Archive for the ‘traffic’ category

DDOT Releases New Mobility Website to Track Traffic Congestion

February 15, 2017


In exploring DDOT’s new District Mobility Website (full press release below), there is some interesting data on population (broken down by education, race, and income), the District’s transportation network, the modes of transportation that are used, and which routes are the most traveled and which bus routes & stops are the most used. It is an interesting site that provides a good overview of traffic in D.C.

Full DDOT News Release from February 13th below:

(Washington, DC) – The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today announced the release of the District Mobility website as part of an effort to clearly communicate how the District’s transportation system is performing.

District Mobility is a dynamic web tool that shows the District’s state of mobility for surface transportation modes and outlines DDOT’s recommendations for managing and operating built infrastructure to meet growing demand.

“The goal of the District Mobility Project is to better quantify and qualify the state of the District’s transportation system performance from a holistic, multimodal perspective,” said DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo. “The interactive, data-rich design of District Mobility provides an innovative platform for sharing the state of mobility and DDOT’s progress towards reducing congestion on our roads.”

District Mobility is part of the ongoing District Mobility Project. The Project was established to increase understanding of mobility issues in the District and define a program of improvements to address them. It builds on national advances in transportation system performance management to track District-wide trends in congestion and travel-time reliability, among other key system performance metrics.

The District Mobility Project leverages transportation data for multiple modes (walking, bicycling, transit, and driving) to inform DDOT’s short- and long-term investment strategies. The metrics, data, and recommendations developed through the District Mobility Project are presented in both the District Mobility website and a District Mobility Report.

“The District has a diverse, multimodal transportation network that serves District residents, regional commuters, and tourists from around the world,” said Project Manager Stephanie Dock. “District Mobility is arranged into a series of stories describing the people who travel in DC, the transportation modes that they use to move around, and how they experience different aspects of congestion and mobility. Interactive maps allow website users to see how transportation demand in the District changes over the course of a day and how those changes impact all modes.”

By highlighting areas with high congestion, low reliability, and poor accessibility, District Mobility shows where DDOT will target near-term investments to improve multimodal mobility.

The District Mobility website and the District Mobility Report are both available at Feedback is welcome. Contact information is available on the website.

Could Bioretention Bulbouts Increase Safety and Parking at Park Place and Quebec?

February 8, 2017

Recently I began thinking about how to improve safe access to the small triangle park at Rock Creek Church Rd. and Park Place after a neighbor asked if it would be possible to close the street or add speed bumps to the small section of Park Place that directly abuts the neighborhood on the west of the park. After giving it much though, I think the best solution would be to add a few bioretention bulbouts to the area. However, it would require buy-in from the neighbors and a lot of sustained advocacy from the community. Below is a quick and dirty illustration that conveys the idea.

park-place-bump-outs(Areas outlined in green could be reconfigured as bioretention bulbouts, adding additional green infrastructure and calming traffic.)

The main problem with Park Place minor as it is configured today is that cars using this street take little heed for pedestrians and others as they travel from Rock Creek Church Road to Park Place major. The street is necessarily wide, and the crosswalk and stop sign at the southern end are set back, so as that anyone stopping at the stop sign is too far back from the road to see traffic on  Park Place major. Driver that do stop have to creep to the end of the street to see oncoming traffic — both cars and cyclists in the bike lanes — and this is if they stop at all. Frequently, drivers on this small stretch fail to stop at the stop sign and do a rolling stop as they turn to head south.

Closing the street doesn’t seem to be a good solution either, as the residents who live on the street would lose three parking spaces and it would make it necessarily difficult for delivery vehicles, moving vans, fire trucks, and ambulances to serve the these houses.

Strategic placement of bioretention bulbouts could narrow the entrance and exit of the street to a single lane. The benefit of this is that is would calm traffic and make the crosswalks shorter (and safer) to cross. A bulbout on the southern end of the triangle park would remove one parking space, increasing viability and safety for drivers and cyclists … and the bulbout on the southern end could be configured to add street parking by one to three spaces depending upon configuration.

