By Stephanie Liotta Atkinson
On February 21, 2012, 6-9 pm, at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, Council Chairman Kwame Brown, on behalf of the Council’s Committee of the Whole, will host a Public Oversight Roundtable on Economic Development Projects and Programs in Ward 5.
The public oversight roundtable has two purposes:
- to allow the District government witnesses to inform Ward 5 residents about the economic development projects and programs occurring in their neighborhoods, and
- to provide an opportunity for Ward 5 residents to testify on economic development matters and recommend areas for improvement.
I plan to testify and will advocate for targeted economic development on Rhode Island Avenue NE. If you’d like to testify, sign up HERE. Registration will be open until close of business on Monday, February 20, 2012. You also need to submit an electronic copy of your testimony (see the FULL NOTICE for details).
Things to think about if you testify on behalf of Rhode Island Avenue NE:
- Streetscape improvement (provide money for facade improvement, tree-planting, green the medians that separate the lanes, repair cracked sidewalks, add trash cans and planters, replace the gray “cobra” street lamps with the new black lamps and add more lamps, repaint and add more crosswalks, etc).
- Increase police presence to reduce violent crime, drug-related crime, prostitution, and illegal sign-posting. Certain RIA business owners report that they won’t improve their facades out of a fear that a spiffy storefront indicates to thugs that the business has money, which will increase robberies. Reduce crime, incentivize facade improvement.
- Provide incentives for specialty grocers, restaurants, dry-cleaners, and other neighborhood-serving small businesses to locate on RIA.
- Find a solution to the RIA parking issue that scares off potential business owners.
- Create bike lanes on the Avenue and install Bikeshare stations.
- Provide a more dedicated source of transportation from 4th & RIA to the Woodridge Main Street. Move us up the street-car wait list. Or add busses.
- Penalize cab companies that won’t serve Ward 5 residents.
- Moratorium on auto-related businesses.
- Improve the pitiful appearance of the RIA gateway at Eastern Ave.
- Revise the zoning immediately surrounding RIA to allow for increased density. Encourage developers to build reasonably-sized multi-family buildings along the Avenue (and make sure there’s adequate bus service to get these folks to the metro).
What else should we be advocating for?
Event: Public Oversight Roundtable on Economic Development Projects and Programs in Ward 5
Date: February 21, 2012
Location: Turkey Thicket Recreation Center 1100 Michigan Avenue NE, 20017