New Hampshire Avenue at L Street. Photo by keever04 on Flickr.
DDOT is on a roll changing roads from traffic sewers to multimodal neighborhood streets. It’s remaking New Jersey Avenue, and now you can add New Hampshire Avenue in Foggy Bottom and the West End to the mix.
An upcoming streetscape project will add bike lanes between Washington Circle and Dupont Circle, bulb-outs at some corners, and change the one-way segment north of Washington Circle into 2-way.
The project will start in September and last until about March 2014. It includes a complete reconstruction from M Street to Dupont Circle, and just resurfacing from H Street up to M.
Washington Circle will get new crosswalks and traffic signals, which we discussed in March. Right now, Washington Circle is extremely unfriendly for pedestrians, and that will change with the project. In addition, the intersection of 22nd and K, just east of the circle, will get new pavement, crosswalks, and ADA-compliant curb ramps.
A lot of District streets were last reconstructed with a cars-only mindset. Engineers optimized all of the public space to maximize traffic, give pedestrians only the scraps left over, and make bicycles an afterthought at best. The changes, especially to Washington Circle, restore more of a balance and create a street for all users.
The sidewalks will stay brick south of Washington Circle, but the sidewalks north of Washington Circle will be concrete aggregate. Other Dupont-area streetscapes, like on 17th and 18th Streets, have chosen concrete with a brick strip along where the tree boxes are. It doesn’t look like that brick strip is part of this one.
One concern I’ve sent to DDOT is to make sure the bulb-outs on M Street don’t interfere with a future cycle track, as DDOT has promised to add. A cycle track on M would go along the curb lane. It might replace parking on one side, as it is on L, or if there is parking, the parking should go between the cycle track and the street. Either way, a bulb-out immediately adjacent to the current curb isn’t right for a cycle track street. I’ll update the post if I hear back.
Here is the presentation DDOT showed to community groups last night. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it; was anyone there who can relay any comments or concerns from the ANCs or other residents?