Running Red Lights
Dear Red Light Runners:
Representative Dick Armey's report, “The Red Light Running Crisis: Is It
Intentional?” makes three main assertions. The first is that the best way to decrease red
light running is to lengthen the time that yellow lights stay on, giving drivers a better chance to stop in time. The second is that municipalities are using cameras at stop
lights to generate income from writing extra tickets, rather than to stop drivers from dangerously running red lights. And the third is that some municipalities are
deliberately shortening the timing of amber lights in order to increase the number of drivers who run red lights, thus increasing their revenue. (The report and
supporting documents are at http://www.freedom.gov/auto.)
The DC-specific information in the report is that, “A single camera collected $1 million in revenue. A line item in the city's FY2001 budget assumed there would be
$16 million in fines collected from the 37 cameras deployed throughout the
city.” Of course, we know that our city government would never do anything just for
financial considerations, especially if its actions were to endanger its own citizens. And we are certainly assured that Lockheed Martin, the company that runs the
city's red light cameras for a percentage of the fines, is acting purely out of public spiritedness, is disinterested in the money it makes from the program, and would
never place cameras or operate them in a way to maximize its profits. But, putting aside any of these unworthy suspicions, the questions remain for all of the drivers
and pedestrians among us. How is the red light camera program operating in DC? Have red light cameras increased our safety and reduced red light running?
Wheelchair-Accessible Public Transportation
Timothy Lee Unrine, TLUnrine@aol.com
I am interested to find out about instances where people using wheelchairs are having trouble in Washington, DC, getting access to wheelchair-accessible taxicabs. It
would seem as if the city government would be interested in addressing this issue. All of the large, surrounding counties
— Montgomery, Arlington, Fairfax — have taxi wheelchair vans available.
It seems the only alternative in the Nation's Capital is to pay higher charges to gain access to
“private transportation” services. Has anyone addressed this issue with
the city government or the local cab companies? And if so, what was the response? Replies are welcome either in this forum or directly to my E-mail address.
Bruce Sunderland, BSunde3615@aol.com
Between the hysteria of the anti-street cleaners automobile parking crowd and the bike parkers, it looks like it will be a hot summer. I naïvely thought that the cars
should have to move in accordance with the posted signs. If bringing back manual sweepers is the cure, so be it, but civil
disobedience shouldn't be tolerated until that comes to pass. Ticket and tow I say (but of course, to a lot, not to my street, to agree with another topic
du jour). And Mr. Livingston is indignant that anyone should question his right to park his bike in public space. He is purporting to defend public space from the encroachment of commercial building/management
companies. For what it's worth, I'd like what is presumably also my public space defended from the encroachment of all day bike parkers, parking wherever they
Street Cleaning and Tree Box/Locking Bikes
Ted LeBlond, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don't like moving your friends car to alternate sides of the streets on certain days, move. no one forced you to live in the city. Maybe if bicyclists followed the
rules of the road and didn't have chips on their shoulders, they would not get hit by cars!
Tossing in the Towel
Len (never been a Col.) Sullivan, email@example.com
I had hoped the Great Livingston/Sullivan Debate here at the back of the bus would open up a sensible and broader discussion of the several plausible options for
changing Congressional oversight as the Control Board fades away (my Maryland Representative is planning hearings on this key issue). But we have not done so.
So here's what's written on my towel:
I cannot imagine being proud of my national capital city when one third of its citizens live under Third World quality of life conditions, and the other two thirds think
either that it's somebody else's fault, or that nothing can be done about it without amending our Constitution. However, if a majority wants a warning label put on our
city's gateway welcome signs saying “Do Not Move Here If You Need Two Senators to Solve Your Local Problems for
You,” go for it — and comply with it.
While I enjoy “democracy,” I do not find it a panacea for the tough problems, nor would I expect to gain
“more democracy” by just electing more officials. We need more responsible ones who do what they think is best for all of us, including our capital city. I don't know anyone who has left DC because he/she didn't have two
senators, and I certainly didn't leave DC after 32 years just to vote for more people. I wanted a more suitable house and better local services. However, I wouldn't
object to having fifty US senators representing states, and the other fifty representing our fifty largest metro areas where most of our unsolved problems remain.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
Celebrate Columbia Heights and Marketplace Opening June 2
Elizabeth McIntire, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace will open on June 2. We have a great lineup of farmers, flea market vendors, crafts persons, and in particular, the
Ward One Alley Cats Yard Sale, a Youth Job Expo sponsored by Change Inc., and entertainment by the Bell Multicultural High School Latin Jazz Band.
Our Opening Day happily coincides with other celebrations in the neighborhood that day: the Capital City Public Charter School Fair (10 a.m.), the 14th Street
Peace and Unity Festival (noon), the Washington Beyond the Monuments free Heritage Tour of Meridian Hill (11 a.m.), the Josephine Butler Parks Center Open
House (noon), the Washington Symphony Orchestra concert at Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park. For more details, see
http://innercity.org/chcm/ or click on
"Neighborhood Day" at http://www.dcheritage.org/.
Or call 777-2642 x9020 and leave message.
We're looking forward to seeing lots of neighbors on June 2 at the Marketplace from 8 am to 1 p.m., at 14th & Irving (west side) and on Saturday mornings
thereafter through November 17. Vendor spaces and dates for musicians still available.
