Greater Greater Washington

What would make Connecticut Avenue safer for pedestrians?

Bulb-outs, elimination of slip lanes, introduction of Leading Pedestrian Intervals, left-turn restrictions, raised crosswalks and improved visibility at crosswalks are some of the many pedestrian safety recommendations from a recent audit of upper Connecticut Avenue.


Proposed treatment at Veazey Terrace. Click for PDF.

IONA Senior Services and Murch Elementary's Safe Routes to School Program partnered to create Connecticut Avenue Pedestrian Action. CAPA raised funds, including a grant from the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, to hire Toole Design to create recommendations that would inform DDOT and other stakeholders of the community's priorities.

As part of the assessment process, Toole and CAPA recruited and trained 80 volunteers to audit current conditions at 156 crossings and 160 street corners along the corridor in the past few months. In addition, the team received 652 survey responses, hosted four community meetings and received over 200 comments on an online map.

The section of Connecticut Avenue under study, from the bridge over Rock Creek Park to Chevy Chase Circle, runs for 3.28 miles through through five neighborhoods. From curb-to-curb, the street is approximately 60 feet wide for most of its length. It includes 43 blocks and 44 intersections; 26 of the intersections are signalized and 18 are unsignalized.

As a result of this outreach and audit process, the team learned that top concerns for pedestrians included turning vehicles, traffic speeds, insufficient time to cross, mid-block crossings, visibility and ADA accessibility. For motorists, top concerns included poor visibility at crossing locations and a lack of dedicated turn lanes.

Although the final report is not yet available, Toole's Bill Schultheiss gave a sneak peek of many of the planned recommendations at a meeting on Saturday.

At numerous locations along the corridor, Toole recommends bulb-outs to slow turning traffic and reduce the distance pedestrians must cross. The plan also recommends the elimination of the slip lane from southbound Connecticut Avenue to Veazey Terrace. The slip lane from northbound Nebraska Avenue to southbound Connecticut Avenue would be narrowed and redesigned to include a raised crosswalk.

Many crosswalks along Connecticut Avenue have push-call buttons that require a pedestrian to press a button to request a crossing phase. Toole recommends eliminating many of these buttons in favor of signals that automatically include a pedestrian phase. Where push-call buttons remain, it recommends replacing them with newer models that inform a pedestrian when the button has been pressed by emitting a small noise and light.

Toole also recommends instituting a Leading Pedestrian Interval, perhaps first during off-peak hours, at many intersections to give pedestrians a head-start on crossing the street before turning traffic. The elimination of visual and movement barriers at crosswalks by installing advanced stop lines and moving poorly-placed bus shelters, newspaper boxes and parking zones that are too close to crosswalks are also key recommendations.

One recommendation that might do as much to ease the nerves of drivers as those of pedestrians is the proposed elimination of many uncontrolled left turns, especially when it would require crossing four lanes of traffic. Drivers, already busy looking for a gap in four lanes of moving traffic, are often not concentrating on the pedestrian who may have just entered the sidewalk. By reducing the number of places where these left turns can be made, it would improve pedestrian safety but perhaps increase traffic on those roads where left turns are permitted.

Although this is not an official DDOT plan, it aims to inform official plans that may come down the road. Toole estimates that it would cost appoximately $1 million to install the recommended curb ramps, curb extensions, signs and markings along the entire corridor. It would cost $1.5 million to signalize all 6 currently unsignalized intersections that have bus stops, and it would cost $3 million to signalize (perhaps with HAWK signals) all 12 crosswalks that currently are not signalized.

While this plan is more about putting forth a vision and less about project implementation, there are opportunities to advocate for implementation of these pedestrian recommendations. Tonight at 6:30 at the Chevy Chase Community Center, DDOT is hosting a public meeting of the Rock Creek West II Livability Study, which includes reconstruction of the intersections of Connecticut Avenue with Northampton Street and Nebraska Avenue. If you live in the area, show up and let DDOT know what pedestrian improvements would make you feel safer on this busy corridor.

