ANC Preview: How a Culture That Accepts Children’s Deaths to Move Cars Around Keeps Rolling On

ACP-9
Photo by Aimee Custis.

The ANC is meeting for its October session next Monday night via Zoom at its normal 6:30 pm time slot. The agenda is a full one but one item really jumps out at GM: The resolution concerning a proposed bike lane on Dumbarton St.

The city is proposing to add a contra-flow bike lane on Dumbarton St. This is a type of bike lane that the city has successfully installed across the city, particularly in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. It essentially adds a lane just for bikes in the opposite direction from the normal traffic. This is what it looks like:

Contraflow Bike Lane
Photo by Travis Estell.

To those not familiar with them, they appear weird. But they work, and they provide a way for cyclists to travel safely in both directions on a street. For that reason they are often installed on quieter less busy streets, as it gives them a safe option away from nearby more dangerous parallel routes.

The proposal for Dumbarton St. would not call for the removal of any parking. It would not limit the use of the road by anyone who currently uses it. It would simply add a new safer route for people traveling through Georgetown on a bike.

And, of course, people lost their goddam minds about it.

Starting off, the Commission expressed skepticism about the lane, primarily focused on the contradictory assertions that the lane is neither necessary nor good enough because it wouldn’t connect with other bike lanes. (“These bike lanes are terrible, and what small portions!”).

But then caller after caller from the public vented their spleens about how much they were offended that such a proposal was even put forth. Essentially the complaints boiled down to assertion that to provide this lane, you would attract cyclists. That’s it. That’s the complaint. Attracting cyclists is a priori viewed as an assault on a certain group of residents. And any facility built by the city to offer even meager protection to cyclists is viewed as nothing but an attractive nuisance by these upstanding residents.

And since that last meeting a five year old girl riding a bike was run over a killed right in front of her father in a DC crosswalk.

Allie Hart 2016 – 2021

A contraflow bike lane would not have saved her. But her death was just part and parcel with a transportation system that says dead children is an acceptable cost of moving cars around. It’s a system that is willing to make roads safer only up until the point at which those measures slightly inconvenience an impatient driver or offend the sensibilities of a Georgetown homeowner who has never met a bicycle safety measure they didn’t object to.

It’s a system where a simple bike lane that removes not a lick of parking gets greeted with howls of condemnation and makes progress towards a future with genuinely zero traffic fatalities literally impossible. It’s a culture where safety advocates have to trade in tombstones to get speed bumps.

And on Friday, a four year old boy on a bike was run over in a crosswalk in Dupont.

It’s so, so, so tiring to face the same pushback from the same people over and over again. People who swear up and down that they are for safe roads. (They even have a bike they use on the weekends!) But who will never actually back any measure to make roads safer if it means even the slightest inconvenience to a non-cyclist. Even when the inconvenience doesn’t actually exist, as is the case here.

And so the ANC will likely successfully block this lane, and a culture that produces ghost bikes with training wheels will just keep rolling on.

(Update: Literally minutes after this article was posted, yet another child was slammed into by a driver on DC streets. They’re already chalking it up/excusing it due to “the sun”):

Here’s the rest of the agenda:

GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E
ANC 2E Public Meeting
Monday, October 4th, 2021
at 6:30 p.m.
Online at: bit.ly/ANC2EOctober2021
In accordance with the “COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020” and
current DC Health limitations on mass gatherings, this meeting will be held online via
Zoom and can be accessed at the link above (there is no fee or account needed to use
Zoom).
If you do not have a computer or access to the internet, you may join the meeting via phone
at (301) 715-8592 or (646) 558-8656 with meeting ID 840 9309 6122 #.
Approval of the Agenda
• Approval of the ANC’s October 4th, 2021 Meeting Agenda
• Approval of the ANC’s August 30th, 2021 Meeting Minutes
Administrative

