Posts about Bulb-outs
DDOT is on a roll changing roads from traffic sewers to multimodal neighborhood streets. It's remaking New Jersey Avenue, and now you can add New Hampshire Avenue in Foggy Bottom and the West End to the mix.
An upcoming streetscape project will add bike lanes between Washington Circle and Dupont Circle, bulb-outs at some corners, and change the one-way segment north of Washington Circle into 2-way.
The project will start in September and last until about March 2014. It includes a complete reconstruction from M Street to Dupont Circle, and just resurfacing from H Street up to M.
Washington Circle will get new crosswalks and traffic signals, which we discussed in March. Right now, Washington Circle is extremely unfriendly for pedestrians, and that will change with the project. In addition, the intersection of 22nd and K, just east of the circle, will get new pavement, crosswalks, and ADA-compliant curb ramps.
A lot of District streets were last reconstructed with a cars-only mindset. Engineers optimized all of the public space to maximize traffic, give pedestrians only the scraps left over, and make bicycles an afterthought at best. The changes, especially to Washington Circle, restore more of a balance and create a street for all users.
The sidewalks will stay brick south of Washington Circle, but the sidewalks north of Washington Circle will be concrete aggregate. Other Dupont-area streetscapes, like on 17th and 18th Streets, have chosen concrete with a brick strip along where the tree boxes are. It doesn't look like that brick strip is part of this one.
One concern I've sent to DDOT is to make sure the bulb-outs on M Street don't interfere with a future cycle track, as DDOT has promised to add. A cycle track on M would go along the curb lane. It might replace parking on one side, as it is on L, or if there is parking, the parking should go between the cycle track and the street. Either way, a bulb-out immediately adjacent to the current curb isn't right for a cycle track street. I'll update the post if I hear back.
Here is the presentation DDOT showed to community groups last night. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it; was anyone there who can relay any comments or concerns from the ANCs or other residents?
DDOT has completed its "livability" study for upper Northwest neighborhoods, which recommends a number of changes to calm speeding traffic and improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.
The study focused on Friendship Heights, Chevy Chase DC, Forest Hills, AU Park, and Tenleytown. DDOT tabulated motor vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle crashes; surveyed residents to find out about problem spots; and analyzed the street network.
Recommendations include adding bulb-outs to aid pedestrian crossings, small roundabouts to slow traffic, speed cameras, and new "bicycle boulevards" that have bikes and cars share the road at slow speeds.
Here's a video about bike boulevards from New York:
The bicycle boulevards would go on certain streets which travel through residential areas but stretch long distances. This not only gives cyclists a safe and comfortable through route but also discourages motor vehicles from using the streets for long trips, instead pushing them to use the major arterial routes and making the resident streets quieter and safer.
Several other roads would get "sharrows," which also promote sharing space between bikes and cars but don't give priority to bicycles.
For a number of intersections, DDOT is proposing curb extensions, or bulb-outs. Some, where there is a high volume of pedestrians, would be paved, adding space for pedestrians to wait and also shortening the crossing distance.
In other places, they would be "green curb extensions," where most of the added space is filled with plantings and designed to capture and hold stormwater that runs off from the surrounding street.
Curb extensions would go along River Road at 45th/Fessenden (paved) and 44th (green), on Davenport at Reno Road and Connecticut Avenue (both green) and 36th (paved), and at a lot of corners in Tenleytown.
At some places where three roads come together, small side roads serve as slip lanes encouraging fast turns and speeding. The study recommends closing a small section adjacent to main streets at 36th Street between Connecticut Avenue and Fessenden Street, and Brandywine Street between 42nd and River Road.
The former road space would either become a basic grass area or get additional stormwater facilities, like rain gardens, to capture and store rainwater and runoff.
From Albemarle to Brandywine Streets just east of the Tenleytown Metro station, between the Whole Foods and Wilson High School, is a pair of parallel roads, 40th Street and Fort Drive. They are only a median's width apart and serve essentially as two directions of one street with a median in between. The report calls the intersection between these and Albemarle Street "awkward, confusing, and obstruct[ing] some views."
It suggests reversing the direction, so cars travel clockwise instead of counterclockwise, and replacing parallel parking adjacent to the median with angled parking, almost doubling the amount of parking. A break in the median for U-turns, currently adjacent to Albemarle, would be moved to the center of the block, lining up with the Whole Foods while also adding crosswalks there.neighborhood traffic circles, essentially small islands in the middle of the intersection which drivers have to travel around more slowly instead of zooming through the large intersection.
