In response to calls to address this issue following recent sexual assaults in Georgetown at locations where streetlights were out, Mayor Muriel Bowser called for a week-long sweep by government staff across the city to identify streetlights that are out and that need repair. She noted that all sections of the city have streetlights that need attention, and expressed concern about the associated safety and crime issues.
The mayor announced the launch of text to DC311 (32311) making it easier for residents to report streetlights that are out and need to be repaired. Residents can also call 311 to report streetlights that need repair. To ensure prompt service, Bowser announced the hiring of an additional thirty-one call center staff.
On Wednesday evening, Terry Lynch of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations, was able to survey part of the East Village prior to the rains coming in. Over a dozen streetlights were found to be out - 15 in all, along with a light in front of the Georgetown Post Office. His list is below. These are being reported to 311 for repair.
The mayor also has called for reviewing and updating the system as a whole, to use the technologies now available so that when a streetlight goes out city managers know immediately and can speed repairs. There are over 70,000 streetlights citywide. An updated system will help with the maintenance of the streetlights and could also be more energy efficient.
The prompt response by the mayor and supporting agencies is encouraging in the quest to get the streetlights back on and improve the safety of the city.
Georgetown streetlights out:
2500 Q Street NW - light on bridge entering Georgetown area, south side of bridge towards Georgetown
1245 29th Street NW
2 out at 30th and M Streets NW - se and sw corners
31st and M Streets NW on 31st at side of Potomac Wines - on and off
31st and M Streets NW, in front of Brooks Brothers store (on and off)
31st and M Streets NW, on 31st at side of The Walking Company
3111 M Street NW - by Urban Outfitters
3122 M Street NW
3140 M Street NW
3150 M STreet NW
1208 Wisconsin Ave NW by Abercrombie & Fitch store
3141 N Street NW
On 31st at Dumbarton, sw corner
US Post Office - 1 of entry lights at 1215 31st Street NW - comparable to a streetlight for that block
Written by Bill Starrels, Commissioner, Vice Chairman ANC2E, Georgetown
There were five reported sexual assaults since August 3rd in the West Village according to published reports. The latest was on early Saturday morning, September 17 at 1:02 am when a suspect was observed grouping a young lady on the 3300 block of Prospect Street, NW. The Metropolitan Police arrested the man shortly after the incident for third degree sexual assault.
Thursday after hearing the reports of the first four assaults, I walked the area where the assaults occurred with Terry Lynch, Executive Director of the Cluster of Congregations, to check out lighting in the neighborhood. We discovered streetlights were out on the blocks where the assaults occurred - in some cases multiple lights in close proximity were out. In surveying just the streets were the assaults occurred (Potomac, 35th Street, and near the corner of 37th and T), and nearby alleys and blocks, over 20 streetlights were found to be out or to be so dim as to effectively be out.
One could visualize a predator lurking in of these darkened areas waiting to prey on a victim who would not be able to see her attacker.
We are calling on the City Administrator to have a survey conducted of all of Georgetown, and for that matter, all neighborhoods across the city, to determine what lights are out and get them back on. Ideally there should be a month long sweep across the city to get the lights back on. All neighborhoods deserve to have lighting that promotes safety.
The city needs to find and use 21st century technology that keeps the lights on. When a streetlight goes out there should be an alert to the city that a repair is needed. We have reports of constituents calling in locations more than once and the light remained unrepaired. We need the lights to be functioning.
Georgetown residents and visitors alike should be able to go about their routines safely. They should know that the lights are working and the streets are well lit. I will continue to work with Terry Lynch and the Downtown Cluster of Congregations showing the commitment to making the neighborhood, and city, better and safer.
The Georgetown Galleries of Book Hill will host an evening stroll and viewing of their fine art exhibitions on September 16 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Come for an evening to add to your art collection and enjoy art and refreshments in one of the most beautiful parts of DC - Georgetown's charming Book Hill neighborhood.
Participating art galleries include:
• Addison/Ripley Fine Art (1670 Wisconsin Ave NW) - Curated Group Exhibition: Infrastructure, by Andrew Fish, Trevor Young, Steven Mallon, Frank Hallam Day, Valeri Larko, Magnolia Laurie, Cynthia Connolly, Stephen Magsig, William Christenberry, Richard Vosseller, Olivia Rodriguez. This exhibition explores a theme of global and local issues of sustainability and waste. Exhibition on view September 10 – October 15, 2016
• Artist's Proof (1533 Wisconsin Ave NW) - Animaux Espiègles en Quête D’Adoption by Hervé Maury, in conjunction with the Galleries on Book Hill Fall Art Walk, opens on Friday, September 16. Playful animal subjects are full of poetry and tenderness. Exhibition on view September 16 – October 2, 2016
• Cross MacKenzie Gallery (1675 Wisconsin Ave NW) - Wing to Wing by Cindy Kane. A maze of birds and butterflies. Exhibition on view September 9 – October 5, 2016
• Maurine Littleton Gallery (1667 Wisconsin Ave NW) - Echoes of Leaves and Shadows by Michael Janis in conjunction with the Galleries on Book Hill Fall Art Walk, opens on Friday, September 16. An exhibition of new glass works and sculptures. Exhibition on view September 16 – October 15 2016
• Susan Calloway Fine Arts (1643 Wisconsin Ave NW) - Gravity by Matthew Langley, in conjunction with the Galleries on Book Hill Fall Art Walk, opens on Friday, September 16. A diary of paintings transformed into a new visual and color experience. Exhibition on view September 16 – October 22, 2016
• Washington Printmaker's Gallery (1641 Wisconsin Ave NW) - Busted by Jane and David Mann. A photographic parable about climate change. Proceeds go to 350.org. Exhibition on view August 31 – September 24