Greater Greater Washington

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DDOT removes traffic calming on Wisconsin Avenue

In January, the District Department of Transportation replaced two lanes on Wisconsin Avenue in Glover Park with a painted median and turn lane to calm traffic. But due to pressure from residents and local elected officials, DDOT will end their year-long trial and return the street to six lanes.


New left-turn lanes in Glover Park. Photo from DDOT.

DDOT created the median between 35th and Garfield streets NW to draw attention to the commercial strip and give pedestrians a safer way to cross the street. But after complaints from drivers and Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, the agency already removed part of the median in May.

Since DC received federal funds for this project, it must comply with federal lane width guidelines. Putting the original six lanes back would violate those guidelines, meaning the city will have to do so with its own funds.

Residents say they want pedestrian safety, but not at drivers' expense

The Glover Park ANC originally supported DDOT's plan, but reversed its position after conducting an informal online survey in October that said most Glover Park residents support a return to six traffic lanes. Just 300 of Glover Park's 10,000 residents completed the survey, but Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh agreed with the ANC's position.

Opponents claim the traffic calming has added to travel times, with anecdotal accounts citing times twice as long as the previous configuration. DDOT's official report indicates that average northbound drive times have increased by two minutes. Opponents have criticized this figure as only reflecting rush hour times and suggest that other times of day have been heavily affected as well.

Some business owners claimed a drop in customers because of difficulties driving to their locations. However, several new restaurants opened or will open in the corridor during the past year, including Sprig and Sprout, Arcuri, Einstein Bagels, and Jimmy John's. Meanwhile, Rocklands BBQ, whose owner signed a letter from local businesses saying they were getting fewer customers, recently announced that it will double in size.

At a recent community roundtable on the changes, Cheh and Glover Park ANC Chair Brian Cohen said very clearly that they did not want to change the lanes back without doing some pedestrian safety improvements to the area. Most residents testified in support of returning the street to six lanes, and some residents were open to speed cameras and HAWK lights, but little else.

DDOT Director Terry Bellamy noted in his testimony that it is difficult to both keep vehicles moving and build in safety measures. He also said that Wisconsin Avenue is too narrow for six lanes, as it is only 55 feet wide in the Glover Park commercial district.

Compromise proposal would remove just one lane

At the roundtable, Georgetown resident and GGW contributor Ken Archer offered a compromise plan, which would return one of the traffic lanes, but make them narrower, providing room for a northbound bike lane and rush-hour dedicated bus lane.

Archer argued that congestion will only get worse, pointing to residential developments all along Wisconsin. The only solution, he said, is to get drivers out of their cars. Cheh said that DDOT should consider Archer's plan for the long term, but in the short term all traffic lanes should be returned.

Political pressure on DDOT appears to work

Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh first called a hearing in May as a response to concerns from Massachusetts Heights residents about the painted median between Calvert and Garfield streets. Though this section of Wisconsin Avenue was the site of multiple pedestrian strikes, DDOT removed part of the median within weeks of the May hearing. DDOT has yet to release any empirical data supporting their decision.

The hearing this month was a response to continued demands to remove the median south of Calvert. And like the first hearing, DDOT agreed afterwards to undo its lane configuration with no empirical data supporting their decision.

This experience shows that DDOT is being particularly vulnerable to political pressure. It sets a precedent for opponents of other progressive transportation initiatives, particularly in Ward 3, where Cheh opposed converting the Cleveland Park service lane to a sidewalk. And it bodes well for opponents of the new bike lanes on New Mexico Avenue, who can only come away emboldened by DDOT's eagerness to placate many of their neighbors on Wisconsin.

Abigail Zenner is an Associate in Government Affairs at the American Planning Association. She is a member of the Ward 3 Vision Steering Committee and often described as a professional parking nerd. When she's not nerding out about smart growth, you may find her teaching a fitness class. Her blog posts represent her personal views only. 

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Ugh, jesus, just vote out Evans and Cheh already. This is ridiculous. Almost as bad as Vince Orange's recent escapades over contract fraud. A joke of a council.

PAREENE WAS RIGHT.

by MetroDerp on Dec 17, 2013 10:33 am • linkreport

Really, I don't get the hostility to the residents' concerns here on GGW.

The improvements were installed, People had a body of real-world experiences to draw on when they concluded that the changes made things worse. But the story as reported here is that it was planners' superior vision being squashed by nefarious political forces. Where is the evidence that the installation was some kind of smashing success that would negate the residents' concerns? I didn't see it. I only saw an argument that the evidence did not show an utter failure, which in my mind is a weak counterargument.

I don't have a dog in this fight. I don't live there, though I go through the area by bike and car on occasion. But I do think it is a core principle of democratic government that it ought to be responsive to non frivolous concerns of the citizenry that are capable of being addressed.

by Crickey7 on Dec 17, 2013 10:47 am • linkreport

Mary Cheh ran on a smart growth platform yet seems tone deaf to how these changes actually get implemented. She must believe that because she says she is pro-smart-growth that makes her better than 99% of the rest of the council, and that is enough.

She held a hearing on bike infrastructure issues yesterday but there seemed to be no plan on holding DDOT's feet to the fire. Show us something Mary.

by fongfong on Dec 17, 2013 10:48 am • linkreport

"just 300 of Glover Park's 10,000 residents completed the survey, "

"don't mourn,organize!"

Ward3Vision has its work cut out for it.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 17, 2013 10:52 am • linkreport

Where is the evidence that the installation was some kind of smashing success that would negate the residents' concerns?

First, note in Abigail's article her listing of retail expansion in past year. That was the purpose of the traffic calming - to improve the commercial district. I walk & bus to Glover Park from Georgetown all the time now with my family because it's so much more pleasant to walk around.

Second, note that Cheh rejected a compromise plan that addressed the concerns of residents.

Third, if we designed streets based on SurveyMonkey surveys of the affected community, we would have no bike lanes, no traffic calming - that's why it's called planning because it's for the future. You don't design bridges based on the number of swimmers.

by Ken Archer on Dec 17, 2013 10:58 am • linkreport

Common sense prevails.

And for those of you who disagree, you are the ones constantly imploring people to get more involved in their local government and the public processes that affect them. You can't have it both ways, then be upset that they did just that but decided against whatever you prefer.

Thank you Cheh

by Arnie on Dec 17, 2013 11:07 am • linkreport

First, it was a trial installation. Obviously that implies they intended to test it. Nor is there such strong evidence of retail expansion. The writer cherry pikcs a couple of anecdotal examples and draws pretty sweeping an unsupported conclusions from them.

I used to be a planner. Planning literature is filled with exampels of failed experiments where planners "knew" exactly what would work. That's why I applaud DDOT for doing a trial installation and being receptive to evidence of failure.

by Crickey7 on Dec 17, 2013 11:14 am • linkreport

Where is the evidence that the installation was some kind of smashing success that would negate the residents' concerns?

Couldn't you ask the same question in reverse? You've got a few anecdotes that complain about the changes. ("It takes FOREVER to drive that stretch now!") On the other side, there's empirical evidence that the impact is de minimis, as well as anecdotes from Ken and others who say that the changes had a positive impact on pedestrians (and why are those anecdotes ignored, while others given credence?). Also, what Ken said about planning, bridges and swimmers.

by dcd on Dec 17, 2013 11:15 am • linkreport

Thanks for the post, Abigail! I live in Glover Park and was disappointed by this reversion for two reasons:

To make a logical decision, we need data from DDOT showing before and after data. We then set goals, make changes, and reevaluate. This provides an objective process for making a decision and being able to evaluate the situation. Unfortunately, I do not think data gathering and goal setting have been part of the process. If before data was not collected sufficiently, let's see the data for where the traffic metrics currently stand, set goals for where we want the data to be, make changes, and re-evaluate. If we don't know what numbers we are looking for, we can never get there.

