by Marlene Berlin
First, the good news. Ann Chisholm, from WMATA, stated in an email that the east entrance to the Van Ness Metro, which has been closed since the end of October, is due to reopen the end of March. That’s just as Metro promised when it closed the entrance in November to replace the escalators.
The closed east entrance did much to reduce foot traffic on the east side of Connecticut, where just a block to the north, the sidewalk is closed at the Saul Centers construction site. Saul has said that pedestrian access will remain closed off until June.
So when the east Metro entrance reopens, more pedestrians heading north from the station will find they need to cross Connecticut at Windom Place.
There is one marked crosswalk at that intersection, on the north side, and its current “jog-step” configuration makes it easy for drivers turning north onto Connecticut from Windom to forget there’s a crosswalk there. Members of the community have long asked for a change. So in February, our ANC renewed its call for a second. ANC 3F Chair Adam Tope sent DDOT Director Terry Bellamy its February 18th resolution and a letter urging DDOT to install a marked crosswalk on the southern side by April 1st. DDOT should have no objection. ANC Commissioner Karen Perry, just prior to this meeting, found a January 2004 letter from DDOT agreeing to install this crosswalk “as soon as possible.”
The big question is: Will DDOT’s “as soon as possible” mean installing this crosswalk before the Metro entrance reopens, more than 10 years later?