Pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Amendment Act of 2000” D.C. LAW 13-249 (48 DCR 3491 April 20, 2001), the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is required to give a written notice of our intent (NOI) to modify traffic and/or parking requirements. This letter is being forwarded to you for the purpose of notification and solicitation of comments on our intent to implement the following in your jurisdiction:
Installation of protected bike lanes on Virginia Ave NW from Constitution Ave NW to Rock Creek Trail
Protected bike lanes on Virginia Ave NW have been part of strategic planning efforts for many years and will help close a gap in the regional bikeway network. When the project is complete, people on bikes will have a safer connection from Rock Creek Trail, Theodore Roosevelt Bridge/I-66 trail, Capital Crescent Trail and National Mall to Downtown where they can utilize the existing bikeways as well as planned facilities on 20th St, 21st St, G St and Pennsylvania Ave NW. Virginia Ave NW is currently a “signed route” according to the 2019 Washington Bike Map and it has been identified as a future bike route in numerous plans and studies including, 2005 Bicycle Master Plan, 2014 MoveDC long range statewide transportation plan, and the 2016 Royal Netherlands Embassy’s “ThinkBike” workshop. More information about the project is available online at: https://wiki.ddot.dc.gov/display/BPP/Virginia+Avenue+NW
DDOT is proposing to construct a two-way protected bike lane along the southeast-bound right travel lane from Rock Creek Pkwy to G St NW that transitions to center-running for the rest of the corridor. See Figure 1 for examples of protected bike lanes elsewhere in the District.
Open the linked PDF at the bottom of this page for corresponding images and figures
Effects on Parking and Traffic Operations
For most of the corridor, the two-way protected bike lane will replace a full-time vehicular travel lane and will not have a substantial effect on curbside uses such as parking, street vendors (food trucks), and bus zones. Based on the volume of traffic before the start of the Covid-19 health emergency, traffic levels were far below the capacity of Virginia Ave NW, even during morning and evening peak travel periods. In addition to the lane reduction, two traffic signals will be added at G St NW and the E Street Expressway Ramp and left turns will be prohibited on southbound New Hampshire Ave NW (more detail in sections below). This facility was designed to preserve efficient vehicle operations through this corridor and is not expected to cause significant delay for vehicular traffic. There will be no interference to bus zones, commercial loading, or street vendors in the corridor.
Parking will be added or repurposed to serve as a travel lane, MetroBus zone, or Cycle track in several locations through the corridor (see Figure 2). In total, there are currently 153 on-street parking spaces in the corridor and there will be 149 after completion of the project.
Proposed Condition: Rock Creek Park Trail to New Hampshire Ave NW
On the north end of Virginia Avenue, the project will begin where Virginia Avenue NW intersects Rock Creek and Potomac Pkwy and the Rock Creek Park Trail. It will cross Rock Creek and Potomac Pkwy in the existing crosswalk and the sidewalk will be widened across the slip lane island to accommodate bicyclists. The protected bike lane will begin where the existing slip lane enters the roadway from Rock Creek and Potomac Pkwy NW. The protected bike lane will continue in the rightmost southeast bound travel lane until G St NW. To reduce the conflicts between bicycles, left turns will be prohibited from westbound Virginia Ave NW onto New Hampshire Ave NW. Instead, drivers will be required to enter Juarez Circle to the right, then proceed across Virginia Ave NW with the signal. The protected bike lane will not affect the service lane in front of the Watergate complex. Figures 3, 4, and 5 show the typical existing and proposed condition for this segment of the roadway.
Proposed Condition: New Hampshire Ave NW to G St NW
Virginia Ave NW from New Hampshire Ave NW to G St NW will have a different section view from the previous segment because the service lane ends at Juarez Circle. At G St NW the protected bike lane will move to the center of the roadway to avoid disruption and interference with turn lanes and parking on approaches to 23rd St NW. It will also connect with the G St NW protected bike lanes and a signal will be installed to provide a phase when people walking and bicycling can safely cross Virginia Ave NW. Figures 6, 7, and 8 show the typical existing and proposed condition for this segment of the roadway.
Proposed Condition: G St NW to 18th St NW
Beginning at G St NW, the protected bike lane will move to the center of the roadway and continue in this configuration until it reaches 18th St NW. This will require that the bike lane travel through the underpass, where one travel lane in each direction will be repurposed for the protected bike lane. As the protected bike lane proceeds southeast, the two directional lanes will remain adjacent to one another and separated from general traffic on both sides by either the existing median or a combination of flex posts and concrete wheel stops. A signal will be added at the intersection with the E St Expressway Ramp NW. Figures 9, 10, and 11 show the typical existing and proposed condition for this segment of the roadway.
18th St NW from Virginia Ave NW to Constitution Ave NW
The final segment of the protected bike lane will be on the west side of 18th St NW from Virginia Ave NW to Constitution Ave NW. It will there connect to the national mall on a crosswalk that is to be constructed as part of a separate project before the bike lane is constructed. Figure 12 show the typical proposed condition for this segment of the roadway.
DDOT anticipates the following benefits:
A safer route for people riding bikes or scooters
A contiguous and safe facility designed for users of all ages
Reduction of conflicts between people driving and people riding bikes or scooters.
All comments on this subject matter must be filed in writing by Thursday April 15th, 2021, with the District Department of Transportation, Planning and Sustainability Division, 55 M Street, S.E. Washington, D.C. 20003 or via email at email@example.com. If you would like to check the status of this Notice of Intent (NOI), please visit DDOT’s website at http://ddot.dc.gov/DC/DDOT/Services/Notice+of+Intent If you are having any trouble accessing the NOI site or are unable to do so, please contact the DDOT Customer Service Clearinghouse at 202-671-2800.