Second, I think a large part of any slowdowns on Wisconsin are the result of illegally parked vehicles in the right lanes when the lane is no parking during rush hour. Delivery vehicles accept the price of tickets and build that cost back into the rates they charge their customers. So in effect, the customers of various businesses are paying for not only the tickets but also the construction cost to change the street as a result of reacting to the illegal behavior. So it seems tickets are not enough incentive against the illegal parking. I know DDOT had discussed encouraging night deliveries which NYC has had success with. Also tougher enforcement, higher fines, and/or towing might be necessary to reduce this issue.

In summary, we don't have data and a data driven process and the illegal parking seems to be a bigger part of the problem than the number of lanes. If we remove the turn lanes, then traffic will back up behind those lanes causing more merging into the center lane. At least now, we put the turning traffic into its own lane to reduce merging.

by GP Steve on Dec 17, 2013 11:16 am • linkreport

I only saw an argument that the evidence did not show an utter failure, which in my mind is a weak counterargument.

The opposition stemmed from the argument that it would fail catastrophically. All the data points to no on that front. That seems to be about as effective as it needs to be.

Plus the primary purpose of the project was to increase the safety and walkability of the area. Sometimes the best way to accomplish is to slow things down anyway.

The dispute isn't over the data in this case, its more fundamentally about what the roads are for. When one holds the position that car throughput is utmost then their setting up a burden of proof so high that its unreasonable to expect that a marginal change like this will suddenly convince them.

That doesn't mean the benefits aren't there though or that it wasn't worth it.

by drumz on Dec 17, 2013 11:16 am • linkreport

tl;dr, the project did what it was set to do. Calm traffic.

by drumz on Dec 17, 2013 11:19 am • linkreport

Well, drumz, it is a valid question as to who has the burden of proof. I would say that in a democracy, that burden lies on the side bucking popular will.

by Crickey7 on Dec 17, 2013 11:23 am • linkreport

I think one thing that is being overlooked is the abject lack of transit options in the vicinity. I used to work at Glover Park Hardware and riding the 30s south from Friendship or north from Georgetown was (and still is) an absolute nightmare. Between the congestion and delivery trucks unloading in front of stores, it would sometimes take 15 minutes or more just to travel the three blocks between Calvert and W. The only real bus options in the area are the 30s and the D2. The N8 provided an alternative for people traveling south from Tenleytown to Glover Park, but Metro discontinued the route several years ago and I'm not sure why. Now if you want to go south from Tenley to Glover Park, your options are 1) taking an often-overcrowded and often-delayed 30 bus, or 2) drive.

Part of the equation to calming traffic is having fewer cars on the road to begin with. That's harder to do when Metro discontinues bus routes that serve traffic-congested areas.

by DCDuck on Dec 17, 2013 11:27 am • linkreport

"A majority of 300 survey respondents out of 10,000 residents. "

I don't know how representative those folks were.

But I think there's major potential to organize the rest.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 17, 2013 11:28 am • linkreport

Sadly, in DC, there is a long history of DDOT failing to gather data so a proper before/after analysis can take place. This is yet another in a long line of failed progressive policy implementations based on squeaky wheel politics and anecdotal hysteria.

I drove and biked that stretch a number of times during the period in question and agree, the biggest cause of back-ups were illegally parked vehicles. Returning Wisconsin Avenue like this is a failure of leadership both at DDOT and with Cheh.

by William on Dec 17, 2013 11:32 am • linkreport

Crickey7,

And DDOT had it and was still working on it. I don't think its a proof thing ether but a demand for the project to do thugs it wasn't necessarily meant to do.

That may be a failure of DDOT to communicate. It may also be the councils fault for not understanding that traffic calming and complete streets means that sometimes, it gets harder to drive.

by Drumz on Dec 17, 2013 11:36 am • linkreport

@DCDuck

I can fully relate as I use the Ds/30s/Circulator regularly. The bus bunching is pretty bad when the buses do make their way through. WMATA is currently doing analysis on the 30s and proposed some options that could improve service. I think a reduction in stops and WMATA's proposed shorter route could improve service. Any changes are targeted for a summer 2014 implementation I think.

