Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B - March 22, 2010

Adopted on April 26, 2010

 

The meeting began at about 7:10 p.m. at the MPD's 4th District Community Room, 6001 Georgia Avenue, NW, Chair Yvonne Jefferson (4B08) presiding. Also present were Commissioners 4B01 Sara Green and 4B02 Faith Wheeler. A quorum was not present.  There were no votes and no actions were taken.

 

Presentations and Discussions

1. Gabe Klein, the director of the DC Department of Transportation, and William Howland, the director of the D.C. Department of Public Works, discussed a range of issues, including snow removal, and answered questions.

 

     Snow

There is a big difference between handling an 18 inch-snowfall and 40 inches. It is impossible to plow a 40-inch accumulation. 

 

Some streets could only be plowed with heavy construction equipment, which was brought in from states as far away as Rhode Island.  The District was competing with other area jurisdictions that also wanted to hire these crews and their equipment.

 

The budget is the determining factor.  How much do taxpayers want to spend to improve snow removal services?  Is this a priority over other problems?

 

There are some ways to improve without spending significantly more. Some lessons:

 

   a)  Contingency plans for different accumulations and for back-to-back storms are needed.

 

   b)  Training needs to improve and more experienced drivers should be assigned to the smaller streets, which are more challenging to plow. The city is purchasing a "snow simulator" for training purposes.  Also, drivers need to learn how plow at intersections.

 

   c)   Some city-owned equipment is outdated. New equipment would help, and the city is considering this.  Montreal bought small plows that work well on narrow streets and melt snow -- at a cost of $1 million each.

 

2.  Lawrence Jones, of the Office of the People's Counsel, spoke, distributed information, and answered questions about utility costs.

 

Community Concerns

1. Michael Sindram, of ANC 4B02, asked to improve DC's recycling program. He also discussed the appointment of the new People's Counsel and a possible pawn shop at 7301 Georgia Ave., NW. He repeated statements he has made for many months about a grant.

 

2.  Andre Carley, of ANC 4B01, and the Vice President of Concerned Neighbors, Inc., said that he is one of a group of neighbors who asked ANC 4B to oppose the pawn shop.

 

3.  Regina Page, of ANC 4B01, said that her statements in the February 22 minutes about snow removal did not reflect what she said.  Secretary Green asked that she provide new language to Secretary Green via email.

                                                                               ----- Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary