Updated: DDOT to close one lane at Sherman Circle for upcoming test

Traffic barrels used to close off one lane at Grant Circle during the  May 2017 test.

As part of their ongoing efforts to study ways to increase pedestrian and driver safety, the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) will be conducting a test at Sherman Circle and will close one lane for the duration of the test.

Starting the evening of Sunday, September 10th, DDOT will close the inner lane of Sherman Circle, using orange cones similar to their test at Grant Circle earlier in the summer. The test at Sherman will last for three weeks (interestingly, the test at Grant was conducted for less than a week).

During the one-lane test, DDOT will be looking for traffic backups and other issues using data collection and field observations to measure the impacts to traffic operations. 

Update 9/8 with a comment by DDOT:

Petworth News asked DDOT why the testing at Grant Circle was only a week, while Sherman Circle was scheduled for three weeks of testing. Here is the response from Ted Van Houten, DDOT's Transportation Planner responsible for these tests:

We modeled the traffic operations of one lane at Grant Circle, which predicted significant queuing and increases in travel times. We suspected that this is what would happen in real life, which was borne out during the one week trial period. When we saw that the real time results matched the model, we determined that reducing a lane at Grant Circle was not feasible. We only needed one week to confirm our model. Continuing longer, which might have allowed people to deviate to alternate routes, would likely have shown larger increases in traffic on local streets that cannot safely handle such volumes of motor vehicles. These increases in traffic could also negatively impact pedestrian and bicyclist safety on local streets.

For Sherman Circle, the model of one lane predicts minimal changes to delay and queuing, and they do not indicate that there will be a significant diversion through the local roadway network. We’re moving forward with a three week test in order to collect additional data and perform site visits and observations over a longer period of time.

We welcome resident comments on the trial period of one lane at Sherman Circle. They should feel free to contact me directly by email or phone (202.671.4580).

Ted Van Houten
Transportation Planner

Background on these changes, and DDOT's full press release, are below:

A proposed one-lane design for Sherman Circle. (DDOT)


(Washington, DC) - The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will temporarily close one travel lane in Sherman Circle NW beginning Sunday, September 10. The closure is anticipated to last three weeks.

The closure is occurring to conduct an experiment to improve transportation safety for all users, and slow speeding drivers. During the experiment, Sherman Circle operations will reduce to a single travel lane, and crosswalks into the circle will be shorter. 

During the closure, DDOT will conduct data collection and field observations to measure the impacts to traffic operations. 

DDOT will place orange barrels to close the lane. Set up will take place starting Sunday, September 10 overnight into Monday, September 11. The lane closure will be in place by morning rush hour on Monday, September 11. 

Drivers should expect moderate delays and they are advised to stay alert while traveling through these locations and to be observant of DDOT's personnel.


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