Councilmember Cheh has proposed extending the Circulator to the Cathedral next summer which could help service some as well.

by GP Steve on Dec 17, 2013 11:36 am • linkreport

From what I understand, the complaints also cited pedestrian safety as having been negatively affected.

by Crickey7 on Dec 17, 2013 11:39 am • linkreport

In a proper democracy, the popular will is expressed by voting for elected officials who will each represent a portion of the population. Not an online survey. Did they really base their decision on 300 respondents and local anecdotes? 300/10k is nowhere near "popular will", if that is in fact the correct statistic.

Either way, I have no opinion about that part of town since I will never live there and rarely travel through there. My comment is added here just because... well, why not?

by Atlas on Dec 17, 2013 11:43 am • linkreport

*thugs = things. It's either my fat fingers or bad auto-correct on my phone.

Also "it" being the data on the actual effects.

by drumz on Dec 17, 2013 11:48 am • linkreport

Charles Montgomery, author of Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design tweeted yesterday: In the city, you slow down. And in slowing down, you become part of the fabric of joy.

Why is a few minutes of extra time for drivers even a metric for decision making here?

by Ron Eichner on Dec 17, 2013 11:55 am • linkreport

@GP Steve

I've seen WMATA's proposals for restructuring the 30s. Truth be told I'm not sure how much impact they will have on the issues of congestion and bunching along the Wisconsin Avenue corridor.

I fully expect any proposal that involves eliminating stops to be met with fierce resistance by residents, much like WMATA's attempt to reduce service along the E6 route.

by DCDuck on Dec 17, 2013 11:57 am • linkreport

@GP Steve @DCDuck

The most common sense proposal would in fact involve dedicating some of the many lanes on Wisconsin to transit. It's a super simple idea. But it will never happen because the NIMBYs will get all up in arms yet again and Cheh and/or Evans will cave and yet again we'll remain trapped in the mid-20th century.

by MetroDerp on Dec 17, 2013 11:59 am • linkreport

@DCDuck

What about a limited stop route on the 30 route (the 37 does this but it skips Wisconsin south of Mass by going up Mass)? I think the combination of the new 31 (Archives to Friendship) combined with H/I St bus lanes could make the northbound service better. The 32/36 from EOTR take a while to get to Archives. I think one of the southbound issues is that buses don't leave Friendship evenly spaced. The 30s I see often run close to capacity which results in long dwell times. I still see a lot of high floor buses which take longer for ingress/egress. I think these are all supposed to be replaced in the next year or two with low floor.

Looking longer term once we get streetcars in Georgetown, I'm guessing we'll see a loop from Friendship to the Georgetown waterfront with frequent service.

by GP Steve on Dec 17, 2013 12:07 pm • linkreport

First, it was a trial installation.

..IIUC, that trial was supposed to last for a year..which it didn't.

by thump on Dec 17, 2013 12:10 pm • linkreport

@GP Steve

The limited-stop buses would still get bogged down in the quagmire between W and Mass Ave. Running fewer buses along Wisconsin would result in nearly all of them being overcrowded.

The N8 filled a very particular need, which was to serve the residential areas of Glover Park without having to run along Wisconsin, but it was discontinued for some reason (NIMBY-ism?), and the only alternative for people trying to go north from Glover Park to Tenleytown was to walk to Wisconsin and catch a 30. Bringing back the N8 could help to alleviate some of that congestion, or at least putting in a route that serves Glover Park that doesn't run along Wisconsin. Again, I doubt that would be a popular idea among residents (from what I understand, many of them are opposed even to the D1/D2 service that is already in place!) but it would provide a lot more transit options for people who need to get to the subway or to points north of Glover Park.