Stephen Miller lived in the District from 2008 to 2011 and is now a student at Pratt Institute's city and regional planning masters program. 

Comments

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Why is UNC funding a study of DC streets? How do NC taxpayers feel about this?

by Simon on Oct 20, 2010 4:08 pm • linkreport

More pedestrian bump-outs. I'm not even sure what the concept is suppoed to do for them, but I know they are designed to make life dangerous and inconvenient for cyclists who must move into the motor vehicle lane to pass thru the intersection or anywhere the deadly things are installed. If it is necessary to let pedestrians get closer to the other side even before they start to cross, then paint the 'bump-out' and install posts which would at least permit a cyclist to pass between when pedestrians are not there - almost anything to keep out of the motor traffic lane.

by mesns on Oct 20, 2010 5:11 pm • linkreport

@mesns - I like the idea of bulb-outs but I never considered the impact on cyclists. Something to think about. The only ones I see on the CAPA plan bump out onto 2-3 side streets and are likely there to force cars turning right onto Connecticut to slow down. Posts might work equally well and leave room for cyclists.

by TJ on Oct 20, 2010 5:49 pm • linkreport

@Simon - funding for academic research at state universities is not limited to what is available from the state in which the university resides. If that were the case there would be no research going on at any state U.

by Tina on Oct 20, 2010 6:19 pm • linkreport

Get some lane markings! The reversible lane signs are WOEFULLY INADEQUATE.

That street is soooo dangerous when it's 4/2 lanes. For the daily commuters, it's no problem, but there are always going to be tourists on that road who aren't expecting the fourth lane to be reversed and try to turn left from the middle (i.e. "third" lane) through the always-speedy reversible lane.

If DC cant have overhead wires, there must be a way to implant some red/green lights in the road somehow. I see so many almost-accidents because of the confusion and insufficient signage.

by Winifred on Oct 20, 2010 7:20 pm • linkreport

Part of the reason there is a problem with Connecticut Avenue up in Upper Northwest is that the road is far too narrow for its purpose. Follow it into Maryland and it is wide enough to accommodate the traffic it must. It works well there. But around some of the upper northwest parts, it is trying to function as a neighborhood street as well as a highway. Some of the commercial areas up around there have recognized that problem and re-oriented their businesses toward the back where they have the added benefit of having parkinging also available. So, while it's probably too late to widen the street (as you would see happen in less developed areas) it's not too late to start re-orienting the neighborhood parts of it away from Connecticut Avenue ... creating new neighborhood 'frontages' on the backsides of the buildings on either side of Connecticut Avenue. DDOT could help with this by keeping crosswalks across Conn. Ave. at a minimum and perhaps removing parking (and adding traffic lanes) to the street itself. The end result would be real neigbhorhoods not divided by a high speed highway, better traffic flow, and far fewer pedestrian deaths ... a win/win for everyone involved!

by Lance on Oct 20, 2010 10:30 pm • linkreport

What would make Connecticut Avenue safer for pedestrians?
...
Bulb-outs, elimination of slip lanes, introduction of Leading Pedestrian Intervals, left-turn restrictions, raised crosswalks and improved visibility at crosswalks

Those treatments do seem like they could help improve pedestrian safety. Or, we could just do something simple that has been proven to work all over the world -- you know, add bike lanes.

:)

And I'm happy to see the comment ripping on bulb-outs. Bulb-outs are still generally accepted as an awesome thing to do to cyclists, I guess because cyclists are not yet terrorized enough on a daily basis. But once an idea is implanted in the progressive urban planning brain, it's pretty much impossible to remove. Hope I'm proved wrong, though, eventually.

by Peter Smith on Oct 21, 2010 5:12 am • linkreport

meant to add that, it doesn't appear as though the reporters talked to any cyclists -- there are no bullet points that say anything about 'top concerns for cyclists'. so, i'll add a little addendum here as a placeholder until a would-be Conn Ave cyclist weighs in to take its place:

Top concerns for cyclists:

  • It feels like cars are trying to kill us. To remedy this we'd like:
  • Cycletracks or buffered bike lanes or regular bike lanes or sharrows or something? Please?

