Michigan Park Citizens Association
November 7, 2017
Turkey Thicket Recreational Center
President David Conrad opened the meeting at 7:42 PM with the pledge of allegiance.
Mr. Don Looney provided updates from the Federation of Citizens Association. The Federation will host a special meeting on November 15, 2017 to address the proposed comprehensive plan. Several knowledgeable citizen activists will speak.
Mr. Scott Einberger, Park Service employee and author of A History of Rock Creek Park: Wilderness and Washington D.C., 2014. spoke about the Fort Bunker Hill park and the circle parks in the district. Mr. Einberger’s description of the Bunker Hill recalled to the minds of many residents the activities once held there. Catholic University’s theater group held plays in the park during the summer, and the top of the park was a favored picnic area.
Mr. Ralph Bucksell spoke about the growing concerns of the damage to homes from heavy truck traffic. He noted that the 12th Street neighbors between Michigan Avenue and Shepherd hired a structural engineer to assess the impact of truck traffic on their homes. The engineer determined that trucks in excess of 1 1/4 tons are causing structural damage to the homes as they pass along 12th Street. 12th Street is not constructed for heavy vehicular traffic. Michigan Avenue and South Dakota are class A roads. South Dakota and Gallatin Streets are class B road. South Dakota, specifically, has a few feet of poured concrete which allows heavy trucks to pass over without causing damage to nearby structure. Planned construction in the neighborhood will necessarily require heavy truck traffic along 12th and 13th Streets, among others, and may damage current structures at the expense of building new structures.
Members discussed the traffic congestion on Shepherd Street caused by parents driving their children to Brookland Middle School. Mr. Steve Lowe suggested that school staff be posted outside of the school to regulate the drop-off and pick-up of students by their parents. However, the members acknowledged the desire of many parents to see their kids enter the building before departing to ensure their safety
Ms Marita Riddick made several announcements on behalf of Councilmember McDuffie. Mr. McDuffie’s staff releases a monthly one sheet leaflet with calendar events in 5th District.
President Conrad led members in a review the MPCA’s handling of the proposed EYA development of the Saint Joseph’s Property. Several strengths and failures of the Association’s efforts were raised. On the plus side, MPCA gained a voice in the Comprehensive Plan and proposals for zoning.
– Gained a voice in the comprehension plan
– Effectively engaged ANC John Feeley
– Fostered reasonable conversation
– Identified alternative to development through purchase of property by city for use as a park
– Tone and tenor of public conversation sometimes became acrimonious
– Failed to coordinate with adjacent civic organizations, must create a coalition
– The developer (EYA) took MPCA’s opening position as our final position