Archive for the ‘DDOT’ category

Georgia Avenue’s Open Streets Happens on October 5th! Here are the Logistics and Bus Detour Routes You Need to Know

October 2, 2019

The Mayor’s Open Streets DC event on Georgia Ave (Barry Place to Missouri Ave) is coming up this Saturday, October 5, from 10 am to 2 pm. While I’m sure many will come to Georgia Avenue to enjoy lunch, shopping, or just hanging out on Georgia Avenue, here are some details about the day that everyone should be aware of.

Activities: All activities will be free with a focus on fitness and the Mayor’s Vision Zero agenda. The day’s schedule is available online and you can check out an interactive map for locations.

Parking: No parking will be allowed on Georgia Ave from Barry Place to Missouri Avenue starting at midnight on Friday. Cars parked after that time are at risk of being ticketed and towed to another location in the neighborhood. Those whose cars are towed should call (202) 541-6083.

Motorized Access: Unauthorized vehicles will not be allowed to drive on the impacted area starting at 8:00 am (NOTE: This time has changed from 6:00 am). The route and cross-traffic will reopen as soon as it is determined safe by MPD but no later than 5:00 pm.

Sidestreets: Residents and approved vehicles will be allowed to drive and park on side streets one block off of Georgia Avenue. Other cars, including business customers and visitors will be allowed to enter only at the discretion of the MPD officers posted at the entry points.

Crossing Georgia Ave: No unauthorized vehicles will be allowed to cross Georgia Avenue 8:00 am to 5:00 pm except at the discretion of MPD.

Emergency Vehicles: All emergency vehicles will be allowed access to Georgia Avenue and cross streets and a 20-foot fire lane will be maintained on Georgia Ave throughout the event.

Bus Detours: The best source of bus detours is the WMATA website. Below are the detour maps for Routes 62, 63, 64, 70, 79, H2, H4, and H8.

Do You Support Adding Street Trees to the 800 Block of Princeton Place, NW?

September 30, 2019

As anyone who has lived in Park View for a while knows, we have a lot of hot, treeless streets due to a lack of planning when the neighborhood was originally building out. I have had numerous conversations over the years with neighbors who would like to see more trees, and have worked to get more spaces for street trees where ever I find an opportunity.

While out walking last week, it dawned on me that an ideal place to add more trees could be the 800 block of Princeton Place, NW. While it is a short street with only two rowhouses on it, I think every treebox we can create improves the entire neighborhood.

The 800 block of Princeton Place has conditions favorable for adding trees in public space.

What makes the 800 block of Princeton Place promising for adding tree box bump outs is its width and configuration. Currently, it is designated as a one-way street (east bound). It also currently does not allow parking on either the north or south side of the street (although I have seen people park on the south side on more than one occasion). The street is also just over 35 feet wide, meaning that is is over built for the two lanes of traffic it allows.

Measurment in ArcGIS indicates that Princeton Place is 35 feet wide, more than enough for two lanes of traffic and tree box bump outs.

An onsite visit to the street along with reviewing maps indicates that there may be utility infrastructure on the south side of the street, so that leaves the north side open to potential reconfiguration — which is actually better as southbound New Hampshire buses turn onto Princeton Place to travel north on Georgia Avenue.

Below is a rough outline of where curb bump outs could occur on the north side of the street. Depending upon tree selection and planting location, this should create room for 4 to 6 new trees.

Bump outs on Princeton Place could create room for 4-6 new trees, depending upon tree selection and planting location.

While cost is always a factor, when I mentioned this opportunity to some folks at DDOT during a recent meeting, there was some excitement about this. Narrowing the street would improve vehicular safety, narrowing the crossway at Georgia would improve pedestrian safety, and the new trees would increase the overall tree canopy — all DDOT goals.

So what are your thoughts, shall we make this a priority in 2020?

 

More Bike Racks Installed (and Coming) to the Park View School

April 29, 2019

For the past month, I’ve been working to get more bike racks installed at the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View School on Warder Street. This was in response to a request from parents and school administration. I’m happy to report that two new bike racks were installed about a week ago in front of the building on Warder Street.

(The two blue bike racks are new additions and double the number of racks currently serving the school.)

I’m happier to report that the racks are already being used, as you can see from the photo below sent to me by one of the happy parents.

In order to get the racks, I met with DDOT’s Bicycle Support Specialist and walked the grounds. We identified about four different locations where new racks could be installed, with some locations requiring more time due to needing to order equipment.

In addition to the two new racks on Warder Street, I’m continuing to work with DDOT to get an additional rack or two on the south side of Otis Place just west of Warder in the parking area. It shouldn’t create any issues with the street trees, but does require a different type of rack than what DDOT had on hand. These racks could be installed later this spring.

(Area were additional rack can be added in the near future.)

If Removing On-Street Parking Spaces Also Removed an Open-Air Drug Market, Would That Be a Fair Trade?

April 25, 2019

The 600 block of Newton Place, NW, has been a difficult street for many years. It is narrow. It does not have street trees. And, it has had an on-again, off-again history of open-air drug dealing. We all know that crime is a complicated thing to solve. Clearly, the police play a role, and continue to do so on Newton Place. Social Services also play a key role and we are increasingly identifying public safety issues that are better suited for agencies geared toward addressing addiction and homelessness, as examples.

But what about planning and design? The short answer is yes. Poorly planned roads, streets, and infrastructure can similarly invite criminal activity or at least provide a desirable environment for it.

The 600 block of Newton Place is one area that I believe rises to this threshold.

One recent Saturday as I was walking down the block, I noticed that a brand new Audi A6 was parked on the block, about mid block, with out to District tags. As I was walking, another vehicle with out of District tags parked on the block. The new driver got out of their car and walked up to the Audi where the two then proceeded to conduct a drug transaction. This was shortly before noon.

It got me thinking — if the on-street parking on the block is being used as part of an active drug market, is it serving the community? Moreover, would there be a significant hardship to the neighbors if much of the on-street parking was removed? Even more, if the parking could be removed, could a portion of it be repurposed for street trees on a block where no street trees currently exist.

The overview below shows the area in question. Today, Newton Place is one-way eastbound. There is no parking on the north side of the street and 22 parking spaces on the south side of the street.

(Overview of the 600 block of Newton Place, NW. The red arrow indicates off-street parking currently unused.)

Of the 22 parking spaces currently on Newton Place, I would recommend keeping the five between Georgia Avenue and the entrance to the alley. These support the Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center and the businesses on Georgia Avenue. Also, any resident can park in them afterhours for free. Lastly, as trash and recycling is collected in alleys in Ward 1, keeping the street in its current configuration up to the alley entrance would not create a new hardship for these core city services.

This would leave 17 parking spaces that could potentially be removed. In walking the alleys both north and south of Newton Place, with few exceptions each property has access to off-street parking. Much of it is used, though some of it isn’t. In one case, the apartment building at 636 Newton Place appears to have room for 4 or 5 parking spaces, but the area is fenced off and currently unavailable. This wouldn’t have to stay this way.

(Parking area at the rear of 646 Newton Place, NW, that is currently fenced off.)

In reviewing the current inventory of current and potential alley parking for the properties along Newton Place, about 10 new spaces could be accommodated without significant hardship — this means that the net loss of parking would be 7 spaces.

The question becomes, would losing 7 spaces overall on Newton Place be an agreeable trade off if it also removed the opportunity for out of District vehicles to park there and conduct their drug business on a daily basis?

As a potential bonus, presuming there were wide support for decreasing on-street parking on Newton Place, a portion of the former parking area could be repurposed for about 8 new street trees (see image below).

(Could a portion of the parking on Newton Place be repurposed for new trees?)

As stated at the beginning of this post, Newton is a narrow street currently consisting of one travel lane and one lane of parking. The average width of an American car is 6 feet, meaning that if just 3 feet of the street formerly dedicated to parking were repurposed for a line of street trees, the travel lane would increase in width by 3 feet. The overall result could be a street with less crime, a safer street for travelers, and a more beautiful street with the addition of a tree canopy.

Time to Report Potholes, Getting Ready for Potholepalooza

March 18, 2019

Pothole on Warder Street in front of the school.

If the streets in Park View are any indicator, it looks like the extreme swings in temperature this winter have resulted in a bumper crop of potholes for the 2019 season. New Hampshire Avenue has a good number and the section of Warder Street in front of the school and recreation center are particularly bad.

This weekend, I took some time to walk the streets, photograph potholes, and report them to the DC 311 system. As potholepalooza hasn’t kicked off yet, this seems like the perfect time to get these requests in so that our streets will be in good repair until next winter.

Many may think of potholes as a nuisance to drivers, but more than that, they can slow down bus service and significantly impact bicycle and pedestrian safety. Potholes in crosswalks, for example, become trip hazards. As noted above, we have some severe potholes in front of the Park View School building and these  need to be a priority on the repair list.

Commissioner Boese out documenting potholes to report to 311 for service.

The map below shows the areas where I found potholes thus far. I haven’t been able to walk every street yet, so if you see one on your street please add it to the 311 system.

New Pedestrian Crossing at Morton and Georgia Avenue Improves Pedestrian Safety After Getting Off on Wrong Foot

March 13, 2019

(New median system on Georgia Avenue at Morton Street.)

DDOT’s improvements to the pedestrian crossing on Georgia Avenue at Morton Street is nearly completed and will greatly increase safety for everyone who has attempted to cross this dangerous intersection in the past few years — though it got off to a rocky start this weekend. As noted on PoPville, the new concrete islands were largely completed by Saturday but were not marked by signs, warnings, or any other means of alerting drivers of the roadway changes leading to a number of accidents.

As you can see from the photos above and below, the intersection is well marked now. Additionally, a deeper review from DDOT has indicated that the original design will require modifications to on-street parking at the intersection, namely:

  • Removal of one (1) parking space on each of the corners of the intersection of Georgia Avenue & Morton Street NW, for a total of four (4) parking spaces. 

All of the existing parking in questin is metered, with a two-hour parking limit from 7:00 AM to 6:30 PM Monday through Saturday and with a three-and-half-hour parking limit from 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM Monday through Saturday. Removal of these spaces is necessary for completing the installation of the median refuge islands at the intersection. A sample of what this will look like is shown in the photo below from the northeast corner of the intersection in front of Small Smiles (which already has street markings).

Georgia Avenue Thrive in particular and the neighbors that worked with them deserve a great deal of credit for their strong advocacy to improve pedestrian conditions along Georgia Avenue.

(This area in front fo Small Smiles shows where metered parking will be removed just to the north of Morton Street.)

(Working drawing from DDOT gives an overview of reconfiguration, where parking will be removed, and the placement of signage related to the new pedestiran refuge islands at Georgia and Morton.)

DDOT to Begin Work on New Bioretention Facility at Park Road Park Today

March 11, 2019

Work is scheduled to begin on March 11th for a new bioretention area at the Park Road Park.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to begin work today on a new bioretention facility at the western corner of the Park Road Park located at Park Road, Sherman Avenue, and New Hampshire Avenue. The work is part of the LeDroit Park Green Infrastructure Project. The purpose of the bioretention facilities is to filter pollutants and sediment from runoff.

Parking will be restricted during construction from 7 am to 5 pm.

Construction is expected to take approximately 4 weeks to complete, dependent on weather. In total, the bioretention area will be 1,567 sq. ft. in size.

Throughout the construction area, at least one lane of traffic will be open per direction. Curbside parking will be restricted at the site during construction hours which are 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Saturday.

Below are some construction drawing details shared from DDOT.


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