A few things revisited

a grocery store in ne
On the Eckington listserv there is all this back and forth about the old Safeway and hoped for replacement. Please take the Harris Teeter off the list. According to an old press release HT is scheduled to open Winter 2010/2011. According to a recent DCMUD post (hat tip eckington blog), that date could be November 2010.
Honestly Eckington/Edgewood area, I don’t see what that area has to attract the kind of store y’all think you deserve. The two favorites according to Debbie Smith’s poll were Trader Joe’s (which tends to like small spaces with hidden parking) and Wegmans. What no Balducci’s? I left the Logan Circle are a few months after the Whole Foods opened, and from what I remember the civic authorities of that area showed how the population of Logan/Shaw (and Dupont) could support a Whole Foods. The Soviet Safeway, the O Street Giant, and the no-name grocery in the area were no competition for the kind of shopper that would support WF. If y’all can prove that a national or regional grocery chain can thrive there despite a Giant nearby that happens to be very convenient to a metro station with many buses, go for it.

and regarding sidewalks and the problems for those in wheelchairs (from Scott Roberts list)

See this 2/17/2010 message from ANC 5C04 Commissioner John Salatti:

Bloomingdale does it again: another resident is helped!

Once again, Bloomingdale residents have shown their concern for their neighbors and done it with more than just words. This past weekend I heard from Angela xxxxxxx who uses a motorized wheelchair to get to and from college in Rockville, MD. She makes that daily trip using Metro. That trip is long and difficult on the best of days (Angela has some hairy stories of having to drive her wheelchair down Michigan Avenue from the Brookland Metro Station when the buses have not run), her trip became impossible after the snow storm because she could travel barely 20 feet from her property before the sidewalk became impassable for her wheelchair.

After meeting with Angela and hearing her situation and what she needs to go back to school, I called on a number of residents for a major operation: get Angela from her home in the xxxx block of Flagler Place to the bus stop at North Capitol and W Street, about a third of mile. And once again Bloomingdale responded. Many, many thanks to Sara Kaufman and Mike McNeil of the Unit block of W Street, and Dodd Naiser, Alastair Pakiam, and Brandon Skall of Flagler Place for joining me to widen the path on the sidewalk and for chopping out a lot of ice so that Angela could make her way safely to the bus stop and back. We went with her on a test drive back and forth. She couldn’t believe that people would do so much to help her.

Thanks everyone!

Please clear the sidewalks.

From- Subject: [MPD-5D] Neighbors Who Are Unable to Get Around

Because me knocking on some strangers door while I’m angry is not a good idea. My neighbors and I have shoveled our street, but the routes to the Giant, the Metro and most bus stops are ice covered danger zones for the elderly who walk with canes and have basically shut in the wheelchair bound.

Haven’t you noticed fewer or almost no motorized wheelchairs around lately? So my sympathy is for the people who have been trapped in their homes because others are too lazy or too cheap (there are 10 yr olds w/ shovels looking to make money) to shovel their sidewalks.

Look around at who is getting around and notice who is missing.
This morning mothers are having to lead their small children through small icy trails of yellow lined paths to get to school.
The wrongness of it angers me because pedestrians deserve better and they deserve justice.

The preceeding was in response to this regarding ticketing for lack of snow removal on the MPD 5th District listserv:

Yes, businesses should be ticketed, but have you knocked on the door of your neighbors and asked why they have not shoveled?
> Maybe there is a sick and shut in person or someone not physically able to move the amount of snow that is out there. I have lived in my neighborhood for eight years and my husband and son are very vigilant about keeping our space shoveled. However, during this last storm, our shovel broke and although our area was shoveled for the first storm, he could not shovel with his hands and he could not even get out of the parking space to look for one. My neighbor came to the rescue and let us borrow one until we were able to purchase a new one.
> I am tired of the snow more than the next person, but be neighborly and see what the circumstance is before begging to give someone a ticket. This is an unusual storm and unless you are young and very able, the ice is very difficult to move even for the strongest man right now.
> Calm down people and have a little patience.

