Tag Archives: Watkins Alley

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.