Category Archives: Announcements

Reimagining E Street SE

ANC 6B Transportation Committee
Monday, April 1 7:00 PM
The Yard Ground Floor Conference Room

700 Pennsylvania Ave SE (next to Trader’s Joes)

Believe it or not, we’re nearing the end of the multi-year process of the dramatic changes on the 1300 Block of E Street SE. There’s no better time than now to reclaim and reimagine the curbside and street use on this block to express our values as a community. We have the chance to turn this (and adjacent) blocks from a wide cut through with industrial uses to a street that serves residents first.

What options do we have for this block?

Raised Mid-Block Crosswalks/Speed Tables: With construction finished, both Jordan Alley (south side) and Carry’s Way (north side) will be incredibly active spaces. The 1300 block is a uniquely long block for our neighborhood. We will all cross mid-block at the alley whether there are crosswalks or speed tables. Raised mid-block crosswalks will make this crossing safer for everyone.

Bike Lanes: E Street is 40 feet wide, two feet narrower than the current engineering minimum for on-street bike. However, we can push District Department of Transportation to engineer options for this block. The is currently no east-west bike lanes east of 11th and south of East Capitol. Lanes here will serve a great need as well as narrow general travel lanes to slow traffic all while maintaining existing car parking.

In-street Bikeshare, in-street scooter/bike parking: Bike lanes also would allow us to ensure the sidewalks remain for the use of pedestrians. With bike lanes, we can move the bikeshare station off of the sidewalk and into a curbside space. Furthermore, as we see more scooters and dockless bikes, we can push for racks and dedicated space not on the sidewalk and free space for strollers, wheelchairs, and families.

Pickup/Dropoff Zones: As the residential projects come online, so will demand for Uber/Lyft/Via and and delivery services. These drivers, now, usually double park. Given the expected demand from the new residential buildings, should we allocate space for these activities? Double parking is frustrating, annoying, and dangerous. Can we design our street to minimize this?

I used an online tool, streetmix.net, to mock up some cross sections for some of these ideas. These haven’t been engineered and the District may shoot them down.

Street and curb uses

Here’s something I dreamed up. I want to hear what you all think about options like that, that retain all previous residential parking (and likely increase it) and allocate road space in ways to protect vulnerable road users and keep sidewalks clear.

E Street with Two Bikes Lanes

Note, here, the drive + parking lanes are 30 feet. This is a standard condition in Southeast Capitol Hill and the streets all tend to be very low speed. Some examples, for context:
  • 16th Street between East Capitol and Kentucky
  • K Street between 12th and 15th
  • D Street between 14th and 19th
  • 9th Street between Independence and G
  • E Street between 4th and Pennsylvania

E Street with one bike lane and sharrows

If engineering prevents two bikes lanes, we can explore a westbound lane with sharrows the other way. Again, this will narrow the roadway, slow traffic, and reallocate space to vulnerable road users. And will allow wider traffic lanes.



2019 Goals and Action Items for ANC 6B06

It’s the beginning of a new years so it’s a good time to take stock of the existing neighborhood and what we can accomplish in the next year. When dealing with bureaucracy and vested interests, it’s best to be realistic about time tables. With that in line, here is a semi-comprehensive list of my goals as ANC Commissioner next year:

Help craft a Settlement Agreement with Neighborhood Restaurant Group
The new food hall/restaurant/bar at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave SE from NRG should open this summer. While I feel that the building and bar is a huge net plus to the neighborhood, patio hours on the 14th Street side of the building are already proving contentious. The patio would be across the street from a residential mental health care facility as well as two row houses. Appropriate hours of use of the patio will be different in this context than if it were facing Pennsylvania Ave or another commercial block.

Pennsylvania Avenue Bike Lanes
The MoveDC plan presented an ambitious future for the District to vastly increase non-automotive mode share. Taking them up on their plan, ANC 6B initiated step one of this long-term process getting DDOT to include the lanes in the long range plan for the Metropolitan Washington Coalition of Governments. The next steps will be concept designs and a long vigorous outreach program to the commercial property owners and operators along Pennsylvania Ave. By the end of 2019, I hope those concepts are publicly available and the dialogue of getting buy in starts.

Conservation Districts
Most of ANC 6B06 is adjacent to the Capitol Hill Historic District and some historic preservation groups have argued for Hill East to either be part of an expanded historic district or a new separate historic district. I firmly believe this is is the wrong process for our neighborhood. Through the next year, I will continue to reach other to preservation advocates, elected officials, and administration officials to push for Hill East to be the city’s first conversation district. Often referred to as historic district-lite, conservation districts will allow for design review, development standards, and other positive aspects of preservation without requiring rigid adherence to subjective standards or limiting development potential. By the end of 2019, I hope to have an ANC-led working group on establishing a conservation district for Hill East, working collaboratively with the preservation AND development communities.

