Monday, December 20, 2010

Penn Ave SE Great Streets Update

The Street, Traffic and Transportation Committee received the following email from DDOT with updates.
I have received an updated utility and storm drainage schedule for the next two weeks. Fort Myer Construction Company (FMCC) is scheduled to continue the storm drainage and electrical utility work from Alabama Avenue to Fort Davis the remainder of this week and into the first week of January 2011. The storm drainage work and electrical work will start from Fort Davis to Southern Avenue the last week of December into late January.

Beginning the last week of December, Omni Construction, FMCC subcontractor, will begin water main installation at Alabama Avenue and will continue to Southern Avenue. This work will be on the Fairfax Village side (south side) of Pennsylvania Avenue and will restrict parking on your side of the roadway from Fort Davis to Southern Avenue starting the first week of January 2011. This work will continue for approximately two months.

Both sides of the roadway will be impacted with parking restrictions depending on which portion of the storm drainage system and the utilities FMCC will be installing. The roadway restrictions will start at 9:30a and end at 3:30p and will comply with the “no temporary lane closures during rush hours” rule. When the utilities and storm drainage work is complete in this area, reconstruction will begin including the sidewalk, curb/gutter and roadway reconstruction will begin. The roadway reconstruction on the Fairfax Village side of Pennsylvania Avenue work will begin sometime in the spring and permanent lane closures will be set up to protect the motorists and the workers.

All work is contingent upon weather.

Feel free to contact us with any questions/concerns as we proceed with construction.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Conversation with a Traffic Engineer

Hi neighbors!!! How about a little chuckle? Does this sound familiar?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Far Southeast Livability Study Meeting #2

The District Department of Transportation's plans for several major streets in Southeast could improve livability and mobility in several East of the River neighborhoods.

As a part of the Far Southeast Livability Study, DDOT has identified 6 corridors for further study. They held the second of 3 public meetings on Monday.

DDOT chose the six corridors to increase connectivity, accessibility, mode choice and build upon existing plans. These are the corridors:

  1. Good Hope Road and Naylor Road between Minnesota and Southern Avenues
  2. Branch Avenue between Southern and Pennsylvania Avenues
  3. Naylor Road between Southern and Fairlawn Avenues
  4. Alabama Avenue between Pennsylvania and Branch Avenues
  5. Minnesota Avenue between Good Hope Road and Massachusetts Avenue
  6. Southern Avenue between Pennsylvania and Branch Avenues. Additionally, the study looks at extending the street to Naylor Road.

The proposed improvements ranged from new streetscape and sidewalks to creation of new bike lanes.

DDOT presented typical sections along Good Hope Road and Naylor Road for both commercial areas and residential areas. The agency also recommended implementing Safe Routes to School improvements west of Minnesota Avenue where there are a cluster of public and charter schools.

During the feedback session, members of the community brought up a number of concerns:

  • Extend the Alabama Ave study to Naylor Road: The section between Branch Ave SE and Naylor Road SE was the site of two pedestrian crashes this summer. Part of the problem is that Alabama Ave widens to two lanes in each direction. The stretch of roadway between Branch Ave SE and 29th Street SE is unsignalized, which leads to speeding in this section. There are crosswalks, but it is a difficult road to cross.
  • Include bus routes in the analysis: The community wants to make sure that residents have sidewalks to be able to access the bus routes. For example, there are bus stops along Branch Ave SE where there are no sidewalks. People step off the bus into the grass.
  • Find streets where bike lanes makes sense: Residents who do not have a preference for bike lanes expressed concern that DDOT wants to add bike lanes when most residents use public transportation and/or walk. They were very clear that they did not want to sacrifice on-street parking for bike lanes.

    Bike lane supporters stated there are people in the Ward 7 community that rely on bicycle as the primary mode of transportation, so bike infrastructure such as lanes and racks are needed. Both sides were able to agree that major roadways, such as Good Hope Road SE, may not appropriate for bike lanes, however. They recommended DDOT find alternative routes and solutions.

