What’s in the Name of Michigan Park
Searches on internet based maps often result in conflicting information about neighborhood boundaries. A recent search in the ADC map book, referencing dates from 2002, Alexandria Drafting Co (http://www.adcmpas.com/) shows the neighborhoods of Michigan Park and North Michigan Park reversed, with Michigan Park located North of North Michigan Park. This error was duplicated in a D.C. Office of Planning presentation, which was recognized by a Michigan Park resident and architect. Another search on DC Atlas Plus (http://atlasplus.degis.dc.gov/) depicted North Michigan Park to the East of Michigan Park. The writer’s own smart phone regularly defaults to either University Heights or Woodridge.
The city’s administrative boundaries are made without regard to the neighborhoods. Michigan Park is divided among three police service areas (PSAs), 405, 503 and 504, from two Metropolitan Police Districts (MPD), 4th District and 5th District. Five Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC) represent areas of Michigan Park – 5A02, 5A03, 5B01, 5B02, and 5B05. The ANC, like the policy districts, are also divided between two larger administrative boundaries, 4th and 5th Voting Districts.
In the summer of 2002, under the leadership of the Anthony A. Williams Administration, the Office of Planning developed a service concept focused on the individual neighborhoods called the Neighborhood Cluster. Thirty-nine Neighborhood Cluster were identified within the District of Columbia in coordination with the neighborhood associations to provide a combined action plan for public safety, recreation and parks, and schools. Michigan Park was identified with Neighborhood Cluster 20 along with North Michigan Park and University Heights. Four neighborhood associations were involved – Michigan Park Citizens Association, North Michigan Park Civic Association, Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association, and Queens Chapel Civic Association. Unfortunately, the neighborhood cluster concept did not continue under following Mayoral administrations.
Real estate listings can be equally confusing as the advertised subdivision (ADV) reflects marketing strategies and is separate from the listed Legal Subdivision (Legal).
Related to the neighborhood boundaries are the neighborhood associations of which there are two types, the citizens association and civic association, both represented by separate federations, the D.C. Federation of Citizens Associations and the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations. Michigan Park Citizens Association represents Michigan Park and University Heights and is a member of the D.C. Federation of Citizens Associations. Queens Chapel Civic Association, somewhat isolated from Michigan Park East of South Dakota and North of Michigan Park Avenues, amiably separated from Michigan Park Citizens Association in 1965 and is a member of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations. Other neighborhood associations adjacent to or overlapping with Michigan Park Citizens Association are civic associations. These are North Michigan Park Civic Association, Woodridge Civic Association and Brookland Civic Association.
In the past, neighboring neighborhood associations have coordinated their boundaries. An example of this was described in an article of the Evening Star when representative of Michigan Park Citizens Association and Lamond Citizens Association (now Lamont-Riggs Citizens Association) met to discuss their boundaries. Since that time, much growth has occurred in the area, and Michigan Park and Lamond-Riggs is now separated by North Michigan Park.
One last note. On September 16, 2016, the Washington Post published an article online related to neighborhood areas. Entitled, “North End of Shaw: Will it Stick like NoMa or Flop like SoMo?” by Perry Stein, it described the invented, fluid and evolving neighborhood names. see http://wpo.st/URCz1.