I think replacing car lanes with streetcar lanes in Glover Park would be a non-starter.

by DCDuck on Dec 17, 2013 12:16 pm • linkreport

All of these major corridors scream for dedicated bus lanes during rush hour, in the direction of the rush (usually morning southbound, and evening northbound). This is hugely evident on 16th street and Wisconsin Ave. A study on 16th street showed that 50%+ of the commuters use the S buses and take up less than 5% of the road surface. I wonder if a similar study on Wisconsin would show the same for the 30s. In any case, it's outrageous that drivers get the hogs share of the road while really the smallest amount of commuters.

by dc denizen on Dec 17, 2013 12:33 pm • linkreport

@Ken Archer:
I'm loving the "you don't design bridges based on the number of swimmers" metaphor for planning facilities to serve potential users. Did you come up with that? I want to start dropping that into conversation but want to know who to credit.

by Peter K on Dec 17, 2013 2:35 pm • linkreport

I'm loving the "you don't design bridges based on the number of swimmers" metaphor for planning facilities to serve potential users. Did you come up with that?

Brent Toderian

by Ken Archer on Dec 17, 2013 2:40 pm • linkreport

"The N8 filled a very particular need, which was to serve the residential areas of Glover Park without having to run along Wisconsin, but it was discontinued for some reason (NIMBY-ism?)"

Actually it had the lowest farebox recovery of any Metrobus route, by a significant margin.

by Phil on Dec 17, 2013 3:00 pm • linkreport

At a guess, I'd say the issue is that the changes addressed only a subset of the various issues plaguing that stretch of road. So strike one was that it left many of the most egregious problems untouched. Strike two was that it failed to result in any visible improvement in the areas it was supposed to help, and strike three was that it seemed to make some aspects worse.

Maybe that's unfair. Maybe it's for the better, though, so that next time they look at doing something about that stretch, they formulate a plan that addresses more of the problems, or at least the ones that bother residents most.

by Crickey7 on Dec 17, 2013 4:40 pm • linkreport

What may come back to bite DDOT, the Council, and Cheh is that Federal funds were used for the project. Which means Federal standards need to be adhered to unless a specific exemption is granted by FHWA (and there better be a good engineering reason for that exemption). Which means Wisconsin cannot go back to 6 lanes because the lanes would be way too narrow. Which means Cheh is blowing smoke if she thinks Wisconsin can go back to 6 lanes.

But this being DC, I'd hazard a bet that DDOT will figure out a way. Probably by paying FHWA back. So I wonder which project they'll cut in order to fund that payback.

by Froggie on Dec 17, 2013 6:29 pm • linkreport

@Crickey7:
Really, I don't get the hostility to the residents' concerns here on GGW.

300 out of 10k residents responded to the survey. That's 3%. That's not a very complete representation. Also,one of the businesses complaining about the changes is doubling it's size,which to me says they're being insincere in their reasons for objecting.

I don't have a dog in this fight. I don't live there,

Well I live just above Glover,and travel through it several times a week. I regularly walk to Safeway,and from May-Nov ride through to my free bike clinic at the farmer's market. And I can tell you that the changes have made it less harrowing to cyclists and peds. Safety cannot be substituted for convenience.

by dynaryder on Dec 17, 2013 7:38 pm • linkreport

This section of road never had 6 lanes. It was always 4 lanes with the outside lane bein a Parkin lane that was too narrow for a driving lane, hence when people illegally stopped they wouldn't impede traffic during rush hour. It is a sad state that DDOT, Cheh and Evans let this false narrative of 6 lanes carry the day as it significantly distorted this while discussion. People will now be shocked that it is only going to be 4 lanes. Can't wait too hear all the bitching about left turning traffic into while foods causing gridlock next!!!

by Joe on Dec 17, 2013 9:24 pm • linkreport

@dcduck -

You could not be more wrong about the reason the N8 is gone and the bizarre assertion that Glover Parkers don't want the D1 and D2 buses. Residents love the service and depend on it. They fought like hell - unsuccessfully - to keep the N8, and just a year or so ago fought successfully to avoid cuts in D1/D2 service.

by Brian on Dec 17, 2013 10:28 pm • linkreport

You could not be more wrong about the reason the N8 is gone and the bizarre assertion that Glover Parkers don't want the D1 and D2 buses. Residents love the service and depend on it. They fought like hell - unsuccessfully - to keep the N8, and just a year or so ago fought successfully to avoid cuts in D1/D2 service.

