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