  • Add access through the parks: One solution proposed by a resident was creating more access through the parks owned by the National Park Service. There is currently an underutilized hiker-bike trail running through these parks. Residents suggested considering a paved path and lighting to provide a higher level of comfort and security which can encourage travel through the park.
  • Enforcement is part of livability: Several residents spoke of pedestrians along Good Hope Road SE who do not obey traffic signals. This summer there were incidents where pedestrians were hit. While there are some unsignalized intersections, many pedestrians cross against the light at signalized intersections.
  • Find new routes for commuter buses from Maryland: Good Hope Road SE is a main corridor for commuter motor coaches from Maryland. DDOT is exploring alternative routes like Suitland Parkway.

Much of the discussion at the meeting covered topics from the numerous previous studies already conducted in some of the neighborhoods. For example, Branch Ave between Pennsylvania Avenue and the District line was studied in 2003. The community is still waiting for DDOT to implement some of the recommendations from that report.

At the next meeting in late January, DDOT will present the draft report to the community.

Cross-posted at GGW and Life in the Village

Monday, December 6, 2010

SmarTrip Cards Available At Safeway

SmarTrip® cards available at Safeway stores for customer convenience

For immediate release: December 6, 2010

Select Safeway stores begin selling SmarTrip® cards

Metro is making it easier for area residents to take advantage of SmarTrip® convenience and savings with cards now being sold at select Safeway stores.

Thirty-nine Safeway stores throughout the region began selling SmarTrip® cards on Monday, Dec. 6. The stores selling the cards have signs indicating the availability of SmarTrip® cards. Shoppers should visit the customer service desk to purchase a $5 SmarTrip® card.

About 78 percent of Metrorail riders and 68 percent of Metrobus riders use SmarTrip®. SmarTrip® cards improve service for customers by making it easier to pass through Metrorail faregates or board a Metrobus.

Metrorail riders who pay their fare with a SmarTrip® card instead of a paper farecard also save 25 cents per trip. Metrobus riders who pay with SmarTrip® instead of cash save 20 cents per trip.

SmarTrip® card users also receive a discount of 50 cents when transferring between Metrobus and Metrorail. Bus-to-bus transfers with a SmarTrip® card are valid for free, unlimited transfers within a two-hour period on regular Metrobus and regional bus routes, including ART, DASH, DC Circulator, CUE, Fairfax Connector, Ride On and TheBus.

SmarTrip® cards are available for purchase throughout the Washington region from more than 300 retail outlets such as Safeway, Giant and CVS/pharmacy. In addition to retail outlets, SmarTrip® cards may be purchased online, at Metro sales offices and commuter stores and through vending machines at all Metrorail stations where Metro-operated daily parking is available.

SmarTrip® card users are encouraged to register their SmarTrip® card online so that if their card is lost, they won’t lose the stored value. Metro recently launched an enhanced SmarTrip® web site to allow customers to conveniently view their card balance and usage history, add multiple cards to their account, report a lost card, request a replacement card or transfer the balance to another registered card.

News release issued at 11:22 am, December 6, 2010.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
600 5th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Monday, November 22, 2010

Proposed Circulator can connect Ward 7 to the rest of the city

(Photo from DDOT on flickr)

Earlier this month the District Department of Transportation released its plan to expand the Circulator. Two of the proposed routes would connect Wards 7 and 8 with Barracks Row. These routes could help solve the problem of poor connectivity east of the river.

The proposed Eastern Market — Minnesota Avenue line would connect some of the commercial areas in Ward 7 to destinations West of the River.

This line would start at the Minnesota Avenue Metro station, and run down Minnesota Ave to Naylor Road, where it would turn south. After a major stop at the soon-to-come Skyland project, the route turns west onto Good Hope Road to Historic Anacostia. The route would cross the 11th Street Bridge to connect through Barracks Row.

The Ad-Hoc Ward 7 Circulator Group, which was formed in January 2010, proposed a similar route with one major difference: Instead of connecting Minnesota Ave to Skyland via Naylor Road SE, the group proposed using Branch Ave SE and Alabama Ave SE to make that connection.

DDOT's justification for using Naylor Road is to build ridership for the proposed streetcar that will run almost the entire length of Minnesota Ave. However, the residents think the Branch Ave and Alabama Ave connection is extremely important. For one, it would bring Penn-Branch Shopping Center into the fold, which houses the only Department of Motor Vehicles East of the River.

