Tuesday, May 24, 2016

letter to DDOT re: North Capitol Street

See this message to DDOT from Eckingtonian Timothy Bennett:

Leif A. Dormsjo
Director, District Department of Transportation
55 M Street, SE, Suite 400,
Washington, DC 20003 

Director Dormsjo,

This is the first formal letter I have drafted to a District Official, which hopefully will highlight the importance of the subject. I have lived in the District of Colombia over the last 18 years, and the last 10 years, I have lived in close proximity to North Capitol Street.  In that time the volume of traffic has increased exponentially.  As the population of the District increases, particularly in Wards 5, 4 and 1, so has vehicular traffic.  I traverse this thoroughfare each day, and observe opportunity for improvement.  Perhaps, by highlighting some of these observations, you and your experienced Department colleagues might see cause for action.  It is my hope that improvements can be made to improve the flow of traffic on North Capitol Street. 

In my view, there are several problems that currently affect traffic flow: 
  • ·       Illegal parking during rush hour times which blocks car and bus traffic when volume is highest
  • ·       Vehicles attempting to turn left, where no left turns are permitted
  • ·       Legal left turns, with no dedicated turn arrow, which slow traffic
  • ·       Lack of proper signal coordination between M Street and H Street
  • ·       Long queues of cars and busses at North Capitol Street NW and New York Ave NW
  • ·       Frequent U-turns on North Capitol Street between K Street and Massachusetts Ave
  • ·       Unclear lane designations at H Street.  Drivers are illegally turning right on to H Street from middle lane.
Some of these problems were also identified in a 2013 Metrobus Study of the 80 Bus Line, and it appears those difficulties have only increased in the past three years.  I am neither an expert in city transportation but believe that there are some solutions that could be considered. For instance: 
  • ·       Increasing timely enforcement of rush hour parking ban on North Capitol Street
  • ·       Reducing or eliminating left hand turns from North Capitol Street unless there is a dedicated turn arrow (P Street, L Street, Mass Ave)
  • ·       Finding a way to accommodate pedestrians, busses, cars at North Capitol Street and New York Avenue to reduce multiple light cycles and backups on the access road
  • ·       Close median breaks between M St and Mass Ave to reduce U-turns.
  • ·       Improve signage at Florida Ave to discourage illegal left turns.  Add sign before Florida ave saying: “For Eastbound Florida Ave, please use P Street NE 2nd Light”
  • ·       Paint lane markers at H Street to discourage right-hand turns from center lane
Thank you for taking the time to review this letter, and perhaps this can start some planning and solutions to an ever worsening traffic situation in Ward 5. I would be happy to meet with you or your staff to discuss these ideas.


Timothy A. Bennett

Leif Dormsjo

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