• Public Safety and Police Report
• Approval of the ANC’s FY 2021 Quarter 3 Financial Report
• Approval of the ANC’s FY 2022 Budget
Community Comment
• Presentation by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
• Acknowledgement of Jamie Scott’s Service to the Neighborhood
• Update from the Mayor’s Office
• Update from Councilmember Brooke Pinto’s Office
• Update Regarding the Georgetown to Metrorail Transit Enhancement Study
New Business
• Consideration of a Resolution Regarding the District Department of Transportation’s
Notice of Intent for the Installation of Contraflow Bike Lanes on 2800-3100 Blocks of
Dumbarton Street NW (NOI #21-196-PSD)
• Consideration of a Resolution Regarding the Retail Proposal for 3276 M Street NW
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
Page 2
• Application by We the Pizza Express for a New Retailer’s Class “C” Restaurant License
at 3237 M Street NW (ABRA-118926)
• Application by Nick’s Riverside Grille for a Substantial Change to the Establishment’s
Retailer’s Class “C” Restaurant License at 3050 K Street NW (ABRA-017308)
• Application by Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place for a Substantial Change to the
Establishment’s Retailer’s Class “C” Restaurant License at 3000 K Street NW (ABRA010762)
Public Space Committee
• Public Space Application for the Installation of Bollards at 3140 Dumbarton Street NW
(DDOT #379004)
• Public Space Application for the Replacement of Twelve Removed Bricks at 2903 P
Street NW (DDOT #379072)
Zoning
• Board of Zoning Adjustment Application for Special Exceptions from the Matter-ofRight Accessory Uses and the Accessory Building Development Standards at 1963 39th
Street NW (BZA #20505)
• Board of Zoning Adjustment Application for a Special Exception from the Minimum
Vehicle Parking Requirements to Construct a Cellar Addition, to an Existing One-Story
with Cellar, Attached, Retail Use Building at 1229 Wisconsin Avenue NW (BZA

20532)

• Board of Zoning Adjustment Application for a Special Exception from the Lot
Occupancy Restrictions to Construct a Rear, Single-Story Addition to an Existing, SemiDetached, Two-Story with Basement, Principal Dwelling Unit at 3015 Dumbarton Street
NW (BZA #20536)
• Board of Zoning Adjustment Application for a Modification of Significance from Board
of Zoning Adjustment Order No.17984, Effective November 20th, 2009, to Construct a
New, Two-Story with Basement Addition to an Existing, Detached, Three-Story with
Basement, Accessory Garage at 1644 31st Street NW and 1605 32nd Street NW (BZA

17984A)

Old Georgetown Board
Full Review at This Time by ANC 2E: The ANC proposes to adopt a resolution regarding the
following projects, which are on the upcoming October 7th, 2021 agenda of the Old Georgetown
Board (OGB).

