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Author Topic: District of Columbia  (Read 356967 times)

jakeroot

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1350 on: August 19, 2022, 05:38:57 PM »

I was perusing DC on Street View today and noticed that 12th St SW @ Independence is no longer a double left turn. This was one of the few remaining double left turns in DC that used permissive phasing. It also appears to be using a leading left turn now with a 5-section tower; the old intersection used a lagging green 4-section arrow signal, which caused a yellow trap for traffic going east to north.

GSV: https://goo.gl/maps/qVLYcHZe59UiRNxc6

Here's a video I took of the intersection a few years ago showing its old operation, probably close to it's maximum capacity. Has DC been anywhere close to this busy since?

« Last Edit: August 19, 2022, 05:41:08 PM by jakeroot »
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roadman65

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1351 on: August 23, 2022, 05:35:13 PM »

I found the intersection where US 1 turns from NW 6th Street NB to Rhode Island Avenue EB is unshielded. Though US 29 from EB RI Ave to NB NW 6th Street that gets signed. 
https://goo.gl/maps/GscGJ9EBizAeqoLn7
Two US routes, one intersection, but one gets axed but the other gets signed.

Plus why was US 29 realigned anyway? US 1 and 29 never met before..
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Sheryl Crowe

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1352 on: August 23, 2022, 06:11:49 PM »

Traffic on US 29 NB must turn left onto NW 6th St as left-turns are banned on RI Ave EB at NW 7th St.
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roadman65

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1353 on: August 23, 2022, 07:24:00 PM »

Traffic on US 29 NB must turn left onto NW 6th St as left-turns are banned on RI Ave EB at NW 7th St.

I'm talking about overall. It had a different alignment in the city originally. The change was not that long ago either. 
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Sheryl Crowe

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1354 on: August 23, 2022, 08:18:08 PM »

Traffic on US 29 NB must turn left onto NW 6th St as left-turns are banned on RI Ave EB at NW 7th St.

I'm talking about overall. It had a different alignment in the city originally. The change was not that long ago either. 

US 29 was approved to move from 16th to Georgia in May 1984.  Per their application, this is why:

Quote
The present route goes from control point (1) via the Scott Key Bridge and the Whitehurst Freeway to control point (2) at the Washington Circle. Thence via the Washington Circle, along New Hampshire Avenue and around Dupont Circle to control point (3).

From control point (3) the route proceeds along 16th Street, N.W. to control point (4), and along Alaska Avenue to control point (5) at D.C. - Maryland border, at the intersection of Alaska and Georgia Avenues.

The travel through the circles, and particularly around Dupont Circle, is a problem, even for many natives, not only for strangers. Additionally, the major portion of the route, namely 16th Street, N.W., is a densely settled residential corridor; in accord with a neighborhood traffic policy, the street is being reduced in width from five (5) to four (4) lanes with parking on both sides of the street.

In contrast, Georgia Avenue is a six lane arterial and is a commerical corridor.

Although,the relocated route is approximately 1.6 miles longer than the existing route, the former avoids the confusing travel around the circles, and the use of residential streets
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roadman65

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1355 on: August 23, 2022, 10:33:05 PM »

Makes sense for that.

However poor to no existing signs on the other two US routes has no reasoning at all.

Then is US 1 SB and US 50 WB still aligned along L Street WB and NW 9th going SB?

To me I never figured why two way NW 6th can’t be SB US 1 and WB US 50 from L Street to Constitution Avenue just like the NB- EB counterparts.
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Sheryl Crowe

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1356 on: August 24, 2022, 07:39:09 AM »

That explanation of the old routing could at least theoretically explain why the unisign seen below was posted on New Hampshire Avenue just south of Dupont Circle a few years ago (I don’t know whether it’s still there). Of course, even then the sign's location is odd because US-29 had not followed that route in over 30 years when they posted this. Nice-looking sign, IMO, even if an error.

Edited to add: The most recent Google Street View there is from October 2019. Street View also shows the sign was not there as of 2014, so that confirms it was first posted over 30 years after the re-routing was approved. If they'd used a "TO" instead of a directional banner, the sign would arguably be accurate (though maybe not necessarily all that helpful because there's no sign telling you where to go next after you turn right onto Dupont Circle up ahead).

« Last Edit: August 24, 2022, 08:04:54 AM by 1995hoo »
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mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1357 on: August 24, 2022, 02:58:14 PM »

For DC, I don't think eliminating right-on-red would be too big of a deal. There are ways to deal with it:

* more all-way walks (aka, Barnes Dance): moving pedestrians to their own exclusive phase can be pretty annoying for pedestrians, as it makes progression harder (more waiting), but it can really improve capacity for turning traffic during the green phase.

* more double right turns: these could be installed in-tandem with all-way walk intersections. DC already has quite a few of these, but I think you could add more if pedestrians were removed from that specific phase, with the only real danger being traffic not staying in lane when turning.

* more right-turn filter signals (green arrows): any intersection that doesn't presently have one, really should have a right-turn green arrow. In situations where the intersection does not operate with an all-way walk, pedestrian walk times can be reduced and the remaining time afforded to a green arrow. If there is an oncoming permissive left turn (where a right on green arrow would technically conflict, per MUTCD rules), the right turn green arrow can simply be lit when the corresponding left turn is active from the cross street.

