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New Traffic Signals on Fourth Street

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.

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Fourth Street Construction Update

The Fourth Street reconfiguration construction has been ramping up since the last week of October. Today I noticed that the trees on the 1000 block that were destined to be casualties of the planned street widening were removed. Two other dead trees were also removed.


Top: Before image from Google Streetview; Bottom: Photo from today

When the work is complete the segment of road will accommodate two way traffic and street parking. The pavers will be replaced with brick and the cobrahead streetlights will be upgraded to the newer globe lights. I would also venture to guess new street trees will be planted.

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Fourth Street construction signs

We previously reported that Fourth Street construction would begin on October 26th and last up to 9 months. I’m not surprised that the 26th came and went with no visible sign of construction starting. Because this project has such a lengthy window we will likely see construction done in bursts where something happens, then nothing happens, then something happens again. That’s my impression of how the 11th Street NW project has gone…



In the last few days construction signage was erected on Eye Street so we may see construction begin soon.

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Fourth Street Construction to Start on October 26

An announcement on the MVT CID website declares Fourth Street construction will begin next week. I assume this means Sigal construction should stop commandeering a full lane of traffic in their renovations of 425 Eye.

The DC Department of Transportation has announced that the 4th Street NW streetscape construction will begin on October 26th. The project will widen 4th Street NW and accommodate two-way traffic from L Street, NW south to Massachusetts Avenue, NW. Capitol Paving, a DC firm, was awarded the contract by DDOT, and construction should last nine months. Fourth Street is Phase II of the streetscape construction that started with the L Street streetscape completed in 2008 for the opening of Safeway.

Below is the writeup of this project from a posting I originally wrote in June:

The plans for the upgrades 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. On street parking will be available on both sides of the street for the 900 and 1000 blocks. 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. The final configuration of the 800 block segment will feature two southbound lanes, one northbound lane and on-street parking on the east side of the street.

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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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Positively Fourth Street

This post isn’t about a Bob Dylan song or a World Series of Poker memoir. Instead it is a closer examination of the plans for a Two-Way Fourth Street NW within the Triangle. In past postings we have alluded to DDOT planned improvements for the street. With changes slated to begin in 2009 we felt it was time for a closer look.

click to enlarge; image from 2005 DDOT Studies

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
  • In long term, two way traffic restored between NY Ave and L Street

These improvements will promote safety for pedestrians by calming traffic speed and will reduce the appeal of the street as a I-395 alternate route. Additionally, because of the K Street and Fifth street overlays that prohibit/limit new curb cuts, the alley/garage traffic of new K Street Developments will funnel onto Fourth.

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