A discussion on pedestrian safety and highlights from upcoming environmental events featured prominently during the November 2010 ANC 3F monthly meeting held Monday, November 15.
Marlene Berlin of the Connecticut Avenue Pedestrian Action (CAPA) group presented the findings of a study examining pedestrian safety along Connecticut Avenue from Calvert Street to Chevy Chase Circle. The area encompasses 44 intersections, of which 18 are unsignalized, 53 bus stops, and three metro stations. This area sees an estimated 30,000-40,000 cars per day. Between 2006 and 2008, there were 44 pedestrian crashes, with four fatalities.
"There's inconsistent signage for cars," Ms. Berlin said, "and not enough time for individuals to cross the street. Able-bodied adults need 3.5 feet per second to cross safely, and older people and children need about three feet per second."
Ms. Berlin says these concerns should be taken into consideration by the community and city, because there are four public elementary schools whose boundaries cross Connecticut Avenue, and 14 preschools on or within a block of the street. In addition, four seniors' residences are located on or near Connecticut Avenue.
CAPA has devised a set of recommendations for each of the 44 intersections along the Connecticut Avenue corridor and will be publishing their report later this week. You will be able to find the report online at capa-dc.org. Their recommendations include increasing the time allotted to cross the street as well as means to improve drivers' visibility of along the street and photo enforcement to reduce speeding.
Lieutenant Victor Brashnewitz with the Metropolitan Police Department, District 2, also addressed community safety at the meeting, as he provided the monthly crime report for the neighborhood. Eight of the 26 crimes in PSA 203 over the last 60 days involved stolen bicycles, including ones taken from garages and private residences.
The police have also seen an uptick of individuals breaking into homes in which windows and doors were unlocked. The lieutenant reminded residents to secure the back doors and windows of their homes. Several laptops and iPods were also reported stolen from public places. Residents should be mindful to keep an eye on these items even when they are at their office, a library or university campus. You can use the MPD's crime mapping application online to find out what crimes have been reported in your neighborhood.
In other news, ANC 3F Commission Chair Karen Lee Perry advised residents that the D.C. Department of the Environment's Fisheries and Wildlife Division will be conducting nighttime wildlife surveys in the ANC 3F neighborhoods on November 27 and November 28 between sunset and 9:00 p.m.
"Residents should be prepared to see D.C. government vehicles driving along public roads and shining spotlights into wooded areas and lawns to identify wildlife. The spotlights will not be directed at residences' homes," Commissioner Perry said, "Drivers and other observers who come across the process should remain in their cars or homes."
Commissioner Tom Whitley reminded residents that the "Stewardship of Rock Creek" event is taking place on Wednesday, November 17 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church. The event, organized by the Friends of Rock Creek's Environment (FORCE), invites the 80 religious institutions located in the Rock Creek watershed to "green" their properties and help protect the creek. You can find details about the event here. Read more about FORCE volunteers here.
The Commissioners concluded the meeting agreeing to address at least two items in December. First, they will consider Guapo's Restaurant's application for extended hours of operation. They will also consider seeking the placement of a Capital Bikeshare station near the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Nebraska Avenue. Read more about what Capital Bikeshare is doing in the neighborhood here.
ANC 3F's December monthly meeting will not take place on the third Monday of the month, as regularly scheduled. ANC Commissioners will provide more details on an alternate date and time.