DC-Takoma Neighborhood Sales Benefit Community, June 2
Dodie Butler, email@example.com
Rain or shine, over forty DC-Takoma households, two churches, and Friends of the DC-Takoma Branch library are holding sales this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4
p.m. Free maps to the sales can be picked up at the library book sale, 5th and Cedar Streets, N.W. (two blocks west of Takoma Metro); and a listing of yard sale
items can be purchased for $2. Programs of the DC-Takoma Branch Library and the Takoma Education Center will benefit. This neighborhood-wide sale-fest is
cosponsored by several DC-Takoma organizations, working together to benefit the two programs and encourage neighborhood-wide fun. Food will be sold by two
churches and Friends of Takoma Rec Center will have family activities
— face painting, games and sports — on 3rd Street near Coolidge High School.
In Harold Pinter's “The Homecoming” (1965), a philosophy professor introduces his wife to his all-male working-class family. They instantly see her potential as a
prostitute, and start negotiating. So does she. “Brilliant” and
“outrageous” (New York Post), this is a “sexually taut and really
weird” (Los Angeles Times), “one-of-a-kind masterpiece” (Chicago
Tribune). Footlights, DC's modern drama discussion group, has discount tickets for the Sunday, June 10, 2 p.m. performance
of “The Homecoming” at the Olney Theater Center. Tickets are $19 and include a post-show discussion. We can help provide transportation or directions if you
need them. Mail your check (payable to “Footlights”) to Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852. For more details go to
DC Voting Rights 101 — The Only Summer Course You Really Need
Amy Slemmer, ASlemmer@aol.com
Everyone interested in joining the campaign for full voting rights for the residents of the District of Columbia, current volunteers, new volunteers, interns and friends is
invited to join DC Vote for a quick summer course on DC voting rights. We will cover the history of the District's struggle, background information on DC Vote, a
quick tour of possible solutions, and we will kick off our campaign for the summer. DC Voting Rights 101, DC Vote's Volunteer Training and Education Campaign
Kick Off, 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20004, at the law firm of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy, Tuesday, June 5, 6:15
p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Leave this training feeling like an expert on the fight for full voting rights for the residents of the District of Columbia. Sign up for our education and outreach efforts.
Become a speaker for DC Vote. Find out about what the shift in Senate leadership means for DC Vote's campaign. If you have any questions, or would like to
reserve a spot at this training, please call 462-6000.
CLASSIFIEDS — FOR SALE
More than fifty individual yard sales this weekend in Shepherd Park (just north of Walter Reed Hospital between 16th Street and Georgia Avenue). Sales will occur
throughout the community on Saturday, June 2, and Sunday, June 3, from 9:00 to 4:00 each day. Go to
http://www.alixmyerson.com for a list of participating
addresses or pick up a list at any participating yard sale. Sponsored by the Shepherd Park
CLASSIFIEDS — HELP WANTED
Live-out nanny in Capitol Hill area needed immediately for Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Salary negotiable. No housework/cooking, just care for
9-month-old boy. Must have experience, speak English, be legal, have valid drivers license and clean record and provide references. Call Stacey on 285-7400.
CLASSIFIEDS — CITY PAPER PREVIEW
Dave Nuttycombe, firstname.lastname@example.org
From washingtoncitypaper.com's LOOSE LIPS column, appearing this Friday:
DUMP JOB: Mayor Anthony A. Williams' supporters have been watching too many episodes of The Sopranos. According to sources, the wannabe muscle men
attached to the Williams re-election machine have tried mightily to snuff out the candidacy of Willie Flowers, who is opposing Ward 4 Democratic Committee Chair
Norman Neverson. Neverson is the bullhorn of the local party best known for his loud and enthusiastic bellowing of candidates' names at political rallies. (Who could
forget his inimitable “John Ray!” chant?)
At first glance, the elections for officers of various obscure Democratic ward organizations might seem insignificant. But when viewed through the lens of the 1998
mayoral campaign, they acquire a new importance. That was the year when the Ward 8 Democrats denied Mayor-in-Wanting Kevin Chavous their endorsement.
Chavous had been anointed the odds-on mayoral favorite among the three D.C. councilmembers who were candidates along with Williams, who was then the city's
chief financial officer and a political rookie.
But as a result of stellar organizing by the CFO's Ward 8 coordinator, Philip Pannell, Williams tied Chavous in the first round of endorsement voting. In the second
round, Chavous still couldn't muster the 60 percent support that was needed to clinch the nod
— and the pocket change that came with it. Williams' ability to block Chavous in his own back yard surprised many pundits, providing the CFO with an early victory and important credibility. Understanding how critical that Democratic
ward group support was the last time around, Williams and his team are now attempting to lock up the officers in Wards 2, 4, 5, and 6.
Read the entire Loose Lips column here: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/lips/lips.html
From washingtoncitypaper.com's CITY LIGHTS page, here are a few early warnings for upcoming events:
SATURDAY: “D.C. Heritage Neighborhood Day,” featuring the Southwest Community Parade, the Metropolitan Police Department-sponsored Bicycle Rodeo,
bike-safety demonstrations, and a Waterfront walking tour, among other events and activities.
MONDAY: Poet Lucille Clifton reads her work at 8 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $10.
More details and more critics' picks are available online at http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/pix/pix.html
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