It is possible that Conn Ave is so bike-hostile that no bikers were anywhere in the vicinity of the reporters during the analysis period, but this should not be taken as a reason to ignore the concerns of cyclists -- rather, it should have invited special attention from analysts, especially given the very strong positive correlation between bike lanes and pedestrian (and cyclist and motorist) safety.

by Peter Smith on Oct 21, 2010 5:30 am • linkreport

Some complicated intersections in Germany add a large flashing yellow light with a pedestrian icon emblazoned upon it. this light is angled to face the driver making a right or left turn, at the far end of the intersection.

the flashing light demands the driver's attention for a moment (eww, cool flashy thingy), which in turn has the driver glance along the entire crosswalk (increasing a pedestrian's chances of being noticed!!)

no, not a perfect solution but better than a brain-dead driver making a turn without any cursory glances in the crosswalk.

by jeff on Oct 21, 2010 6:59 am • linkreport

I like the design that narrows wider streets by putting a separated cycle track behind the bulb-outs and bus stops. This way when peds get the walk signal, or when a bus stops to pick up passengers, the bikes don't need to rush between them. This helps minimize sudden conflicts and provides bus stops and bulb-outs as a refuge closer to the street area.

Also I like the mid-block crosswalks common in England for example. There are fewer conflicts with mid-block crossings, and it works well if they are well-marked or signalized.

by Lee.watkins on Oct 21, 2010 7:50 am • linkreport

Eliminate right on red.

by beatbox on Oct 21, 2010 8:47 am • linkreport

"we could just do something simple that has been proven to work all over the world -- you know, add bike lanes."

Actually, I agree with Peter in this instance. In addition to removing crosswalks, let's add bike lanes to each side of the road. It'll make it that much harder for pedestrians to cross the street and thus act as a deterent in their trying to do so in the first place. The more we can do to discourage people from treating this highway like a neighborhood street, the safer it will become.

by Lance on Oct 21, 2010 9:05 am • linkreport

Better yet, let's elevate Connecticut Avenue into an 8-lane freeway, if not everywhere, then at least at Chevy Chase, etc.

We can't have people using the street like they live there.

by Neil Flanagan on Oct 21, 2010 9:16 am • linkreport

The main problem with Connecticut Avenue is the speed -- people drive 40-45 mph. My suggestion: make the two center lanes into a boulevard. That would slow traffic and the pedestrians would have a rest point if they can't make it all the way across. Obviously drivers won't like the increased travel time, and residents near Wisconsin won't like the added traffic. But the danger to pedestrians and bicyclist, from vehicle speeds, is more important and should be addressed.

by goldfish on Oct 21, 2010 10:12 am • linkreport

Once upon a time, Connecticut Avenue was developed by a property owner who speculated and built a streetcar line to connect downtown to this new suburban enclave known as Chevy Chase. Neighborhoods were developed in the ensuing 40 years around commercial centers in Chevy Chase, Forest Hills, what is now Van Ness, Cleveland Park and Woodley Park. The streetcar served the avenue well.

After World Ward II, the streetcar system was discontinued, replaced by buses. The traffic configuration was altered to accommodate 4 lanes of Maryland commuting cars during peak periods and the HOV/Bike/Bus lane along the curb was discontinued.

The result is the relative mess we have today. Let's bring back the HOV/Bike/Bus lane and let's strongly consider a future expansion of the streetcar back up Connecticut Avenue.

