Fourth Street upgrades to begin in June

Word is that upgrades to Fourth Street could begin as soon as June. The plans for the overhaul to Fourth Street are outlined in the Final Report for the Mount Vernon Triangle Transportation and Public Realm Design Project.

click to enlarge; image from 2005 DDOT Studies

In the study, Fourth Street improvements include:

  • Restore two-way traffic from L Street to Mass Ave
  • New traffic light at Fourth and Eye
  • Removal of a traffic island on the NW corner of Fourth and Mass
  • Reconfiguration of the Fourth, Mass and H Street intersection
  • Redesign slip intersection of Third and H Streets

To accommodate these changes Fourth Street will be widened to support two way traffic and curb parking on both sides of the street. The widening on the west shoulder of 800 block will push back from the DuMont’s temporary yellow curb to the true sidewalk. On the east side of the 800 block DDOT will reclaim a few feet of the Madrigal Lofts sidewalk. This has always been the plan and is why the trees were planted off center in the tree boxes to be closer to the condo building than the street.

I am less clear about widening plans for the 900 and 1000 blocks of Fourth Street. Several mature trees on these two blocks, of heights 40 feet and higher, are planted immediately next to the road and would be casualties in any widening. From a continuity perspective I expected these blocks would be widened but I cannot absolutely tell from the renderings. If parking was restricted to just one side on these two segments I suppose they would not need to be widened. But in the long run the infrastructure of the wider street segments will be in the neighborhoods best interest moreso than the downgrade from a mature tree to a younger one planted in reconfigured tree boxes.

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  1. 1

    fourthandeye says

    Found this on the RECOVERY.DC.GOV:

    Mt. Vernon Triangle: Streetscape 4th Street, NW from L Street to New Jersey Avenue
    Project Type: Road – Streetscape
    Project State(s): District of Columbia
    Federal Funding Requested: $3-6M
    Readiness: Construction to begin June 2009
    The Mount Vernon Triangle area is experiencing significant development with proposed projects on several major sites. The large number of new residences and businesses will affect pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle conditions. This project will implement transportation and streetscape improvements to include sidewalk, curb and gutter, mill and overlay of street, new streetlights, traffic signals, safety improvements, infrastructure and utility coordination and
    upgrades, landscaping, etc.

  2. 2

    tom veil says

    It’s a shame that they’re doing all this work and ignoring the biggest problem — the lack of a traffic circle on Mass between 3rd and 4th encourages speeding interstate drivers to use the route as a shortcut and discourages local drivers and pedestrians from crossing Mass and visiting both the Triangle and Judiciary neighborhoods.