  1. SMD 2E03 – OG 21-289 (HPA 21-4893)
    3147 P Street, NW (Square 1270, Lot 820)
    Residence
    Addition
    Concept
  2. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-272 (HPA 21-476)
    1511 30th Street, NW (Square 805, Lot 1268)
    Residence
    Rear addition
    Concept
    Page 3
    No Comment at This Time by ANC 2E: The following projects, which are on the upcoming October
    7th, 2021 agenda of the Old Georgetown Board (OGB), have not been added to the ANC meeting
    agenda for OGB-related design review and we do not propose to adopt a resolution regarding them at
    this time. If there are concerns about any of these projects, please contact the ANC office by Friday,
    October 1st, 2021.
  3. SMD 2E02 – OG 21-312 (HPA 21-544)
    1690 32nd Street, NW (Square 1280, Lot 59)
    Residence
    Window and door replacement
    Permit
  4. SMD 2E02 – OG 21-181 (HPA 21-336)
    1660 33rd Street, NW (Square 1290, Lot 239)
    Residence
    Window, trim, stucco, and light replacement
    Permit
  5. SMD 2E02 – OG 21-266 (HPA 21-470)
    1618 34th Street, NW (Square 1277, Lot 202)
    Residence
    Replacement windows and doors, replace fence, roof, gutter, downspouts, new lighting
    Permit
  6. SMD 2E02 – OG 21-305 (HPA 21-537)
    1687 34th Street, NW (Square 1295, Lot 259)
    Residence
    Window and door replacement on rear elevation
    Permit
  7. SMD 2E02 – OG 21-307 (HPA 21-539)
    1691 34th Street NW (Square 1295, Lot 273)
    Residence
    Replace garage door and widen opening; relocate mechanical equipment
    Concept
  8. SMD 2E02 – OG 21-314 (HPA 21-546)
    3231 Reservoir Road, NW (Square 1280, Lot 71)
    Residence
    New garage
    Concept
  9. SMD 2E02 – OG 21-290 (HPA 21-522)
    1614 Wisconsin Avenue, NW (Square 1279, Lot 806)
    Commercial
    Convert existing fixed window into operable window
    Permit
  10. SMD 2E03 – OG 21-244 (HPA 21-448)
    1401 33rd Street, NW (Square 1244, Lot 813)
    Residence
    Page 4
    Repair exterior stairs
    Concept
  11. SMD 2E03 – OG 21-309 (HPA 21-541)
    1511 33rd Street, NW (Square 1255, Lot 814)
    Residence
    Replace stoop landing paving; rebuild steps; replace railing
    Concept
  12. SMD 2E03 – OG 21-298 (HPA 21-530)
    1519 34th Street, NW (Square 1254, Lot 881)
    Residence
    Roof replacement, new skylight
    Permit
  13. SMD 2E03 – OG 21-293 (HPA 21-525)
    3251 Prospect Street, NW, Suite C-4 (Square 1218, Lot 2039)
    Commercial
    Conservatory addition for “Brasserie Liberte” at courtyard
    Concept
  14. SMD 2E03 – OG 21-299 (HPA 21-531)
    3259 Prospect Street, NW (Square 1218, Lot 106)
    Residence
    Window replacement
    Concept
  15. SMD 2E03 – OG 21-219 (HPA 21-398)
    3401 Prospect Street, NW (Square 1221, Lot 86)
    Residence
    Replace site walls
    Concept
  16. SMD 2E03 – OG 21-300 (HPA 21-532)
    1365 Wisconsin Avenue, NW (Square 1243, Lot 817)
    Commercial
    Signage for Truist
    Permit
  17. SMD 2E04 – OG 21-237 (HPA 21-438)
    3700 O Street, NW (Square 1321, Lot 833)
    Georgetown University – Lauinger Library Antennas for Verizon
    Concept
  18. SMD 2E05 – OG 21-211 (HPA 21-390)
    3000 M Street, NW (Square 1197, Lot 862)
    Commercial
    Open-air eatery
    Concept
  19. SMD 2E05 – OG 21-270 (HPA 21-474)
    3000 M Street, NW (Square 1197, Lot 862, 863, 7000 through 7008)
    Page 5
    Commercial
    Construction of a seven-story mixed-use building
    Concept
  20. SMD 2E05 – OG 21-280 (HPA 21-484)
    3128 M Street, NW (Square 1199, Lot 812)
    Commercial
    Signage for Buck Mason, alterations
    Permit
  21. SMD 2E05 – OG 21-253 (HPA 21-457)
    3139 M Street, NW (Square 1208, Lot 45)
    Commercial
    Storefront alterations, window replacement
    Concept
  22. SMD 2E05 – OG 21-248 (HPA 21-452)
    3223 M Street, NW (Square 1207, Lot 109)
    Commercial
    Addition
    Concept
  23. SMD 2E05 – OG 21-275 (HPA 21-479)
    3270 M Street, NW (Square 1200, Lot 866)
    Commercial
    Fenestration alterations
    Concept
  24. SMD 2E05 – OG 21-247 (HPA 21-451)
    3336 M Street, NW (Square not provided, Lot not provided)
    Commercial
    Signage – Avocado Mattress
    Permit