The idea that the street is too narrow, or that businesses should re-orient to the rear parking lots, and away from where people are walking is outmoded. Sure, places like Politics and Prose have back doors, but they have front doors too. People should be encouraged to use them, as they have for over 100 years.

by Andrew on Oct 21, 2010 10:26 am • linkreport

Andrew, my suggestion was to re-orient the businesses to the rears on either side, creating new smaller neiotborhoods abutting but not straddling Connecticut, and thus acknowledging that the street that was built as a commuting road is a commuting highway and not a neighborhood street. Of course I was being silly in suggesting that just because it was established as a commuter road it should be made exclusively one. But isn't trying to turn these into neighborhood streets with bulbouts and the like equally silly?

by Lance on Oct 21, 2010 12:20 pm • linkreport

I read the summary and there are a lot of good proposals. If I understand the bulb-out idea correctly, it is not to narrow Connecticut Avenue itself with bulb-outs. Rather, it is to use bulb-outs at some intersecting streets to reduce car-pedestrian conflict distance and to reduce the unsafe speeds at which some vehicles make turns. Maybe it's feasible to have a bike channel at some locations, but in general all pedestrians and cyclists benefit from lower, more safe vehicle speeds at intersections and around curves.

It's also high time to eliminate the reversible lane, which is dangerous alike for pedestrians and motorists (especially those unfamiliar with the lane). If parking restrictions are vigorously enforced, illegally parked vehicles promptly towed and more left turn prohibitions added, not much carrying capacity will be lost through getting rid of the reversible lane.

by Bob on Oct 21, 2010 1:03 pm • linkreport

Lets be clear here: what is being addressed is the perception of danger, not danger itself. And a lot of that has to do with old people.

The study cites 4 deaths - and 44 "incidents" from 06-08 -- which is very low.

Most of the recommendations seem pretty harmless. However, local residents are the ones most likely to complain about changes to cross-streets. I do think keeping traffic at 35 mph through speed cameras might work -- works well in the section on Maryland.

The point about crosswalks is a bit misleading -- the problem isn't that people don't want to use them b/c they think they are broken -- the problem is being like crossing midblock on a major road.

by charlie on Oct 21, 2010 1:14 pm • linkreport

It seems like the bulb-outs are only on the side streets, not on the avenue itself. So they would slow people making turns onto or off of Connecticut (and people going straight through), but they'd do nothing to solve the problems people have crossing Connecticut itself.

Lance, Connecticut is not and has never been a highway. It is a major street, yes, but by no means is it a highway. My building on Connecticut was built in the 1950s, and it backs up into a park and a huge valley. How would you propose making a new "neighborhood" with my building?

by Tim on Oct 21, 2010 2:01 pm • linkreport

@Tim:

How would you propose making a new "neighborhood" with my building?

I think Lance put it best when he said,

30 mph might work for a cyclist traveling 2 miles from uptown to downtown, but it's not going to work for some federal employee traveling from the far reaches of Prince Georges County down to Federal Triangle. And it's blantantly unfair to think they should increas their commute time to accomodate someone who has the luxury (and financial resources) to live closer.
So clearly your sense of entitlement needs to be subordinated to the greater need of suburban commuters driving at 50 mph into downtown. It's only fair.

Fear not, though, more than likely your apartment building will get its own exit ramp.

:P

by oboe on Oct 21, 2010 2:27 pm • linkreport

@Lance

I do not know if you are being silly or not, quite frankly, but as others have noted, Connecticut Avenue was not built as a commuting road. It was designed and built as a main street through five commercial centers. It has evolved over the years to serve as a highway, of sorts. This is the problem for the thousands of residents who continue to use the Avenue as it was intended, who are in conflict with the thousands of non-residents who are using it as a highway.

The CAPA effort was designed to study and implement steps so a better balance between the two constituencies could be achieved. Many of the suggestions in the plan will do this.

by Andrew on Oct 21, 2010 2:41 pm • linkreport

Connecticut Avenue was not built as a commuting road.

