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ANC Round Up: Traffic Alert Edition

Monday night the ANC met for its November session. Thankfully it was a short agenda, but really all that means is that they’ll find a way to stretch out the proceedings (actually in all fairness they finished up relatively early).

Those Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad (And Excessive) Street Closings

The ANC has been making some noise for sometime about the ever increasing number of street closings in Georgetown for various marathons, 10ks, funwalks, etc. They have particularly been critical of events that show up at the last minute. These typically have a disproportionate effect on lower Georgetown, although as demonstrated last weekend when three Potomac bridges were out, they can affect all Georgetown residents.

So rather than respond on a case-by-case basis, which doesn’t seem to work, the ANC is going to start to take a more proactive approach with the city, and in particular the Mayor’s Special Event Task Force. It’s not clear, though, how much they’ll be able to convince the city to limit the number of events coming through Georgetown. Tom Birch had the perceptive point that working with other neighborhoods to convince the city would increase Georgetown’s sway (and conveniently make it less of a “whoa is Georgetown”-thing, which doesn’t win many sympathetic ears).

Ron Lewis was particularly concerned that these events be charitable and not a profit-making enterprise. Birch also suggested the city come up with some more locations that don’t affect residents (GM can’t think of many of those that aren’t NPS land).

So after spending a good five minutes railing against the creeping menace of races, the ANC turned to its next item:

Lawyers Have a Heart 10K

After listening to the commissioners complain about races, a representative of the Lawyers Have a Heart 10k race presented their plans for their next race. It will be in June 2011 and will involve shutting down K St., the Whitehurst, and Canal Rd.

The ANC was quick to acknowledge the quality of this event (they raised over 500k last year), but they stressed that all events will face increased scrutiny going forward. In this case, the scrutiny was primarily focused on the noise created by the race and how to discourage the runners from driving to the event.

As a lawyer, GM has always loved the Lawyers Have a Heart race. It’s an annual reminder that he has a functioning circulatory system (phew). Also, there’s this gem: apparently 5-6,000 people sign up for the race, but only around 3,500 actually race. Some drop out but apparently of the runners are “virtual runners”, which apparently means they raise money but don’t actually run. There’s a joke somewhere in there about inflating billable hours, but under the DC Bar’s ethics rules, GM is prohibited from making it.Read more