Residents who live on or near the 4200 block of Illinois Avenue organized a meeting on Monday night, January 7th to discuss their opposition to the proposed location of a new Bikeshare station on their block.
The station has been a topic of conversation since last month when now-former ANC 4C Commissioner Joe Martin sent out an email to the local listservs about the proposal. Commissioner Jonah Goodman has been working on the installation with DDOT, trying to find an optimal location. He published a long overview of the issue and is keeping a Google doc updated.
According to a spokesman for Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd’s office, the Councilmember attended the meeting at the invitation of resident Michael Ivey to hear resident concerns, but was otherwise not involved in organizing or publicizing the meeting.
The main topic discussed at the meeting was opposition to the station, which would take away parking spots from the short block. Residents spoke at the December ANC 4C meeting about the limited availability of parking on the short block. There has not been a prior public meeting on the bikeshare station installation, meaning those for or against it have not had much of a chance to weigh in.
Commissioner Jonah Goodman, who has been spearheading and organizing the work with DDOT, was not invited to the meeting, nor were other ANC 4C commissioners in attendance. The meeting was not widely publicized.
”DDOT is planning on attending [the ANC 4C] meeting to talk about their process for site selection and requirements,” said Goodman. “There might be potential to add 1-2 parking spaces nearby if necessary. The Councilmember shared that he wants to do a joint walk through with me, Commissioner [Tearsa] Coates, DDOT, and neighbors to look at locations. That would need to happen after Wednesday’s meeting. I shared that any proposed changes would have to come with an explanation about how it better serves the community.”
Yesterday evening I attended a community meeting in Petworth to discuss a possible @bikeshare rack installation near Grant Circle. Thanks for making your voices & concerns heard! I look forward to working with @DDOTDC & @ANC4C to find a solution that meets our community’s needs. pic.twitter.com/351N02RRxp— Brandon T. Todd (@CMBrandonTodd) January 8, 2019
“The meeting last night was not organized by the ANC nor were we informed of the time and location by whomever had organized it,” said ANC 4C Chair Bennett Hilley. “One of my concerns is that when meetings occur without the relevant agency, in this case, DDOT, or an ANC presence, misinformation could also be being circulated. Moreover, without public notice, other residents who the issue may impact could be being excluded from the discussion.”
The ANC will take up the topic at their meeting on Wednesday, January 9th at the Petworth Library. If you’re against the station or for it, you’ll have a chance to speak on the topic at the meeting.
We’ve reached out to the meeting organizers, and will update the article if we hear back. Otherwise, look for more updates after the January 9th ANC 4C meeting.