These items are far from all the suggestions for improving safety and mobility in Upper Northwest. Part 2 will look at Ward and Chevy Chase Circles, other ideas that didn't make it into the report, and when all of this might actually become a reality.
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.
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.
The intersection of 14th and U, NW is a key retail and transportation hub in DC. A streetscape plan proposed for 14th Street will bring needed improvements to the corridor. But it also misses an important opportunity to create a civic space at this historic intersection.
Wednesday evening, DDOT and its consultant, Precision Systems, Inc., presented the latest preliminary design for the reconstruction of 14th Street NW between Thomas Circle and Florida Avenue.
The plan covers the entirety of the corridor, but focuses on the intersections of P Street, U Street and Florida Avenue with special sidewalk surface treatments.
While these sidewalk concepts grabbed headlines in next-day coverage from DCist and TBD On Foot, there are other important facets to the design, including some new-to-DC bike infrastructure that will introduce small improvements for cyclists.
However, the plan does not pay enough attention to the historic intersection of 14th and U. Project engineers seemed to view the large sidewalk in front of the Reeves Center as a liability instead of an opportunity for a true neighborhood civic space. However, project staff emphasized that they are open to making changes as the process moves forward.
In consultation with DDOT's bicycle program, project engineers included bike boxes at the intersections with U and P streets. However, instead of the non-colorized bike boxes recently installed at 16th and U or the green bike boxes common in other cities, the bike boxes on 14th will be marked with a stamped faux-brick pattern to improve visibility to drivers and traction for cyclists.
In order to eliminate conflict with cyclists near the bus stops, the bike lanes switch to the left side of the bus stop. This practice can be used at bus stops and right-turn lanes. The intersection of Columbia Road and 18th Street NW is striped this way.
The design for shifting bike lanes on 14th Street could be problematic because the bike lane would shift to the left side of a general travel lane, instead of a right-turn only lane or bus-only lane. With heavy traffic, cyclists may find it difficult and dangerous to cross to and from the left-hand lane when instructed. This aspect of the plan may require more thought.
More importantly, the proposal as it stands is missing an uncommon opportunity to create a distinctive civic space at the historic intersection of 14th and U. Luckily, the design, which is at the 65 percent design stage, has not advanced too far to address this issue. As Precision Systems staffers said on Wednesday, "we still have opportunities to make changes...we are willing to entertain additional ideas."
The intersection of 14th & U has long stood firmly at the center of the U Street corridor's rich heritage. While the architecture of the Reeves Center does not live up to the importance of its location, the building does provide an oversized sidewalk on the northwest corner. Project engineers seemed blind to the potential of this space. Saying that this "area is too big," they explained on Wednesday that they were looking at sidewalk paving patterns that would "make the area look smaller."
While most meeting attendees seemed to like the idea of distinctive sidewalk treatments, many said that the designs needed more work. When one resident asked whether the project team had spoken with organizers of the 14th and U farmers market about their needs, or had considered furniture such as benches for the space, DDOT's Muhammed Khalid said they had not but would act on the suggestion.
The historical significance of this crossroads should compel a design that does more than make it feel smaller. The Columbia Heights civic plaza, located further north on 14th Street, could serve as an example of how a large sidewalk area and intersection can be transformed into a civic gathering space that brings a neighborhood together.
While amenities found in Columbia Heights like a fountain or grass terraces may not be appropriate for 14th and U, introducing seating areas and perhaps even extending the sidewalk design pattern into the roadway itself are a start.
Beyond design specifics, other questions remain for this proposal. The long-range streetcar plan includes tracks along 14th Street and no decision has been made on whether or how new tracks would be included in this project, as they were for the reconstruction of H Street NE.
In addition, the U Street reconstruction, scheduled for FY 2011, would have to be coordinated with this plan to minimize disruption. However, there is little likelihood of these projects beginning construction at the same time. DDOT has not yet identified federal dollars for the 14th Street plan, and this project will most likely begin in FY 2012 or later.
While it misses an important opportunity at 14th and U, this plan is an improvement for the corridor. Bus riders, pedestrians, and cyclists will benefit most. While midblock crossings of four traffic lanes will remain daunting, bus stop bulb-outs will make the street a better place to walk. As the design progresses to completion by the end of this year, it's important not to gloss over the design details and forget the importance of 14th and U.
Does anyone actually like Wisconsin Avenue? Whether you're walking on it, biking on it, driving on it, it's almost guaranteed to be an unpleasant experience.
But it doesn't have to be that way, particularly for pedestrians. Some simple changes to the way Wisconsin Ave. is shaped could dramatically improve the pedestrian experience, without significant affecting the traffic flow. These changes could even add parking.
