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.
Dr Gridlock is reporting that the streetscape improvement project for K Street will begin within a month. This project will encompass new paving, sidewalks, streetlights, and plantings similar to the improvements implemented by DDOT to 4th Street in 2010. The Capital Bikeshare station at 5th & K will continue to be accessible even if it maybe moved slightly once or twice during the 15 months of construction. No streetcar tracks will be laid as part of this project.
The first Capital Bikeshare station in the Triangle was installed on September 10th at 5th and K. That location had been in all the planning for the new bikeshare system from the earliest stages. This week another station was installed in the Triangle at 4th and Mass in front of Papa Johns. This 15-dock station was not in many of the early editions of the proposed system maps but residents have been lobbying DDOT extensively for more system density in our area.
Closeup of 4th and Mass NW Capital Bikeshare station
The reconfiguration of Fourth Street has been ongoing over the entirety of the summer. The upgrades to the streetscape are already evident. I’ve heard planting in the tree boxes could start around Sept 15th.
Yesterday DDOT sent the following memo to indicate that the full implementation of the new traffic signals will occur over the next two weeks. Presently the signals at 4th and I are on flash to provide notice that a change is coming.
Lastly, our reader Tony followed up with QDC who informed him that the public sculpture planned for the 300 block of I Street should be installed on Sept 30th.