According to DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) statistics, crime has risen dramatically in our community over the last 12 months. We suffer from an epidemic of auto break-ins which the police have not been able to control. In the last 12 months overall crime is up over 20% in many different parts of our neighborhood, according to the MPD’s statistical Crime Map. Auto break-ins are up more than 30% throughout our community. Violent crime continues to rise at an alarming rate in many areas of our neighborhood.
AUGUST 28, 2016: Below is screenshot from security video footage showing an actual crime in progress in the alleyway behind the 1500 block of T Street and 1800 block of 16th Street. On that night in less than 7 minutes a 5 member gang hit the rear of at least 3 different homeowners’ property with a precision and efficiency which showed the properties had been previously cased. The thieves posted lookouts, climbed past steel driveway security fences, used chain cutters to cut thru steel chain, and attempted multiple vehicle break-ins. We have all seen the increase in gang graffiti in our neighborhood. We can all be thankful none of us was hurt that night.
15TH AND CAROLINE STREETS: In the past 12 months within 1,000 feet of this intersection violent crime was up over 20%, burglaries were up over 35%. There was 1 Homicide, 2 Sex Crimes, 13 Robberies, 20 Assaults With A Dangerous Weapon, 19 Burglaries, 127 Vehicle Break-Ins, 20 Stolen Automobiles – all in the heart of our neighborhood.
15TH AND SWANN STREETS: In the past 12 months within 1,000 feet of this intersection violent crime was up over 44%, burglaries were up over 33%, vehicle break-ins were up over 38%. There was 1 Sex Crime, 19 Robberies, 15 Assaults With A Dangerous Weapon, 20 Burglaries, 143 Vehicle Break-Ins, 15 Stolen Automobiles all within a 1000 feet of this intersection – in the geographic center of our neighborhood.
15TH AND S STREETS: In the past 12 months within 1,000 feet of this intersection violent crime was up over 15%, vehicle break-ins were up over 44%. Within a 1000 feet of this intersection over the last 12 months there was 1 sex crime, 11 robberies, 10 assaults with a dangerous weapon, 17 burglaries, 155 Vehicle Break-ins.
The pattern is the same everywhere in our neighborhood:
16TH AND T STREETS: Over the last 12 months Total Crime up over 21% and Vehicle Break-Ins up over 58% within a 1000 feet of this intersection.
16TH AND SWANN STREETS: Over the last 12 months Violent Crime up over 27% and Vehicle Break-Ins up over 32% within a 1000 feet of this intersection.
16TH AND CAROLINE STREETS: Over the 12 months within 1,000 feet of the intersection Vehicle Break-Ins were up over 48% – 104 Break-Ins in 12 months
16TH AND T STREETS: Over the last 12 months within 1,000 feet of the intersection Vehicle Break-Ins were up over 34% – 120 Break-Ins in 12 months
There are similar disturbing statistics around almost every block in our small neighborhood. This trend will only increase unless we take serious action to prevent it.
Our Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) has not spent the time and effort to reduce our growing crime problem. I promise to change this!
The best crime deterrent is a visible police presence on foot or on bicycle. We currently have one bicycle patrolman working just a few days a week. I want to increase our safety with more neighborhood policing and more contact and communication with police officials. After all, our lives and well being depend on it.
My plan to reverse the crime wave in our community includes:
- More police officers patrolling on bike, especially at night in the alleyways. (There are 50 bike officers in the 3rd District but only one part time bike officer assigned to our neighborhood. This has to change!)
- Street lights cleaned and repaired. Tree branches trimmed around street lights so our sidewalks are better lit.
- Gang graffiti promptly removed, and noise levels from bars and clubs better controlled.
- Expansion of the Mayor’s new home security camera rebate program. The program rebates up to $200 per security camera and up to $500 per camera security system to homeowners and tenants who participate.
Solving Our Parking Problem
Parking in our neighborhood is often a nightmare. We all want that to change.
That’s why I support DOT’s new proposal for Designating Resident Only Parking Zones.
Our neighborhood has become a parking lot for local businesses!
Of the 21 primarily residential blocks in our neighborhood only 4 have any form of Resident Only Parking. The rest of us serve as the overflow parking lot for the commercial and nightlife establishments that surround us.
We need more on-street parking spots in our neighborhood designated for Residents Only 24/7.
Renters in our neighborhood are especially hard hit by the lack of free on-street parking.
Ward 1 immediately next to us has enhanced parking for its residents. Now we can have the same.
AREA NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSIONS (ANCs) CAN IMPROVE RESIDENTIAL PARKING.
Under the new regulations proposed by DOT:
- Our neighborhood based ANCs, not the bureaucrats downtown, will set parking policy in our neighborhoods
- With a single vote our ANC can set in motion a process promptly leading to one half of all the parking spaces in each residential (RPP) block, ANC wide, becoming Residents-Only parking 24/7. Halleluiah, many of us would say!
- Existing Resident Only parking blocks will be grandfathered
The two proposed criteria are very simple:
- Our ANC would have to pass a resolution asking for Resident Only parking
- DOT would conduct a survey of 5 blocks chosen by our ANC to determine
- At least 85% of the on-street spaces on those 5 blocks are occupied at the time of the survey; and
- At least 50% of the parked vehicles are not registered in the zone (Don’t have our Zone parking sticker) at the time of the survey
The new proposed parking regulations also allow further changes to restrictions “on the days or hours for residential permit parking on any specific block” when BOTH a majority of the households on that block petition for the change and our ANC passes a resolution in support of that change.
DOT’s new parking proposal will help make parking a lot easier for the people who live in our neighborhood. I support the proposal and will do everything possible to implement it as your ANC Representative.
Improve City Services
As residents we pay millions of dollars in property and other taxes and our city services do not reflect this.
We have a serious rat problem which grows worse with each new restaurant that appears. We have garbage cans thrown about our alleys and sidewalks after trash collection. We have dead trees that are both an eyesore and a danger to residents. We have light poles that are covered with rust and in need of paint. And dumping in the alleyways is a growing problem.
These and other city services need improvement because they affect our quality of life as well as our property values. In short, we need the City to be more responsive. The reason we have an ANC is to represent the neighborhood’s needs to the DC Government, but that voice has been weak or lacking in our case. They say the squeaky wheel get the oil, and as your ANC commissioner, I intend to meet with and press city agencies to provide and improve the services that we paid for and deserve.
Preserve Our Neighborhood’s Residential Character
Developers see our neighborhood as a haven for condominiums, apartments and businesses. They are rapidly changing the character of the neighborhood as more and more people, buildings and businesses are compressed into less and less space.
Our ANC has a statutory right to be involved in all zoning variances. But in case after case they have done little to control development, favoring builders and individual property owners with loopholes in zoning designations and restrictions. For the neighborhood it means new building additions, decks with enormous footprints, and conversions of large buildings into condominium units with little or no additional parking. It also means smaller living spaces and less room for families.
I am not opposed to commercial or residential development. I think we all benefit from it. But I believe the trend has favored development in recent years at the expense of the community. As ANC commissioner, I will bring your voice to the table, to maintain the integrity and value of our beautiful residential neighborhood.