by Pilar Holder
On August 17, 2017 my siblings and I, as children living on Upton Street, wrote a letter to Council Member Mary Cheh outlining our concerns about traffic on our block. Pat Jakopchek, Chair of ANC 3F, responded to us and invited us to come to the next meeting of the ANC.
We invited neighbors to sign our petition and had over fifty signatures regarding concerns about traffic on our block before we attended the meeting. On September 19, 2017 my siblings and I went to an ANC meeting to share the petition and present our concerns about speeding traffic on the 2900 block of Upton Street. (Ed. note: ANC 3F unanimously passed a resolution seeking action from DDOT at its October 2017 meeting.) Almost a year later, nothing has changed. Now, our community needs to rally in support of traffic calming on our block for the safety of our community.
My name is Pilar Holder and I am an eighth grader at Georgetown Day School. My siblings and I have a several concerns regarding traffic and safety on our block.
One of our biggest concerns is the high amount of traffic on Upton. We live near Edmund Burke School, Howard University Law School, Levine School of Music, Rock Creek Park, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Connecticut Avenue. People are always driving to and from these places, using our street as a cut-through. During rush hour the traffic is even heavier.
Our most critical concern is cars coming down our street at insanely fast speeds. There are a lot of young children, elderly people and pets on our block. We don’t want any of them to get hurt by speeding automobiles. My eight-year-old neighbor, Zoe Fedele said, “The traffic situation is bad and you could get run over by a car.”
DDOT responded at one point around March of 2018 by doing a traffic count. Unfortunately, we have not heard anything at all about outcome from the study or plans to address the acute issue.
There are many solutions that we could take to deal with this traffic issue. Ideally, the city could put speed bumps on Upton Street, similar to blocks like Newark between Reno and Wisconsin Avenue. The city could post a sign that says “children are playing” or have a police car stationed on our block during rush hour.
These are some of our concerns and solutions about traffic in the neighborhood. It has been nearly a year since we started this process, presented to the ANC, and handed in our petition, and nothing has happened.
Our ANC representatives need to work more effectively with DDOT to provide a safe environment on our block for children, pets and people.
We need a change because we would not want anything bad to happen to anyone. We already have enough ambulances coming down Connecticut Avenue when there are accidents at the cross street of Tilden. We do not need a fatal accident on our block in order for the city to respond and make a change that only comes after it is too late.