Impossible you say? Not at all. Follow me as I take a stroll down Wisconsin Ave. highlighting where the worst problems are, and how to fix them.
Between R and Reservoir: Let's start at R St. and head south. Looking down the street, what do we see?
A dragstrip, that's what. From R down to Reservoir, Wisconsin Ave. is a wide two lane road. There is parking on the west side, but it is not frequently occupied. Due to the fact that this is a long stretch of road and downhill, cars drive way too fast on it.
This road is way too wide. When drivers drive on wide roads, they drive faster than if the same road were narrower. Since parking is not scarce on this stretch, we ought to install one or two bulb-outs from the west sidewalk.
Bulb-outs are where the sidewalk is built out into the roadway. They are frequently used at interesections or for bus stops, like this:
On this stretch of Wisconsin there is not a bus stop. Nonetheless, we could build one or two bulb-outs and install benches in order to make use of the added sidewalk space. Moreover, the bulb-outs would make it clearer that this stretch of Wisconsin allows parking by delineating the parking lane better. This would also increase drivers' safety when they park their cars and get out.
And most of all, the added bulb-outs would shrink the perceived width of the road, and drivers will slow down accordingly.
Intersection of Reservoir, Wisconsin, and 33rd: This is a horrible intersection. A child was killed here in July. Cars never stop for pedestrians in the intersection. Just Sunday, I got honked at simply for crossing in the crosswalk. Enforcement can improve the situation temporarily, but long term a structural solution is needed.
One problem is that there is a jumble of different crosswalks, some with crosswalk lights and some without. Here's where they are (the green are crosswalks with lights, the red are those without lights):
On top of the confusion over who exactly has right of way, there is the added chaos caused by having drivers trying to turn onto Wisconsin from either 33rd or Reservoir.
The simplest answer would be to make this intersection completely lighted. By adding a stop light and crosswalk lights, the confusion over who has the right of way would be eliminated. Plus, cars coming off of Reservoir could more easily turn south on Wisconsin and cars coming north on 33rd could more easily turn north on Wisconsin.
There are some objections to this solution. First, residents of 33rd St. might object to the light. They'll see that more drivers heading north through Georgetown will use 33rd instead of Wisconsin. Right now that choice is discouraged due to the difficulty turning north on Wisconsin. Residents of Reservoir west of Wisconsin noticed a similar change after that light was added.
Secondly, people may object to the addition of a light just 40 feet or so south of another light. Although, a similar arrangement exists down at Q and Wisconsin, and that intersection seems to work well.
Finally, there's an objection based on the idea that when you regulate traffic with lights, it causes cars to go faster. The theory is that the more priority you give to drivers, the faster they drive since they feel less obligated to look out for pedestrians or bikers. This theory is best demonstrated in the inverse by woonerfs. Woonerfs are streets where cars are permitted but where they are given lower priority to pedestrians and bikers. The closest thing DC has to a woonerf if Pennsylvania Ave in front of the White House (although Poplar St. in Georgetown is pretty woonerfy too).
Whether a light is installed or not, bulb-outs for the crosswalks should absolutely be installed. They would go a long way towards convincing drivers that pedestrians have the right of way. (Some other possible changes to the crosswalk are discussed below.)
Wisconsin Ave. From 33rd to Q St.: Wisconsin south of this dreadful intersection is like Wisconsin north of it, but with parking on the east side, not the west side:
The thing is, the road isn't any narrower south of Reservoir than it is north. If there is space for cars to park on the west side above Reservoir, than it figures that there is space for cars to park on the west side south of it too (and no, the yellow line doesn't shift over to make more room on the parking side).
While this stretch doesn't get quite the same amount of speed as the block below R, it nonetheless is a long stretch of unnecessarily wide pavement. Ten or so parking spots should be created on the west side, and the rest of the stretch should be filled in with sidewalk. It could look like something like this:
This would have several benefits. It would add more parking. It would narrow the width of the road, and thus slow down speeders. And it would increase the sidewalk space significantly.
Unlighted Crosswalks: Finally, in the heart of the Wisconsin retail corridor is a series of crosswalks that don't have crosslights or stop signs to aid pedestrians to cross. They look like this:
Even though pedestrians have the right of way, most end up feeling obliged to wait for a break in traffic or for traffic to back up before attempting to cross. It doesn't help at all that there is no signage informing drivers that pedestrians have the right to cross on the crosswalk.
Obviously the first thing we need is better signage. There should be street signs telling drivers to yield to pedestrians. These signs should include normal streetside signs as well as those signs in the middle of the road.
