The Georgetown-Burleith advisory neighborhood commissioners are always very solicitous to one another, continually thanking each other and their guests profusely for their insights, proposals and public service. The meetings are pictures of civility, seldom becoming heated.
But at ANC 2E’s monthly meeting last Monday, Feb. 1, a lively discussion broke out about two issues that, according to Georgetowners in the know, have exacerbated commissioners for decades: speed limits and large truck traffic in residential areas.
The debate was sparked when the commissioners were considering two resolutions billed as “Safer Streets for Georgetown.” One proposed lowering the speed limit to 15 miles an hour; the other pertained to large trucks traveling east-west.
“Has anyone really noticed a difference in car speeds since Mayor Bowser lowered D.C.’s residential limit from 25 to 20 miles per hour as part of the pandemic limitations imposed last spring?” asked Eric Langenbacher, president of the Burleith Citizens Association.
That actually might work, several commissioners noted, chuckling. It seems that people often drive five to 10 miles above the speed limit. So, at a posted15 mph limit, they might actually drive around 20 to 25 mph.
“Complaints and demands for explanations about the noticeable increase in the number of large heavy trucks on east-west residential streets of Georgetown have filled my voicemail and inbox,” said Commissioner Elizabeth Miller, who lives on R Street. “They really have no business even being on those streets. Regulations for years have detoured them to the wide commercial streets of M and Wisconsin Avenue, not P, Q, R Streets and others.”
“We will have a robust discussion about this in our March meeting,” concluded Chairman Rick Murphy, after the topic had taken up about 15 minutes of the almost four-hour virtual ANC meeting.