February 2, 2017 at 2:23 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Ziegfeld’s-Secrets hit with ‘devastating’ potholes
potholes, gay news, Washington Blade

Visitors to Ziegfeld’s-Secrets must navigate a minefield of potholes to get to the clubs. (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.

A spokesperson for the D.C. Department of Transportation said this week that “short-term repairs would be made as soon as the weather permits” on dozens of deep potholes along a section of Half Street, S.W., in Buzzard Point that provides access to the gay nightclub Ziegfeld’s-Secrets.

Employees and customers of Ziegfeld’s-Secrets have told the Washington Blade that for more than two years they have had to circumnavigate in their cars multiple potholes as much as six inches or more deep and several feet wide, risking damage to their cars.

“It’s gotten so bad that I’m worried it’s going to hurt our business,” said the club’s co-owner Steven Delurba. “It’s really not fair that our customers have to drive through an obstacle course to come here. Why can’t the city do something about this?”

One customer, who asked not to be identified and who lives in Virginia, speculated that the city may be leaving in place a street that resembles the surface of the moon because someone is biased against a gay club. He called the potholes “devastating” to people’s cars.

“The District Department of Transportation treats all areas of the city equitably when it comes to delivering services and we strongly encourage residents and business owners to notify us when problems arise,” said DDOT spokesperson Terry Owens.

“The Buzzard Point area is the site of major construction and the heavy equipment being used there does put additional stress on the infrastructure,” he said in response to an inquiry from the Washington Blade.

“Based on your inquiry a service request has been created,” Owens said in an email. “Short term repairs will be made as soon as the weather permits. Long term improvements will be made once the construction is complete.

Owens was referring to construction related to plans to build a new stadium for the Washington United soccer team in a section of Buzzard Point a few blocks away from the Ziegfeld’s-Secrets building. The stadium is not expected to be completed until 2018 or later.

(Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

(Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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