Exactly. But even the powers that be now think of it almost exclusively as the best and fastest way to bring in commuters from Maryland. During the February snowstorms, the snowplows cleared Connecticut to the pavement, and dumped all the snow onto sidewalks. Yes, it was removed 2-3 days later, but thousands of people who live along Connecticut and walk, bus or Metro to work were forced into the street.

We got the message loud and clear. DC residents are not the priority.

by TJ on Oct 21, 2010 9:12 pm • linkreport

@Andrew was designed and built as a main street through five commercial centers

That's absolutely false. Connecticut Avenue originally ended at Florida Avenue. When the city expanded past its original boundaries, Connecticut Avenue got extended up to what is today the Taft Bridge (Lion Bridge.) There was a circle at the end which can still be somewhat observed. THEN a syndicate of investors developing land in Chevy Chase paid to build a bridge over Rock Creak and lay track up to Chevy Chase, Maryland. With the advent of the automobile, the bridge and road built to accommodate commuting streetcars to Chevy Chase got paved to allow cars to make the same commute. The communities which developed along this commuter road came after ... Because stores and gas stations and other merchants established themselves along this commuter route to service the commuters. And yes, commuters have indeed been around a long long time in DC ...

by Lance on Oct 21, 2010 10:53 pm • linkreport

And I should add that while other development occured along the streetcar line, it's really no different from today's developers building along the exits of roads such as I-66 ... That doesn't change the fact that the road's original and main purpose was as a 'highway' (and I don't mean 'highway' in the sense of 'limited access road' as it is sometimes used up north. I mean in the sense of 'numbered route' intended to get people from one town to another ... and another. Rt 29 which goes through DC, VA, and MD is an example of a 'highway'.)

by Lance on Oct 21, 2010 11:07 pm • linkreport

@Lance

I wasn't saying that the commercial districts predated the development of Connecticut Avenue. I was saying that the development was planned with the commercial centers interspersed with the higher density residential buildings in between. Thus there has been and is enough residential density to support the commercial centers. The streetcar line serviced the corridor, both the residential and commercial areas in a way that the shift to an auto-centric mode threatens.

Chevy Chase, DC was the commercial center for the new development. The emergence of Woodley and Cleveland Park were relatively concurrent (some of the houses closer to Wisconsin Avenue, including Rosedale and the former Cleveland estate were obviously on the older side). Forest Hills and the commercial area around what was the National Bureau of Standards (where UDC is now) came a little later (1911).

However the choice mode of transportation for this portion of Connecticut Avenue development was the Streetcar (that isn't to say that the houses of the era were built without driveways, etc).

At that time, there were outlying towns, Rockville, Kensington, Wheaton, Silver Spring, etc, but there were not many white collar types driving in from those areas on a daily basis for work.

by Andrew on Oct 21, 2010 11:25 pm • linkreport

@Andrew,

Streetcars would be a great addition to Connecticut Avenue. And I'm surprized that wasn't one of the first places looked at to put in our first streetcars ... You know, a place with too much traffic that could actually get immediate benefits from a streetcar line. However, given that in today's world the commutes don't stop at Chevy Chase Lake (or Jones Mill Road), we do have to recognize that there still has to be a place for relatively high speed traffic on this street. As one of the posters noted, the campaign to make Connecticut Avenue safer is to address perceptions rather than reality. Connecticut Avenue already is safe ... very safe. Yes it could be safer by slowing traffic further ... and safer yet byt closing the street down, but there's a point where the costs of marginal benefits is higher than the benefits gained. And anything we do has to take the costs into effect. For example, slowing the speed comes at great costs for those using this main artery to get into the city. However, maybe removing parking and adding streetcars in their place wouldn't ... I'm not recommending that in particular, I'm just saying we can't jump to the wrong conclusion that slowing the traffic is the only solution. It's not. And it's an expensive one. Expensive to the people whose quality of life depends on getting to and from work. And those who live closer in and can't 'identify' ... just a thought, if these folks didn't live as far out as they did, they'd be here competing with you for the housing here ... and pushing up the price to live here ... as if it wasn't high enough already. No, like all networks, a good transportation network requires some major arteries to function properly, and lacking an Interstate-grade highway from the north, Connecticut Avenue is one of those indispensible major arteries that allows people to come and go into the heart of Washington ... and some of those people are the Washingtonians living in the very developments along Conn. Ave. that you so aptly note.

