Latest Update on the Wisconsin Avenue Streetscape Project and Changes to the 37th St. and Tunlaw Rd. Intersection

At the September 13 ANC meeting, DDOT’s Paul Hoffman explained adjustments to the working plan for the changes to the intersection at 37th & Tunlaw.  The amended plan, which can be seen here, adds a loading zone for one car to the curb extension in front of 2131-37 Tunlaw to accommodate residents who will lose parking places in front of their homes.   To make up for the loss of these and a few other spaces lost as a result of the new design, Hoffman said that DDOT was likely to approve the addition of more parking at the dead end of Tunlaw.

The plan recommends a “low-impact development” (L.I.D.) technique for the large curb extension in front of 2301 Tunlaw, whereby a rainwater capture system nurtures greenery planted in the curb extension while reducing stormwater runoff.  Neighbors living at the intersection stressed the need for plantings in the large curb extensions but expressed concerns about the L.I.D. project, including the potential for drains to clog up with leaves or trash.  In the end it was agreed that everyone needed to learn more about L.I.D. and DDOT needed to work with neighbors to develop attractive curb extensions.   The construction work on this intersection is expected to begin around October 1, and last 60 days.

DDOT now says that completion of the Wisconsin Avenue project now depends on when Washington Gas finishes its work under the street. If the gas pipe relining is completed by the end of October, then DDOT will likely be able to finish on Wisconsin Ave. sometime in November, but new blacktop will not be able to be put down after the cold sets in.  Right now, sidewalk repair and replacement is underway and once that’s complete, DDOT will be installing several new bike racks in the commercial area.  ANC 3B will continue to push hard for timely completion of this project.

ANC 3B and DDOT have received complaints about excessive brightness and the orange color of the new streetlights.  Mr. Hoffman explained that all the lights were calibrated on a commercial area standard but that the area north of Calvert Street is more residential.  Therefore, the wattage will be reduced between Calvert and Massachusetts sometime in the next two months. It is unlikely that the orange hue can be changed.  Residents living south of Calvert who are negatively affected by the lights should request a site visit by DDOT to see if their problem can be fixed:  info@wisconsinavenueproject.com.

More information on the entire project can be seen here.