And again, sidewalk bulb-outs in selected locations would emphasize the crosswalk and make crossing safer. Even if these bulb-outs simply made the crosswalk that much shorter would help a lot, particular for the elderly and the physically impaired.
Bikes: If these improvements are adopted, it leaves little room for bike lanes. While I definitely would like to see more bike lanes in Georgetown, I think prioritizing pedestrian safety is more important for Wisconsin Ave. That said, "sharrows" could be installed easily. They're not as good as true bike lanes, but they improve bike safety none the less.
Moreover, if all these changes were made, they would result in an overall safer Wisconsin Ave. That would make biking on it safer as well.
Conclusion: These simple changes would dramatically improve the safety and appearance of Wisconsin Ave. It would not significantly affect traffic (no travel lanes would be removed) yet it would still increase parking and sidewalk space.
The simple fact is that Wisconsin has been designed terribly. We shouldn't wait for another death to realize that and fix it.
Cross-posted at The Georgetown Metropolitan.
The Chicago Department of Transportation recommended in April lifting rush hour parking restrictions on 225 of the busiest blocks in Chicago. Washington area governments should do the same for many blocks. This one change enables several other streetscape additions, like curb bulb-outs, that benefit everyone in some way.
If DDOT and other local DOTs were to eliminate rush hour parking restrictions on streets with at least 3 lanes in each direction and replace them with bike lanes, curb bulb-outs and bus bulbs, here's how everyone would win.
Retailers: Parking on rush hour streets is illegal from 7-9:30am and 4-6:30pm. 5 hours of each day are dedicated to commuters, not retailers. Retail consultants say that, for streetside retailers, each parking space is worth $300,000 annually. Why? Because drivers passing by a desirable retailer are more likely to stop when there's a curbside space. The main time of day when drivers pass by retailers is rush hour. Eliminating this 5 hour moratorium on the most convenient parking would help retailers stay open after the commuters go home.
Bus Riders: With no rush hour parking restrictions, we can build curb bulb-outs at the beginning or end of blocks, and even add bus stops to the bulb-outs (called bus bulbs). Buses would no longer have to pull over and then re-merge during non-rush hours, which they rarely do effectively anyway. And bus riders would have more space to wait for their buses, space that could include amenities like shelters and trees. The increased bus speed would lower total transit operating costs, thus keeping fares low.
Some would object that this compromises the goal of dedicated bus lanes. However, DC is investing in streetcars for its main thoroughfares, and bus bulbs will facilitate the introduction of streetcars.
Bicyclists: Cars whiz past bikes on both sides of bike lanes during rush hour parking restrictions. Lifting the restrictions would make bike lanes safer. This is one the main reasons for Chicago's lifting of rush hour restrictions.
Drivers: While it may appear that drivers are the losers, drivers win with more parking, fewer tows and less traffic congestion. Less traffic? That's right. The benefits listed above get drivers out of their cars and onto buses, bikes and their feet. And buses that never pulled out of traffic anyway will now stop and start more quickly than before.
But isn't a traffic lane removed during rush hour? The reality is that outside lanes are blocked by illegally parked cars and delivery trucks so often, that they often slow traffic down through traffic merging than had the outside lane not existed at all. Finally, restrictions would be limited only on the widest thoroughfares (3 or more lanes in each direction), which are also the primary retail drags, thus ensuring that there are always through lanes with no stopped buses.
So, is lifting rush hour parking restrictions a win-win-win? What do you think?
Delayed implementation of curb extensions at the deadly intersection of 15th and W, NW didn't stop DDOT from finishing strong. The intersection did not receive the quick-curb called for in the draft plan and hastily installed in July to slow drivers like the one that killed a pedestrian in May while turning from 15th onto W. Instead, DDOT has installed more permanent curb, and filled some of the bulb-outs with asphalt.
While the plan for temporary improvements at this intersection could have gone further to protect vulnerable road users by closing the slip lane from 15th to W and Florida, DDOT's implementation of the approved plan, though belated, provides a good sign that DDOT is serious about protecting pedestrians.
Still missing from the intersection are signals for pedestrians crossing 15th on the south side of W Street, forcing crosswalk users into a dangerous guessing game to cross multiple flows of automobile and bicycle traffic. To fix this problem, DDOT is currently working on an engineering design, which it anticipates will take another month. Installation would happen by mid-November, nearly six months after Ana Marie Canales was killed in another of this intersection's crosswalks. The real test, however, will come in the next six months: DDOT has stated that it will study these temporary improvements and then hire a consultant to completely redesign the intersection.