Second, there are no bus lines that currently service the 0.7-mile stretch of Branch Ave between Pennsylvania and Minnesota Ave. On the other hand, there are currently three WMATA bus routes that service Minnesota Ave SE between Good Hope Road and the Minnesota Ave Metro Station.

The Ad-Hoc Committee also left open the possibility of the route ending at either the Anacostia Metro Station, Barracks Row or the Navy Yard. There was an emphasis that the route should end where it could connect to the Navy-Yard Union Station line.

During the DDOT Circulator Meeting on November 13th at Benning Library, Ward 7 residents also proposed ending the Eastern Market-Minnesota Ave Line at the H Street and Maryland Avenue terminus of the Adams Morgan-H St NE line by using Benning Road NE.

The residents of Ward 7 are hopeful that the dialog between DDOT and the community will remain open as the next phase of planning begins. We believe that Circulator should connection the commercial areas within our ward, in addition, to connecting us to West of the River.

Cross-Posted at Life in the Village and Greater Greater Washington

Hillcrest, what do you think of the proposed Circulator line?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Far Southest Livability Study

The D.C. Department of Transportation is ready to hold its second public meeting for the Far Southeast II Livability Study. At the first meeting, many of you expressed your concerns related to safety, traffic, and other transportation issues, and identified specific problem areas. This second meeting will be your opportunity to comment on various alternative solutions to address your concerns.

Please save the following date and time:
When: Monday, December 6
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church,
3000 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. (In the Chapel)

For additional information about the plan, please go to .

Monday, November 8, 2010

Capital Bike Share

**Originally Posted on the Blog "Life in the Village" on October 6, 2010**

At this Hillcrest Community Civic Association Meeting someone asked about the station thingies with the bikes. These stations are part of the Capital Bikeshare Program. YOU, residents of Hillcrest can use these bikes to commute to work, the grocery store, the library, or where ever your little heart desires. Visit the Capital Bikeshare Program website for more information and station locations, but Miss V will give you the scrolling marquee version of how it all works.
  1. Pay an annual membership ($50 for limited time)
  2. Get a "key" in the mail that is unique to you.
  3. Use key to borrow a bike for up to 24 hours (free for first 30 minutes then nominal fee after)
Okay Miss V, how does this work in practical terms? Alright, let's say for example you want to go from Hillcrest to Anacostia Library.
  1. Walk to the nearest station. Since you live in Hillcrest it's either at Good Hope or Penn Branch Shopping Centers. As a side note: Miss V is advocating for a third one closer to Fairfax Village at the triangle parcel between 38th Street, Alabama Ave, and Pennsylvania Ave SE. Putting one here would link Good Hope, Penn Branch, Fort Davis and Fairfax Village Shopping Centers. Not to mention service Fairfax Village which has about 1,000 units. But I digress...
  2. Use your key to get a bike from the station
  3. Put on your helmet (safety first, people)
  4. Ride bike to Anacostia Library
  5. Place bike in station at the library
That's it. Five easy steps. I hope that some of you will become members of the program.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

District Snow Team Deploys for Full Scale Dry Run

DDOT and DPW Crews Test Preparedness for Snow Season

(Washington, D.C.) Nine months after battling the snowiest winter in the city’s history, employees of the Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) climbed back in their plows today to prepare for whatever Mother Nature has in store for the upcoming snow season. The entire District Snow Team – including more than 250 pieces of equipment - participated in a “dry run” to simulate a snow emergency and re-familiarize crews with their routes and equipment.

“This is the most battle-tested snow team we’ve ever had,” said DDOT Director Gabe Klein. “They really earned their stripes last winter clearing as much as 70 inches of snow from 20 different events. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again, but we have to be ready in case it does.”

“Our crews performed admirably last winter,” said DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr., “especially considering the challenges they faced during February’s back-to-back blizzards. We also learned what we could do better and we’ve spent the last few months enhancing our capabilities to cope with any amount of snow.”

