Category Archives: Pedestrians

NEWS: ANC’s Transportation Committee Recommends Three Proposals to Keep Neighborhood Moving Safely and Efficiently

The Dupont Circle ANC’s Transportation and Public Infrastructure Committee has been hard at work the last several months on several projects intended to help keep our neighborhood safe and moving efficiently. This Wednesday, the committee will present three of those projects to the ANC and seek their support. We hope you can join us at 7pm at the Brookings Institution on November 12th to discuss the following resolutions:

  • Traffic signals on 60 second cycles in residential areas might not be the most efficient or safe way to control an intersection. Led by new member David Alpert, the committee has recognized potentially inefficient traffic signals in residential areas and requested a study of their appropriateness for the neighborhood. There are several options for remedy, including elimination of traffic signals or a simple change to their timing.

 

  • The committee, led by Susan Volman and Rudi Riet have audited the utility and appropriateness of signage along the 15th Street Cycle Track and recommended comprehensive changes to signage for bikers, motor vehicles and pedestrians. Inconsistent, confusing and poorly placed signage along 15th Street can lead to dangerous interactions among all road users. The Committee’s audit (including pictures!) resulted in several recommendations for infrastructure changes that bring our cycle tracks in line with international standards and better prepare users for potential hazards. The Committee recommends that by Spring 2015, DDOT replace the signage of the 15th Street cycle track to:
    • Ensure the intended audience for each type of sign is clear and consistent
    • Simplify and make uniform all signs
    • Place signs at optimal height and location for visibility by their intended audience; and
    • Add more signs to inform cyclists and motorists about the existence of the cycle track and lane layout.
  • The committee recommends enthusiastic support for the DC Circulator plans for expansion through Dupont Circle to Howard University and is asking for further opportunities to provide input. The committee supports any and all additional public transit options in our neighborhood and had previously recommended a new Circulator route from the National Mall to U Street.

The full ANC agenda for this Wednesday is available here.

NEWS: Transportation Committee Sets Goals for 2014

(This post is co-located at my ANC2B09 blog)

On April 23rd, the Transportation and Public Infrastructure Committee met for the first time. Created in March by ANC2B, the committee helps to coordinate many of the ongoing transportation, traffic, and infrastructure projects in our neighborhood and helps make real improvements to our community.

The committee membership is fantastic and includes five commissioners and five residents, all passionate about transportation and our neighborhood infrastructure.

At our first meeting, we set short- and long-term goals for the year that we believe are achievable and will have a significant positive impact in our neighborhood.

TPI Goals

Click to read our 2014 committee goals

Detailed minutes, which include timeframes for the above goals, can be downloaded here: TPI Committee Meeting Minutes 4-23-14

The committee is also a forum and a resource for anyone in the neighborhood. We encourage you to bring issues to our monthly meetings or to contact us directly. You can contact the committee by emailing TPI@dupontcircleanc.net or contact me, the committee chair, at noah.smith@dupontcircleanc.net.

 

BLOG: Notes on April 2014 Pedestrian Advisory Council Meeting

[Cross-posted at www.willstephensanc.com]

The Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) met in April 2014 for committee-level discussions.  (The PAC trades off every other month between full PAC meetings and committee meetings.  For a report on my first full PAC meeting as Ward 2 representative in March 2014, find a prior blog post here.)

This was my first committee meeting, and I joined the “Walking Environment Committee.”  Our special guest was Earl Eutsler (earl.eutsler@dc.gov) from DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration (UFA), to talk about the interplay between the walking environment, the tree canopy in DC, and UFA’s management of street and island trees.

The most useful and interesting discussion points were as follows:

  • Getting Repairs Done:  Earl advised that using the 3-1-1 system is the best way to get repairs into the queue for action by UFA.  Other DDOT staff confirmed that UFA in particular makes good use of the 3-1-1 system.
  • Tree canopy:  UFA manages about 10% of the total DC tree canopy, with National Parks, other Federal agencies, the Department of Parks & Recreation, and private space accounting for the remainder.  The District has a goal to reach 40% tree canopy coverage within the next 10-15 years.  Earl noted that all pavement, including sidewalks and streets, last longer with greater tree canopy coverage, because of the shade provided.
  • Flexi-pave: DDOT is now using a special porous material for paving around street trees called Flexi-pave.  This is meant to replace and improve upon the “rubber sidewalk” squares that they previously installed in places like 17th Street, which buckles after only a couple of years.  If there are places with rubber sidewalk buckling, residents should note this in the 3-1-1 system as a “tree inspection request,” and these areas will be prioritized for Flexi-pave installation (if they are not already in the system).
  • Mapping:  UFA has comprehensive, interactive maps of street trees, including planned replacement and planting spots, on the agency website.
  • UFA Representatives: The UFA representatives for our area are “Team 2” and include Carlson Klapthor (carlson.klapthor@dc.gov, mostly north of the Circle) and Simoun Banua (simoun.banue@dc.gov, mostly south of the Circle).

NEWS: Pothole-palooza 2014 begins

The Mayor’s office just released this statement on repairing potholes now that Winter is over:

PRESS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

 

CONTACT:       Doxie McCoy (EOM) 202.727.9691doxie.mccoy@dc.gov

Rob Marus (EOM) 202.727.6853robert.marus@dc.gov

 

Mayor Gray and DDOT Launch Potholepalooza 2014

Effort Is 6th Annual Campaign to Expedite Pothole Repairs across the District; Residents and Commuters Encouraged to Report Pothole Locations

 

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Mayor Vincent C. Gray and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Terry Bellamy today launched the District’s sixth annual Potholepalooza campaign to expedite pothole repairs on roadways across the city. The Mayor and Bellamy helped fill potholes near the intersection of G Street and Benning Road SE to usher in DDOT’s month-long campaign for aggressively repairing potholes caused by winter weather.

