|Florida Avenue Baptist Church|
Commissioner Holness announced the office of City Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward One) had formed the task force to address how to facilitate parking at churches across Ward One on Sundays and at other times of religious worship. Holness said she expected the task force to meet three or four times. The first meeting will be within the next two weeks, and there will be a town meeting. The task force will issue a final report.
"We want the final report to reflect the entire community," Holness said.
Task force membership
Holness said eight Ward One pastors would serve on the task force. She named several of them, including Dr. Earl D. Trent Jr. of Florida Avenue Baptist Church (623 Florida Avenue NW) and Father Patrick Smith of St. Augustine Catholic Church (1419 V Street).
Holness also asked for "a commissioner other than me" to participate in the task force. Commissioner Dyana Forrester (district 06) volunteered to do so. Forrester said she has attended Florida Avenue Baptist Church.
Forrester compared D.C. police tactics concerning churches and parking to suburban police tactics in the same context.
"In Maryland and Viriginia, police help. They don't write tickets," Forrester said.
Holness on the traffic scene
Holness took the opportunity of the announcement to touch on several traffic-related issues. They included bloggers who complain about suburbanites coming on Sunday to park near historical churches, while not complaining about suburbanites who drive into D.C. from Monday to Friday and park on local streets.
She compared weekday commuters to Sunday church visitors: "Many people who come in on the weekends have lived here at one time."
She also commented on bicyclists.
"I'm 57 and I ride a bike," she said.
However, Holness went on, bicyclists received too much consideration because they do not bicycle in inclement weather.
"You don't see bikes when it snows, when it's raining," she said.
Concerning the historic churches in Ward One, Holness said: "They were here before many of the new residents came. They will be here after they are gone."