After some prodding (note: this is not a slight to the officials at DDOT–if residents do not vocalize problematic issues or provide justifiable solutions, the department cannot be responsible for identifying every need on the streets of D.C.), DDOT has drafted a striping plan for Eckington Place.
For too long, our neighborhood has had to put up with a de facto 4-lane speed ramp due to a lack of striping. This is exasperated by the width–60 feet–and incline of the street as well as a lack of stop signs or crosswalks.
Recent years have seen risen vehicle traffic due to the FedEx distribution center and exponentially increased pedestrian traffic with the additions of XM, the Metro station, and the re-opening of McKinley Technology High School.
A couple of events in the next few months will only add to the traffic as well as inevitable jaywalking:
- Work is set to begin in June on the the vacant field north of FedEx. There will be a great deal of construction, particularly dump truck, traffic along Eckington Place. Potential sidewalk closures would spurn pedestrian traffic across the street upon reaching the closures.
- The Metropolitan Branch Trail is set to open in July and many residents south of Quincy St as well as XM employees will be crossing Eckington Place south of the R ST intersection to reach the Trail access point (note: this access point may have been eliminated in the final plans–a post on this issue is next!).
A simple solution, without disrupting the current legal traffic flow, is the use of street striping. A crosswalk across Eckington Pl at Q Street (which will soon connect east to Harry Thomas Way) would reduce jaywalking. Bike lanes in both the South and North directions would narrow the street and prevent the existing illegal practice of 4-lane driving–making road crossings for pedestrians much safer in or outside of crosswalks.
DDOT has agreed and immediately drafted the plans below which are open for comment:
Due to the extreme width of the road, a turn lane would have to be included the entire length. There are 5 foot bike lanes on both sides along with parking stripes that will discourage illegal parking close to curbs. A crosswalk from Q St to the other side of Eckington Place has to be approved by the pedestrian department of DDOT (this plan was drafted by the bicycle wing of DDOT–thanks goes out to Mike!) and would require curb work to facilitate handicap access.
The above plans entail only striping, so this is a 1-day project (and very cheap). Evidently, ANC commissioners have to be given a 30-day notice, but the plan should be submitted in the next week (resulting in a June or July implementation).
Hope everyone (at least all Eckingtonians) is agreeable to this plan.