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by Tim Regan — November 22, 2016 at 11:50 am 0

AlleyPalooza 4.0, photo via Twitter / DC MOCRSThe sound of jackhammers on pavement and shovels hitting dirt will soon be heard in alleys and side streets in all eight of the city’s wards.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and DDOT officials held a press conference in Adams Morgan yesterday to announce the latest round of “AlleyPalooza” repairs.

“We are investing in Washington, D.C.’s alleys at historic levels because they are a key part of our infrastructure and their condition is of vital importance to the health of the District,” Bowser said in a statement. “AlleyPalooza 4.0 builds on a highly successful initiative and demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that Washington, DC’s infrastructure is safe and reliable.”

The mayor’s office has allocated $15.82 million of the city’s budget this year for for alley maintenance and rehabilitation.

A full list of the alleys slated for repairs, including an interactive map that displays each alley’s status, is available online.

Photo via Twitter / DC MOCRS

by Tim Regan — November 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm 0

Pedestrians can now help generate a little electricity by merely strolling through a new “pocket park” near Dupont Circle.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Golden Triangle BID today unveiled the “the Connecticut Avenue Overlook,” a new park just steps away from the Dupont Metro station’s south entrance.

The panels, which are made by green energy company Pavegen, generate electricity via kinetic energy to power nearby LED lights.

From DDOT:

The plaza includes a pilot project that features Pavegen pavers, a pioneering flooring technology that converts kinetic energy from people’s footsteps into electricity. The energy is stored in batteries that illuminate accent lights in the park from dusk to dawn. Made from recycled polymer and truck tires, the pavers are both durable and eco-friendly. The pilot project was funded by a $200,000 DC Office of Planning Sustainable DC Innovation Challenge grant.

“[D.C.] is the first city in the nation to deploy this state-of-the-art technology in the outdoor environment,” said DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the park.

PaveGen CEO Laurence Kemball-Cook also gave a short speech about the company’s new kinetic tiles.

“Our plan is to make this the same price as a normal sidewalk,” Kemball-Cook said. “Every major city in the United States will be able to use the energy of the millions of people walking around.”

by Andrew Ramonas — November 4, 2016 at 10:45 am 0

Streetcar on H Street NED.C. and federal officials this month are set to hear from members of the public about what they think about creating a downtown streetcar line that would connect Union Station to Georgetown.

The District Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration are scheduled to host a public meeting on Thursday, Nov. 17, to discuss the environmental and cultural effects of expanding the 2.4-mile stretch of streetcar tracks in Northeast to Northwest.

The project could extend the streetcar line by 3.3 miles from 3rd Street NE to 33rd Street NW, mostly centered on or near K Street.

The discussion, which is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at Pinstripes (1064 Wisconsin Ave. NW), will come six months after D.C. and federal officials last held a community meeting on the potential streetcar expansion. The gathering in May was the first time in about two years that officials met with the public about the project.

After years of delays and setbacks, the District’s new streetcars started picking up passengers for the first time along H Street and Benning Road NE in February.

It’s unclear when a line to Georgetown would open. But officials plan to release an environmental assessment report on the possible streetcar extension in the summer next year.

by Tim Regan — October 28, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

New kinetic tiles may soon generate extra electricity on the sidewalk just south of Dupont Circle.

Construction crews appear to be putting the finishing touches on a row of special “kinetic paver” tiles that generate electricity as people walk on them. The panels sit along a busy sidewalk where Connecticut Avenue meets Dupont Circle NW, steps away from the Dupont Metro station’s south entrance.

As reported by the Washington Business Journal, the panels, which are made by green energy company Pavegen, generate electricity via kinetic energy, then send that power to batteries for storage and later use.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the pavers would start generating power. A representative for DDOT didn’t give a timeline for the completion of the project.

by Andrew Ramonas — October 25, 2016 at 2:50 pm 0

L Street NE between North Capitol and 1st streets NE (Photo via Google Maps)Motorists and cyclists soon will get the chance to try out a new two-way street in NoMa, according to a neighborhood business group.

The District Department of Transportation on Thursday is set to launch a pilot project that will allow traffic to travel in both directions on a one-way section of L Street NE between North Capitol and 1st streets NE, the NoMa Business Improvement District said in an email notice today. L Street NE is mostly a two-way road until it hits that block.

“This pilot project is being implemented by DDOT after community coordination and a thorough analysis of potential impacts,” the NoMA BID email says. “Before and during the pilot project, DDOT will collect quantitative and qualitative data and will work with the [Advisory Neighborhood Commission] and the broader community to address any concerns that may arise.”

