It all started four months ago, when TheCityFix blogger David Daddio reported an issue on SeeClickFix about a dangerous intersection at U Street and Florida Ave., east of 18th Street NW. Over just several days, the report got responses from concerned citizens, and finally, the Office of Councilmember Jim Graham.
Just last month, DDOT’s Aaron Rhones responded with a list of “safety improvements.” It goes to show how a more responsive government really is at your fingertips (via your computer, your Blackberry, your iPhone, and, as announced today, your Android phone!) The problem is now on the radar of city officials who actually have the power to fix it.
Here’s how DDOT made (and will continue to make) improvements to the intersection:
· Replaced “Yield To Pedestrians While Turning” sign, placed at the southeast corner of U Street and Florida Avenue, with “Turning Vehicle Stop For Pedestrians in Crosswalk.”
· Installed “No Left Turn” regulatory sign on the electrical/signal pole (#26113) at the southeast corner of U Street and Florida Avenue for south and southwest bound directions of the travel, facing southbound traffic.
· Install “No Left Turn” regulatory sign on the electrical/signal pole (#11157) at the northwest corner of U Street and Florida Avenue for south and southwest bound directions of the travel, facing southwest bound traffic.
· The signal timing plan for intersection of Florida Avenue and U Street was adjusted (retimed) to eliminate conflict between pedestrians crossing U Street and traffic making a right turn from Florida Avenue to U Street in eastbound direction.
· Will repaint double yellow line on Florida Avenue between U Street and Seaton Street, where it is partially faded.
· Will refurbish yellow gore pavement marking along U Street at the intersection of Florida Avenue and U Street.
· Planning to refurbish both, the north and south side ladder type crosswalks and stop bar pavement markings on U Street at the intersection of U Street and 18th Street, to provide better visibility to motorists and pedestrians. We will also provide 5 (ft.) distance between stop bar pavement marking and back edge line of crosswalk.
· The street light’s mast arm of Electrical/signal pole #11157 located at the northwest corner of U Street and Florida Avenue is missing. DDOT will need to install the missing part and provide a night time light inspection of the site.(This work will be performed during the 18th Street reconstruction project).
· Refurbished traffic guide line pavement markings throughout the entire intersection of Florida Avenue and U Street.
· Installed “Steel Plates Ahead” work zone warning signs in appropriate place on U Street, for eastbound traffic to warn the motorists of the existing two steel plates, located at the intersection of U Street and Florida Avenue.
Additional safety improvements will be made during the reconstruction of the Florida/18th Street intersection scheduled for this year (2010).
It’s important to note that there’s still some work that needs to be done. Last week, Daddio followed up on Rhones’ response, and found that pavement marking is still lacking, and cars are still zipping through the crosswalk at dangerous speeds, despite the signage telling them to watch out for pedestrians. The challenge now is to find an interim solution between now and the proposed streetscape plans.
See our related posts about this issue: