We’ve been talking about Capitol Crossing, the planned I-395 air rights development between E streets and Mass Ave, for several years. An undertaking this massive has significant engineering challenges and tends to take 12-15 years to fully unfold. Michael Neibauer of the Washington Business Journal recently reported that the project is slated to begin building the deck platform over I-395 in Q3 of this year. The deck platform is estimated to cost $200 million to build with construction lasting two years.
Mass Ave elevation of Future I-395 Air Rights development
DDOT published their Union Station to Georgetown alternatives analysis this week. As expected the study recommends connecting the H Street NE streetcar route to Georgetown via a K Street Transitway. The extension how start on the Hopscotch bridge behind Union station and head east until traveling up New Jersey Avenue in MVT to K Street. It would then follow K Street until reaching Wisconsin Ave in Georgetown. The streetcar would have dedicated lanes from 10th Street NW to 21st Street NW.
Earlier this summer a pedestrian was killed and a biker struck at the intersection of 4th Street and Massachusetts Ave NW. This week DDOT has implemented a change to the traffic flow. The change actually puts pedestrians at greater conflict with cars.
The situation is that southbound traffic on 4th street has two lanes of which seemingly 90% of the cars turn left onto Mass. This puts the car traffic in conflict with pedestrians crossing Mass on the east side of the street. In the past the pedestrians had an 13 second headstart on their walk signal before cars were given the green light for another 13 seconds (total 26 seconds). The change gives both cars the green and pedestrians the walk for the entirety of 31 seconds. Additionally the left turning traffic from 4th is now getting a well timed green were Mass meets 3rd & H so that the traffic does not get backed up and block the box at 4th & Mass. Much of this leftbound traffic’s ultimate destination is the I-395 on-ramp at 3rd and Mass.
Because of the change in traffic pattern it seems to residents that near pedestrian and car misses are on the rise this week. Which seems at odds with what the goal of the change should have been. Is this just a transitional period as pedestrians and drivers adjust how they interact with the intersection? Will the fact the drivers now have increased timing and a better flow down Mass have the effect of calming their past aggressive behavior?
Your thoughts? This is not the solution I would have endorsed. Please be safe crossing…
I’ve been informed that the pedestrian who was struck by a dumptruck at the intersection of 4th & Massachusetts Ave NW on the afternoon of June 18th passed away this past Sunday. Laura was a 38 year old lawyer and mother who most recently worked at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program.
Post accident picture from June 18th
This intersection is a safety hazard. Most notably the left turns from 4th Street southbound onto Mass eastbound conflicting with pedestrians. Living a half block from the intersection and having interacted with it as both a driver and pedestrian countless times I feel I understand it well enough to personally avoid all risks. I never cross at the aforementioned conflict point unless I can complete the cross before the walk signal switches to the flashing hand. I’ve never had even a remotely close call. But I’ve witnessed some near collisions several times. And now the intersection has unfortunately taken a casualty. Very sad.
A public meeting is being held to discuss the streetscape improvements planned for New Jersey Avenue NW between H and N Streets. The most major change is one to two-way traffic. While some details may have changed since the original plan – this has been in the works since 2004/2005 as part of the Mount Vernon Triangle Transportation and Public Realm Design Project.
The meeting is Wednesday July 25 from 6pm-8pm at Bible Way Church (1100 New Jersey Ave NW). I will not attend the meeting. For those who do please feel free to summarize and reply in the comments.
The Capital Bikeshare station at 4th & E NW, which was part of the original proposal, finally was installed this past Saturday. The initial delay was due to the fact a SmartBike station occupied the space and needed to be phased out. That Smart Bike station was removed a few months ago.
The only Penn Quarter CaBi station still yet to arrive from the original plan is the 7th Street NW/Navy Memorial station.
According to a reader named Terrence, construction of residential hi-rises on the opposite sides of the street are both attempting to close sidewalks on the 400 block of New York Ave. The projects are Yale West on the north side of the street and the Meridian at Mount Vernon Triangle on the south side.
At the corner of 4th Street & New York Ave NW on the north side of the intersection you are instructed the sidewalk is closed ahead and you should cross the street. Once you cross to the South you encounter a similar sign that a sidewalk closure is ahead and instructs you to cross back to the other side of the street.