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.
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.