President's Message

By Eric Langenbacher, president@burleith.org

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Before the heat and vacations of summer set in, the BCA has a couple of events coming up over the next few weeks. On Saturday, June 8, we will have our semi-annual community clean-up from 9 11 am. We’ll meet at the gates of Ellington Field on 38th Street at R, get some coffee and supplies, and then fan out across the neighborhood. Although there is usually trash and litter to pick up on most blocks and alleys, we encourage you to clean up around Hardy Middle School, the Tot Lot on 35th Street, and the Ellington Track, especially if you traverse or use those spaces. As always, we are deeply grateful to Janice Sims for organizing and to Georgetown University for logistical support.

Our biggest event of the year, the Burleith Summer Picnic will take place on Saturday, June 15, from 3:307:30 pm at the Green Lot (Whitehaven and 37th Streets). As in the past, there will be activities for children, a band, BBQ, raffle, and lots of delicious food and beverages. This year’s picnic will have a circus theme and will be greener with less waste and more compostable materials. Mayor Muriel Bowser and several other local officials have tentatively confirmed their attendance. The BCA is deeply thankful to Melanie Gisler and Lenore Rubino—and to a variety of sub-committee chairs—for taking on the organization of such a big event. More details—including information on a possible rain site—will follow soon via email and advertisements around the neighborhood.  Of course, we are always looking for volunteers, so feel free to email us at bca@burleith.org if you would like to help.

Looking back for a moment, on May 8, there was a community meeting about the planned renovation of the Jelleff Recreation Center. Since plans are still in the design phase, there will be other opportunities for the community to weigh in before construction commences in summer 2020 (which will necessitate a complete closure for one year). I was assured that the allocated funds will cover ADA compliance, the new HVAC system, and renovations to the interior spaces. There will be no additions to the existing structure. I mentioned that neighbors would love a yoga/dance space and a better kitchen. There was also extensive discussion about the use of the adjacent field. Many supporters of the Maret School, which has had preferential access since it paid for renovation a decade ago and which has an option to renew this agreement for another 10 years, voiced their opinions. So, too, did students, parents, and teachers from other schools such as Hardy Middle and the British School. There are clearly not enough playing fields nearby for the current level of demand.

I would like to thank Lenore Rubino and Washington Fine Properties for hosting a community shredding and electronics recycling event on May 11. Hopefully this will become a more regular event!

As for other on-going issues, the BCA has asked for DDOT to weigh in on the possibility of making T and perhaps S into one-ways. I think it is an intriguing idea that could potentially deal with the issues many have had with the D2 bus on T and provide safer bike lanes. But, this is only an idea to consider hypothetically at this point in time. Asking for this information from DDOT does not lock us into adopting this, nor does the request indicate community support. Once we have more information, we will conduct a survey to gauge community support, and especially the immediately affected neighbors on T and/or S. The BCA is also soon convening a committee to look over and identify possible revisions to our by-laws.

As many of you may recall, we did a survey a while back in which a big majority of neighbors expressed support for a Capital Bikeshare station. The ANC recently endorsed DDOT’s suggested location on Reservoir Road, right by the intersection with 38th Street. Some neighbors have expressed concerns about the planned parking location of the re-stocking truck (on 38th right at the intersection with Reservoir, but the DDOT representative thought it would not affect traffic flow or parking. I am also a little worried about directing bicycles to heavily trafficked Reservoir Road and right by the future entrance to the hospital’s emergency department. I think we need to keep an eye on these things.

And finally, on March 18, I was pleased to represent Burleith on the stage with Mayor Bowser when she delivered her State of the District speech. It was an honor to attend this event along with other civic leaders and to learn about the Mayor's plans for the next year and her second term.