19 Responses to “DDOT efforts at 5th and Mass create new hazards”


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  1. Anonymous

    Thanks for this post. At 555, we've been trying for years to get a safe, sensible intersection at this location. We have gone as far as submitting an 11 page document about the intersection problems to DDoT, ANC6C and all other stakeholders. Our ANC has been highly supportive as has our Councilmember Tommy Wells. But we still went for years with NO crosswalk, then faint, peeling paint and now this scheme that doesn't make any sense to either the cars or the pedestrians. Tell them to just give us a call over here and we can walk DDoT through the intersection issues and solutions. It isn't rocket science. I'm not sure why they have such difficulty implementing something that is so important to neighborhood safety.

  2. washingtonydc

    Couldn't agree more. I've put in a service request, but I'm sure it'll be as successful as your fallen stop sign.

  3. fourthandeye

    I've exchanged emails with the MVT CID this morning and they plan to schedule an appointment with Ward 6 Transportation Planner Jamie Henson to review this intersection.

  4. SteamingMyLaundry

    Don't get your hopes up. DDOT "reviewed" the horribly dangerous 5th/L/NY intersection, and told us that increasing the time to cross would impede traffic. And (according to DDOT), because impeding traffic puts lives at risk, the safest thing to do is to leave things as they are.

  5. pqresident

    amen, amen, amen on this post brother.

    those third and fourth pictures down say it all. get the quick curbs in there or put up a 'do not enter – one way traffic' sign on the south side of the pedestrian island and take down the stop sign.

  6. si

    DDOT is just abominable. when they do come to meeting, they send a powerless "planner." All they do, besides slapping some random paint down, is "plan." They drive me nuts!

    this intersection, oh lordie…that I street cut going westbound on mass ave in front of 555 Mass becomes theoretically unusable when cars inevitably park on the curb, taking that 1 travel lane. you are not safe in the lined zones..now forming some strange herringbone pattern??!

    I wish they'd build medians. nice plant filled medians. its a perfect stimulus project, theyve been planned for eons…

    that example of the temp curbs is not bad, what about planters ala NY & N sts NW?

  7. IMGoph

    i've been biking through there daily on my way to jury duty the last few weeks, and it's blown my mind that DDOT hasn't finished the job (or at least that MPD hasn't had a cop there to ticket every single person driving through the area that is no longer a travel lane—it would be one hell of a revenue-generating operation).

    DDOT has no reason, seeing what they did at 15th, W, and florida, to not have this intersection done just as quickly.

    good luck in getting DDOT to finish the job!

  8. fourthandeye

    @Si – I feel your frustration. I also think landscaped medians would be ideal. But the more expensive the solution the harder to fund and the less empowered planners are to roll out change in a timely manner. Even with stimulus money there are far more potential streetscape projects out there than DC can possibly fund.

    For now I'd like to see a few well placed quick curbs or similar barriers to keep the cars off the paint. Years from now the funding to landscape these areas may be possible.

  9. si

    we could take up a collection for some end of season sale pots at 5th st hardware…make our own quick curbs! plant some nice winter cabbage things in em? traffic ninja measures

  10. Anonymous

    I live in the Meridian (450 Mass). Everyone drives over the new striped portion of I St, including me, cops and cabs. One, no driver (who isn't currently in driver's ed) knows that this is a restricted area. It simply looks like a big crosswalk, something people drive over everyday. Two, this is a hazard for Meridian residents who drive (and cabs pulling out). This would effectively prevent left turns out of the Meridian unless you cross I and Mass to make the left (which is probably technically illegal). People will be reluctant to make a right onto Mass (in an effort to go left eventually) because of the long Mass block, the traffic, and the long light at 4th and Mass. Personally, I like the striped pavement AND the cars driving over it. It's a signal to slow down–that pedestrians may be present.

  11. fourthandeye

    Aren't the Merdian's garage entrances on 5th Street? I thought the circle in front of Meridian was used solely for zip cars and delivery trucks?

  12. Anonymous

    I live at 450 Mass also.

    Our drive way is in the roundabout that faces Mass. The 5th St entrance is a loading dock.

    I also thought that those stripped lines were just a crazy extended crosswalk since the width of the lines and their spacing matches the surrounding crosswalks.

    Declaring that small section a vehicles prohibited section isn't going to do anything to improve safety because drivers will just ignore it and drive around any device you put in their way. Drivers already drive for half a block the wrong way on Mass Ave to make that turn onto I. They also make the illegal left turn off of Mass onto 3rd street towards the tunnel (just as dangerous to pedestrians) without one ticket ever being issued.

    The only solution would be to completely eliminate that small section of I street and make 450 mass ave fight for a left turn onto Mass, like the people over at 400 Mass Ave do.

  13. Anonymous

    I live at 555 Mass and would love the little Eye Street section where they painted the extra lines to completely prohibit cars. Making it a bump-out would shorten the distance for pedestrians and eliminate all the crazy options that cars have that endanger folks trying to cross the street. It is simply too short of an area on the NW corner to have as a useful car area. It should only hold one car at a time. That being said, do we not have ONE decent intersection planner? The solutions are so painfully obvious that DC's inability to get this right is a real shame.

  14. John Thompson

    I've almost been hit several times by people that clearly don't know enough (or care) about what these painted lines are there for. These people should be be IMMEDIATELY ticketed.

    I'm all for the temp curbs… though I'd much prefer filling it in COMPLETELY with plants & blocking traffic here completely.

  15. Anonymous

    Can anyone confirm that those lines do in fact restrict traffic from entering? I'm skeptical. Also, if they do in fact restrict the traffic, a good argument can be made that one-way traffic should be going the other direction (i.e., west-bound instead of east-bound) to permit left turns out of the Meridian.

  16. Elliott

    If anyone is feeling inspired by this discussion to more officially encourage DDoT to address this and/or other transportation issues in our part of the city, I hope you'll take the time to apply for funding through this federal program that could potentially be used for just the types of improvements we've been discussing:


    Applications are due August 7 so get to work!

  17. fourthandeye

    Some activity yesterday:

    Photofrom John Thompson

    I think the Orange barrels will be temporary. In the short term the chief goal is to eliminate the safety hazzard that had been created.

  18. Anonymous

    The barrels make me so happy, so happy. I didn't have to risk my life crossing the street the past two days!!

  19. Dan Maceda

    I asked DDOT weeks ago if they were going to green those spaces by bioswales or plantings and was told they expected to do something by the end of the year and here we are near the end of the year So DDOT?