Neighborhood News Roundup: Telephone Edition
A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
I Demand A Human Being: One cantankerous member of the Tenleytown email list writes, "Does anyone have a phone number for a human contact at the Department of Motor Vehicles? I've tried every number I can get my hands on, including the city's vaunted 311 number, but I only get bounced from one recorded message to another. I seem to recall that under Mayor Fenty, if you called (202) 727-1000, you always got a human being. (That was one of his signature services.) Now that number has been eliminated in favor of 311, but that just gets you a recorded message for general city services. One you press the option for the DMV, you're right back into DMV voice mail hell. Thanks Vincent Gray." Though a member of Mary Cheh's staff reached out to help, another list member admonished the original poster, writing, "It's not acceptable for 311 calls to go to voicemail. Yet [the] leap from two experiences to a pronouncement that Mayor Gray and CM Cheh are fiddling while Tenleytown burns is a little premature."
Cleveland Park, ISO: This week, in the ever-growing list of things that Cleveland Park email list members desire: "Italy tour guide," "Sky diving partner," "Digital SLR camera whiz," "portable loudspeaker system," and "recommendations for hardwood floors and closet design."
Eyes on the Trail: In a Prince of Petworth post, a reader describes being attacked on the Metropolitan Branch Trail and being told by police, after the fact, that they should avoid the trail in light of the incident. This is troublesome to many who use the trail frequently, who know that the more people on the trail, the safer it will be. One member of the MPD 5D email list claims, "It appears the descriptions of the attackers are the same in all three cases, I should know I was their victim on May 5th and now sport a nice cast on my right arm thanks to a broken wrist (misdiagnosed after the accident). And apparently the responding officers told the cyclist just to avoid the area...WHAT! So the city and Rails To Trails conservancy and others poured a lot of resources into building this trail to give it over to the thugs? The police, community, trail managers, commuters and others better come together or we will lose this great place to run, walk, and ride!" Another is equally frustrated, writing "Apparently some kids tried to taser a bike rider on the MBT yesterday evening. The bike rider managed to avoid the kids, and thankfully MPD responded quickly. Unfortunately, the officers who responded told the bike rider that it would probably be best to avoid the MBT between NY Ave and RI Ave. Haven't we had this discussion before? Why are MPD officers telling people to avoid the MBT – it is completely counter-productive! The more people that use the trail, the more eyes will be on the trail, the less likely that kids will be able to attack people without getting caught. I'm extremely disappointed in the response from the MPD – the message the officers conveyed was 'don't use the MBT, because it is a lawless zone. sorry, not our problem.'"
Department of Ineffectual Changes: Life on the Edgewood notes, "In case you missed it I have been meaning to post that Rhode Island Station has been re-branded as Rhode Island Row. I preferred the old name, but I heard they thought it was confusing with the metro station." But now, there's more alliteration!