM would like to see the cycletrack brought all the way through Georgetown, but getting it to the doorstep would be a good first step. Continue reading
Photo of Buffalo statues by Pinelife.
Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:
- An absolute must-read over at Carol Joynt’s blog: an old Washington Post article on how the patrons of Nathans felt about the upcoming election, in 1980. So many hilarious and timeless things going on there.
- WaPo decides that Georgetown is all better now. GM’s not sure how much is different it is than six months ago when WaPo was ready to declare Georgetown dead and buried.
- Biker struck on Prospect St.
1972 flood from DDOT.
Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest: