DDOT broke ground for the Wisconsin Avenue Streetscape project in early April. This will be a major project, with construction expected to last for up to six months. The project will include wider sidewalks by Wisconsin and Calvert and in front of Holy Rood cemetery, the replacement of old and unsightly street lights with over 100 traditional “Washington Globe” style lights, and a reconfiguration of traffic patterns on Wisconsin Avenue, reducing the number of traffic lanes from six (three northbound and three southbound) to five (two northbound and two southbound, plus intermittent left-turn lanes in each direction to facilitate traffic flow).
Community members have expressed significant concerns about this reconfiguration of traffic patterns. DDOT has run several models of the new traffic pattern that show that it will not reduce capacity on Wisconsin Avenue; still, many neighbors have indicated that they fear that the new traffic pattern will result in diversion of additional traffic from Wisconsin Avenue to 37th St. and Tunlaw Roads – exacerbating an existing problem with cut-through traffic.
ANC 3B, in an April 10 letter to DDOT, the Mayor, and Councilmember Cheh, called on DDOT and MPD to make additional improvements to address our neighbors concerns. Specifically, we asked that DDOT take the following actions: (1) conduct an updated traffic assessment on both Tunlaw (between Calvert and 37th) and 37th (between Calvert and Whitehaven); (2). reconfigure and improve the intersection of 37th and Tunlaw; (3) add crosswalks at vital, currently unmarked street crossings, especially Benton and Tunlaw and Manor and 37th and restripe faded crosswalks at Calvert and Tunlaw and at Whitehaven and 37th streets, and consider other improvements – such as additional traffic lights, traffic control signs, and crosswalk markers – to improve crosswalk safety in Glover Park; (4) speed cameras to be posted at key locations on 37th Street and Tunlaw Street and increased enforcement of traffic and speed rules during and after construction; and (5) any other actions that can be taken to address concerns about diversion of traffic from Wisconsin Avenue onto 37th St.
These requests appear to be having immediate impact. DDOT began conducting additional traffic and speed assessments on 37th St. the day the letter was sent. And we believe we have a commitment from DDOT to reconfigure the 37th and Tunlaw intersection based on the plan created by Toole Design in the original traffic and pedestrian safety study. We are seeking confirmation and timing information on this project.