Tom Quinn – Candidate for ANC 3E-04
5322 41st Street, NW
A resident of the Friendship Heights neighborhood for the past 12 years, Tom Quinn has dedicated much of that time to community activism and volunteerism.
He is a founding member of Ward 3 Vision, and has been a participant in Move DC, a District Department of Transportation initiative to develop a new vision for transportation in the District, and in the Neighborhood Sustainability Indicators Pilot Project (NSIPP), a project initiated by the District Office of Planning in 2009 that convened residents in the North Cleveland Park, Forest Hills, and Tenleytown neighborhoods to develop a vision and goals for sustainability in their area.
Quinn has testified before the DC Council, DC Zoning Commission, and at Environmental Protection Agency hearings. He has also been a regular participant in American University Community Liaison Committee meetings and Friendship Heights Transportation Management District (TMD) Advisory Committee meetings.
He is a volunteer with Casey Trees, the DC Chapter of the Sierra Club, and All Walks, a pedestrian safety advocacy group. Quinn has also volunteered at the Friendship Children’s Center and Janney Elementary School, where he is also a parent.
For the past four years, he has served as an ANC 3E commissioner, holding the position of treasurer throughout his tenure.
Quinn holds a B.A. in history and political science from the University of Delaware.
Tenleytown, D.C.: Why are you running for office?
Tom Quinn: Because I believe in better things for our neighborhood and city and I have unfinished work to do as an ANC Commissioner. I also believe I have ably and actively represented my single member district for the last four years and have helped find solutions and compromises on many complicated issues. During that time, I have accomplished the following:
- I played a lead role in pressing American University to make design changes to the Tenley Campus, which resulted in building massing better suited and scaled to the most adjacent single family homes, as well as a more pedestrian friendly and accessible front lawn and better connectivity to the Wisconsin Avenue corridor. Also as part of this effort American University agreed to spend up to $400,000 on traffic calming and safety measures around the new law school in Tenleytown.
- I was very active in the PUD [planned unit development] process with Douglas Development when the plans for Babe’s [current Tenley View project] were being discussed. Our ANC insisted on and negotiated a deal with Douglas Development that requires them to underground the utilities around the site, among many other streetscape improvements. The ANC settlement also precludes future residents of the building from getting RPP [residential parking permit] stickers and created a mechanism to collect damages in case any do.
- I’ve been very active on pedestrian safety, engaging with MPD on traffic cameras and with DDOT on a number of problematic intersections, pressing for more police enforcement of traffic violations, particularly those that threaten pedestrians and other vulnerable populations. I pushed for an upgraded stop light at Wisconsin Avenue and Fessenden Street, turn restrictions at Wisconsin Avenue and the Whole Foods alley, and improvements at 43rd Street and Military Road. I’ve also worked to replace missing parking signs and improve stop sign visibility, and secured a commitment from DDOT to install curbs and repave the 4100 block of Livingston Street. I’ve also been engaged with Pepco about plans and impacts from utility work in the neighborhood.
- I organized an effort in which several Ward 3 ANCs requested additional Capital Bikeshare (CABI) stations in Ward 3, resulting in additional stations installed at 39th and Veazey Streets and Wisconsin Avenue and Fessenden Street; additional stations are supposed to be installed at Massachusetts Avenue and 48th Street and Wisconsin Avenue and Jenifer Streets. American University has agreed to include a CABI station on the Tenley Campus, and Douglas Development will add a CABI station at Wisconsin Avenue and 41st Street. My leadership has also resulted in a pledge from DDOT to install bike lanes on Van Ness Street between Wisconsin Avenue and 42nd Street and to build the first neighborhood bikeways in DC on 41st Street between Wisconsin and Western avenues and on Jenifer Street between Western and Nebraska avenues.
- Upon learning that the Department of Parks and Recreation had decided not to install a dog park at Chevy Chase Park, despite previous pledges to include one, I secured a meeting with Councilmember Mary Cheh and DPR which resulted in the reinstatement of a dog park. My efforts also resulted in additional benches at Livingston Park and the installation of trash cans, which were not included in the original park redesign. As a result of my activism DPR has pruned trees in the park and refilled the sandbox each spring.
- Through negotiation, I was able to get one restaurant in my district to agree to redesign its ventilation system to vent restaurant odors away from adjacent single family homes and a cigar bar to spend a considerable amount of money re-designing its exhaust system – a fix which has resolved a significant quality of life issue for the immediate neighbors. I’ve had a role in supporting additional outdoor seating options at several restaurants, which I believe will add to the vitality of our commercial areas, and supported ANC efforts to organize some Tenleytown businesses into a business association to work on cooperative efforts to improve the community.
- I’ve been a regular participant and activist on several cross border issues. An active participant in meetings of the Friendship Heights Transportation Management District, I have also been in touch with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation to improve coordination between DDOT and MCDOT on bike lanes, as well as cross border bus routes between DC and Montgomery County.
- I’ve taken a leadership role in authoring resolutions on citywide issues and legislation such as the Renewable Portfolio Standards, Coal Fired Power Plant Legislation, Community Renewable Energy Act, Traffic Camera Fines and the Zoning Re-write, and supported the ANC 3E resolution opposing citywide lotteries and clusters as part of the DCPS Boundary Revision Process.
- I authored resolutions in opposition to what I considered frivolous Historic Preservation Applications on the Western Bus Garage and the entirety of American University’s Tenley Campus.
- I’ve served as the ANC 3E treasurer for the last three and a half years during which time our reports have been filed on time and none of our payments have been found by the DC Auditors office to have been made fraudulently or inappropriately.
Tenleytown, D.C.: What changes would you like to see during the next ANC 3E term?
Tom Quinn: I would like to see a greater focus on pedestrian safety and traffic enforcement.
Tenleytown, D.C.: What is your vision for this community over the next 5 years?
Tom Quinn: For upper NW to share in some of the positive changes happening in the rest of DC – safer, more vibrant and walkable streets, high quality in-fill development, improved public transportation and bicycle facilities and a public outdoor swimming pool.