Setting up that stretch of L Street for two-way traffic is slated to take up to two days as DDOT crews remove about 25 parking spots and make other changes to the road. During installation, motorists won’t have the ability to drive through the block.

It wasn’t immediately clear how long the pilot project will run and if the installation will begin Thursday with the launch of the study.

A DDOT representative wasn’t immediately able to provide clarification.

Photo via Google Maps

by Andrew Ramonas — September 29, 2016 at 11:35 am 1 Comment

Circulator busD.C. residents and visitors are slated to have a new way to travel around Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle and downtown when they can’t — or don’t — want to use Metrorail.

Some Circulator buses are scheduled to get longer operating hours starting Sunday in an effort to help Red Line Metro riders during the next two months, according to the District Department of Transportation.

Metro trains won’t run between the Fort Totten and NoMa stations from Oct. 29 to Nov. 22 as part of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s SafeTrack repair work.

According to a DDOT news release, the Circulator service changes include:

  • Morning service on the Woodley Park-Adams Morgan-McPherson Square, the Georgetown-Union Station and the Dupont- Georgetown-Rosslyn routes will begin an hour earlier at 6 am Monday through Friday.
  • Late night service will be extended on the Georgetown-Union Station and the Dupont-Georgetown- Rosslyn routes until 3 am Friday and Saturday instead of 2 am.
  • The Woodley Park-Adams Morgan-McPherson Square will continue to run until 3:30 am.
  • Late night service on the Georgetown-Union Station route will be extended to run the full length of the route. Currently, the bus stops at McPherson Square Metro after 9 pm.

by Tim Regan — September 27, 2016 at 3:55 pm 0

A plan to begin construction on a new streetscape project along the 14th Street corridor has been delayed until next spring, according to District officials.

The District Department of Transportation originally planned to break ground this coming December on a new streetscape project that would span 14th Street NW from Thomas Circle to Florida Avenue. As planned, the project includes new “bulb-outs” that would let buses pick up passengers without pulling out of traffic, “cut-through” bike lanes, new crosswalks, street lights, bike racks and benches, among other improvements.

The purpose of the streetscape project is to increase multi-modal and pedestrian safety, comply with ADA standards and add new character to the corridor, according to DDOT. But crews won’t break ground on those new improvements and safety features until at least next spring, said DDOT project manager Rick Kenney today.

“We are presently delayed in receiving DC Water’s final plans, which has pushed our tentative start date to late spring of 2017,” Kenney said.

DC Water, which plans to switch service over to a new water main and install some new valves as part of the project, will finish its reviews and approve the final designs this week, according to agency spokesman John Lisle.

Once the work begins, DDOT estimates it will take about a year to complete.

by Tim Regan — August 5, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

PARK(ing) Day in Dupont Circle 2015An annual celebration of public spaces is scheduled to return to the District next month.

The District Department of Transportation announced yesterday that PARK(ing) Day will turn ordinary parking spaces into tiny temporary parks on Sept. 16.

PARK(ing) Day is a global event that challenges businesses, organizations and locals to come up with creative ways to transform metered spaces into public places.

More than 30 tiny parks popped up across D.C. last year, according to DDOT. In Dupont Circle, for instance, Rails to Trails Conservancy turned parking spaces along New Hampshire Ave. NW into a “bike path” lined with real sod.

More info from a DDOT press release:

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by Tim Regan — May 26, 2016 at 10:15 am 0

West downtown planning study map; photo courtesy of DDOT

(Correction: This article originally noted the meeting would take place June 17. It will actually take place June 15. We’ve made the correction below.)

Local officials are looking at several ways to improve transportation for cyclists, pedestrians and bus riders traveling near Foggy Bottom, Farragut and McPherson Square.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to host a public meeting next month to talk about its planning study to improve an area that includes:

  • Pennsylvania Ave. NW between 17th St. and Washington Circle
  • H and I streets NW between New York Ave. and Pennsylvania Ave.

The purpose of the study is to enhance the streetscape and to evaluate the possibility of a bicycle facility or cycle track along Pennsylvania Ave. and to “assess the operational feasibility of a contraflow bus lane on H Street NW between New York Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue,” according to a DDOT notice.

The District’s multimodal transportation plan identified Pennsylvania Ave. NW as a “priority cycle track corridor and H Street NW as a priority high-capacity transit corridor,” officials said.

DDOT employees will share project goals and objectives and solicit public feedback during the June 15 discussion at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library (901 G St. NW) at 6 p.m.

