Three years ago, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) started a multimodal transportation study of Florida Avenue, focusing on the stretch from North Capitol to H Street/Benning Road. The study was to “evaluate safety, streetscape, and operational enhancements to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists while ensuring all users have safe access within and through this important corridor”. Ultimately outcomes would recommend ways to improve safety and balance transportation needs of all users (pedestrians, bikers, and vehicle drivers) of this corridor.
Community Outreach Advisors that participated in the report included, among many others, the former ANC 5D06 Commissioner, a former Trinidad resident and TNA board member, staff of Gallaudet University, and a representative of New Samaritan Baptist Church.
A website for the study was established to provide information to the public and houses reports from the initial meetings through the release of the final report. This includes meetings as far back as June 2013 with residents of Delta Towers. The final report, completed in February 2015, was released by DDOT on February 26, 2016. The report is available on the website and is in two .pdf files (Part 1 and Part 2). There are short-term recommendations that focus on the “virtual circle” where New York and Florida Avenues intersect.
The report, released a year after completion, will need to be reviewed for full context and understanding but the recommendations listed on pages 110-111 are included below:
“Some smaller scale changes to the study area can likely be implemented much sooner than changes to the roadway configuration. These include:
- Changes to off-peak parking restrictions east of West Virginia Avenue to match the recommendation in Alternative 4 that parking only be restricted in the peak direction during each peak period.
- Continued short-term refinement of the ongoing changes to 6th Street NE north of Florida Avenue. During the development of this report, this section of 6th Street was restriped to include a two-way cycle track on the east side of the roadway (consistent with Alternative 3) and curb extensions with flower pots at the Neal Place pedestrian crossing.
- Possible bike lanes on West Virginia Avenue, contingent upon parking occupancy availability as determined through a parking study.
- Pavement marking, signal timing changes, and signing modifications at the Virtual Circle.
- Cutting back the curb at First Street NE/ Florida Avenue to allow eastbound buses to again travel through the Virtual Circle and onto Florida Avenue
- Further dialogue with the COA will also help highlight locations for more fine-grained interventions such as collaboration with National Park Service regarding the use and maintenance of the small triangular parks under NPS ownership, and matters of access and driveways.
As some of these short-term recommendations come to fruition, DDOT will be working with design firms to develop a full design of Florida Avenue NE between 2nd Street NE and Holbrook Street. Pending funding availability, reconstruction of Florida Avenue could occur in 2021, or sooner, pending project readiness and funding availability. The District Department of Transportation expects and encourages ongoing dialogue about Florida Avenue and surrounding streets beyond this planning study. Project milestones and known next steps will continue to be shared with the Community Outreach Advisors group and regular check-ins with ANCs.”
We hope that you can take time to review the document and continue discussions on how to make our streets and sidewalks safe for all Trinidad residents. We will also be reading through the document in the coming days but did want to share that is was finally made available to the public for our review.