City Paper is not for tourists
A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
Bad: According to the Takoma email list, the weekend’s festivities kept on all night. “Anyone else tired of the fireworks non-stop? I know it’s the 4th and all and I was willing to let it go but I have a 9 month old and now it’s approaching 10:45 pm. I’ve called MPD but no sign of them yet. Any other suggestions?” asks a member of the list. In response, someone writes, “I feel your pain. The police have driven up our street a few times, right past the fireworks, and they continue unabated. Seems to have slowed down a little around my block…Looks like it might rain?” Though a third member suggests, “Hey, It’s the 4th of July! Only happens once a year,” they are quickly quieted by those with dogs and babies.
Worse: Members of the Metropolitan Police District 5D email list engage in a bit of behavior analysis to explain just why their neighbors feel compelled to light off illegal fireworks. Writes one, “I live in the Trinidad neighborhood of DC, which is in 5D. Fireworks are allowed in DC, but not the ones you hear prior to the 4th and days following the 4th that go on into the night. Heck on the way home from work last night someone ran out into the middle of the street about 100 yards in front of my car and lit some type of explosive device and then ran away. When that device exploded it set off every car alarm up and down the street. And just like you-all, I heard these motars and bottle rockets go off well into the wee hours of the morning. Between MPD and DC Fire, they have confiscated well over $10,000 worth of illegal fireworks in the past week, but they can’t be everywhere all the time. Parenting does play a big roll, but what do you do when it’s the parents who are setting off the illegal fireworks? In one instance police busted a Uhaul truck full of illegal fireworks and I’m sure kids weren’t driving that truck. I think one of the main problems here is very poor parenting.” (They sent the same message to a 4D list, as well.) Most members agree; another says, “I would support any and all efforts to ban fireworks in the District—legal or otherwise. If there is some organizing around this, please keep us posted. The fireworks have been going on for a solid week, but last night was ridiculous. Started around 8pm and went until 1am, non-stop. It sounded and felt like a war zone. I realize the drug dealers didn’t have to get up for work this morning, but the rest of us did.”
Marginally Improved: But further south, things were a bit more calm. InShaw, in a post titled, “4ths are getting better,” writes, “Say about 10 years ago when I moved here the local fireworks would start a good month before the 4th of July. Slowly, over time the pre-fourth fireworks became fewer and fewer. Also I need to note the sounds of small arms fire in the night has decreased over the years too.”
Completely Unrelated to Fireworks: The 42 Bus suggests that D.C. could benefit from more pedestrian malls: “I’m wondering if the C’ville mall could be a model for a small scale similar set up in DC. We have residents in Cleveland Park asking for automobile controlled space to be turned back over to pedestrians. Adams Morgan is currently getting more sidewalk space for its patrons. And one of the largest downtown development projects in the nation is taking shape at City Center. Southeast DC has two decent examples of this with Eastern Market and surrounding streets closed off on the weekends as well as Half Street’s closure during Nationals games.” Center for American Progress wonk Matt Yglesias responds on Twitter with a suggestion of his own: “Think the most promising #dcpedmall site would be a big one — F between 6th and 9th + 7th between D and I.”