Ensuring Community Benefits are distributed quickly from New York Pizza, Watkins Alley, and Bowie’s PUD projects
As part of the zoning flexibility provided to the projects at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave and the south side of the 1300 block of E Street SE, the developers proffered a limited set of community benefits. These projects should all deliver this year and require the benefits to be distributed before they can receive their certificate of occupancy

Residential Parking Issues

  • Residential Parking signs on the 400 block of 12th Street SE, and 1300 blocks of D and E Street SE around the new development projects
  • Add named alleys to the Residential Parking Permit (RPP) system or otherwise allow alley residents to get residential and visitor parking permits. Our neighbors who live in alley dwellings shouldn’t be treated as a separate class when it comes to allocating public curb space.
  • Currently, regulation prevents RPP only parking east of 11th street SE. However, DDOT has signaled recently they are open to changing this and there is a rulemaking pending to allow this. If the regulations change, I will seek to see if there’s a consensus supporting that change and request it for ANC 6B06

Southeast Boulevard
in 2019, DDOT should issue a final environmental assessment on Southeast Boulevard and Barney Circle redesign. This is a project that is very important to the city and should be a huge win for our neighborhood. This year should be limited to the Environmental Assessment and comments on the proposals.

Penn/Potomac Redesign
This year, I hope to see this project fully funded in FY20 and construction starting by the end of the year.

311 Request Followup
Data on 311 requests and resolution is publicly available. As we move forward throughout the year, I will focus on portions of the 311 request backlog and try to get some of the long standing issues finally resolved.



DDOT Proposes Fixes for 15th/Kentucky/Potomac/G

Last week, DDOT issued a Notice of Intent for changes to the complicated intersections of 15th, G, Kentucky, and Potomac. DDOT issues notices of intent when any proposed changes remove parking spots or change traffic patterns. This Notice of Intent does both. DDOT will likely present these plans at the ANC 6B Transportation Committee on Wednesday, November 7 at 7:00 (location TBD, the default room at the Hill Center may be too small). Everyone is encouraged to attend and let their feelings be known on these proposed changes.

Below, I Will walk through the changes in this and some of the rationale.

NOIOverview

Area A: 15th/Kentucky

Let’s get the bad out of the way. This NOI does not add the missing sidewalk on the west side of 15th. This NOI involves low cost implementation and has no budget to add a wheelchair ramp in section A. If a crosswalk isn’t ADA compliant it can’t be installed. Fixing this omission is definitely towards the top of my to-do list and I will lean on DDOT as much as I can to install it. Of course we all know that people (myself included) will continue to cross Kentucky without the sidewalk. These changes should make that crossing safer and easier.

The other changes here are great. The main goal at these intersections is to make the right turns from Kentucky onto 15th more acute. This can’t be done without removing parking from areas B and C. Daylighting corners, especially at diagonal intersections, is a major safety improvement and losing four spots is not just a reasonable tradeoff. It’s a tradeoff I believe we should make throughout the city.

Note in section D the addition of a trough bike lane going contraflow onto the next block of Kentucky. I’ll cover this more in Area D.

Area B: Kentucky, Potomac, and G (East Side)

In section a, the giant bumpouts will serve to slow eastbound traffic from Potomac onto G. The spaces removed in section A and D are crucial for visually narrowing Potomac Ave traffic. Note the addition of a left only and straight lane from Kentucky, since it’s narrowed to one lane north of the intersection.

Area C: G Street Stub and Western Approaches

By far the biggest change in this NOI is the closure of the stub of G Street between 15th and Kentucky (Section A). This goal of this change is to stop cut through traffic on G Street connecting to Pennsylvania between 13th and 14th. Furthermore, turns from Potomac onto that stub of G were too fast and the stop sign/traffic light combo at 15th and G was confusing. Connections to G street can still be made by going north on Kentucky, making the near U-turn onto 15th street southbound, then right onto G. In the Spring, I would hope to have a mini block party to celebrate these changes.

The parking space remove in section C is similar to the other in area B where it’s about visually narrowing the road. The parking space change in section B I think won’t be implemented. The turning movement from the B2 likely makes these difficult.

Area D: Kentucky between 15th and Potomac

The changes on this block are minor. Going from two lanes to one won’t have any real impacts on traffic and makes the reduction down to one lane to the north happen in a safer manner. The addition of the contraflow bike lane is step one in formalizing the informal nature of the bike route that connects this area with the Anacostia River Trail at Barney Circle. Applying this design to the 700 and 800 blocks of Kentucky is the obvious next step and I will continue to push DDOT to install this design to those blocks as soon as possible.