City Paper is not for tourists
After two officers were injured and a suspect was fatally shot early Saturday morning at Champlain and Kalorama streets in Adams Morgan, Councilmember Jim Graham got on the Listserv, of course. Rather than merely informing residents of the incident and investigation, he offered up some pats on his own back for efforts to open Champlain at what he describes as the “NOTORIOUS” spot where it deadends under the Marie Reed breezeway. Graham let us know that he’s secured the funding for this project and pushed for bids to go out June 2.
In a phone interview today, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bryan Weaver lifts the veil of tension between him and his councilmember on this issue. “When you use the incident as a way to push…personal agendas, it’s not fair to the police officers who were shot and on the scene immediately, who took the life of another human being.”
And it’s not about Champlain’s dead zone being particularly dangerous, he says. “In many ways, [the closed street] is a perfect storm of bad city managment, bad public policy, and conditions of a wildly gentrifying area, cultivated in one area.”
But, yes, says Weaver: “It probably is time to open the breezeway.”
The original plan of the street—-the one that closed it off at Kalorama—-was designed so that people could easily walk to a Marie Reed that was supposed to be a catchall community resource: a school, a health clinic, a rec center, a senior center, says Weaver. Now the place comes off as dangerous, at the most, unfriendly, at the least, and it sits close to half-million-dollar condos bought by people who’d be more likely to be look to Mint Fitness than Marie Reed’s community pool.
If Weaver had his way, the street would open AND some of that earmark money Graham is famous for securing would go to remaking Marie Reed into the inviting place it was intended to be, “especially at a time when Boys & Girls Clubs are closing in this city….If we’re going to do the one thing—-opening the street so that traffic can get out of Adams Morgan—-why not this? I view it as a win-win. The people who want the reopening will get it and the people who still want a safe, dignified community center could get that, too.”
So: Although Weaver’s against using the recent shooting as a way to take credit for opening the dead zone of Champlain, he’s not opposed to it starting a conversation on improving Marie Reed.
And about that incident: According to Weaver, one of the cops was treated and released after being grazed by a bullet; the other’s “going to make a full recovery, but it could take awhile.” A low-caliber bullet is still lodged in his tissue and doctors are considering leaving it there, since it’s not damaging any major organs.