MVSNA requests no parking zone on Fourth Street

The following is the body of a letter from the Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association to DDOT’s Jeffrey Marootian and Melissa Byrd of the Office of Planning.

The Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association (MVSNA) requests that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) implement “no parking/no standing” restrictions along the 1000 and 1100 blocks of Fourth Street, NW, between K Street, NW and M Street, NW.

This area has long suffered from rampant prostitution, drug, loitering, vandalism, and other criminal activity. Some residents have lived with this crime for many years. Others who recently moved into the area, including units in City Vista, Madrigal Lofts, and Yale Steam Laundry, as well as many others who visit the area to shop at Safeway, Fifth Street Hardware, and Busboys & Poets, are shocked to experience the criminal activity firsthand on a daily basis.

The intent of the proposed no parking/standing restrictions is to reduce the prostitution and drug activity that frequently occurs in and through vehicles in this area. We suggest a 24-month approach for months 1-12, the restrictions would apply to all vehicles; for months 13-24, the restrictions would apply to all vehicles other than Zone 2/6 permit holders. At the end of this two-year period, DDOT would review the restrictions and determine their continued application after considering public comment. There would continue to be sufficient parking for neighborhood residents after implementation of the restrictions.

We have consulted with area residents and they overwhelmingly support the change. In addition, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6C, in whose jurisdiction the block falls, has voted in support of the proposed restrictions. We have been advised by officers of the Metropolitan Police Department that these restrictions provide them with an additional tool to investigate this extensive criminal activity and enforce the laws that protect the neighborhood residents. We do not view the proposed restrictions as a silverbullet to eliminating illicit activity in the area, but a vital element of a comprehensive plan to foster a safer and more livable environment.

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  1. 1

    District Chatter says

    I am not a fan of this. I don't think this has anything to do with the problem and parking is tight around here.

  2. 2

    fourthandeye says

    I don't really know what to think. If the widening of Fourth Street from Mass to L Street is still slated for this summer then the street is going to be a construction zone soon anyway…

  3. 3

    Anonymous says

    I walk up Fourth from New York to H every day on my way to work. The transvestite prostitutes and loitering vagrants are the only interesting thing I see the whole way. I can go anywhere in the city and see unimaginative, overpriced lofts like Madgrigal and Yale, full of people who look down on the people who have been in the neighborhood for far longer. Also, while I have had several run-ins with jerks in BMWs and SUVs honking/swerving/generally being moronic, the prostitutes have never once bothered me. They have been courteous and pleasant, and any other "vagrant" I've interacted with on that street has been friendly and non-threatening. I'm worried Fenty's crackdown on Fourth is going to wind up turning this neighborhood into another cookie-cutter yupster bore-fest.

  4. 4

    RobA says

    This isn't Fenty's crackdown but an effort by the residents of the affected area to curb the illegal activity that is taking place on those blocks. The parking restrictions will give MPD a tool to curb the prostitution business in that area – right now, they have no legal reason to stop a john trying to pick up one of the hookers. The residents/visitors of the condos near the area wouldn't be parking there anyway because of all the hookers in the block. The residents of the block support it as do the neighborhood association and ANC. We need to use every trick we can (no pun intended) to rid that area of the prostitutes.

  5. 5

    Eye see you says

    ive been in the neighborhood for 12 years and its always been bad and its always been easy to tell who the bad actors are,ya know the whole deal with the prostitutes and such would go away if several conditions were met that is: better lighting in the ally ways provided by the buildings who abut them: the ally behind the buildings on 5th st are a prime example of no light and plenty of shelter to conduct the shady business that goes on.theres even a giant tag on the wall that says "kant get busted" how much more encouragement can you give in one spot?),constant foot/bike patrol by the police which i see only occasionally would up the ante'( sitting in the cruisers out of the way and not in the places where the crime is isnt working so well. while the busts that have been going on help it is the constant presence that will make a difference)and lets not forget why its all been there all along. when you have a strip joint that caters to the nature of the crime the crime will never go away. its not hard to tell who the players are just hard to pin em apparently, so what kind of sin tax can be put in place to get the rogue to take responsibility for the neighborhood that it has helped to create? and pay for the police.all the bad actors can be seen on k street its not hard to do just watch for a couple of hours youll see who hangs and circulates if they arent on k than they,re in the park at 5th and mass as for the parking on 4th street it seems that is not at all the problem and will only increase the parking density and problems in the immediate area, if there were more people in the area parking and walking around to the local buildings and a use of flood lights like they use at street checks there would be far less activity.just placing parking restrictions is a passive non active way of doing nothing while saying oh were working on it .ive given several solutions that would work how bout it DC step up to the plate !!