MEMBERS OF THE BATES AREA CIVIC ASSOCIATION AND RESIDENTS OF ANC5C01:
I just learned at the Dunbar School Improvement Team (S.I.T.) meeting on Wednesday
evening that the vote to approve a curb cut in ANC5C02, which is scheduled for this
coming Tuesday, December 13th, refers to the widening of the driveway into the CAPCS
parking lot in the 100 block of P Street. The Dunbar contractors are set to begin
construction on the new school next week. In preparation, they have already closed
the 1st and O Streets entrance to the playground and blocked off part of the parking
lot (which, as we all know, used to be a green field). I was told that work can not
begin until they get the consent of the ANC to widen the driveway in the 100 block
of P Street from 12 feet to 20 feet so that cars will be able to both enter and exit
the school parking lot simultaneously. I told the group that many of my neighbors
have grave concerns about rerouting more traffic onto P Street and reducing already
limited parking by essentially another parking space. I explained to them that the
problem is exacerbated by the use of the CAPCS building every Sunday and often an
additional night during the week by Metropolitan Baptist Church and how, now that
the lot has been reduced and the 1st and O entrance closed, the parking situtation
as well as traffic congestion on P Street has gotten dramatically worse during the
last two or three weeks.
The general response was that we’ve come too far to stop now, we need to get this
curb cut approved on the 13th, there’s too much money invested and there are steep
penalties for any delays. I responded by telling them that I might not have a
personal issue with the plan but I won’t vote to support it until my constituents
have had a chance to weigh in since they also have a lot of money invested in their
own properties. I was then told that the Hanover Civic Association voted to approve
the plan on Monday. I replied that that was well and good but that the impact is
greater on the residents of the Bates Area Civic Association, especially those
living on or near P Street, than those in Hanover who basically live south and east
of the school, not on the P Street side most affected.
I asked the question: What if ANC5C doesn’t give its approval, can’t the
construction project still proceed if the driveway is not widened? After all, the
purpose of widening the driveway is to accomodate traffic into and out of the CAPCS
facility. They told me that the answer to that question is “no.” The construction
on the school can’t begin without an OK to widen the CAPCS access driveway on P
Street. I couldn’t understand that, but when I pressed the architect as to why, I
was told that CAPCS, which owns the property at First & O Streets, NW, has
conditioned its consent to allow that entrance to be closed and used as a
construction staging area on the Dunbar construction project team’s agreement to
widen the P Street entrance to accomodate two-way traffic in and out of the school
grounds. (It is interesting to note that there is already another access from Third
Street to the parking lot shared by CAPCS and Dunbar, but that entrance has
apparently been deemed to be less convenient to CAPCS so, as a courtesy to CAPCS,
the Dunbar team has agreed to seek to widen the P Street driveway.) I was also
told, after some hesitation, that the ultimate accomodation CAPCS is seeking is for
the Dunbar team to permanently black top what used to be the grass playfield and to
mark it with permanent white lines which will then double the parking capacity of
the lot. This, no doubt, is intended to accomodate the Metropolitan Baptist Church
which we were told 2 years ago would be using the school on a two year lease during
completion of its new home in Maryland. As many of you know, those construction
plans have come to a halt due to funding challenges.
At this point, I am seeking two things.
1) I need to know what position you, the constituents of this Single Member
District (SMD), want me to take on the curb cut resolution. Should I support it so
as to not delay the Dunbar project from getting started this week? Should I oppose
it outright as being counter to the interests of our community? Or should I support
it conditioned on some specific concessions regarding the tenure of the church or
other specific perks to our benefit?
2) I need you to come out to the ANC meeting on Tuesday, December 13th, en masse,
to support whatever position you want me to take, since I may be a lone wolf on this
one. The meeting on the 13th will be held at First New Hope Baptist Church, 1822
3rd Street, N.E., at 7:00 p.m. Please note that the church is in Northeast, not
I know this is short notice so if you can’t come to the meeting, I still need to
hear from you on how you feel about this issue. Please share your thoughts with all
of us so we can develop a unified position.
Thank you all.
Bradley A. Thomas
5 thoughts on “ANC TO VOTE ON CURB CUT”
I am a resident of Bates St.(Unit Block) and so am relatively unaffected by this proposed change. I do ride my bike down P St. almost every morning and have noticed that traffic has been increasingly congested on the 100 block and 200 block(Kipp School) of P St. Part of it is due to Kipp student drop-off and the new reflectors/dividers installed in front of that school.
Just an observation.
What’s the long term plan for traffic at the site? It seems that when Dunbar is finished, most traffic should again go the to O st entrance where there is a light. While the entrance location doesn’t affect me, I would like to see if we could get some of the field back as green space rather than an asphalt wasteland. I don’t see why Metro Baptist can’t provide a shuttle to/from the large NY Ave/N. Cap parking lot and keep this traffic out of our neighborhood. It seems like it would be more convenient for their MD-based congregation.
I would not be directly impacted by the loss of a parking space on P St. or through increased traffic on P St. but I understand the concerns of those nearby. I believe it is of primary importance that the Dunbar project continue without delay, too often when progress slows, it halts and never begins again for various reasons. Simply put, it is unaccepable to stop the project however that doesn’t mean a curbcut at P should come without conditions to assure the local neighbors on P St. are impacted as little as possible.
I believe that the neighborhood should be given special considerations and the use of the lot at CAPCS should be restricted during the evening and weekend hours to assure that neighbors can enjoy the quiet of the street while during the work day there may be increased activity.
I am a resident of the 200 block of P St NW and do not support a curb cut to widen the driveway into CAPCS. It will result in a significant increase to traffic on P St, which is already very congested during rush hour. As someone above pointed out, there has been a huge increase in congestion on P St between NJ and 5th as a result of the lane dividers put in near the Kipp school. The only way our area can handle this sort of traffic long term is if there are TWO ingress/egress points to the school so cars can go in one entrance and out the other. If every car is going in/out on P St, traffic will come to a standstill. This could also result in more congestion on 1st St NW.
While I might be convinced to support this as a temporary measure, in no way would I support the closing of the 1st and O St entrance to CAPCS as a long term measure.
I am unable to attend tomorrow night’s meeting, unfortunately, but did wish to express my views beforehand.
223 P St NW
I’m a member of the Hanover Area Civic Association. You are absolutely correct that this affects BACA residents more than Hanover. As a resident of the unit block of O St NW, I’m already concerned about the construction traffic coming off the construction exit at O and First. To me, moving CAPCS traffic to another block is beneficial for my block. However, I agree with Jen above that it should not be the long-term solution. The single entrance/exit on First already creates back up. This would be a good time to consider a longer-term plan that allows for a separate entrance and exit once Dunbar construction is complete.
Also, I am a fairly new transplant to the area, and I was not aware that lot used to be green space. I would very much support provisions to reinstate some amount of green space in the long-term. There is no reason (aside from the leasing church group, which I still hope to be temporary) an elementary school needs a huge parking lot.