The Wisconsin Ave. streetscape has now been in effect for almost a full year. While there is near unanimous agreement that the wider sidewalks, improved lighting, and improved intersection of 37th and Tunlaw have made our neighborhood better, the changes to the Wisconsin Ave. traffic pattern have been much more controversial. Supporters of the traffic pattern have argued that the changes have made walking safer without compromising traffic; opponents have argued that the change has caused large backups, diverted traffic onto side streets, and reduced safety due to reckless actions taken by impatient drivers.
Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee, has called for a hearing on the Wisconsin Ave. Streetscape on December 4. In preparation for that hearing, ANC 3B has conducted a six-week, online survey of Glover Park residents to determine the views of the community on these changes. While residents to the north and south of our community have been outspoken in opposition to the streetscape changes, we believe it is our job to make sure that we accurately represent the will of the citizens we represent in Glover Park and Cathedral Heights. Consequently, the survey results we analyzed, which were publicized on the ANC 3B website and twitter feed, through the Glover Park email listserve, in the Northwest Current, and in the Glover Park Gazette, are, restricted to residents who live in Glover Park and Cathedral Heights. Full survey results – with names and addresses hidden for privacy reasons – are posted here on the ANC 3B website.
We received over 275 responses from these residents; the community obviously feels strongly about this issue. There also appears to be a clear community consensus: the majority of Glover Park and Cathedral Heights residents do not like the new traffic pattern. 71% of survey respondents expressed a preference for the old, six-lane Wisconsin Ave.; only 29% supported the current configuration. Given these responses, ANC 3B will be representing the will of our community and asking DDOT and the Council to reverse the streetscape changes and revert to the old, six-lane traffic pattern.
Responses to the question of whether residents supported other traffic calming measures were split (in part because of – mea culpa – a poorly worded question). However, we believe that there is still a community consensus that we must keep pedestrians safe in our community. Consequently, ANC 3B will be asking the Council and DDOT, in conjunction with restoring the six-lane traffic pattern, to include alternative traffic-calming and pedestrian safety measures, including traffic cameras, improved crosswalks at key intersections, and additional traffic signals.