The only significant down side I see is cost, so there would need to be both consensus among the neighbors most impacted and a sustained advocacy.

Perhaps the way to “sell” this to DDOT, DOEE,& the Council would be to bundle a number of these smaller projecting into a pilot program.

Snapshot of DDOT’s Crosstown Multimodal Study Recommendations

September 21, 2016

Last week I posted the highlights of the final Crosstown Multimodal Study Meeting, including some of the projects DDOT will be  recommending as part of that process. The full materials from the meeting have finally been posted online and are available for deeper review. However, I definitely wanted to highlight the Handout of the Recommended Projects, which indicates the broad range of projects, which mode they relate to, and how long it could take for implementation due to complexity. I’m also including them below for ease of access.



Final Crosstown Study Offers Interesting Recommendations

September 14, 2016

Crosstown study(Final Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study attendees.)

The fourth and final Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study meeting was held last night at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus on 16th Street. At the meeting, DDOT representatives presented a list of recommendations based on the feedback from the previous meetings to improve all modes of transportation moving east/west between Columbia Heights and Brookland. The full set of presentation materials will be publicly available soon, but in advance of that I am sharing a few of the proposals that were presented that are relevant to the Ward 1 community. It is important to keep in mind that some proposals would require additional community engagement and be longer-term goals rather than immediate goals.

scrambleModified Barnes Dance in Columbia Heights —  One of the shorter term projects to be proposed is a modified Barnes Dance at the intersection of 14th and Irving streets. The project will require signal timing modifications and potentially a new signing and marking plan to accommodate new crossings at the intersection. DDOT recommends that the project be moved forward in 2017 with a duration anticipated to be 12 months.

Cycle Tracks and Dedicated Transit Lanes — A bi-directional cycle track is proposed for Kenyon Street between the hospital center and 14th Street. It has not been decided if the track would be on the north or south side of the street. This project could move forward as early as 2018 with a completion date a year after that.

A longer term proposal is to create dedicated bus lanes running westbound on Columbia Road and eastbound on Iriving Street as shown in the map below. These are longer-term efforts that could move forward around 2020 and require more than six years to complete.


Reconfigure the Street Grid between Park View and McMillan Reservoir — One of the areas of greatest interest to Park View residents has been the reworking of the street grid at the southern end of the neighborhood near the hospital center. The configuration that is being proposed can be seen below. While there are some short term intersection improvements that could begin as early as 2018 in the area of Michigan Avenue and Hobart Place, the overall project to simplify the intersections within the existing road network would likely not move forward before 2021 with a duration around six years or more.

street-grid(Proposed street grid layout to the west of the hospital center.)

Last Crosstown Transportation Study Scheduled for September 13th

September 1, 2016

From DDOT:

Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study
Public Meeting #4
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Open House from 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Presentation at 6:30pm

Columbia Heights Education Center

(3101 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20017)

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host the 4th and final public meeting for the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study on Tuesday, September 13, 2016.  The purpose of this meeting is to present the final recommended concept that enhances multimodal connectivity, mobility, and safety in the area and gain community feedback.

As a reminder, DDOT is concluding the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study to identify improvements along the east-west connections in Wards 1 and 5, address safety concerns, optimize mobility and operations, and improve efficiency for all modes along the corridor. DDOT will present to the members of the community and key stakeholders the range of physical and operational improvements. The Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study is a key project in the 2-Year Action Plan for moveDC, the District of Columbia’s multimodal long-range transportation plan.

For more information about the study, please visit the study website at or contact DDOT Project Manager, Katherine Youngbluth, AICP at katherine.youngbluth (at) dc (dot) gov or (202) 645-8625.

Study Area

For more information or to provide feedback, please go to: 


Looking for Opportunities to Increase Area Bikeshare Service & Stations

June 21, 2016

Over the past several days I’ve been digging into the community amenities proposed by the redevelopment of Park Morton and thinking about ways to enhance and improve the proposal. One thing that came to mind is the potential to improve the Capital Bikeshare program in the Park View area. While this may not sound like a big thing, a quick look at the locations of Bikeshare stations in the area, and how they are being used, gives an indication that the community is a heavy user of the system and there aren’t enough bikes or stations to go around. It also seems like the Park Morton development project could help enlarge the Bikeshare station that is currently at Columbia Road and even establish a new station on the 600 block of Morton Street with minimal impact to the project’s design or bottom line.

The map below shows area Bikeshare stations shortly after noon on Monday, June 20. The amount of red indicates the number of available bikes. It is worth nothing that several of the stations have 1 or no available bikes. The significant exception here is the one at the hospital center, which is a commuter destination rather than a point of departure.Bike share stations noon(Capital Bikeshare stations near Park View and Columbia Heights mid-day on June 20, 2016.)

It has been established for a while that our area tends to lose bikes over time as there are many residents who will bike to work, yet not all of them will bike back home after work. This requires Bikeshare to visit stations with a van to fill up the empty bike docks on a periodic basis.

Looking at the same bike stations shortly after 9 p.m. shows the inverse relationship as there are many more bikes in the area — but also highlights that there are still many empty bike docks and some empty bike stations. Having another Bikeshare station on Morton Street would be of benefit to the community and help ensure that those who use this service would have an easier time of having an variable bike when they need one.

Bikeshare map at nine(Capital Bikeshare stations near Park View and Columbia Heights shortly after 9:00 p.m. on June 20, 2016.)

Improved Bike Lane May Be Coming to 11th Street North of Monroe

June 20, 2016

Some weeks ago, DDOT informed me that they had been meeting with ANC 1A07 Commissioner Frost and affected residents about a proposed contra-flow bike lane on 11th Street, NW, between Monroe Street and Spring Road. Based on new lane markings that have been painted on 11th, it appears that DDOT may be moving forward with this proposal (see photo below). I’ve reached out to DDOT to confirm that this is indeed what is coming and will update this post once I have confirmation.

Bike lane 11th Street(New lane markings on 11th Street north of Monroe Street may indicate a new contra-flow bike lane is in the works.)

During DDOT’s meetings with the community, opinions were mixed on the contra-flow proposal. Other options to improve bike transportation in the area included one-way paired bike lanes on 10th and 11th Streets, and another option without bike lanes using bike route signs to direct cyclists onto the correct one-way streets – 11th southbound, and 10th northbound.

As stated above, I’ll provide an update once I know which of these options are being implemented.


Third DDOT Crosstown Workshop Further Distills Transit Options, Provides Three Basic (but Flexible) Concepts for Review

June 14, 2016

DDOT’s third Crosstown Multimodal Study workshop held on June 9th further refined east-west traffic ideas to two basic approaches — improvements that can be accomplished with no major construction and improvements that would require significant construction. The No Build concept would use the existing street network and incorporate improvements from projects that are already committed. The Build concepts focused on the existing basic network structure and incorporate modal priorities on area streets as well as including improvements to the street grid and interchange areas. After reviewing the proposed concepts, residents had the opportunity to participate via a brief survey (online survey here).

ANC 1A Commissioners Kent Boese and Rashida Brown discussing the options at the workshop.

ANC 1A Commissioners Kent Boese and Rashida Brown discussing the options at the workshop.

The two basic build concepts presented at the third workshop were distilled from public feedback during the first two workshops. That feedback included requests that the concepts be presented in a less technical format and that more information be provided on the trade-offs of the potential cross-section proposing the road diet and bicycle lanes on Michigan Avenue, NE.

In reviewing the information and engagement boards at the June workshop, the No Build concept is the least costly, but also the least desirable as it would result in modest improvements. It would consist of repaving Kenyon Street, Columbia Road, and Harvard Street and rehabilitating the Monroe Street bridge over the railroad tracks in Brookland. Additional improvements would be included due to the 818 Michigan Avenue garage, McMillan Sand Filtration Site, and the Conference Center development projects already in the pipeline (see map below).

No Build Concept(Basic No Build concept from Workshop #3.)

