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.
DDOT traffic engineers concluded that the only way to add the left turn would be to remove eleven parking spots on M St. (seven on the south side of M in front of the City Tavern and four on the south side of M in front of Georgetown Tobacco). This would open up more space to allow cars through the intersection without getting caught behind the cars turning left.
Even with this change the average wait time is predicted to make the PM rush hour a bit worse (57 seconds to 80 seconds) but the morning rush hour wait would average 193 seconds, slightly better than the 197 now.
The ANC, the BID, CAG, and residents all spoke in favor of the change, so it appears likely that DDOT will move forward with it. The engineers predict that the change could appear in as little as two months.
The issue of the Barnes Dance was also raised. This was a recommendation of the Georgetown Transportation Study, but DDOT has not pushed it forward. When asked about it, Klein said that he would be all for it at that intersection but that there was simply not enough time in the light cycle to dedicated to an all-pedestrian phase unless it were the only pedestrian phase. This would result in much longer waits, which in turn, Klein argued, would increase jaywalking. ANC members and the community encouraged Klein to take another look.
Jack Evans in a World of Hurt Home
Councilmember Jack Evans stopped by the ANC last night as well. While he spoke briefly about several topics, he seemed particularly interested in speaking about the Hurt Home issue. He wanted to emphasize that he agrees that the proposals have been way too large but that there is no imminent Council vote on the matter. Up till recently, Evans has not been particularly engaged in the process, but it appears that a wave of complaints has focused his attention on the matter.
Evans mentioned that this Thursday night at 6:30 a meeting will be held at Hyde-Addison on the project. It is anticipated that a much more scaled back project will be presented. GM has heard that it could be as few as half the previously proposed 35 unit size. This would necessitate a new price and host of discussions on how much affordable housing will be included, etc., but GM predicts most neighbors would be happy with that new number.
A few more notes from Evans:
- the new Jelleff Pool is now open
- the Georgetown Library is now scheduled to be finished by the end of the summer, way ahead of the original November schedule.
- financing has been secured to finish the second phase of the Georgetown Waterfront project, which hit a snag and was delayed over an issue with the concrete base.
A Ten Year Plan Dealt With in Well Under Ten Years
Georgetown has a history of contentious and drawn out ten year plan fights. Well, last night one was introduced and approved within five minutes. It was for Dumbarton Oaks and all they want to change is to add five students and 10 staff members. Just something to consider G.U.
Mendelson Makes an Appearance
At-large Councilmember Phil Mendelson stopped by last night as well. He spoke a bit about reforms he’s planning to introduce shortly to reduce the confidentiality of youth criminal records. Among other things, he wants to expand the ability of the police to gain access to those records during an active investigation. GM is going to make the bold prediction that Colby King will write no fewer than four articles on this proposal.