The District Department of Transportation (DDoT) announced Wednesday that starting Monday, March 15 there will be no more rush-hour reversible lanes on 15th Street NW south of Massachusetts Avenue. This means the the southbound (west side) lanes on 15th Street between K and Massachusetts will no longer become northbound lanes between 4 and 6:30 p.m. North of Massachusetts, 15th Street is one-way going north at all times.
Removing the additional lanes of northbound traffic during rush hour on 15th in this stretch should slow down the speed of cars going north on 15th Street at this time. Personally, I have found that the addition of the southbound contraflow bike lane on the west side of 15th has already made traffic move more slowly. Commuters don’t like the change, but it does make crossing the street easier for pedestrians.
According to DDoT, “The change was requested by the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) and was presented to Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) 2B and 2F for comment. Neither ANC opposed the change. DDOT also analyzed the traffic on 15th Street and found that four lanes are not required to handle the volume of traffic during the evening rush hour. In addition, the reversible lanes still cause confusion for motorists despite the fact that they have been in place for decades.”
DDoT conducted a study two years ago to determine whether to 15th Street NW should become a two-way street north of Massachusetts.