Posted tagged ‘DDOT’

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?

 

DDOT to Repair Sidewalks on Georgia Avenue from Princeton Place to Ingraham Street, NW, in June

June 5, 2019

Here’s a heads up that I’ve just received, DDOT is scheduled to repair the sidewalks, curbs, and gutters on Georgia Avenue north of Princeton Place beginning later this week or early next week. Full announcement from DDOT below:

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will begin repairing the sidewalks, curbs and gutter on Georgia Avenue from Princeton Place to Ingraham Street NW on or about June 7, 2019.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by July 7, 2019, if weather permits.

In order to keep the inconvenience to residents, businesses and their customers to a minimum, the repair work will be done during non-rush hours only.

The contractor is authorized to work Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The contractor is also authorized to work Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

During construction at least one lane in each direction will be open to traffic. However, curbside parking will not be allowed on some blocks of Georgia Avenue NW during the construction working days.

Parking restriction signs will be posted at least 72 hours in advance at locations where parking will not be allowed. These signs will notify the duration of “No Parking”, dates of “No Parking” and contact information of the engineer in charge.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during the repair work. Should you have any problems, concerns or suggestions; please contact me at the information below.

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.

DDOT Issues Notice of Intent to Install HAWK Signal at Georgia and Lamont Street, NW

March 29, 2019

Yesterday, ANC1A received a Notice of Intent from DDOT for the “Installation of New High intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) Signal at the Intersections of Georgia A venue and Lamont Street, NW, NOI 19-85-TESD.” This is very good news as it is part of a longstanding community-led effort to improve pedestrian safety along Park View’s Georgia Avenue corridor.

According to the notice:

The proposed modification is result of traffic analysis performed by DDOT to advance recommendations to improve safety at various pedestrian crossings in Ward 1, as stated in Director Marootian’ s May 4, 2018 letter to Councilmember Nadeau. Original recommendation to relocate the near-side northbound bus stop to far-side of the intersection could not advance due to the presence of loading zone, tree boxes and fire hydrant. Therefore, both the crosswalks at this intersection will be maintained and will be controlled by a new HAWK signal.

HAWK signal control can provide for the safe and efficient movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic at this intersection, and will provide positive direction to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists operating through and in the immediate vicinity. The proposed new HAWK signal on Georgia Avenue at Lamont Street, NW, will be timed to operate in harmony with adjacent traffic signals on the Georgia Avenue corridor to minimize disruptions to through traffic.

All comments on this subject matter must be filed in writing by Wednesday, May 8, 2019 (Thirty business days after the date of this notice), with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Traffic Engineering and Signals Division at 55 M Street, SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. If you would like to check the status of the Notice of Intent (NOI), please visit DDOT’s website at:
http://ddot.dc.gov/service/ddot-notice-intent. If you have trouble accessing the NOI site or are unable to do so, please contact the DDOT Customer Service Clearinghouse at 202-671-2800.

Here is an explanation from DDOT on how HAWK signals operate.

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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