by John Young
On November 17th, ANC 3F will have an opportunity to support a resolution to restore public access to the five tennis courts located at UDC.
Over 15 years ago, UDC unilaterally and abruptly terminated public access to these five courts.
The resolution is a positive and necessary step in returning a public asset back to the public. Additionally, a petition requests that Council member Cheh and Mayor Bowser act to ensure that these public courts are rightfully returned to the public.
Much has changed in the community surrounding the tennis courts in 15 years. The population has grown exponentially, and apartments and retail have sprouted up along the Connecticut Avenue corridor. The community should be able to use public resources to support growing community demands.
But even more so, as our community faces the pandemic, all available public resources should be made available. Tennis is one of the few socially-distanced activities that our community can engage in. Tour the city and you will see tennis courts being utilized responsibly by players of all ages. The UDC courts should not be the exception. And, to be clear, these are public courts and should be administered just as the other 149 public tennis courts throughout the eight wards of the District of Columbia are.
Finally, the lack of public access to these five courts is more reflective of a continuing cycle of missed opportunities for UDC and the community to partner and grow together. Opening the tennis courts will be a good first step in community growth and partnership.
Please reach out to your ANC commissioner and ask them to support this resolution and please sign on to the petition.
John Young has lived in the Wakefield/Van Ness neighborhood since 2003. He and his wife, Donna, played tennis on the UDC tennis courts before and after they were married. Their daughter, Olivia, 13, is an 8th grader at Alice Deal and is a member of the Deal tennis club and active participant of the Lafayette tennis club. She has yet to play on the UDC tennis courts. Their three-year-old golden retriever, Chloe, also enjoys chasing tennis balls.