Map courtesy of DDOT

by Andrew Ramonas — May 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm 2 Comments

S4 bus on 16th StreetA future when buses cruise down 16th Street NW with greater ease during rush hour is at least four years in the offing, according to a recently released D.C. government report.

Work to bring dedicated bus lanes to 16th Street NW and eliminate some of the corridor’s bus stops might not wrap up until 2020 or later, says the District Department of Transportation’s “16th Street NW Transit Priority Planning Study” distributed to locals yesterday.

The report, dated March 2016, came after a series of DDOT meetings with locals and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to discuss ways to speed up bus riders’ commutes on the S1, S2, S4 and S9 lines.

Last winter, DDOT announced it was moving ahead with plans to add bus-only lanes to 16th Street and remove stops at Newton, Lamont, V, Q and L streets NW.

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by Tim Regan — May 12, 2016 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

A proposed project from the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) could change the way pedestrians, cyclists and bus riders use the 14th Street corridor by late 2017.

The department is currently seeking public comment on a streetscape project that would span 14th Street NW from Thomas Circle to Florida Avenue. The design as currently proposed includes new “bulb-outs” that would let buses pick up passengers without pulling out of traffic, “cut-through” bike lanes, new crosswalks, streetlights, bike racks and benches, among other improvements.

The purpose of the design, according to DDOT, is to increase multi-modal safety, improve the corridor’s pedestrian safety and ADA compliance and add new character to the area. DDOT project manager Rick Kenney presented the design before Logan Circle’s ANC 2F and 14th Street/U Street’s ANC 1B during the commissions’ monthly meetings last week.

“It’s going to make a significant improvement to the commercial corridor,” said Commissioner John Fanning during ANC 2F’s meeting.

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by Andrew Ramonas — May 3, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

Streetcar on H Street NED.C. and federal officials still are looking at connecting Union Station to Georgetown, via a streetcar line through downtown, despite the trouble the District had adding trolleys to a 2.4-mile stretch of Northeast.

The District Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration are scheduled to host a public meeting later this month to talk about the project that could bring 3.3 miles of streetcar track from 3rd Street NE to 33rd Street NW, mostly centered on or near K Street.

The May 17 discussion at the Carnegie Library (801 K St. NW), the first public gathering on the expansion since 2014, will focus on the environmental and cultural effects of a new streetcar line in Northwest. Community meetings on the project also are slated for fall 2016 and early 2017.

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by Tim Regan — April 18, 2016 at 11:00 am 3 Comments

Bike Blessing photo via Church of the Ascension and Saint AgnesA downtown church will try to heal the “awkwardness” between cyclists and local religious folk by hosting an inaugural bike-blessing event next month.

Cyclists are instructed to gather on the lawn at the Church of the Ascension and St. Agnes (1217 Massachusetts Ave. NW) for the ceremony, which is slated for Saturday, May 7 at 11 a.m.

The plan, says Father Dominique Peridans is to bring local cyclists and residents together for a “bridge-building gathering.”

“We’ll gather on the front lawn of the church . . . there’ll be a short, ten fifteen minute blessing for the whole crowd gathered,” Peridans said. “It’ll be a time for people to interact.”

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by Andrew Ramonas — February 3, 2016 at 4:40 pm 0

Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study map (Photo via Google Maps/DDOT)

D.C. residents unhappy with traffic lights, bicycle lanes and other parts of the travel experience through Columbia Heights, Park View and points east now have an interactive forum to share their frustration with District officials.

The District Department of Transportation has put online a D.C. map that lets locals identify “improvement points” and include “ideas about how to make the area better,” the agency says. Residents can use the tool to highlight concerns with biking, traffic congestion and public transit, for example.

DDOT launched the map as part of its “Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study,” which kicked off with a community meeting at Trinity University last night. The map so far has dozens of improvement points focused around Harvard, Columbia, Irving and Kenyon streets NW.

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by Andrew Ramonas — January 22, 2016 at 2:50 pm 2 Comments

Bus stop at 16th and V streets NW

The District Department of Transportation is looking to remove eight bus stops on 16th Street NW in an effort to speed up commutes for public transit users along the corridor.

Megan Kanagy, a DDOT transportation planner, announced yesterday at a community meeting that the agency has recommended the elimination of S1, S2 and S4 stops at:

  • Newton Street (southbound and northbound)
  • Lamont Street (southbound and northbound)
  • V Street (southbound and northbound)
  • Q Street (northbound)
  • L Street (northbound)

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