Sunday, November 13, 2005

Should we lose the Cleveland Park service road?

Commissioner Avi Fechter of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C (ANC3C) is proposing to get rid of the service road on the east side of Connecticut Avenue between Ordway and Macomb Streets. There's a public meeting to discuss the subject on Saturday November 19 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the second district police station at the intersection of Idaho Avenue and Newark Street.

Mr. Fechter says, "Initial DDOT analysis indicate that it is possible to close the service road, widen the sidewalk, and not lose more than 3-4 public parking spaces. Parking spaces would be diagonal, like on 18th St. in Adams Morgan and 8th St. SE (Barracks Row). Cars would back into the spaces, like they would a parallel parking space." ANC3C will meet to disuss and maybe vote on the resolution on Monday, November 23.

Not a bad idea, the east side will look more like the west side: more space for pedestrians, more outdoor cafe type seating, no more stepping off the sidewalk and being clipped by a car. I don't suppose the valet car business will suffer any, in fact, because there will be a loss of "3-4 parking spaces," it will probably be more necessary than ever. I don't know about this diagonal parking space idea though. Stopping on ConnAve in the middle of Cleveland Park to back into a space is not for the faint of heart.

Mr. Fechter is also proposing adding a crosswalk over Connecticut Avenue in the middle of that block. I'm not sure that's necessary -- a crosswalk means a traffic light doesn't it? We're not going to try that orange flag thing again are we? Aren't the crosswalks at Ordway and Macomb enough?

Avi's also got a problem with Zipcar using metered parking spaces for their vehicles. But aren't car sharing services the saving grace for those city dwellers that only need wheels occasionally? Seems to me that outfits like Zipcar and Flexcar will encourage people to get rid of their barely used cars thereby potentially opening up parking spaces.