by Lance on Oct 22, 2010 9:07 am • linkreport

Streetcars weren't looked at for Connecticut because the street already has a Metro line running directly beneath it.

by Alex B. on Oct 22, 2010 9:09 am • linkreport

@Lance: you are correct slowing the speeds on Connecticut Ave reduces mobility for those that live in the suburbs. Lowering the speeds will cause longer commutes and probably lower property values of the outer bedroom communities. But looking at it the other way, the development of these communities relied on a quick way into town, and that added traffic has endangered those that live in DC. With the present condition of CT Ave, the people living nearby are subsidizing commuters with a pedestrian-hostile street, leading to lowered property values and injuries and death.

by goldfish on Oct 22, 2010 10:38 am • linkreport

if these folks didn't live as far out as they did, they'd be here competing with you for the housing here ... and pushing up the price to live here ... as if it wasn't high enough already.

Wait... So calming traffic on some of these impromptu interstates will also drive up the value of my house? I don't think that argument's having the intended effect.

In any case, what goldfish said. There are very real negative quality-of-life effects caused by turning DC neighborhoods into traffic sewers. It's a very real transfer of wealth from urban residents to suburban residents.

by oboe on Oct 22, 2010 12:01 pm • linkreport

"The main problem with Connecticut Avenue is the speed -- people drive 40-45 mph. My suggestion: make the two center lanes into a boulevard. That would slow traffic and the pedestrians would have a rest point if they can't make it all the way across. Obviously drivers won't like the increased travel time, and residents near Wisconsin won't like the added traffic. But the danger to pedestrians and bicyclist, from vehicle speeds, is more important and should be addressed."

A slightly different suggestion - create an elevated grassy median indented at intersections for left-turners. That would transform the street into a four lane road and add room for bicycle lanes on both edges. No parking at all times.

I believe DC has matured for congestion pricing, at least during peak hours.

by Anders Svensson on Oct 22, 2010 12:53 pm • linkreport

@Anders, The issue is that the 'avg travel speed' on Conn. Avenue needs to be faster and not slower. One easy way to up the avg speed would of course be to more efficiently ticket and tow cars parked illegally. Another way is of course to minimize the disruptions caused by peds going from one side of the avenue to the other. Perhaps we shoudl consider pedestrian bridges as they have done in Va.? No one really likes the tunnel idea ... so why not bridges. Ideally, folks who live in these 'suburban' areas should be using their cars anyways, and then the whole problem of 'crossing Conn.' disappears ...

I mean I like living in a walkable area. but if you buy a house in a non-walkable area, you have to accept that .... and not try to change it into something you didn't pay for .. at the expense of the commuters.

by Lance on Oct 22, 2010 10:50 pm • linkreport

^^^

Jaw drops.

by Michael Perkins on Oct 22, 2010 10:55 pm • linkreport

Indeed. This is the view of the Committee of 100.

Live it.

Learn it.

Love it.

Or not.

by William on Oct 22, 2010 11:10 pm • linkreport

@ Lance

Think of the viewsheds!

Lance hates teeeeeny tiny overhead streetcar wires but loves a march of pedestrian bridges from Chevy Chase to Farragut Square?

by Trulee Pist on Oct 23, 2010 1:42 am • linkreport

@Lance

Perhaps this will be a polarizing comment on this board, but I will care about the speed and convenience of Maryland and VA commuters when DC is permitted to enact a commuter tax. Until then - whatever. Measures that make increase the quality of life for DC residents are fine with me, even if they inconvenience commuters. Pay to play.

by dcd on Oct 23, 2010 8:01 am • linkreport

Lance hates teeeeeny tiny overhead streetcar wires but loves a march of pedestrian bridges from Chevy Chase to Farragut Square?

