Category Archives: Signs

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.

BLOG: Our comprehensive neighborhood parking survey

Parking-signs-15K2-e1322013918854Posted by Will Stephens, Chair & 2B08 Commissioner / Cross-posted at www.willstephensanc.com

In a dense, mixed-use, urban neighborhood such as Dupont Circle, parking is an issue that is guaranteed to generate controversy — because it touches upon so many competing policies, interests, and judgments about value and fairness: the use of public space, local business development, environmental sustainability, multi-modal transportation options, smart growth, aging-in-place, and employment, just to name a few.

As you can imagine, we as ANC Commissioners get a lot of requests from neighbors — from nearly every residential block within the ANC — for preferred residential parking.  We have also been asked from time to time to consider whether to participate in a visitor parking permit program.  (For the time being, the ANC has rejected joining such a program, at least in its current iteration.)  We have also investigated whether there are zones in the ANC that could be ripe for performance parking — where meter rates can rise during peak demand times, with the additional income dedicated to community amenities.

With regard to preferred residential parking in particular, we want to be responsive to the legitimate frustrations of residents and other stakeholders.  However, if we ask the District to put this kind of parking in every block, we would likely cause havoc to an already over-taxed parking system.  We might be simply moving problems around or even potentially exacerbating them.  Therefore, we need to be able to be strategic in whatever we propose.

In addition, we need to be able to have sufficient information to consider other tweaks and changes to existing parking in certain areas — such as additional metered areas, piloting performance parking, re-purposing unused bus stops, or adding rush hour restrictions next to bottleneck intersections.

To that end, the ANC is currently undertaking a survey of all parking in the neighborhood.  The idea is this:  We first need to understand what are the current parking rules — i.e., where are existing loading zones, bus stops, valet staging, metered spots, resident-only parking, or rush hour restrictions, and at what times do the various uses apply.  The Department of Transportation (DDOT) has quite a bit of this information.  However, DDOT does not have all of the information, DDOT does not have it all together in a unified place, and DDOT’s information is not entirely accurate, as we have already learned by spot-checking a few key areas.

At the direction of the ANC, our public policy intern Daniel Warwick (a current student at GW) has been working to put as much of the existing DDOT information together as possible in an understandable format.  He has also surveyed other jurisdictions, such as Seattle, to gather some best practices on how to present parking information for each street.  On a parallel track, we are going to do on-the-ground “walk-throughs” in our Single Member Districts  (SMDs) with DDOT representatives to double-check and supplement the information.  Through these efforts, we hope to generate a comprehensive neighborhood parking map.

Once we have that survey complete, we will know what exists now — the status quo ante.  At that point, the ANC will be able to competently request any changes, or to competently respond to requests for changes from stakeholders like residents and local businesses.  Without this information, we will be stabbing in the dark and perhaps creating more problems than we are solving.

We also plan to hold at least one community meeting in the near future on parking issues, inviting representatives from DDOT to join us for an open discussion.  We held such a meeting roughly two years ago, at the time we considered participating in the Visitor Parking Pass program.

In the meantime, if you have comments, questions, or ideas about parking matters, please contact your Commissioner and share them.  If you would be willing to assist us in gathering information through “walk-throughs” of the streets, please contact Will Stephens (will.stephens@dupontcircleanc.net) and Daniel Warwick (coudriet-intern@dupontcircleanc.net).  This is no small project, and we could use extra hands on deck.  Thank you!

NEWS: New Draft Signage Regulations

The D.C. Government has released proposed, consolidated regulations on signage in the District.  Below is the public notice that ANC Commissioners received:

On Friday, August 17, the District of Columbia released the proposed rules for the display or posting of a wide range of outdoor signs in the District.  The publication of the newly re-organized and simplified draft regulations is the result of an extensive multi-agency effort, initiated by Mayor Vincent C. Gray, to simplify and provide greater clarity to the existing complex and arcane sign rules.  Mayor Vincent C. Gray stated that “It is anticipated that all stakeholders, whether in private industry or the general public, will benefit from these new simplified regulations.”

The proposed regulations consolidate all of the District’s rules pertaining to outdoor signage in one section of the District’s Municipal Regulations.  The regulations also state the rules for posting and, if necessary, obtaining a permit to post signs.  Title 13 of the DC Municipal Regulations (DCMR), where the new regulations will be located, is organized so that rules that address specific types of outdoor signage are grouped in the same chapter.  For example, regulations regarding signs on public space are in their own chapter, separate from the chapter for signs on private property.  Finally, for each type of sign requiring a permit it is clearly indicated which agencies will be involved in the submission, review, approval and permit issuance process as well as which agency will be responsible for enforcement of the regulations.

The draft regulations can be found on the DC Register’s website and will be available for public comment for the next 60 days.

Comments may be submitted in writing to Alice Kelly, Manager, Policy Branch, Policy, Planning and Sustainability Administration, District Department of Transportation, 55 M Street, S.E., 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20003 or emailed to policy.ddot@dc.gov.

For additional information please contact Alice Kelly at (202) 671-2252 or Alice.Kelly@dc.gov.