Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

The pedestrian menace of overgrown grass?

April 19, 2012 - 09:55 AM
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(Photo: flickr/justindc

The Petworth listserv has called out the city of D.C. for that most insidious of community crimes — not cutting the grass! Can these citizens fine the D.C. government for not doing their neighborly duty?

"This weekend I went out into the pocket parks at 5th/Park & Rock Creek Church Rd at the intersection of Parkview, Petworth and the Soldier's Home and measured the grass at over 16 inches in places," Justin Johnson told his fellow Petworthians Tuesday morning. "I know that there have already been a number of 311 requests and that my ANC Commissioner (Rob Mandle) has been trying to get the city to take action, but as of when I came to work this morning, the grass in the parks was still overgrown ... Unfortunately, I can't say that I'm shocked that DC Gov't has failed again."

ANC 4C10 Commissioner Rob Mandle chimes in: "If only it were as simple as a 311."

Mandle notes that the land in question is D.C. land, not National Park Service, and outlines three spots when pressed:

Chocolate strawberries
(Photo: Google Maps)

• 389 Rock Creek Church Road NW: The reservation bound by Rock Creek
Church Road, Illinois Avenue, 4th Street, and Randolf Street NW
• 450 Quincy Street NW: The reservation bound by Rock Creek Church Road,
Quincy Street, and 5th Street NW
• 3690 Park Place NW: The reservation bound by Rock Creek Church Road
and Park Street, NW

Wanda Royster Gattison of D.C.'s Office of Unified Communications tells the Petworth community she'll attempt to expedite the process.

Is that community action at work or what? What I like about these exchanges is how they highlight the small realities that define pedestrian life. On a bike, in a car, or in a bus or Metro train, you're speeding by the landscape. On foot, you're moving slowly and take the time to really see — and scrutinize — the aesthetics of the land surrounding you. Overgrown grass? Crime of crimes! Litter? Get out of here. These sights of public space become an intimate part of pedestrian commuting life. In Petworth and Columbia Heights, one of the greatest pedestrian menaces I've noticed actually originates at 7-Eleven. You know those red and white boxes in which 7-Eleven sells pizza for a buck? Those boxes have littered the ground everywhere, I noticed, in the last few months. Someone get the Petworth listserv on that one next!

And if you somehow doubt the seriousness, just remember that the D.C. Council hosted a session on this very topic of grass-cutting midway through last year:

 

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