 

“We’ve had several large snow storms and a lot of extremely cold weather this year, and this has taken a toll on our roads,” said Mayor Gray. “We’re grateful for the continued assistance of District residents in identifying potholes during this annual campaign so that we can make sure that our streets stay in good shape.”

 

This year’s Potholepalooza will run through May 9. During Potholepalooza, residents and commuters are encouraged to phone, go online, tweet, email or use the DC311 smartphone app to submit requests for pothole repairs. Residents can track the Potholepalooza campaign’s progress via an online map.

 

Reacting to the exceptionally cold winter of 2013-2014, DDOT crews have already filled well over 25,000 potholes – exceeding the total number of potholes filled in all previous Potholepalooza campaigns. DDOT will ramp up its already substantial pothole-filling efforts during Potholepalooza. As part of the campaign, DDOT is adding extra crews to fill potholes and aims to repair identified locations within 48 hours of the pothole being reported (the normal response time is within 72 hours).

 

“Our street and bridge maintenance crews have already been canvassing District streets for a couple months filling thousands of potholes,” said Bellamy. “With warmer temperatures, we’re accelerating our efforts and making an increased push to restore our roads.”

 

The first-ever Potholepalooza was held in 2009, and over the past five campaigns DDOT crews have filled 24,910 potholes. In 2013 DDOT received 849 service requests for pothole repairs during the month-long campaign and filled 3,899 potholes.

 

Operation Smooth Streets

DDOT has also partnered with local utilities to expedite repairs to utility cuts, which sometimes resemble potholes. This partnership, dubbed “Operation Smooth Streets,” aims to ameliorate more than 3,000 utility cuts during the Potholepalooza campaign.

 

How to Report a Pothole

Residents and commuters can notify DDOT about potholes in a variety of ways:

1) Call the Mayor’s Call Center at 311,

2) Use the Online Service Request Center at 311.dc.gov,

3) Send a tweet to twitter.com/DDOTDC,

4) Email Potholepalooza@dc.gov, or

5) Use the District’s new DC311 smartphone application.

 

Those who report potholes should identify the precise location of the hazard, including the correct quadrant (Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest) of the District. They should provide as much detail as possible about the hazard, including the approximate size and depth of the pothole. DDOT crews will also be out and about proactively identifying potholes.

 

How is a pothole repaired?

Road crews fix a pothole by filling it with replacement pavement material. Cold patches are used for small potholes in low-traffic areas because they can be quickly applied. Hot asphalt is used in high-traffic areas or on large potholes, because it will hold much more effectively. If the road has become pitted with potholes, it may need to be resurfaced. Resurfacing a roadway involves stripping the upper layers of asphalt off, roughening the bottom layers, and applying a new upper roadway surface.

BLOG: Report on first meeting with Pedestrian Advisory Council

[Cross-posted at www.willstephensanc.com]

I had my first Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) meeting as the Ward 2 representative on Monday, March 24th in Capitol Hill.  The meeting was chaired by Jason Broehm, a former 2B08 resident (from the Meredith).

I learned some interesting details about how the District handles pedestrian safety and enforcement (and traffic safety  and enforcement generally):

  • Traffic Captains:  While the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) doesn’t have traffic safety division, each police district does have a designated “Traffic Captain.”  The traffic captain from the 7th District attended the PAC meeting.
  • Major Crash Division:  The MPD also has a special division covering “major crashes,” which is defined as crashed which result in a fatality (or may result  in a fatality).  Sergeant Terry Thorne of the major crash division reported at the PAC meeting indetail on the 4 fatal pedestrian-related crashes so far this year – one on the Sousa bridge, one at 13th & I Streets NW, one on I-695, and a construction worker that was killed by falling construction equipment and material when a driver crashed into the construction site.
  • Special Prosecutors:  The District has two special prosecutors for traffic enforcement, paid from grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The PAC is split up into two committees, a “Walking Environment Committee” and an “Enforcement and Education Committee.”   The report from the Walking Environment Committee had some interesting items:

  • Sidewalk Repair Backlog:  The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has an $18 million backlog of sidewalk repairs, which the Mayor covers in his FY 2015 budget.
  • Traffic Signal Optimization:  DDOT is going to be posting a new PowerPoint presentation on traffic signal optimization, including data collected at hundreds of intersections (# of pedestrians, # of right turns, etc.).  The report will not deal with Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs), where pedestrians are given a few seconds to begin walking before turning cars are given a green light.
  • ANC / DDOT / PAC Collaboration.  The Committee Chair, Marlene Berlin, would like to focus on collaboration with ANCs.  There is an ANC in Ward 6 that has a particularly good relationship with DDOT, and representatives from that ANC and DDOT representatives are going to talk about this at the next meeting.

Regarding the PAC itself, there were a few items of note from the March meeting:

  • The full PAC meets every other month, with Committees meeting in the off months.
  • The last PAC vacancy (Council Chair Phil Mendelson’s appointee) should be filled shortly.
  • The PAC has access to some limited funding through DDOT.
  • The PAC just hired a part-time program/administrative associate.

I’ll be joining the “Walking Environment Committee,” which is going to be discussing ANC collaboration and outreach at its April meeting.  If you have any comments or questions related to pedestrian issues, please let me know (willstephensanc2b08@gmail.com).