A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Alley Blues Behind the 1300 Block of H Street

photo (1)
This alley needs some serious help. Photo courtesy of Andrew Hysell

I received a plea that I help spread the word about the condition of the alley on the south side of the 1300 block of H Street. The situation is fully explained below, but you can clearly see the extent of the problem in the photos. BTW, there are homes in this alley.

photo (2)
Photo courtesy of Andrew Hysell

I'm the ANC Commissioner for 6a06 which includes the 1300 block of H. I've been working for three years with residents to get DDOT to fix this alley. It's literally collapsing into the ground with the water pipes breaking just last month. My constituents and I worked with Valor, the developer of the new 14th and Maryland property, to pledge some matching funds to help fix the alley. In addition, business owners have been raising concerns directly with DDOT and Wells. Still, the City has not prioritized this, so I reached out to the local DC media outlets and got John Hanaran from Fox5 to come out (he is a reporter that has been there since before Fox bought the affiliate in the 1980's).

Andrew Hysell


Anonymous Anonymous said...

it looks like a big puddle after a rain. what's so special about this alley?

Apr 18, 2014, 12:11:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, it seems to have 4 different jacked up types of pavement/brick.. I'm sure that pretty hard on your car and bones when driving through the alley

Apr 18, 2014, 8:47:00 AM

Anonymous schmoolz said...

what can we do to help the city prioritize this higher?

Apr 18, 2014, 9:04:00 AM

Anonymous schmoolz said...

I emailed Andrew and he said, "Call 311 and request the City to repair. It really helps to have those requests on file."

Apr 18, 2014, 9:41:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly in bad shape, but no worse than the alley behind my house or a majority of them in the area. The DC gov remains incompetent.

Apr 18, 2014, 10:12:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth many alleys in the area look like this. I put in a 311 service request to fix the potholes and do some cleanup/maintenance in our alley in Jan. It's time our alleys become something more than ugly, unkempt spots for litter, urination and drug use.

Apr 18, 2014, 10:55:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In many cities, alleys are used for children to play, neighbors to gather, gardens to grow, peaceful spots to sit. In DC, alleys are for potholes, drugs and pissing.

Apr 18, 2014, 10:58:00 AM

Blogger Andrew Hysell said...

Linden Court is increasingly being used as a street but the City appears to be ignoring that fact by its refusal to repair it. As development and traffic continues to intensify, Linden Court will be unable to support it.

The new condo development on 14th and Maryland will empty exclusively into the Court with cars from its roughly forty parking spots using it daily. In addition, the streetcar will force all deliveries for the Atlas Theater, R&R Hotel, Country Club, and other establishments into the alley. Finally, there are several existing businesses including an auto repair shop as well as residences that use the street as their sole means of access.

The alley has become almost undrivable in parts and residents and businesses are concerned about what the future holds if its condition isn't addressed. If you Google the Fox5 news report on it, you can see what its like to drive through it.

Apr 18, 2014, 11:00:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure if there are any remaining "H St. Great Street" funds .. but I was under the impression that the half block streets adjacent to H st could be covered under the grant. FWIW.

Another option would be to look into the adopt-a-block program from the city. They may be able to get you funding for some desired fixes.

Or investigate any 'clean up my block' type grants out there online.

Apr 18, 2014, 11:18:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks like a normal alley after a rain. I do not agree that this should be any higher priority than other alleys.

Apr 18, 2014, 11:18:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i assume that there are alleys in SE across the river that are worse, stop complaining

Apr 18, 2014, 11:57:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about that ~ $500,000 dollars that is available from the higher H Street parking meter fees? The Barracks Row group uses their loot to pay for projects like this. What is ANC 6 A and ANC 6 C going to do with the funds?

Apr 18, 2014, 11:58:00 AM

Anonymous Kenny G said...

Here's the Fox5 story


Apr 18, 2014, 5:46:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this alley looks typical of other alleys. alleys are not public parks. they are places to park your car, dumpsters locations for businesses, and stuff like that. there's not a need to waste tax dollars on making every alley in the neighborhood look pretty

Apr 18, 2014, 6:13:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you wanna see a truly shitty alley, check out the one north of Parker Street. It's basically a dirt road. The Linden alley at least has some semblance of pavement.

Apr 18, 2014, 7:58:00 PM

Anonymous tonysmallframe said...

I think some of you are missing that it isn't just an alley - it is a street. I used to live back there a few years back, this was the only access to my house. Not H, not G, not 12th or 13th. My house fronted onto this street. It was never plowed (during snowmegedden), trash pickup generally never happened, and the only time DCPW came down the street was to ticket cars for parking in an alley.

Apr 19, 2014, 6:55:00 AM

Anonymous Chris said...

I'm confused -- which alley are we talking about here? The original post said the alley was on the *north* side of H. But several of the posts since have suggested that this alley lies between G and H.

Apr 19, 2014, 12:57:00 PM

Blogger inked said...

this alley is Linden Court, & it is definitely north of the 1300 block of H Street.

Apr 19, 2014, 6:21:00 PM

Blogger inked said...

I think the biggest factor here is that this alley has people whose front doors open onto it. That makes it a hybrid between an alley & a street. You should at least be able to drive/walk safely on it. I don't think either is currently the case.

Apr 19, 2014, 6:29:00 PM

Anonymous tonysmallframe said...

Inked, Linden Ct is on the south side of H, behind the Atlas. North side of H has the decomissioned Wylie Ct - the rowhouses there were knocked down in the mid-70's for the Wylie Ct. Co-op project.

Apr 19, 2014, 8:06:00 PM

Anonymous Chris said...

Inked: I think there's still some confusion (at least, I know I'm confused!). You're saying it's Linden Court, and that Linden Court is on the north side of H. But several people here are referring to Linden Court as on the south side of H, and that's also what Google Maps says as well.

Apr 19, 2014, 8:08:00 PM

Blogger inked said...

You guys are totally right. We are thinking of the same alley. I have no idea why I wrote north (twice!).

Apr 20, 2014, 8:24:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you didn't want to live in an alley, you should not have purchased a home in an alley.

Apr 21, 2014, 10:19:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you still buy drugs in that alley?

Apr 21, 2014, 12:24:00 PM

Blogger pat said...

it's a named street Linden Ct is thus
a street not an alley.

Alley's are considered subordinate to a street

Apr 21, 2014, 2:40:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and items which are possessed are considered subordinate to the possessive.

Apr 22, 2014, 12:40:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed a lot of alleys were getting nicely redone (many in brick) around the city a few years ago. Seems this stopped under the current city administration?

Apr 22, 2014, 10:45:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would like to know how much the city spent on fixing those alleys

Apr 24, 2014, 12:24:00 AM


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