Tuesday, April 17, 2018

presentation: removing the peak parking restriction along North Capitol Street underpass frontage roads on both the Bloomingdale and Eckington sides

Below is the presentation that was shared at last night's Bloomingdale Civic Association meeting by neighborhood resident Thad Thaler.

No one from the DC Department of Transportation attended the meeting.

But ANC5E07 Commissioner Holliday, Thad Thaler and others will be meeting with DDOT soon. 


  1. Do you have a comparison with Georgia Ave.? That seems more relevant than either 1st NW (significantly lighter traffic, it's not a thruway to MD) or Connecticut Ave. (5-6 lanes and with businesses along the entire route).

  2. Thanks for your comments and question! I do not have a comparison with Georgia Ave, but I’ll explain why I went with 1st NW and Connecticut Ave (also, I have a much larger presentation that goes into more depth on these and other topics, which I’d be happy to share with you). First, to make sure everyone understands the area of concern, it is the blocks between Rhode Island Ave NW/NE and S St NW/NE that overlook the 4-lane underpass of N Capitol St, that is, the frontage road that is on a different grade than N Capitol St’s arterial/thruway. Second, I compared it to 1st St NW because, though not an official thruway, the traffic volume is significant on 1st NW when compared to the frontage road (not compared to the underpass thruway), as commuters use it to bypass N Capitol St and/or to get to New York Ave. The 1st NW traffic south of Rhode Island is often bumper to bumper during morning rush hour due to a mix of traffic, 4-way stop signs down to NY Ave, and traffic lights at Florida. According to the North Capitol Street Transportation Study (2005) that examined traffic at intersections, from 7:00-9:00 AM, N Capitol St NE had 37.5% of 1st St NW’s AM traffic volume, yet N Capitol St NE is parking restricted for two blocks (T St NE to Rhode Island Ave NE) while 1st St NW is not parking restricted at all. N Capitol St intersections were not counted though from my watching traffic in the morning, I imagine less, too. Lastly, the area of Connecticut Ave I’m analogizing is from the northern side of Dupont Circle to R NW, which is the area that has an underpass and frontage roads of the same width as those on N Capitol St NW/NE. You make a good point about the buildings being commercial as opposed to residential on the Connecticut’s frontage road, all other aspects of the road are the same as N Capitol’s. They also have high traffic volume due to accessing Dupont Circle.

  3. I realized I might not have fully addressed your question of why no comparison to Georgia, but would be interested to hear more as to why you think Georgia would be a good comparison. The N Capitol NW/NE frontage road is distinct from the thoroughfare of N Capitol St due to its grade separation from the main thoroughfare below, the latter of which I would liken more to Georgia Ave (however with N Capitol St being even more of a thruway than Georgia). Georgia does not have underpasses with frontage roads, unlike the area of focus I'm examining. Georgia has more than one bus line (70, 79, and maybe more that I'm unaware of). My area of focus is a limited range of 3 blocks (4 blocks on NE due to Todd Pl), whereas I'm not aware of a comparable 3/4 block residential stretch on Georgia.

    Also, I just saw that @TruxtonCirlce retweeted this article https://ggwash.org/view/67137/its-time-for-a-safer-first-street-nw-in-bloomingdale, which describes the thoroughfare that 1st NW has become.

  4. Thank you N Cap. I am curious about Georgia Ave. largely because it's the closest commuter artery, and thus the traffic may be more representative of the volume coming south.

    1. Thanks again, BCC! I'll take a look to see if there's any traffic information on Georgia. Hopefully DDOT has taken some relatively recent looks at Georgia, considering how Shaw is burgeoning. I think that though Georgia Ave is a commuter artery, the differences that I mentioned above, in addition to how it is a 4-lane road with an additional 2 designated parking lanes (one north and one south) and frequent residential cross streets (Harvard, Columbia, Euclid, etc.) distinguish it from N Capitol St.