Late last year, DDOT Transportation Planner Robyn Jackson spoke to the communities along Connecticut Avenue and asked for feedback on DDOT’s plan to study the reversible lanes on Connecticut Avenue.
The scope, as we understood it then:
Connecticut Avenue will be the primary focus, but the study will look also at impacts on adjacent streets and arterials as far west as Wisconsin Avenue, east to Broad Branch Road, south to Dupont Circle, and north to Western Avenue. Computer models will be used to simulate potential traffic impacts of removing the reversible lane on neighborhood streets.
The study, DDOT explained, would also look at the traffic impacts of adding bicycle lanes.
One community meeting, hosted in November by ANC 3F, drew pedestrians, cyclists, and representatives from ANCs 3F, 3C and 3/4G. Attendees suggested the study sounded too car-centric and should be expanded to cover the impacts on all modes of transportation.
Jackson heard this message loud and clear. On February 25th, she sent a formal response with the following changes to the Request for Qualifications being used in the hunt for the consultant who will conduct the study:
Comments: The study area of the RFQ appears to be focused solely on the area with the reversible lane; however, there are traffic-related challenges at many neighboring sections.
DDOT’s response: The primary study area will be expanded to include Calvert Street NW. Other neighboring intersections will be included as part of the secondary study area. Locations in both the primary and secondary study areas that are identified as intersections with immediate challenges will be referred to other DDOT divisions who have resources to more readily address the community’s concerns.
Comments: The RFQ appears vehicle-centric and only concerned about the reversible lane. The study should focus on multimodal improvements.
DDOT’s response: The study will include a focus on multimodal safety and operational improvements. DDOT’s approach is to first assess the current operations (i.e. existing conditions) of the reversible lane and it impacts to safety for all modes. Existing conditions are the base information used to analyze alternatives for multimodal improvements. Multimodal improvement concepts, including protected bike lanes, will then be evaluated as part of the environmental evaluation task.
Comments: Goals of the study to be broadened to include Vision Zero, speed reduction, reducing carbon emissions, and strengthening neighborhoods.
DDOT’s response: The purpose of the study is to conduct technical analysis of the reversible lane operations and impacts to safety for all modes of transportation. Language has been added to address Vision Zero goals using the Highway Safety Manual to forecast the number, type, and severity of future crashes and to recommend solutions for identified safety issues.
Comments: Include more public outreach outside of established citizens groups (ANCs, for example).
DDOT’s response: Language has been added to clarify that the Community Advisory Committees are open to the public. Additional community involvement is included in the environmental evaluation task.
DDOT has already started an estimated six-month procurement process to select a consultant who will then have nine months to complete the study. In the meantime, DDOT will be putting together public advisory committee. There will be updates as the process proceeds.