Uhh, the N8 had something like 300 boardings a day before it was cut. I don't know if people "fought like hell" to keep it or not, but very few people were using it.

by MLD on Dec 18, 2013 8:39 am • linkreport

As much as I like Abby and respect her activism, this article is a little sketchy. The ANC didn't change its mind due entirely to the survey, which was just one way we tried to take the pulse of the neighborhood. (Although I will say that 300 responses was a really strong response compared to other times when we've asked for comment about anything.)In fact, we didn't change our mind at all. We waited the year that DDOT required to see if the new configuration would work (many of us were also the same people who insisted the change be tested in paint instead of laid in concrete from the beginning). As I said in my testimony at the hearing, it was obvious to anyone that the lane changes weren't working -- even for pedestrians. Frustrated drivers cutting in and out of backed up traffic at all times of the day were endangering everyone. And drivers trying to avoid Wisconsin's backups were flooding the neighborhood looking for a better way around (and there really isn't one) causing new problems for pedestrians. For all sorts of reasons, what was done to Wisconsin didn't work. And now we are sorting out how to get traffic flowing again with maximum attention to other options for ensuring pedestrian safety. And, BTW, the bike lanes on New Mexico seem to be working well.

by Jackie Blumenthal, Commissioner ANC3B on Dec 18, 2013 9:14 am • linkreport

It was obvious to anyone that the lane changes weren't working -- even for pedestrians. Frustrated drivers cutting in and out of backed up traffic at all times of the day were endangering everyone.

Jackie, I've really appreciated your respectful and reasonable approach to this issue, but I have to strongly disagree with you here. If drivers break the law to avoid waiting in traffic, is the solution really to accommodate law-breaking by giving them capacity? Do you see the windshield perspective of that logic, given that it somehow doesn't apply to pedestrians and bikers? Street capacity has to be made based on simple physics - how to move the most people given our increasing density - and people shouldn't get to trump simple physics by breaking the law.

And drivers trying to avoid Wisconsin's backups were flooding the neighborhood looking for a better way around (and there really isn't one) causing new problems for pedestrians.

I live on 33rd Street & Q and know as well as anyone that cut-through traffic was a huge problem way before 2013. So why don't we do something pro-active about it, instead of using it as an excuse to oppose capacity reductions on Wisc? DDOT has told me that would do a study of cut-through traffic from Glover Park to West Georgetown if we ask for it. The problem is many people don't want that either because they know what the results will be - curb bulbouts in the neighborhood, intersection cameras in the neighborhood, more stop signs, lower speed limits. Would you agree to a DDOT study of cut-through traffic in the neighborhood?

by Ken Archer on Dec 18, 2013 9:33 am • linkreport

The people who responded are the people who cared. That ought to tell you something.

I think you go way too far in impugning the sincerity of the businesspeople who complained. That change may have long been in the works, and in any event, it still may absolutely be true that the change hurt, though ti did not destroy, their business. Your logic is akin to me saying that since you haven't moved, the status quo ante must not have been all that bad and you're just whining insincerely.

by Crickey7 on Dec 18, 2013 9:50 am • linkreport

Jackie,

Thank you for your clarifications and also thank you for doing a very difficult job of providing a reasonable voice despite many heated discussions. I like you too and want to note here that you have been a great supporter on many issues that GGW readers care a great deal about so I want to thank you again for that. I am glad that we continue to have a good relationship.

I do generally agree with Ken's assessment that there seems to be an enforcement issue here. I also will note that Glover Park residents have asked for studies of cut through traffic. I did see a camera at 37th and Wisconsin for a while but do not know what DDOT was measuring there or what the results were.

