Photo by Flicker Clicker.
Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:
Today, GM turns over the reins of the Georgetown Metropolitan for a day to his friend and fellow Georgetowner Ken Archer to discuss Jack Evans recent parking proposals:
Councilmember Jack Evans’ proposal to roll back parking meter rates and hours of enforcement in commercial corridors is based, according to Evans, on the complaints and requests of businesses and residents in his ward. However, a survey of organizations representing residents and businesses in Georgetown fails to find anyone asking Evans for his proposal.
His proposal passed out of his committee by a 3-2 vote and Evans frequently points to these complaints in defending the $5.2 million measure.
Evans told the Washington Examiner, “I get consistent complaints about the parking meters everywhere I go in my ward from residents. I can’t go into a restaurant without the owner coming out to complain about the cost of the parking meters.”
Despite this, neither the Georgetown BID nor the largest owner of Georgetown restaurants support the proposal.
The Georgetown ANC and Citizens Association have passed no resolutions and sent no letters to Evans requesting reductions in either meter rates or enforcement hours. In fact, the ANC has been working with DDOT for a couple years to put in place a performance parking pilot that would increase parking turnover and availability by charging market rates at meters. Continue reading
Photo by CascadeFoto.
Recently several DC pols have issued some proposals that could significantly impact Georgetown’s transportation mix. Some of the ideas are good, others bad.
Let’s start with the good.
Up until Chris Ziemann left DDOT last year, Ward 2 had a dedicated DDOT planner. This position can coordinate transportation projects across the ward. Further it can lobby DDOT on the ward’s behalf and bring a unified vision across multiple projects and neighborhoods. Unfortunately since Chris left, the position has remained empty and Mayor Gray recommended it simply be cut completely. Councilmember Tommy Wells, however, proposed that this position–as well as the vacant ward planner positions for Wards 3 and 5–be filled again. This is a good proposal.
Additionally, Wells proposed creating a position titled Parking Czar. This individual would spend all his or her time addressing the parking issue. In particular, this person would bring life back to the stalled effort to bring performance parking to DC. This is something that GM has lobbied to bring to Georgetown for a while. In short: right now we price street parking too low and as a result visitors troll the neighborhood looking for free parking rather than simply driving to the pay garages. This increases traffic, encourages people to leave their car parked for as long as possible and makes it more difficult for residents to find a parking spot near their homes. By raising the price of parking enough that there is always at least 10-15% of the street spaces open, we can encourage more turnover. Plus, the additional parking fees will get plowed back into the neighborhood in the form of streetscape improvements, and the like.
Having a parking czar will make it much more likely that such a policy can come to Georgetown. Continue reading
Wisconsin and M by Ehpien.
Last night’s ANC meeting was another brutally long affair, but it featured no less than the director of DDOT and two Councilmembers. So rather than dawdle, GM will jump right in.
Left Turns on Wisconsin
Gabe Klein, the DDOT Director, came to speak before the ANC on the possibility of allowing cars going eastbound on M to turn left onto Wisconsin Ave. As of now, that turn is prohibited, so if you are coming that way on M and want to head up Wisconsin, you have to turn left on Bank, 33rd, or 31st.
Klein appeared relatively agnostic about the change. It’s possible but some sacrifices will have to be made. So long as the community is willing to make those sacrifices, Klein stated, then DDOT can make the change.
Essentially it comes down to this: if DDOT were to simply to start allowing a left turn from M without any changes to the lanes, the wait time at the intersection would increase significantly (the average wait on the AM rush hour would go from 197 seconds to 358 seconds; the PM wait would go from 57 seconds to 177 seconds). So that’s not an option.