As a long time (and long suffering) resident of the 1200 Block of Kirby Street, NW (nestled between First and Third Streets, running north above New York Avenue) I have come to realize that no matter what progressive civic attention is paid to the surrounding areas of the Mt. Vernon Sq district in PSA 501, I have learned to not expect much in the way of effective improvement to the quality of life on this particular one-way street.
Its true that the random gang/drug related shootings and homicides have dropped significantly (if not completely) from the time I moved here some 19 years ago. And thankfully the infamous crackhouse and its steady stream of crack head clientele have apparently finally moved on to other locales in the last few years.
But, this little block seems to remain a loud, trash strewn, rat infested, example of urban blight. There is a persistent presence of non-residents who have made this their daily hang-out spot where they, among other things, smoke weed, drink liquor, smoke weed, wash their cars, traffic drugs, smoke weed, take up parking spaces, litter profusely, carouse, blast their car sterios, and variously loiter about with impunity, on a daily basis. Despite late night calls to 311 when the racket keeps one from sleeping, the situation continues to go on unabated.
Kirby Street (particularly between Morgan and N Streets) seems to be the desired spot for The "Kirby Street Crew", as I call them. These guys grew up in the neighborhood and though they no longer live there continues to hang out in the street (day and night), often smoking weed, imbibing on Henessy among other alcoholic beverages -- based on the many empty and broken bottles left behind along the sidewalks and tree beds.
The litter (and garbage) problem is extreme: everything from corner store fast food plastic containers, soda cans, candy wrappers, chicken bones, condom wrappers, and you name it. The steady stream of trash and garbage piles up along the curb at a pace that is impossible to keep up by the weekly sanitation sweep provided by the city. If there is an anti-litter law here, you would hardly know it living on Kirby Street. All of this makes the neighborhood an irresistible magnet for rats -- which is why there seems to be a population explosion of rat infestation.
These are just a few of my frustrations as a resident on Kirby.
What I would like to see happen (my wish list):
- A "faux" crime watch camera conspicuously mounted within the proximity to dissuade crime.
- Official "QUIET ZONE" signs which include the text "No Loitering" and "No Soliciting". See attached photo, taken on the 1300 block of Wallach Street, NW.
- More regular police presence during the late afternoon and evening hours.
- Committed enforcement of after-dark cessation of basketball court activity.
Thats all for now