Once again, without data and clarity about what outcomes are being measured, it is very hard to assess whether or not the project worked.

by Abigail Zenner on Dec 18, 2013 9:51 am • linkreport

Responding to dynarider.

by Crickey7 on Dec 18, 2013 9:52 am • linkreport

I live on 33rd Street & Q and know as well as anyone that cut-through traffic was a huge problem way before 2013. So why don't we do something pro-active about it, instead of using it as an excuse to oppose capacity reductions on Wisc? DDOT has told me that would do a study of cut-through traffic from Glover Park to West Georgetown if we ask for it. The problem is many people don't want that either because they know what the results will be - curb bulbouts in the neighborhood, intersection cameras in the neighborhood, more stop signs, lower speed limits. Would you agree to a DDOT study of cut-through traffic in the neighborhood?

Now you're starting to get it, Ken. I was taken aback when you said during a meeting we were in awhile back that (I'm paraphrasing) "The only problem with cut-through traffic is its impact on pedestrian safety." I remember thinking, "Holy Cow, I hope Ken realizes that the vast majority of the people who rail against cut-through traffic aren't thinking that way!"

You're absolutely right, the people who raise the issue of cut-through traffic time-and-time by and large do NOT want any of the traffic calming measures you mentioned. That's because they don't want traffic calming - they want other people to stop using what they perceive as 'their neighborhood streets.' This is a particularly pernicious form of Ward 3 (with spillover into 2 & 4) NIMBYism and quasi-privatization of public facilities.

by Dizzy on Dec 18, 2013 2:12 pm • linkreport

Ken Archer - at 9:33 AM you say the following "cut-through traffic was a huge problem way before 2013. So why don't we do something pro-active about it, instead of using it as an excuse to oppose capacity reductions on Wisc?"

This indicates that you think the lane changes were designed as capacity reduction, which is not the case. This misunderstanding may explain why there are different views here.

In fact, DDOT specifically told the community that the lane changes would not reduce capacity - that they would keep the same number of cars, but have them move slightly slower through the community. That didn't work. It kept the same number of cars, slowed them down terribly, and funneled them onto the neighborhood streets.

Wouldn't a capacity reduction plan have started with developing better alternatives to driving on Wisconsin - like better bus service?

by Glover Parker on Dec 18, 2013 5:34 pm • linkreport

With all due respect, part of the problem was that the construction at 37th and Tunlaw closed off parts of 37th at the same time the Wisconsin Avenue changes were taking place. As a result, there was nowhere for spillover traffic to go, causing many of the back-ups drivers were complaining about. Had DDOT waited a year to let this settle out, we might be in a different place now, though I fully agree that having proper numbers before and after would have been a better way to have proceeded.

by William on Dec 18, 2013 6:10 pm • linkreport

@Crickey7:again,I go through here all the time,and can comment on how the changes have effected things much better than you can. And IMHO it's better for peds and cyclists since the changes were put in place. In fact,I walked through Glover today to get groceries at Safeway. Which brings me to...

@Jackie Blumenthal

I've got three questions for you.

1) Is anything actively being done about vehicles illegally parking during rush hour? This is one of the main causes of bottlenecking.

2) Why in the freaking world does Safeway have two entrances? That second one in front,the one not regulated by a light,should never have been allowed for the general public. For delivery trucks,fine. But they should have been limited to just the side one(with the traffic light),which can easily handle access to both parking levels,for customers. That front entrance is one of the most dangerous spots in the area;I've personally witnessed two cyclists hit there. I've almost been hit on foot several times. It screws up the flow of traffic,and interferes with the bus service. Safeway never should've been allowed to open it for public use.

3) Along the same lines,why didn't Whole Foods have to put their entrance around the rear? I get that it would cause traffic to have to go through the community center parking lot,but having it front Wisc is just a mess. The light stops traffic,many peds ignore the don't walk signal for the southbound left turn,and many drivers make illegal/unsafe turns into and out of it. I get that the rear entrance wouldn't be convenient for shoppers,but it would be safer for everybody.

by dynaryder on Dec 18, 2013 7:56 pm • linkreport

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