After five years of planning, design and construction the District of Transportation (DDOT) is nearing completion of the Wisconsin Avenue Streetscape Project. DDOT continues to monitor and review the Wisconsin Avenue corridor, and will undertake further improvements with the reconfiguration of the intersection at 37th Street NW and Tunlaw Road NW this spring to discourage cut through traffic. Remaining work on the project includes striping arrows north of Calvert Street and switching out the remaining 250 watt streetlight bulbs with 150 watt bulbs, also north of Calvert Street NW.
The Wisconsin Streetscape Project stemmed from a 2006 Office of Planning study on the Glover Park commercial district, in which area stakeholders identified key areas for improvements: public realm and neighborhood identity, pedestrian and parking accessibility and a vibrant mix of neighborhood retail. Recommendations included public space improvements such as new ‘teardrop’ streetlights, widening sidewalks, creating shorter street crossings, and more visible crosswalks to create safer pedestrian circulation and mobility. DDOT’s 2009 Glover Park Transportation Study studied the recommendations, collected data and – with significant input from community stakeholders and the ANC – moved these recommendations to implementation through the Wisconsin Avenue Streetscape Project. These collaborative efforts from planning to implementation have facilitated improvements to the quality of life for Glover Park residents, businesses and visitors. Listed below are the online links to the above mentioned studies.
The project has brought key transportation enhancements to the Wisconsin Avenue corridor between 34th Street NW and Massachusetts Avenue NW to ensure all users – from pedestrians to motorists – traverse the corridor safely.
The most noticeable pedestrian-friendly improvements are the new wider and ADA accessible sidewalks along Wisconsin Avenue all of which include curb ramps. This is a welcomed improvement, especially in areas of the corridor that previously had three-foot wide sidwalks, and proved difficult navigation for pedestrians with strollers or in wheelchairs. Additional streetscape improvements have also greatly enhanced the pedestrian environment in Glover Park:
- Curbs on 35th Street NW were redesigned with bulb-outs that facilitate nearly a 40% shorter crossing distance for pedestrians traversing the street
- Multiple bus stop locations were relocated to mitigate conflicts with pedestrian crossings
- Traffic signal timing on several signals were adjusted to provide a 3 to 4 second lead for pedestrians crossing the street.
Vehicular traffic flows are now more predictable and efficient on Wisconsin Avenue as a result of new dedicated left-turn lanes that were installed and the upgrades made to the traffic signalization system. These changes have eliminated the traffic backups previously caused by vehicles attempting to turn left from a mix-use travel lane. The through lane reductions have also raised capacity concerns on Wisconsin Avenue. DDOT recognizes that the results of making the corridor more pedestrian friendly by reducing the number of through lanes will require a reduction in the vehicular running speed, and thus, increases in travel time for through traffic. We will continue to monitor and make signal adjustments/optimization to find the appropriate balance between travel speeds and pedestrian safety.
In addition to the new traffic configuration, the oadway was also repaved and restriped with new markings that are much more visible to help both motorists and pedestrians safely navigate the area.
The Wisconsin Avenue Streetscape Project has been accomplished with significant input from community stakeholders and the ANCs over the course of several years. DDOT thanks the community for their support and initiative. DDOT will continue to collaborate with stakeholders to make further transportation and safety improvements for the Glover Park neighborhood and in neighborhoods across the District.
For additional details about this project please contact:
Paul Hoffman – Project Manager
OP’s Glover Park Commercial District study: http://dcra.dc.gov/DC/Planning/In+Your+Neighborhood/Wards/Ward+3/Glover+Park+Commercial+District+Study+(Completed)
DDOT’s Glover Park Transportation study recommendations:
Ronaldo “Nick” Nicholson
DDOT Deputy Director and Chief Engineer