LRCA Membership Survey

As part of my official duties as a trustee and chair of the communications committee for the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association (LRCA), I am encouraging residents to fill out a brief 17-question informal survey designed to get feedback about how the organization operates. Responses are anonymous, unless you want us to contact you for any reason. Have ideas about community events you want in the neighborhood? Have ideas for speakers and topics to discuss at meetings? Have fundraising ideas? Is there something the organization could do to encourage your participation in meetings? Please share your thoughts with the LRCA.

Part of the effort of the survey (at least from my perspective) is also to encourage residents to consider taking leadership positions in the organization. A single term for officers and trustees is two years. Our June 2016 meeting finished the first year of the 2015-2017 term. Over the next year, we hope that residents will be encouraged to get involved, so that when those of us currently serving on the board depart, there will be others eagerly waiting to serve.

Please click the link to take the survey: LRCA June 2016 Membership Survey

Riggs Park’s competitive housing market

DC Urbanturf took a look at DC neighborhoods where homes are selling the fastest. Riggs Park comes in at number 8 on the list, with an average 11 days on market for 2016, down from 19 in 2015, based on 35 home sales so far this year. This information is based partially on legal subdivisions, which may not necessarily correspond with conventional neighborhood boundaries. This is just another reminder that the housing market for the neighborhood remains competitive.

ANC 5A May 25, 2016 Meeting Recap

Guest Post

ANC 5A May 25, 2016 Meeting Recap

On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, ANC 5A held its monthly public meeting.

Commissioners Present: Angel Alston (5A08), Isaiah Burroughs (5A04), Grace Lewis (5A02), Adrian Jordan (5A03), Jasmine White (5A06), and Frank Wilds (5A01)

REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS

ANC 5A Old Business

The commissioners approved the minutes of January thru April 2016.  Also, the commissioners approved a draft of the 2nd Quarter ANC 5A financial documentation.  Commission Jordan discussed surveying community attitudes on future economic development.  Such issues as retail density and business offerings, business locations and community impact are items for discussion.  To develop the survey, Mr. Jordan asked that each commissioner suggest a volunteer.  Four individuals have volunteered so far.

Police Report

Lieutenant Ashley Rosenthal gave the latest police report. She said the nuisance property in the 800 block of Kennedy Street, NE has been shut down through the coordinated efforts of multiple DC agencies.  She informed the group of the latest telephone scam.  The caller claims your loved one has been arrested and is being held for bond.  The caller then requests payment through a variety of means, including gift cards.  Call the DC Fraud Unit at 202-727-4159 (mpd.fraudunit@dc.gov) if you receive a suspicious call.  Ms. Rosenthal announced that during each Sunday in June, the police officers invite the community on a neighborhood walk, covering the entire PSA, a few block at a time.  She cited a decrease in property crimes which primarily plague the hospital and college campuses.  Lastly, Ms. Rosenthal received the following concerns:

  • During weekend people congregate at the Food Bank;
  • The timing of the traffic light that allows traffic from Puerto Rico Avenue onto Taylor Street, NE is inadequate for the volume of traffic;
  • People are congregating in the open fields at the intersections of 6th Place and Varnum Street, NE and at 7th Street and Varnum, NE.

CSX Transportation

Mr. Stephen R. Flippin, CSX Federal Affairs Director, came to address community concerns and discuss CSX operations.  Mr. Flippin said CSX owns over 14 miles of railroad track in DC, excluding a portion Amtrak owns.  He added that over $44.6 million was spent on infrastructure last year. Next, he covered the issues of noise, the Fort Totten Station and train vibration before taking questions.

Noise

Mr. Flippin said each train sounds its horn as a safety precaution whenever people are near the tracks.  This includes every Metro platform, track servicing and maintenance staff and others.  The trains encounter lots of night maintenance due to the long operating hours of Amtrak, MARC and Metro.

Fort Totten Station

CXS owns the tracks crossing the First Street Bridge, but Mr. Flippin is unsure whether CSX is responsible for the light fixtures. He will get back to the ANC with an answer.

Train Vibration

Mr. Flippin discussed track maintenance done by CSX.  He said the tracks are visually inspected daily, each is walked twice weekly and tracks are checked with sonar equipment.  He added that old railroad ties are replaced immediately while all ties and ballast are regularly replaced annually.  He mentioned that DC, and not CSX, is responsible for sound wall construction, if needed.  He gave the number to the CSX Claims Department which is 1-800-TELL-CSX.

Questions

Prior to the question and answer session, various audience members discussed the effects of train noise and vibration on their homes.  One even brought a recording of a passing train for everyone to hear.  Many in the audience cited rattling wall hangings and pictures along with foundation damage.  Mr. Flippin responded to the audience questions as follows:

  • Less weight is being hauled due to the overall economy and lower demands for coal;
  • The local municipality and not CSX would construct sound walls; and based on his experience, only Chicago has implemented them.
  • Trains run at pre-set operating speeds in order to make delivery schedules – thus a major slowdown affects downstream deliveries; and
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) maintains a routing list that prohibits the following items from being shipped through major population areas, including the District of Columbia.  The items include poisonous inhalants, explosives and radioactive materials1 ; and
  • He suggested that DC should provide all future home owners with a notice of track issues.

A suggestion to have quarterly meetings with CSX was proposed since no analysis of track vibration has been done.  It was felt that a review of the actual facts would be beneficial.

1 For more information, reference the FRA Rail Hazmat Routing Rule Fax Sheet link at:

http://www.barrington-il.gov/FightRail/press_releases/2014/HazMat%20Routing%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

Community Concerns

Community Liaison at the Executive Office of Mayor

Mr. Tommie Jones, Interim Director Mayor’s Community Services, introduced Mr. Hakem Rogers as the new Ward 5 Community Liaison, who can be reached at 202-394-4399.  Mr. Rogers said that the websites www.summer.dc.gov and www.mayor.dc.gov  provide a list of DC summer activities and the Mayor’s newsletter, respectively.

Mr. Jones asked for community concerns a received the following:

  • Address the decade old abandoned house at 635 Emerson Street, NE;
  • Inspect and possibly extend the retaining wall at the intersection of Varnum Street, NE and Puerto Rico Avenue, NE; and
  • Address traffic backups along South Dakota Avenue, NE near the intersection of Riggs Road, NE.

Mary’s Center

Ms. Mia Morrison, Program Manager, says Mary’s Center is now taking medical and dental appointments.  Please call 1-844-796-2797 to schedule.  Mary’s Center is a deliverer of health care, education and social services.  It is collocated with Bridges and Briya Public Charter Schools at the Mamie D. Lee site.

Lamond Riggs Citizens Association

Mr. Gordon Fletcher announced that Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton has scheduled a tour of the Capitol on June 27, 2016.  Please attend the next Lamond Riggs Citizens Association meeting at 7pm on June 6, 2016 at the LaSalle Backus Education Campus (501 Riggs Rd. NE, enter on Madison St.) for more information.

Department of Public Works

A member of DPW was available to field the following community concerns.  Requests to clear the vegetation along the Taylor Street Bridge and the lot across from it were made.

Adjournment:  8:50 pm.