The two Build concepts were each based on an underlying structure which participants could review. Upon these structures, three focus areas were identified — the street grid west of the hospitals, transit access to the hospitals, and the North Capital Street interchange. The two Build concepts did a good job in identifying the trade-offs that would be required for improved crosstown transportation.

Here’s how the basic concepts break down:

Concept 1

  • Bike Improvements: A 2-way cycle track would be located on the south side of Kenyon Street and connect with a center-running cycle track and north side shared use path north of the hospital center. The path would connect to a shared-use path on Michigan Avenue as far as Monroe Street. From there, bike riders would zig-zag on surface streets with a combination of shared-use paths and bike lanes.
  • Bus Improvements: Dedicated bus lanes would be created on eastbound Irving and westbound Columbia Road during peak hours. To the south of the hospital center and eastward to Monroe Street buses would share lanes with other traffic.
  • Pedestrian Improvements: A pedestrian scramble is proposed at 14th and Irving streets by the Columbia Heights Metro Station along with intersection improvements at various points along Michigan Avenue.
  • See the map below for the suggested changes to the street grid, bus access to the hospitals, and cloverleaf.

Build Concept 1(Build concept 1 from Workshop #3.)

Concept 2

  • Bike Improvements: 1-way cycle tracks would be installed on westbound Kenyon Street and eastbound Irving Street. These would connect to shared use paths on the north and south side of Irving to the north of the hospital and continue eastward on the south side of Michigan Avenue as far as Monroe Street. From there, bicycle lanes would be established on Michigan Avenue as far as South Dakota Avenue.
  • Bus Improvements: Dedicated bus lanes would be created on eastbound Harvard and westbound Columbia Road as well as on Michigan Avenue from 1st Street NW to Monroe Street NE all-day (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.). Buses would share lanes from Park Place (west) to 1st Street (east).
  • Pedestrian Improvements: A pedestrian scramble is proposed at 14th and Irving streets by the Columbia Heights Metro Station along with intersection improvements at various points along Michigan Avenue.
  • See the map below for the suggested changes to the street grid, bus access to the hospitals, and cloverleaf.

Build Concept 2(Build concept 2 from Workshop #3.)

Overall, Concept 2 proposes the most significant opportunities to improve east-west bike and bus transit by creating dedicated lanes. However, this also would have the biggest trade-offs as these lanes would largely be at the expense of on-street parking.

For those who had a strong preference for one of these two concepts, but didn’t like every detail, a workstation was available allowing participants to mix and match the underlying transit concept with the street grid, cloverleaf, and hospital access components from the two presented.

Once again, residents and those who travel along this corridor are being asked to review the proposed options and provide feedback via an online survey. A fourth, and possibly final, public workshop is tentatively scheduled for September 2016.

New Speed Camera on Irving Street

May 26, 2016

Irving speed camera(Image from Park View Beautification Crew Facebook page.)

Yesterday it was noted on the Park View Beautification Crew Facebook page that a new speed camera has been located on Irving Street halfway between Georgia Avenue and Warder Street. While the new location hasn’t been added yet, in general you can check out MPD’s Speed Camera Location page to see where camera’s are deployed throughout the city. Of equal interest, you can also contact MPD to recommend a photo radar location.

Third Crosstown Multimodal Study Workshop Scheduled for June 9th

May 13, 2016
Residents reviewing some of the boards during the 2nd Crosstown workshop.

Residents reviewing some of the boards during the 2nd Crosstown workshop.

The third Crosstown Multimodal Study Workshop has been scheduled for June 9th. It will be held in the Main Hall of Trinity University from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a presentation at 6:30 p.m. This is the same location where the first workshop was held. The O’Connor Auditorium is located at 125 Michigan Avenue, NW.

If you haven’t reviewed the three concepts that were presented at workshop #2, you can find all relevant materials here. I’m also reposting the concepts below. After becoming familiar with the ideas in them, you can take the online survey to provide additional feedback to DDOT.

Concept #1

PW2 Concept 1(Click image for slide deck)

Concept #2

PW2 Concept 2(Click image for slide deck)

Concept #3

PW2 Concept 3(Click image for slide deck)

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