The District’s snow plow drivers assembled at RFK Stadium this morning and then spread out across the city to drive their routes and note any obstructions they may encounter. DDOT and DPW also activated the Snow Command Center at the Reeves Center and tested the accuracy of their Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) system. The AVL system gives managers the ability to track snow plows and has been recently upgraded to provide more detailed information about which streets have been treated and which haven’t.

The Snow Team has also made a number of other changes to address lessons learned from last winter, including:

* New contingency plans for more than 12 inches and 18 inches of accumulation
* New contract to rent up to 50 additional snow plows if needed
* Expanded National Highway System (NHS) plowing contract to add more plows, spray trucks and loaders
* COG salt contract will be utilized to backup District’s supply
* Expanded existing contract for more plows, bobcats, loaders and backhoes
* Ward-based management and field reporting system
* Expanded and improved training program for drivers and supervisors
* Expanded anti-icing pre-treatment of residential streets using 4 small spray trucks procured last year

DDOT and DPW also want to make sure residents are prepared for the upcoming snow season. Here is some important information for residents and motorists:

* Remember to keep a safe distance from emergency and snow vehicles and please use caution when attempting to pass a snowplow. Give the drivers plenty of room to safely do their jobs.

o A snow emergency is declared when predicted conditions require all vehicles to be removed from the streets to clear snow/ice from curb to curb. DPW will tow any vehicle left on a snow emergency route to a pre-determined lot. The owner will incur a $250 fine for parking on a snow emergency route during a declared snow emergency, a $100 towing fee and a $25 impound fee (this fee will double after 48 hours and then increase by $25 every 24 hours thereafter). Residents and visitors are strongly encouraged to monitor media reports during storms in case a snow emergency has been declared and to learn when it is lifted. Updates will also be posted on DDOT’s Twitter feed @DDOTDC.

o DPW customers rely on daily trash and recycling collections, which will continue as long as the conditions allow. If a snow/ice event is so severe that making collections poses a safety threat, DPW will suspend collections until conditions improve. Please listen to radio and TV news reports for information about collections. DPW also will provide information through the neighborhood listservs.

o When a snow event is predicted, DPW’s leaf collection crews shift to snow duty and remain on snow duty until the event is over. As a result, leaf collections will be delayed. DPW will inform the public about leaf collections through its Web site,, Facebook page, Twitter page, the media, and neighborhood listservs.

o DPW and DDOT urge residents and businesses to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice within eight hours following the end of a snow/ice storm. Spreading salt on your sidewalk before an event makes clearing the sidewalk easier. Kitty litter also can be used. It is useful for providing traction, not for melting snow and/or ice. Residents also are asked to look out for their elderly and disabled neighbors who may not be able to apply salt before a storm or remove snow/ice afterwards. Safe sidewalks help everyone.
For more information about the District’s snow and ice control plan, visit DDOT’s website at or DPW’s website at

Saturday, November 6, 2010

DDOT Circulator Planning Study Public Meeting

Attached are critical excerpts from DDOT press release. DDOT will be hosting two community meetings East of the River as part of a planning study.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is inviting the public to learn more about the DC Circulator Planning Study and comment on proposed new corridors at two upcoming public meetings:

· Monday, November 8, 2010, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library, 901 G St, NW

· Saturday, November 13, 2010, from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm, at the Benning Library, 3935 Benning Rd, NE.

The public meetings are part of an ongoing public involvement process that will help guide the growth of the DC Circulator over the next five to ten years. The project team has engaged residents, civic and business leaders, and transportation agencies to identify transportation needs, opportunities, and challenges. The public is encouraged to participate and provide input by attending the public meetings or visiting, where they can comment and sign up to receive email notifications about future meetings and other opportunities to get involved.

Since its launch in 2005, the DC Circulator has grown substantially, now operating 49 buses on six routes and carrying over four million passengers a year. The DC Circulator supplements Metro’s bus and rail service and connects many of the District’s neighborhoods and activity centers. We hope to promote continued success in the District by continually evaluating the system and seeking input from the community that we serve.

If you need special accommodations or language assistance services (translation or interpretation) please contact Shelley Johnson at 301-4424-6133 or by email at in advance of the meeting. These services will be provided free of charge.