UPDATE (6/10/13): DDOT worked more quickly than promised, and the signs were installed shortly this story was published.
The Forest Hills neighborhood is getting a new four-way stop at 31st and Brandywine. I got the word from George Branyan, DDOT’s pedestrian coordinator, that it would be installed in 2-3 weeks.
This is no overnight success. Rita Arendal, who lives near 31st on Appleton, set about requesting the signs over four years ago. She collected signatures from most of the residents on Appleton, Brandywine, Chesapeake, and 31st Streets.
Rita then presented the petition to ANC 3F, which passed the following resolution:
[box]ANC3F Resolution in Support of All-Way Stop at the Intersection of Brandywine Street and 31st Street, NW
WHEREAS the intersection of Brandywine St. and 31st St. is in a residential neighborhood and is currently controlled by stop signs on 31st St.
WHEREAS The residents of 31st St. have a particularly difficult time safely turning onto or crossing Brandywine St. and have circulated a petition for the creation of an all-way stop (petition attached)
WHEREAS Brandywine St. is used by commuters during both morning and evening rush hours to access to Rock Creek Park and frequently exceed the speed limit
WHEREAS The intersection is located on a steep hill that runs along Brandywine St. down hill to 32nd from 30th St. Westbound vehicles on Brandywine St. in particular, tend to travel at higher speed as they drive down this hill.
WHEREAS Visibility of cross traffic is very limited from both 31st and Brandywine due to topography and plantings
WHEREAS The residents of the privately owned section of Gates Road between 30 St. took it upon themselves, with no opportunity for public input and providing no public notice, to close a section of road that had been effectively a public thoroughfare for at least four decades. This closing has re-routed afternoon commuter traffic from the all-stop intersection at 30th St. and Brandywine to 31st and Brandywine, creating a huge increase in the volume at this intersection.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED That ANC3F requests that the Department of Transportation conduct the necessary assessments in order to install an all-way stop at this intersection.
Adopted Monday June 15, 2009, by a vote of 5-0-0 at a duly noticed public meeting of ANC 3F with a quorum present (a quorum being four).
Jane Solomon, Chair[/box]
As a result, DDOT analyzed the intersection but reached the conclusion that a four-way stop was not needed. It was determined that those crossing Brandywine had a good line of sight at the intersection. DDOT must have determined this when cars were not parked on both sides of Brandywine. Rita experienced firsthand “having to pull halfway into the intersection at 31st and nearly getting hit by traffic coming up the hill on Brandywine.”
Traffic worsened at that intersection after Joyce DeRoy and Willie King sold their house. Their plat included the alley. Although officially a private alley, under Joyce and Willie’s ownership it was treated as a public throughway. It had a street light, and the city paved the alley. Residents freely motored through it as an extension of Chesapeake. This all changed when the new owners took over and claimed as a private drive. This sent a lot more traffic onto Brandywine at 31st Street.
When a group of neighbors collected at 31st and Brandywine this past fall to talk about a new sidewalk going in at Brandywine, the issue of a four-way stop was raised again. George Branyan and DDOT’s Kelly Peterson told the group they would look into it. They were present when cars were parked there and the sight-lines were poor. DDOT analyzed the intersection again, and found it worthy of a four-way stop. Finally.