More than a dozen officials from the District’s police, fire, waste disposal, public health, safety, public works, planning and transportation departments — along with Richard Livingstone, the mayor’s Ward 2 liaison, and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Jim Wilcox — spent almost two hours on Dec. 21 walking through the east side of Georgetown.
They met on the sidewalk and in the middle of streets and yards with homeowners and tenants, taking pages of notes about problems that the Georgetowners brought up.
Among the issues discussed were pothole repairs, garbage pickup, tree health and the response to downed cable wires and gas leaks, as well as parking spaces taken up by construction vehicles.
Officials also got a good look at the frequently chaotic traffic situation on 28th Street between M and Olive Streets NW. For 10 minutes, they observed traffic flow come to a dead stop, as both sides of the street were filled with legally parked cars while two more cars parked illegally on the M Street corners to pick up food at corner eateries.
In the meantime, cars from M Street and Pennsylvania Avenue tried to turn onto 28th Street and others tried to enter the M Street mainstream from 28th. At the same time, two cars from opposite sides of the street were trying to back into the middle of 28th from small driveways. “A lot of rude behavior going on,” remarked one official.
But the most consistent complaint was about dumpsters taking up three to four parking spaces — usually half of the block or more if there are driveways — on residential streets, for weeks, months and even (in one case presented to the visiting officials) for almost three years. That was the dumpster on the 2900 block of Dumbarton Street.
Though the large home on the corner of Dumbarton and 30th Streets has been under construction for years, the demolition requiring the large dumpster took only a few weeks, pointed out complaining neighbors. Now, it seems, the dumpster is permanently parked there for construction clean-up purposes.
The noise from the construction, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., has been constant as well, according to neighbors. And, until recently, a portable toilet was parked visibly on the sidewalk curb strip.
Livingstone agreed that the city could explore options to long-term construction noise and dumpster parking.
Three Metropolitan Police Academy cadets accompanied the group throughout the walk. They and police officers were pleased to note that there had been no complaints about safety and crime.
The walk-through was part of a new city program to record neighborhood issues “on the ground.” Livingstone assured The Georgetowner that there would be follow-up on the issues raised by residents.
Georgetown’s Outreach and Service Specialist in the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services (MOCRS). His personal contact information is Rich.firstname.lastname@example.org. His work phone is 202-535-1639; cell, 202-805-7122.
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