A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
Strictly Idaho: An exceedingly rational discussion of cyclist and driver behavior is spurred on the Cleveland Park email list following the posting of this message: “This morning while riding my bike, I was nearly sideswiped by a police car, and later was honked at and yelled at for riding in the road. I suppose I should consider myself fortunate; about a month ago a driver on Rhode Island Ave. was caught on video intentionally striking a cyclist with his truck for the same offense.” Though some list members took the opportunity to engage in the typical nasty rhetoric that accompanies the topic of bike/car mingling, one cyclist writes, “I myself follow a strict version of the Idaho rules: I stop at all red lights (mostly, to set a good example where many other cyclists and drivers can see me). But concerning stop signs: if no cars are around, I slow down, look both ways and then roll through….Is my behavior at stop signs illegal? Yes. But admitting to this small infraction is a bit like admitting that I break the speed limit practically every time I drive (like all drivers).” Another poster says she’s not too hopeful that cyclists and bikers will ever interact peacefully, but offers this strategy: “I don’t cycle in the city. I’m too old, too scared. But all our sons cycle in the cities (DC, Paris, NY and Boulder) where they have lived. A beloved young friend keeps her bicycle in our garage and rides all the time. My simple rule is: every cyclist I see could be one of them.”
Something Nice to Say: The CCCA Prez blog encourages readers to engage with Shaw’s KIPP charter school should problems arise, noting that in his experience, the staff has been nothing but pleasant and responsive. “Even when the students are just being kids, the staff seem zealously committed to encouraging students to become exceptional citizens—even when faced with the Sisyphean challenge of trying to instill standards for behavior during the school day that only gets unravelled when students leave school and are surrounded by different standards at home,” writes the blog. He adds, “After the gang gun shots rang out the night Obama got the Dem nomination and the open air drug use incident a couple years back at the Kennedy Rec, my sister-in-law and some other local parents told me matter-of-factly that they would never be taking their children to that facility given the standard held by staff there. That’s why the KIPP school and playground (which niece and nephew just love when they visit) have been such a godsend.”
Whither Viewsheds: In response to Left for LeDroit’s investigation into the whereabouts of two long-missing neighborhood fountains, a Bloomingdale resident opines that much of the neighborhood’s character was sacrificed to accommodate commuters: “By removing Truxton Circle and ultimately constructing the North Capitol Street “Freeway”, our neighborhoods were separated by a highway chasm of loud, polluting, speeding cars and trucks. This infrastructure was never going to benefit the local residents and businesses, yet the city leaders at the time permitted this gross injustice on one of its own neighborhoods, likely using those very resident’s tax dollars to permanently scar their neighborhoods, destroying their value and facilitating their decline.” The commenter then takes a shot at the Committee of 100’s dogged pursuit of an overhead wire-free streetcar system, adding, “So much controversy has been made regarding the DC Streetcar overhead wires, which can hardly ever impede any vistas (witness any number of ancient and historic European cities). Yet the North Capitol Street “Freeway”, with its overpasses/bridges, fences, walls and guardrails is still permitted to this day without even any thought, much less protest – even though the once glorious vistas of the Capitol Dome from any location on North Capitol Street in Bloomingdale and Eckington have been permanently obstructed and ruined!” The comment is cross-posted at the Bloomingdale blog.
Queen Crapper: On the Burleith email list, a poster writes a in a message titled, “Bandit crapper on the loose,” “Residents of the block of 3500 T Street watch out for the girl who will have her dog crap in your yard and not clean it up. There is a young woman with black hair who walks her dog, a big black and white dog of unknown breed, every afternoon in the 3500 block of T Street who lets the dog crap in your yard or on the grass in front of your house and who WILL NOT curb the feces. She is friendly and personable but is waiting until you are out of sight to let her dog do this EVERY day. I have seen this happen about four times and is clearly not an oversight but an intentional daily routine that will continue unless folks watch out for her and she becomes aware that this is not cool”—to which another member says, “Well someone needs to call Homeland Security.” That second poster also writes, “QUESTION: Have you actually seen her and her dog outside and the dog use the lawn as a toilet? Did you tell her to pick it up? Maybe be a nice neighbor and have some plastic bags ready for her.”