October 2015 Minutes

Michigan Park Citizens Association
Regular Monthly Meeting
October 6, 2015
Providence Hospital

President Paul Wood opened the meeting at 7:15 pm.  September minutes were read and accepted; the treasurer’s report was read by Treasurer Beulah Sutherland.  Beulah noted that the association funds are insufficient to cover the costs associated with the purchase and installation of a water spigot and back fill preventer in the neighborhood park, 12th/Shepherd/Michigan Avenue.

Garden Committee.  As the installations costs for a water spigot and backfill preventer are beyond means of MPCA, Chanelle Autrey, Constituent Services Coordinator of Councilmember McDuffie, was asked to investigate possible funding from the city.

Federation of Citizens Association.  Elizabeth McGowan reported that a new website has been established through the efforts of the new President, W. Earl Williams, dccitizensfederation.org.  The Federation has established a new membership category for individuals, advantageous to subject matter experts to join the Federation meetings. The annual individual fee is $25.00 per person.

Paul related that ANC Commissioner for 5A03 Adrian Jordan asked MPCA to apply for a $1,000 grant offered by his office for the benefit of Bunker Hill Elementary. Commissioner Jordan’s goal is to foster community support to the school.  MPCA has had a long history of supporting Bunker Hill Elementary.  Vice President Roxanne Carter visited with the principal, Ms. Kuchemba, and inquired about the school’s needs. A Parent Teachers Association (PTA) does not exist for Bunker Hill Elementary.  Members thought one option would be to involve the students in the park maintenance, a perennial effort for the association.

Paul noted the recent thefts in the neighborhood and suggested consideration by neighbors of the Block Captain program as described by Ms. Samantha Nolan, the Citywide Neighborhood Watch Trainer, a volunteer position. Neighbor Xavier Courouble found that 4th District police were unaware of the Block Captain program. 4D police found reports of suspicious cars helpful. Photographs of such vehicles were particularly welcome. Vehicles used in criminal acts, to include break-ins, are often stolen.  Submitting tips and concerns to policy in writing is also helpful. The Mayor’s office particularly is responsive to twitter messages. Emails can also be sent when one does not wish to make publicly available their concern. 4D is not as considered as responsive as 5D.  Much of what is now PSA 405 did lie within 5th District but was changed during the last PSA re-drawing of the PSA boundaries. Also, 4D may set higher priority on more crime troubled areas to the North. Officers from 4th and 5th Districts had regularly attended regular meetings of MPCA; however, to lessen the number of community meetings attended, the police now only present at the Citizens Advisory Councils.

Saint Joseph’s Seminary. Barbara Henderson reported that Saint Joseph Seminary will develop some of its land for private housing.  Barbara checked with the Bishop Ricard of the Seminary. The development will focus in the rear of the seminary building along Alison Street NE and possibly include up to forty townhouses. Members decided to request a meeting with officials of the Saint Joseph’s Society of the Sacred Heart to request information about the planned development. Ralph Bucksell, Xavier Courouble, Joshua Bell, and Paul Wood will collaborate on preparing specific questions in preparation for a possible meeting.

Livability Study. Ralph reported the plan proposes to remove parking in 1000 block of Taylor Street NE (the report states it as the 1100-1200 bock of Taylor but the work papers and map indicate that it is the 1000 block of Taylor Street).  At DOT’s community meetings, Ralph and other neighbors had provided a great deal of input regarding the traffic.  Taylor Street is divided down the middle by yellow traffic lane markings, which made it difficult to park during rush hours without getting your car hit by the large volume of trucks driving on the street.  If traffic was prohibited on one side of the street as in the 1200 block of Taylor Street, as it is on numerous other streets in the neighborhood; to include 13th, 14th, and Varnum; it would allow parking and disembarking without the threat of collision with pedestrians.

The removal of parking from Taylor Street would also inhibit parking for repairmen or deliverymen when coming to our homes.  It will also preclude delivery of supplies and groceries into our own homes.  The alleys are not wide and most residents must use their front doors for bringing in large items into our homes, as the back doors, gates, and steps are not suitable for deliveries.  Also, people who visit our homes will have limited parking, especially in the evenings, weekends and on holidays.  We have multiple streets in the immediate neighborhood that have restricted parking for Ward 5 residents.

The aim for the removal of parking in our block is to allow for bike traffic.  The 1000 block of Taylor does not have a large number of bikers who use the street as a commuting route.

The Michigan Park Citizens Association requested in writing the Bike Share program to make a bike station in the area of Providence Hospital.  The representative rejected our request, stating that there would not be adequate traffic to justify the placement of one at that location.

Ralph is gathering data on the street measurements and traffic to support any formal positions MPCA may take on DDOT’s proposals.

Traffic Calming Measures.  David Conrad and neighbors on Upshur Street between Michigan and 12th Street requested DDOT study traffic calming design options for the street.  The street is subject to cut-through traffic, often at speed. It also takes a high volume of cut-through traffic during rush hours.  Confirmation of the request was received in late September.  DDOT will begin by observing and measuring current conditions.

Councilmember McDuffie. Constituent Services for Councilmember McDuffie, Chanelle Autrey, reported that the sound barrier considered along Puerto Rico Avenue is not considered feasible. This barrier was conceived as a means to protect homes in University Heights from the noise of the passing trains. Much of the noise is generated by the heavy cargo trains, not the light metro passenger rail cars.

The meeting adjourned at 08:45 PM.

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