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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Community Raises Concerns, Solutions Through Transportation Study

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) welcomed more than 60 Georgetown neighborhood residents to explore draft recommendations for traffic access improvements at an April 3 virtual workshop

DDOT has been studying proposed transportation initiatives, including new sign locations, turning bans and bike lane improvements, since last year as part of its Georgetown Transportation Access and Circulation Study, aiming to enhance mobility, safety and equity in the Georgetown neighborhood. At the meeting, DDOT staff overviewed their proposed recommendations and took comments from attendees. 

Ted Van Houten, an urban transportation planner at DDOT, said the study aims to make the neighborhood more convenient and safer for everyone. 

“However you interact with Georgetown, whether you live here, work here, study here, or are visiting or shopping, we want to make sure that the transportation fits your needs as best as possible,” Van Housten said at the meeting. 

The DDOT worked closely with the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 2E), a group of locally elected officials that represents the neighborhoods of Georgetown, Burleith and Hillandale, to present a variety of recommendations about the Georgetown area. The ANC met April 1 to discuss the proposed recommendations. 

DDOT recommended spending $20,000 to improve signal coordination and conduct renovations at the intersection of Reservoir Rd. NW, Wisconsin Ave. NW and 33rd St. NW, addressing resident concerns about speeding and crash risks.

Gwendolyn Lohse, chairperson of ANC 2E,  said she is concerned about the safety of students coming and going from schools in the area.

 “Our children are not safe from leaving and arriving at our schools,” Lohse said at the April 1 ANC meeting.  “Just last week, a Hardy Middle School student was hit by a car at 34th and Wisconsin. Our city must prioritize our children’s safety.” 

DDOT also proposed banning all left turns and improving signs and markings at the intersection of M St. NW and Wisconsin Ave. NW. The plan, which the DDOT estimates will cost $75,000, includes initiatives such as installing curb extensions, adjusting bike and scooter parking areas south of the intersection and expanding bus stop zones. 

DDOT has hosted a variety of community meetings throughout the process of the study, drawing on feedback from the public for their recommendations. || Photo from @DDOTDC on X

A community member from Burleith said that he has felt DDOT has been responsive to public feedback despite hiccups throughout the study’s nearly three-year-long process.

“Although there have been some frustrations with the process, I really want to say the DDOT people I think have been quite responsive. I’ve given them multiple rounds of feedback from folks up here in Burleith and I know other people in Georgetown, and other stakeholders have done the same. So I’m grateful that they have been responsive to taking our feedback.” 

DDOT will continue collecting community feedback until April 30, with residents able to comment on the proposed draft recommendations. 

ANC Commissioner Kishan Putta said residents must exert continued pressure on the D.C. Council, a body of elected officials who enact legislation for D.C., and DDOT to make necessary safety improvements. 

“We have asked the DDOT and the council many times to make further improvements, they have done a couple of cosmetic things and put up some flex posts,” Putta said at the ANC meeting. “But clearly, it’s not enough and parents have been saying that for a long time. Crossing guards are not there reliably, and that’s a hole as well, which we’ve been highlighting.” 

Addressing the next steps, Van Houten emphasized that community members would continue to be invited into the planning and implementation processes, even after the proposals are executed.

“Residents will have additional opportunities to review and comment before the recommendations are implemented,” Van Houten said at the April 3 meeting

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