City Paper Widget

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Initiative to Change O Street Traffic Pattern

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle heard a proposal last night to change the direction of O Street NW between 9th and 11th Streets. The proposal was made at ANC2F's regular monthly meeting last night (December 4).

Intersection of 10th and O Streets (Google Street View)
Paul Harrison, a resident of the 1000 block of O Street, came before ANC2F to announce the initiative of a group of concerned citizens. Harrison reported that most of the people on that block had signed a petition to D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans (Ward 2), requesting the change in traffic pattern.

If the change went through as request, O Street would turn one-way westbound between 10th and 11th Streets, and one way eastbound between 9th and 10th Streets. To put it another way, O Street traffic would diverge from 10th Street.

Harrison said the block had many families with young children who were concerned their street was no longer safe. O Street is currently a two-way street. Traffic had increased dramatically on it due to activity around the future site of City Market at O at the corner of O and 7th Streets. Many trucks have started using O Street as a regular route.

The proposal was supported by Sheri Kimball, constituent services director for Evans. Kimball told ANC2F she lived on the block. Of the residents of the block, only three had not signed the petition for the change, she said.

"The truck traffic down O Street is outrageous," she said.

In the ensuing discussion, it was asked why there were not signs banning trucks from the block. It turns out that there are, but the ban is not enforced.

Kimball told ANC2F that changing the traffic pattern on this stretch of O Street was just a matter of appropriate signage. It would be easy to remove the signs back again if the traffic pattern change turned out to be problematic.

"It would take about five minutes to undo," she said. "If it causes all kinds of problems, it won't be the first thing we've have to undo in this city."

ANC2F did not vote on the proposal.


  1. @DDOTDC plans bike facilities for OStNW.

    — @ShawingtonTimes

    The best way to reduce bicyclist/automobilist conflicts and crashes is to ensure that pedalers have adequate safe facilities to avoid interacting with motorists. Currently, a pedaler can't get through Shaw to or from downtown without sharing lanes with cars, big buses and trucks or getting on sidewalks. Congestion will only get worse with new development in the area — especially around the biggest supermarket in the city. A 6th St/Rt 1 bike lane (or ideally a cycle track) is in the DDOT Master plan and could create the safest route from points north of Shaw to Penn Ave NW. There's no plan to put a bike lane down 9th St, the other wide thoroughfare through the area.

    Folks can complain about discrete incidents when they happen, or be part of the solution, and provide those on bikes good alternatives to avoid those in cars.

    11:00am, Monday, December 16, 2013, Room 500, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

    DDOT's Current Bike Master Plan

  2. No. Creating a network of one-way streets is the surest way to INCREASE traffic in an urban setting. Cars will need to be driven further distance to get from one point to another. You only end up creating more congestion elsewhere by eliminating the possibility for the most straightforward connections between points.

    If you want to fight truck traffic, get the city to designate truck routes and enforce that. Otherwise, this is simply a form of NIMBYism.