10 Responses to “November DNA Meeting”

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  1. oh good! its great the steps are lively but its horrible that they get trashed so badly. I do not understand people who litter.

  2. DNA

    It’s worse than getting littered. Read the article in the Aug. 13 WaPo: “Fights, teens among challenges as D.C.’s Gallery Place entertainment area matures,” at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/12/AR2010081206841.html?referrer=emailarticle.

    If you go downtown, or want to go downtown, on weekend nights, you should show up for this meeting.

  3. Tony

    I can’t attend this meeting tonight; however, maybe someone who is going can pass along this suggestion which I’ve always pondered. Why don’t they OPEN the 7th Street side as an additional entrance/exit with guards posted as they do on the F & G Street sides? If museum patrons are contantly going in and out of all possible entrances/exits, it seems to me that fewer folks would sit, play, loiter and dispose of their McDonalds trash on the 7th Street steps. If no Gallery guards are present to monitor the steps, we will cotinue to have this problem. Just my 2 cents.

  4. DNA

    Tony,

    Thanks for the suggestion. According to the MPD, the problems on the steps starts at about 7:30 PM and extends until about midnight, which is when the museum is closed. Most of the litter — which is the least of the problems — occurs at night, along with the more serious problems of youths harassing passerby, fights, etc. The MPD has no issues about the steps during the day when the museum is open.

  5. Tony

    @DNA,

    Thanks for that information by the MPD. You make a good point that the museum is generally closed during the height of the problems; however, I think that the fact that the offending youth know that there is ZERO entry/exit AT ALL on the 7th Street side of the museum, still contributes to the problem. Even though the museum is closed late at night, I feel like they treat that side of the building as vacant or abandoned, so they assume they can use the steps in any way they see fit, because no one is ever going to enter or exit the building during open hours and of course, when closed. I just think that more focus needs to be directed to that side of the building during open AND closed hours. My philosophy is that if you don’t tell someone that they can’t do something, then they probably WILL – much like parking in DC. If there’s no sign, then they WILL park there. : )

  6. DNA

    Tony,

    Thanks for the feedback and I will pass this along tonight to Rachel Allen from the museum.

    Terry Carter
    Downtown Neighborhood Association
    http://www.dcdna.org

  7. cant MPD start writing some littering tickets?

  8. DNA

    Si,

    No, they can’t write littering tickets because the steps are on private property. If they see a serious crime taking place, they can take action. We had a good meeting tonight and there were a lot of ideas floated and discussed with the MPD and the Rachel Allen from the museum. The MPD is going to start meeting directly with the museum’s security staff and management, so we have created a direct dialogue between them. We’ll have a write-up of tonight’s meeting posted on our website in a couple of days.

    Terry Carter
    Downtown Neighborhood Association
    http://www.dcdna.org

  9. private? interesting…not to question, but my front steps are in public space so it makes me wonder where the lot line is. however if it is private then that would mean that the museum would have the right to eject people, no? great work on this issue, btw!

  10. DNA

    Very good observation, Si. The museum’s property line is apparently right at the sidewalk line. And, yes, the museum has the right to eject people. What they usually do if there’s a problem is to ask for an MPD officer to back them up, “just in case.” Museum security are trained primarily to protect the building and its precious contents from being breached or damaged, not to deal with this kind of issue.

    Thanks for the kudos. Miles Groves started on this problem a year or ago with museum management and didn’t get very far. We picked it up again, after that Washington Post article in August, by contacting Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough. He was very responsive and assigned an undersecretary to address it, who got Rachel Allen involved. Now we’ve actually seen progress. We’ll stay on top of it!

    Terry Carter
    Downtown Neighborhood Association
    http://www.dcdna.org