When ANC 4D04 Commissioner David Sheon was campaigning as a first-time candidate for ANC last Fall, he spent a lot of time walking from house-to-house in his Single Member District (SMD) asking every person he could find what they would like to see changed in their community. And like any dedicated community leader, he kept track of the responses. Improving how traffic and speed on Illinois Ave was managed was at the top of the list of concerns.
“My first order of business when I was elected was to introduce a resolution before our ANC requesting that DDOT do a traffic study on Illinois,” David said.
“I also introduced a resolution requesting that a letter be sent to DDOT seeking a safe pedestrian crossing for our seniors at Colony House and others in the community who try to catch the Southbound bus on Georgia at Farragut,” he said. “It's extremely unsafe.”
The resolutions both passed unanimously and the letters were sent to DDOT the next day.
DDOT came back with two traffic review studies: one looks at traffic issues on Illinois from Jefferson south to Sherman circle, while the other looks at the need for a crosswalk on Georgia and Farragut. (Note: Each link goes to their respective study as a PDF.)
"After reading the studies, I'm impressed with the detail in the reports from DDOT," said David. "They clearly took the concerns seriously and have agreed to make a number of improvements, including more school zone signs near Truesdell, better signage restricting cars from parking on Illinois near a curb (blinding cross traffic to oncoming cars) and improvements in pedestrian crosswalks,” he said. “All of these are welcomed and will reduce the risk of accidents in our neighborhood."
“Although the study includes a three-year analysis showing numerous accidents including injuries, DDOT did not find enough evidence to support a separate lighted crosswalk on Georgia at Farragut, nor the need for stop signs on Illinois at Farragut and/or Emerson," he said, describing the results. "However, it did find that safety markings are negligent throughout the study areas and has recommended that they be installed, along with several other small but important changes.”
Currently, there is only one school crossing sign for Truesdell Education Campus (Illinois and Ingraham St).
DDOT recommends that several signs be added to improve pedestrian safety. Additionally, DDOT found that there are parking signs are missing along Illinois Ave, resulting in blocked visual lines for drivers crossing Illinois. The studies also report that speed limit signs are lacking and will be added, as will high-visibility crosswalk paintings on the streets reminding drivers and pedestrians where to cross.
On Georgia Avenue, a ladder crosswalk will be painted and signs will be added reminding drivers of DC Law requiring drivers to stop when pedestrians are present.
“Looking down Georgia, it's interesting to see that Farragut is the only intersection without this ladder paint for several blocks,” David said. “DDOT reminds us in the report that the light at Gallatin is the safest place for seniors and others to cross, and it's only one additional block.”
I compliment Commissioner Sheon on finding the main concerns of his constituents, and working quickly with DDOT to find working solutions. You can contact Commissioner Sheon with any questions.