The sidewalk report

Sunday afternoon the people on the other side of the block decided to shovel their sidewalks. To be fair it was still snowing the day before, but that didn’t stop us on my side. We shoveled while it was still coming down, so when it stopped there wasn’t much to do, and the salt dried up the walk quickly. On my side of the street most of the sidewalk shoveling was done by 4 individual homeowners. With about 2 owners shoveling more than just the sidewalk in front of their own homes.
Africare the non-profit in the old Morse School on the 400 block of R is a good neighbor. The brick sidewalk had a nice wide and clear path along their vacant lot and building grounds. Unfortunately the end of the block is a block of ice in front of the individual houses that hug 5th and R. The northern corner of the 500 block of R is good until you get near the corner of 6th. That little park between Rhode Island, 6th, and R is nothing but an island of dirty snow mountains and ice. Which sent me out into the street. Along the Asbury Dwellings there is a thin clear path, where as across Rhode Island it appears to be one big glacial sidewalk, as it is after every snowfall. WMATA seemed to put down a minimal amount of snow melt around the station, but I did notice that many bus stops where shoveled enough so a couple people could stand on solid ground.
It’s too spotty for people in wheelchairs or motorized chairs to get around. Too many curb cuts have mountains of dirty snow or sheets of ice to escape the block. Brown slush, should a wheeled person decide to take it to the streets, is another hazard. I can imagine the slush, pockets of black ice and the regular motorized traffic (with limited swerving options) *might* keep the wheelchair bound off the streets.

When Historic Districts Attack- Fair Housing

From the tissue strewn couch of InShaw:
I’m a bit ill this week so not much commentary on this, except to say this is an update on a Marc Fisher article I blogged about before. Mr. Fisher updates us, saying others have gotten involved with the elderly couple, such as HUD and some pro-bono lawyers, after reading his first article. So give “Human Dignity Also Needs to Be Preserved” a read.

Florida Market Meeting

The Office of Planning said they’d post the presentation in the next 2 days, so I’m not going to repeat a lot of what was presented. I’ll try to sum up what took place.
They tried to make clear, or distance themselves, from was the New Towns project. No, this was just about the study of the area, which is a more in depth study than the general one that done before. However, because New Town’s running parallel to this study, the confusion was hard to avoid.
There were presentations about the historic and economic aspects of the area. Construction of the market began in 1929 and other buildings were added later up until about the mid-20th Century. The economic presentation looked at possible land uses, but what was interesting about it was pointing out that there is not a lot of land in the District of Columbia zoned for light industrial, thus making Florida Market special.
On the topic of zoning it was pointed out that the area is not zoned for residential. Currently, no residential can go there. Also the New Towns project wants to put in a high rise, and zoning limits buildings to 40 ft in height.
In the citizen commentary and in the presentation by OP there were some valid points made. Yes, the market needs better signage. Apparently back in the Barry years there was a plan for signage but there was no money, so it didn’t get done. Yes, the market is ADA unfriendly. Yes, it is run down and dirty. And yes, it is hazardous for pedestrians.
There were other points brought up that I didn’t agree with that boils down to my fear of the area being sanitized and losing its affordable flavor. First off, the market shouldn’t have to be all things to all people and not every development has to serve a primarily middle class mainstream audience. It serves immigrants (and other ethnic groups), ethnic businesses, small businesses, and people looking for deals. Yes, there is a demand for housing in the area, but more housing doesn’t necessarily mean it will be affordable or available to the very transient student population.
I will mull over the handout I got some more and probably come up with a better post later.

When Historic Preservation Attacks!: Old people

As reported in the Washington Post.
On one side elderly people, aged 88 & 86.
On the other Historic District, age 19 years protecting house aged 74.
Does medicare cover preservation approved accessiblity options? And doesn’t the Americans with Disabilities Act trump historic preservation? As I understand it, residential buildings do not have to comply with ADA but what if the owners want it to be ADA accessible, can it trump historic preservation?