Another improvement for pedestrians comes at the intersection of 5th Street and Massachusetts Avenue, NW, where DDOT had restriped two short sections of I Street to become one-way. That provided more space for crossing pedestrians and reduced the number of locations where drivers can make dangerous left turns from Massachusetts Avenue. However, as at 15th and W, drivers easily ignored striped pavement, creating a more dangerous situation for pedestrians not expecting drivers to travel against traffic on a one-way street. DDOT has since placed a large "Do Not Enter" sign, along with orange barrels and posts on the striped area. DDOT has an order for more permanent curbing but cannot say when it will be installed.
Residents and this blog hassled DDOT for moving slowly to implement promised changes at both intersections. Now, it seems, they have started to move more quickly, at least in these cases. While a lengthy planning and engineering process can be valuable for large projects, a NYC DOT-style approach to small projects like these can make a quick, targeted difference for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.
Tonight, DDOT will discuss the planned Adams Morgan streetscape project, which will reconstruct 18th Street from Florida Avenue to Columbia Road. The project would widen sidewalks, repair and replace tree boxes, streetlights, and sidewalk pavement. It would also reconfigure the roadway from two travel lanes in each direction and angled parking on one side to one travel lane each way, parallel parking on both sides, and a center median for turns. The single lane would also contain "sharrows" reminding drivers that cyclists are welcome to share the road. At each intersection, bulb-outs would narrow the pedestrian crossing distance.
18th Street around Kalorama Street before (above) and after (below) the proposed streetscape
reconstruction. North is to the left.
Original plans suggested a raised median or one made out of special materials that create more of a pedestrian refuge in the center. However, a median which can accommodate vehicles could allow trucks to stop for loading, and DDOT is leery of different materials that may pose greater maintenance costs or headaches. Therefore, the current plan calls for the utilitarian, simpler, but less attractive striped paint.
The plan will also improve the intersection of Florida Avenue and 18th Street, where pedestrians on the east side of 18th have to cross three separate roadways and where cars race through in many different directions. The current plan consolidates the two islands into one, larger island. Southbound traffic on 18th will have to continue farther south to turn left onto U or Florida instead of swinging through the existing slip lane. An earlier iteration would have moved the islands entirely and created an even larger pedestrian plaza at the northeast corner, but that didn't survive to the final plan.
Businesses and residents support this plan, though many are concerned with the impact of construction. DDOT has not done a good job in recent years of managing these streetscape projects. Work has stretched far beyond the promised end date, temporary closures have impacted businesses, and the unwelcoming appearance of construction has driven people away. However, once completed, 18th Street Adams Morgan will be much more pleasant for walking or biking along.
Tonight, members of the community will decide if they're willing to accept the short-term pain, and DDOT will try to convince them that it can handle the job. The meeting is at 7 pm at the 3rd District police station, 1620 V St, NW.
DDOT installed "quick curbs" at one corner of the "death star" intersection of 15th and W Streets, NW yesterday. This is one of the most important elements of their interim plan to make this intersection safer for pedestrians, which they put into action after a driver killed a pedestrian there in May.
Cars are now making a sharper turn, with more opportunities to see and brake for pedestrians.
According to DDOT spokesperson John Lisle, DDOT also installed a "Turn on Green Arrow Only" sign to prevent drivers in the slip lane from turning right on red into pedestrians crossing W Street. Quick curb for the remainder of the intersection is on order, as are signal improvements for pedestrians, though Lisle did not say when these final changes would be installed.
Although Lisle did not elaborate, the signal improvement might be the installation of a Walk/Don't Walk signal for eastbound pedestrians crossing from the south corner of Florida and 15th to the south corner of W Street and the slip lane. Currently there is no pedestrian crossing signal at this location, leaving pedestrians to guess when it is safe to cross.
On Monday, we asked why DDOT hadn't completed the project. There was an initial burst of activity where they restriped the intersection and put quick curbs around the striped "pork chop" area to the south. A DDOT representative told us that they had to wait to get the rest of the equipment. However, the quick curbs at the corners were more important than on the "pork chop," which wasn't even part of the original plan. And other sources gave us a strong reason to believe that the project wasn't moving forward on its own.
What really happened? Did our article spur them into action, or were we just three days too impatient? We probably won't know for sure. Nevertheless, DDOT has now done what they promised, and it's an improvement. They could make the intersection even better by closing the slip lane entirely and reclaiming the extra public space between V and W, but this is a good start.
- Cyclists are special and do have their own rules
- M Street cycle track keeps improving, draws church anger
- Judge denies injunction against closing schools
- O'Malley announces first projects using new gas tax money
- ICC losing bus service in classic bait and switch
- WMATA launches "Short Trip" rail pass on SmarTrip
- Small changes can make walking to school safer