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.