Hi! My name is Matthew Holden and I am running to be the ANC Commissioner for Single Member District 2B08. Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) are small, local bodies that represent neighborhoods throughout DC, serving as a bridge between residents and the DC Government. ANC 2B represents Dupont Circle and is made up of nine SMDs. 2B08 runs roughly along U Street NW from 16th to 19th St NW and south to Swann St NW making up North Dupont. I love living in this walkable neighborhood and its mix of row houses, apartment buildings, restaurants, and small businesses.
Dupont Circle is an amazing neighborhood to live in, and I want to help make sure that anyone who spends time here feels welcome, safe, and accepted as a part of the community.
As a commissioner, I will work to ensure that Dupont Circle is a vibrant, livable community. To me, that means the following things:
More expanded sidewalks!
Streets like U Street and 17th Street have very narrow sidewalks impeding safe pedestrian movement through the neighborhood. Efforts from DDOT like the slow streets on 19th and S and the Streateries on 17th are good initial steps, but there should be a concerted effort to permanently expand the neighborhood’s most narrow sidewalks. New streetscape programs should prioritize walkability and ADA compliant accessibility improvements that protect pedestrians and encourage more people to walk to our shops and restaurants.
More protected bike lanes!
Biking is an affordable, healthy, and sustainable method of transportation that should be safe for all users, regardless of age or ability. Building additional protected bike infrastructure like the proposed 17th St and 20th St bike lanes will encourage more residents and visitors to safely bike in the neighborhood. A greater share of people biking will reduce private vehicle and uber/lyft trips that create traffic and take parking spots away from people who need to drive. Well designed bike lanes also encourage pedestrian safety by ensuring cyclists and e-scooters have a safe place to travel that’s not the sidewalk. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 7.4% of SMD 2B08 residents biked to work, and 28% walked to work. These initiatives will help those numbers increase, reducing pollution, traffic and noise while improving the livability of the neighborhood and capitalizing on the bike sale boom caused by the Pandemic. Fun fact, the Capital Bikeshare Station at New Hampshire and T St NW (in 2B08!) is routinely one of the busiest bikeshare stations in the whole city!
More public transit!
The 16th Street Bus Lanes are an important project that will help speed up travel times on some of the busiest bus routes in the city. Before the COVID-19 pandemic 14% of residents in SMD 2B08 took the bus to work. Essential projects like this shouldn’t take decades to complete. DDOT should take the lessons it’s learned from their quick build bus lanes projects this summer and build more car free lanes in Dupont Circle and around the District.
The District of Columbia is facing a housing shortage caused by high demand and a lack of inventory across the city. Dupont Circle is a desirable neighborhood, rich in amenities including good schools, jobs, and public transit. The ANC should do its part to support building more housing in the neighborhood so more people can benefit from living here. When affluent neighborhoods like Dupont resist development, we perpetuate residential segregation and put unfair pressure on other neighborhoods to pick up the slack. Additionally, a recent update from the Office of Planning to this map, shows that there are only 34 income restricted units in the entire ANC, one of the lowest shares in the city. To create a Dupont Circle for all, we must support the development of more housing, including affordable units.
More local businesses!
Dupont’s local businesses are what gives the neighborhood its character. 2B08 is lucky to have two prominent commercial corridors along U Street and 18th Street. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses were facing pressure from rising rents, national chains, and online competition. With the pandemic, things have only gotten worse. The ANC needs to be a supportive facilitator between our local businesses and the DC Government, encouraging the success of existing businesses and attracting new businesses to fill empty storefronts.
Get in Touch
I’d love to hear from you! Please fill out the form below if you have any questions or have any suggestions to help improve the neighborhood.
Paid for by Matthew Holden for ANC 2B08 – 1939 17th St NW, Washington DC 20009