To be fair to Lance (although not a fer-de-lance), the discussion so far has focused on upper Connecticut Avenue, which lacks sightlines to the city's monumental core; remember, he earlier claimed that he'd have supported a streetcar on this same stretch of road, although I can't help but hear echoes of Congressional Republicans who swear they'd have been perfectly willing to work with a Democratic president if only they'd nominated that nice reasonable Hillary Clinton instead of that uncooperative wild-eyed radical Barack Obama.

(Of course, none of this changes the historically bad record of pedestrian bridges in this sort of context, but until Lance calls for pedestrian bridges south of the Taft Bridge I'm willing to stipulate that he's simply wrong on the merits rather than playing transportation policy Calvinball.)

by cminus on Oct 23, 2010 9:23 am • linkreport

@cminus ... yeah, I WAS kidding about the pedestrian bridges ... (see my other posting above.) The point I am trying to make is that in all this conversation that which is being forgotten are the commuters who MUST use this road. To save our neighborhoods we didn't allow limited access highways to go in. Yes, we encouraged Metro in their place (and it happened.) But we also left the commuters with these other 'highways' / 'commuter routes' (Conn. Ave. Wisc. Ave. etc) in the place of the limited access highways we killed.

If we are to have a vibrant city that is a part of its larger metropolitan area and not an isolated city within it, we have to ensure that the main arterials that tie it to the other cities and counties in the are remain main arterials. And when we speak of having main arterials into MD, Conn. Ave. is a major one.

I'm just saying what I'm saying to maybe wake some people up in to looking at this from all sides ... and not just the 'let's make this a quiet little neighborhood street'. There ARE lots of streets where we can (and should do this) ... 15th Street comes to mind, but Conn. Ave, isn't one. It's a main arterial. And short of putting in the limited access highways that we killed a generation ago, what alternative do we have to it? .. And no, Metro and buses, and bikes only go so far. In today's world most of us require automobiles.

by Lance on Oct 23, 2010 11:48 am • linkreport

Lance: you exaggerate: nobody is suggesting to make Connecticut Avenue into a 'quite little neighborhood street.' We just want to get the speeds down. It can still be an artery, but something that a pedestrian can cross.

But I also liked the idea of making it into a 'traffic sewer.' That is, buried like a real sewer.

by goldfish on Oct 23, 2010 3:50 pm • linkreport

I think speed is a major factor on Connecticut Ave., I live on CT and Brandywine. It is frightening when cars are travelling 50 mph in the curb lane when I am walking to the Meto. If they slip-up they can hit all the pedestrians.

I don't think we need the 4/2 lanes. Make the curb lane a bike/bus lane. No need for all those commuters to be going 45-50 miles an hour down CT Ave.

by Christine on Oct 25, 2010 3:02 pm • linkreport

I just biked this weekend from north of Van Ness to Woodley Park this weekend.

Most of the proposed changes would not have helped. It is hard on a bike -- uphill one way. Speed of the cars didn't bother me -- it was usually worse dealing with the volume. It was when cars where packed up, and you had to thread between them and parked cars that things got dicey.

Having a protected bike lane? Given the volume of traffic, I'm not sure you could give up a lane that easily.

Other than the commercial section of Cleveland Park and the zoo, very little pedestrian traffic. The GF gave up and took the sidewalk for huge chunks, although I told her it was dangerous (previous GF had broken her hand during a fall on a sidewalk there before)

I suspect a streetcar would make sense. Create more opportunities for moving up and down the avenue (from Woodley to MD). However, the rails would be even more of a nightmare for the bike.

The other real problem, given it was a weekend, was a large number of drivers around the zoo who were out of towners and could not handle the heavy traffic.

by charlie on Oct 25, 2010 3:44 pm • linkreport

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