You plan an event, and at the last minute you're screwed
Sorry folks, despite our work for the past month bringing the StartUP Market + Chaya Test Kitchen to Anacostia (for the first time!) DDOT told us 3 days before the event they were closing the intersection of Good Hope Rd + MLK (and thus the exit for the 11th St Bridge). The closures on Anacostia's main street would divert traffic away from our event at 1231 Good Hope Rd. Today the traffic advisory went out and our event was unexpectedly shut down. Wasted: Our efforts to bring this Think Local First event to Anacostia; the 4 weeks of planning and promotion; the efforts of bringing 25+ food and craft vendors to a community that as of Friday will lose its only grocery store and that is still waiting to fill the gap left by the closure of its only sit-down restaurant.
I will say this, Think Local First, Nurish, and us at ARCH Development Corporation did everything we could to try to keep this event in Anacostia but at the end of the day it was deemed impossible with the traffic restrictions to make it a successful event. Despite the loss, I want to take a moment to thank ANC 8A Commissioner Greta Fuller who stepped up (and took the day off from work! ) to try and find a compromise that would allow us to keep such a cool DC event in Anacostia. Unfortunately, with the street closures, detours, bus changes, and lack of assistance we were were faced with a dead end (pun intended). So this afternoon we were forced to advice Think Local First to find a new location for their event, and they did, in Ward 6.
I am trying to keep in mind that when completed the 11th Street Bridge should bring more opportunities to Anacostia and Ward 8 but for right now it has been a royal and chronic pain in my ass. The lack of communication is baffling. I can't think of the last time (or first time) I have seen signs on the streets of Anacostia BEFORE work started on a major street or bridge project. Maybe I can finally convince someone at DDOT to start advertising these "traffic advisories" on my blog (or any EotR blog) instead of hoping they will filter down to the businesses and residents of the effected communities.
Go HERE for information for the StartUP Market + Chaya StartUP Test Kitchen's move to HR-57 on H Street.
FYI - The Ward 6 Councilmember's office was more than happy to offer their help to find them a location in Ward 6. It must be nice having such an involved advocate.
In the meantime I am going to go home, dig deep and try and find a reason to try and do this again.
In search of answers and inspiration.
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