Should 15th St. NW Have 2-Way Vehicle Traffic?

by January 31, 2009 at 8:09 pm 2,908 2 Comments

For Borderstanians, 15th Street NW is essentially our Main Street. It cuts through the middle of Borderstan–dividing the area between two neighborhoods (Dupont and Logan), two police districts and two PSAs (208 and 307) and two Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (2B and 2F).

For the past 18 months, the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) has been looking at alterntives for 15th Street, including two-way traffic north of Massachusetts Avenue as well as the addition of bike lanes. There were public meetings on the subject, but the last I heard was the city had decided that there was no clear consensus to allow two-way vehicle traffic; not sure about the addition of bike lanes.

So, what do you think? Should the city change 15th Street NW so that there is two-way vehicle traffic north of Massachusetts Avenue NW? Read about the alternatives being considered by the DDOT:

15th Street, NW Reconfiguration: Alternatives and Analysis

In the 1960’s, transportation officials converted many of the District’s two-way streets to one-way traffic to move large number of vehicles in and out of the city. Such was the case with 15th Street, NW, and its southbound sister street, 17th Street. Back then, moving cars was the priority.

In the 21st century, however, the situation looks different. People are moving into the District. Residents enjoy biking and walking to nearby destinations and to downtown. 15th Street itself, with one-way, high-speed traffic, resembles an urban freeway and does not reflect the neighborhood through which it flows. The capacity of the street (four lanes, one-way) is more than necessary for the traffic volume, particularly since the street narrows to one lane at the north end.

In order to reflect its residential character and make walking and bicycling safer and more convenient, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is examining the possibility of adding bicycle lanes and converting the operation to two-way traffic.


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