South Manor Neighbors Oppose Site For Metro Crash Memorial | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

South Manor Neighbors Oppose Site For Metro Crash Memorial

Play associated audio
This park on the corner of South Dakota and New Hampshire Avenues NE was supposed to be the eventual home of a Metro memorial to the victims of the 2009 crash, but some neighbors are voicing opposition.
DC Arts
This park on the corner of South Dakota and New Hampshire Avenues NE was supposed to be the eventual home of a Metro memorial to the victims of the 2009 crash, but some neighbors are voicing opposition.

A plan to establish a memorial to the victims of the 2009 Metrorail Red Line accident has concerned residents who live near the proposed site. They say it will attract more criminals to an area police do not patrol.

A few weeks ago, the D.C. Commission on the Arts asked architects to bid on the $200,000 design for a permanent memorial to the nine people who died in the 2009 Metrorail Red line crash. Officials had planned a walking tour of the site for the memorial, located near the corner of New Hampshire and South Dakota avenues NE just steps from where that fatal crashed happened. 

But that tour was abruptly cancelled, after some residents of the South Manor Neighborhood Association indicated they don't want the memorial in their front yards. The residents have written to the mayor and their councilwoman Muriel Bowser telling them exactly that, according to Richard Lambert, one of the association's officers.

The 70 or so homeowners say the site would generate too much noise, traffic and parking congestion and potentially increase crime. "Problems that already exist will be further exacerbated," wrote Allison Brooks, secretary of the association. "At present, we are struggling to address the problem of sexual activity in the neighborhood. Benches in a park setting could encourage increased activity."

Neighbors claim D.C. police won't patrol federal land, and the U.S. park police don't provide enough patrols. They fear little security and a memorial park with benches would allow the criminal element to hijack the park, and take their South Manor neighborhood with it.

Phylis Wheat says neighbors voted unanimously against the facility: "It would just encourage the prostitutes, the drug addicts to have an area where they could come, they could congregate."

It would also take away a piece of public land that the neighborhood has been using for years as an impromptu gathering place for barbecues and other neighborhood activities.

The city is promising to review plans and says it could move the memorial to another site, according to the Examiner. The memorial is expected to cost $1 million. Residents say they are still waiting for an official response from the city.

SMNA Memorial Park Opposition
NPR

Do Touch The Artwork At Prado's Exhibit For The Blind

The renowned Spanish museum has made 3-D copies of some of its most iconic works to allow blind people to feel them.
NPR

Game For Ancient Grain: Palestinians Find Freekeh Again

The young, roasted form of wheat has been eaten in the Middle East for millennia. But over time many Palestinians replaced it with rice. Now it's becoming a nutritious, native food worthy of pride.
NPR

Just How Big Is The Asia Trade Deal Obama Wants? It's A Beast

The 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership President Obama wants to get done account for almost 36 percent of world's economy, which would be by far the largest U.S. trade pact.
WAMU 88.5

New Transit App 'Split' Pushes User To Share The Backseat

A new entrant into the growing world of on-demand transportation apps in the District uses sustainability as its pitch — with users sharing the ride with others going the same direction.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.