A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
Love thy Neighbor, Despite Their Yard Art: The discourse on the New Hill East email list regarding toilets as flowerbeds has snowballed into an extensive thread. In defense of the neighbors in possession of the receptacle, a member writes, “The people at 14th and E are a very nice family and if you have objections why didn’t you say something last year your snarky comments on line don’t beautify this ‘neighborhood’ either.” But another says, “I actually see the toilet as a sign of protest. The family that lives there put a lot of time and effort into their brick fence and topped it with slate stones, only to have a group of neighborhood kids destroy it by ripping the slate stones off of the top a while back… in plan daylight with numerous neighbors yelling at them to stop. So, I view the toilet in my own mind as being very symbolic of ‘why we can’t have nice things’ in this neighborhood due to the roving juvi crime against both people and property.” On the defense is a third poster, who argues for better manners all around: “Using the neighborhood listserv to say what you don’t have the kahunas to say directly is futile and doesn’t do anything to enhance the community. At its worst, you’re potentially making a neighbor who’s a valuable member of our little corner of D.C. feel publicly ostracized for no good reason. Personally, I’ll take a dose of Dadaesque toilet art over passive-aggressive emails any day.”
The Aflockalypse: Notices of odd bird behavior continue to abound on the Takoma email list. Writes a member, “Since these messaages have been out there I have been watching for birds with problems. I commute to Bethesda each day by bike and just this morning saw 3 dead Robin’s on the road in the vicinity of Beach Drive and Military. They looked fine (no sign of trauma), just laying there. Very odd.”
Green Thumbs: One member of the Dupont Forum email list proposes, “While the S Street dog park is being heavily used, its other half, the T Street park, sits neglected. Mostly barren, it seems to have been completely ignored by Parks and Rec since it was planted. At the same time, the vibrant gardening community behind the Masonic Temple is being evicted this fall. Maybe the gardeners could organize and get the city to allow them to use the T Street park?” Another agrees that something should be done, writing, “I’ve been thinking about overlaying a picture of S Street Park with the plans Parks and Rec presented to highlight the contrast. The plantings are all dying off. Parks and Rec is one the most dysfunctional agencies. I’ve found going to the director is the only way to communicate. I have mentioned the T Street Park and the banking in front of Stead to him.” A third poster who identifies as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner supports these ideas and encourages his constituents to move forward by becoming “proactively involved in addressing issues.”
To Hell With the Key Bridge! In a post by the Georgetown Metropolitan advocating support for the L and M Street dedicated cycletracks, one commenter writes, “What is the GM obsession with making traffic worse in Georgetown, making it a less viable place to visit, shop, dine, etc… Seriously, putting in bike lanes on already highly congested streets would effectively require removal of a lane of traffic or parking. Add in the dedicated lanes that have been talked about for either buses or streetcar tracks and why not just shut down M Street all together. While we are at it, dismantle the Key Bridge. Seriously, some of the suggestions in this blog are myopic and irrational at best.” The blogger defends his view in a follow-up comment, stating “My ‘obsession’ is in providing and enhancing alternative means for getting to and from Georgetown. This is because automobile traffic to and from Georgetown is too high and we can’t build more capacity. I get it that you would rather count cars than people. That’s a very popular view, particularly in the suburbs. But I’d rather focus on what transportation choices serve the most people, not the most license plates. DDOT found that the 15th St. bike lanes increased bike traffic by 40 percent. I would like to see some thing like that here in Georgetown.” Another commenter has this to say: “Bicycling on M Street (cycletracks or no cycletracks) is akin to going into fresh water in Sarasota, Florida. Chances are you’ll get run over (or eaten by an alligators).”