Notes on April 2014 Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) Meeting

[Cross-posted at http://www.dupontcircleanc.net]

The Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) met in April 2014 for committee-level discussions.  (The PAC trades off every other month between full PAC meetings and committee meetings.  For a report on my first full PAC meeting as Ward 2 representative in March 2014, find a prior blog post here.)

This was my first committee meeting, and I joined the “Walking Environment Committee.”  Our special guest was Earl Eutsler (earl.eutsler@dc.gov) from DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration (UFA), to talk about the interplay between the walking environment, the tree canopy in DC, and UFA’s management of street and island trees.

The most useful and interesting discussion points were as follows:

  • Getting Repairs Done:  Earl advised that using the 3-1-1 system is the best way to get repairs into the queue for action by UFA.  Other DDOT staff confirmed that UFA in particular makes good use of the 3-1-1 system.
  • Tree canopy:  UFA manages about 10% of the total DC tree canopy, with National Parks, other Federal agencies, the Department of Parks & Recreation, and private space accounting for the remainder.  The District has a goal to reach 40% tree canopy coverage within the next 10-15 years.  Earl noted that all pavement, including sidewalks and streets, last longer with greater tree canopy coverage, because of the shade provided.
  • Flexi-pave: DDOT is now using a special porous material for paving around street trees called Flexi-pave.  This is meant to replace and improve upon the “rubber sidewalk” squares that they previously installed in places like 17th Street, which buckles after only a couple of years.  If there are places with rubber sidewalk buckling, residents should note this in the 3-1-1 system as a “tree inspection request,” and these areas will be prioritized for Flexi-pave installation (if they are not already in the system).
  • Mapping:  UFA has comprehensive, interactive maps of street trees, including planned replacement and planting spots, on the agency website.
  • UFA Representatives: The UFA representatives for our area are “Team 2” and include Carlson Klapthor (carlson.klapthor@dc.gov, mostly north of the Circle) and Simoun Banua (simoun.banue@dc.gov, mostly south of the Circle).
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