Empower DC Plans Lawsuit to Halt Bus Depot in Ivy City

The Historic Alexander Crummell School around which DC government would like to park up to 65 mega-busses daily.

Empower DC has retained attorney Johnny Barnes, formerly of the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital, and has announced plans to file suit to halt the development of a charter bus depot on the site of the historic Alexander Crummell School.

The suit comes after over 75 residents filled the meeting room at Trinity Baptist Church last week in opposition to the Mayor’s plan to allow 65 charter buses per day to park on the Crummell lot for the next 5-10 years.  The charter bus lot is being constructed on behalf of the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, on whose Board the Mayor, Deputy Mayor Hoskins and the President of the powerful Federal City Council sit, among others.
Mayor Gray has yet to respond to correspondence from Empower DC urging that an alternate location for the buses be identified.  “We have affidavits that confirm the Advisory Neighborhood Commission did not receive notice of the proposed action, nor were they given an opportunity to give input for consideration,” said attorney Johnny Barnes.  “A high incidence of respiratory illness and premature death in the area also indicate that this is an environmental justice issue.  This historic, working class African American community has been unfairly targeted for the citing of unwanted and polluting facilities for decades.”
Among the entities speaking out against the charter bus lot are nonprofit developers Manna Inc. and DC Habitat for Humanity.  58 new homes are nearing completion in the community, and new homeowners have been shocked to hear about the Mayor’s plans.  Residents are calling for the creation of an adult education and job training site at Crummell, and have identified The Work Place DC as a potential partner.
The law suit will be announced at a press conference Wednesday, July 25th at 11 AM in front of the Alexander Crummell School, located at 1900 Gallaudet St, NE.

3 comments to Empower DC Plans Lawsuit to Halt Bus Depot in Ivy City

  • Interested DC Resident

    Hello Ms. Narouzi,

    I could not tell if there was any federal involvment (US DOT?)in the arrangement to park buses at the historic school site. If there is any federal funding, approval or permit involved, you should insist that the USDOT complies with the National Historic Preservation Act. That would involve USDOT providing info to the DC Historic Preservation Office and interested parties (about the effect of the action on historic properties within the area potentially affected by the action)and if the DOT finds that it adversely affects any historic properties they must alert the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and go through a consultation process on those effects. http://www.achp.gov/docs/CitizenGuide.pdf

  • Trisha

    Where is the Councilmember on this issue of saving school building? Oh yeah, Harry Thomas gone to jail.
    It is amazing to consider that it stopped being used as a school in the 1970′s! Did it sit empty since then?! Couldn’t neighbors rally sometime in past three decades to get a favorable use?

  • Hello Trisha,
    Thanks for your comment. Sorry for not responding sooner, I’ve been out of town. In fact the community has been trying to get the city to turn Crummell into a recreation and workforce development center for three decades. The first battle was having the site designated historic so that should the city decide to sell the property, against the wishes of the community, the new owners couldn’t simply tear it down. That took a number of years. It did not simply sit vacant all of that time. For a while there was a homeless shelter on the site and for a while there was some group, I can’t remember who, that worked with the community to turn what was a vacant lot into a park with a small playground for young kids. As recently as May 2010, the city promised to put a basketball court on the Crummell School parking lot and raised garden beds. Another unfulfilled promise. The Ivy City community is active, trust me. The DC government has a tendency to overlook the wishes of low-income communities especially in favor of developers who often do not act in the best interest of the residents. That’s DC, not just Ivy City. You can get a little more of the history by checking out some of the other Ivy City related posts on this blog. For example

    http://www.grassrootsmediaproject.org/2011/05/what%E2%80%99s-goin%E2%80%99-on-in-ivy-city/

    http://www.grassrootsmediaproject.org/2011/12/100-years-of-crummell-school-the-lost-heart-of-a-community/

    http://www.grassrootsmediaproject.org/2012/04/an-audio-documentary-of-ivy-city/

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>