  25. SMD 2E05 – OG 21-295 (HPA 21-527)
    3345 M Street, NW (Square 1205, Lot 81)
    Commercial
    Sign for The Escape Game
    Permit
  26. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-294 (HPA 21-526)
    1537 30th Street, NW, Unit D1 (Square 1268, Lot 272)
    Residence
    Window installation
    Permit
  27. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-235 (HPA 21-436)
    1517 31st Street, NW (Square 1269, Lot 369)
    Residence
    Rooftop solar panels
    Permit
    Page 6
  28. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-296 (HPA 21-528)
    3029 M Street, NW (Square 1209, Lot 50)
    Commercial
    Signage for Gorjana
    Permit
  29. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-304 (HPA 21-536)
    2801 N Street, NW (Square 1235, Lot 800)
    Institution
    Demolish courtyard structure
    Concept
  30. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-301 (HPA 21-533)
    2908 N Street NW (Square 1211, Lot 19)
    Residence
    Install pool, deck, fence, planters, and window boxes
    Permit
  31. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-274 (HPA 21-478)
    2908 N Street, NW (Square 1211, Lot 19)
    Residence
    Landscape alterations, new pool, revisions to previously approved front elevation
    Permit
  32. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-315 (HPA 21-547)
    2908 N Street, NW (Square 1211, Lot 19)
    Residence
    Alterations at front court and brick accessory structure
    Permit
  33. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-306 (HPA 21-538)
    3003 N Street, NW (Square 1233, Lot 98)
    Residence
    New elevator
    Concept
  34. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-292 (HPA 21-524)
    3018 O Street, NW (Square 1242, Lot 124)
    Residence
    Solar panels
    Permit
  35. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-291 (HPA 21-523)
    3022 O Street, NW (Square 1242, Lot 122)
    Residence
    Solar Panels
    Permit
  36. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-240 (HPA 21-444)
    3038 O Street, NW (Square 1242, Lot 114)
    Residence
    Rear sliding door replacement
    Page 7
    Permit
  37. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-239 (HPA 21-440)
    2714 P Street, NW (Square 1261, Lot 821)
    Residence
    Solar panels
    Permit
  38. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-303 (HPA 21-535)
    2928 P Street, NW (Square 1258, Lot 226)
    Residence
    Install two lanterns at front entrance
    Permit
  39. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-227 (HPA 21-406)
    2729 Dumbarton Street, NW (Square 1239, Lot 163)
    Residence
    Window and stucco repairs
    Permit
  40. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-257 (HPA 21-461)
    2804 Dumbarton Street, NW (Square 1235, Lot 167)
    Single-family residence
    Replace windows on front and rear; replace rear doors
    Permit
  41. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-308 (HPA 21-540)
    2808 Olive Street NW (Square 1212, Lot 194)
    Residence
    Re-lay driveway bricks
    Permit
  42. SMD 2E06 – OG 21-283
    2822 Olive Street, NW
    Residence
    Replace windows, shutters, doors, new door surround, and balcony replacement
    Permit
  43. SMD 2E07 – OG 21-313 (HPA 21-545)
    1683 31st Street, NW (Square 1282, Lot 901)
    Single-family residence
    Alterations
    Concept
  44. SMD 2E07 – OG 21-278 (HPA 21-482)
    1688 31st Street, NW (Square 1281, Lot 814)
    Residence
    New garage, rear addition, alterations
    Concept
  45. SMD 2E07 – OG 21-269 (HPA 21-473)
    2445 P Street, NW (Square 1264E, Lot 808)
    Page 8
    Residence
    New handrail, fencing
    Concept
  46. SMD 2E07 – OG 21-310 (HPA 21-542)
    2531 P Street NW (Square 1264, Lot 804)
    Commercial
    Add shutters to second floor windows
    Concept
  47. SMD 2E07 – OG 21-297 (HPA 21529)
    3035 Q Street, NW (Square 1282, Lot 271)
    Residence
    Site work, stoop alteration
    Permit
  48. SMD 2E07 – OG 21-311 (HPA 21-543)
    1805 Wisconsin Avenue, NW (Square 1299, Lot 319)
    Commercial
    Raze existing building for new four story building
    Concept

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