At the very least, if NTOR is implemented city-wide, more of an effort has to be made by drivers to pull as far into the intersection when turning as possible, to allow for at least a couple or more cars to turn at the end of the cycle.

The problem with the boldfaced is that nobody trusts DC's red-light cameras not to ticket you in that situation. There are enough demonstrated problems with some of DC's traffic cameras (especially one of the stop sign cameras) that I can't blame them.

If you're beyond the limit line (in the crosswalk or beyond it), you shouldn't get a ticket. The limit line is normally where the activation for the cameras would be.

Regarding the stop-sign signals, I can't believe locals haven't taken a bat to them yet.

The other points you make are valid insofar as they go, but they rely on the assumption that the pedestrians will obey the signals and that DC would also implement the Barnes Dance properly. Right now, they banned all turns at the Barnes Dance intersection because they decided not to restrict pedestrian crossing time only to the all-way crossing phase (this because they concluded, almost certainly correctly, that pedestrians would refuse to wait for the all-way phase). As I noted earlier, I seriously question whether "removing" pedestrians from a specific phase will work. Let me offer 18th & L NW as an example. Do you see the sign in the Street View that says to turn right only when the green arrow is on? The problem is that the green arrow is lagging—it comes on at the end of the cycle. Pedestrians flat-out refuse to stop crossing despite turning traffic getting the green arrow. If a driver takes the right of way to which he is entitled and forces the issue, people get aggressive; I've seen people pound on cars, kick the side of cars, jump in front of cars to make them stop, etc. Never mind that the driver has the green light. Sometimes pedestrians are certainly correct to get angry at drivers who force their way through against the "Walk" signal or who run red lights, but when the drivers have the right of way, the pedestrians need to get out of the way. I strongly believe banning turns on red will just increase the potential for conflict, especially since a lot of intersections don't have dedicated turn phases and instead rely on the idea that when the red hand is flashing, you're not supposed to start crossing.

If I understand what you're saying correctly, what difference would it really make whether there is right-on-red or not? If pedestrians in DC really, truly, don't care (which has not been my experience -- most obey the signals), you're going to conflict with pedestrians whether you're turning right on red (pedestrians crossing in front of you) or turning right on green (pedestrians crossing to your right). Eliminating right-on-red would reduce the potential amount of time you could turn, but from your synopsis, that's not really much time anyways. And on the flip-side, eliminating right-on-red may jumpstart serious signal improvements across the city that otherwise have not been implemented because of right-on-red being legal (lack of dedicated turning lanes, turning signals, etc).

In other world cities (largely none of which permit turns-on-red, apart from some areas of Sydney), the issues you're describing are already reality: drivers basically forcing their way through pedestrians, lots of honking, shouting, etc. It's just how it is when drivers are limited to turning on green and yellow only. Whether it's a better overall setup than what we have here, I don't know.

I think we all understand that NTOR is generally safer for pedestrians, since the turn on red move usually means that drivers have to do two things at once, watch for a gap in car traffic and make sure there are no pedestrians in the path.  Given the added difficulty, it is usually prohibited in areas of heavy pedestrian  traffic, including mamy intersections in downtown DC.  The turn on green has some pedestrian conflict too, but drivers only have to worry about a pedestrian gap, since right turn on green would have priority over any possibly conflicting auto traffic.

My own observations in walking around town over the last couple of months is that there is generally less pedestrian traffic than pre-pandemic.  I'll wait to see if it picks up again after Labor Day, but very likely with many offices going to full-time or part-time WFH, it means that on any given day, you'll probably only see about 40-50% of the pedestrinas that you used to see.  My office building definitely feels emptier, and I am now only going in twice a week (I went in four times a week pre-pandemic.)  All that being said, is with lower pedestrian volumes, it may be easier to make turns.  And while I can't speak for 18th and L specifically, I can say that at more and more locations, there are fewer pedestrians who are crossing on red in front of turning cars.

A few blocks away, there is a good implementation of both LPI and lagging left.  LPI is basically a default DC prioritive - they are basically adding a leading pedestrian interval at every signalized intersection, and it is implemented in the most basic way, allowing walk to come on a few seconds before red orb changes to green.  As a way to help cars turn, a leading left was added, but cars are allowed to turn green (while yielding to pedestrians) for most of the green phase.  They do not have to wait for the arrow, the arrow is meant to help clear the intersection because there are a lot of pedestrians here (in Downtown and near a Metro entrance).

17th and I:

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9013207,-77.0393633,3a,15y,259.61h,89.92t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1slHWm7WySqWl0MsV2LeMNBA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

The left from I to 17th is quite busy and it gets the assistance of a lagging left.  Since I is one way, the only conflict on green ball is pedestrians.
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mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1358 on: August 24, 2022, 03:42:20 PM »

I was perusing DC on Street View today and noticed that 12th St SW @ Independence is no longer a double left turn. This was one of the few remaining double left turns in DC that used permissive phasing. It also appears to be using a leading left turn now with a 5-section tower; the old intersection used a lagging green 4-section arrow signal, which caused a yellow trap for traffic going east to north.

GSV: https://goo.gl/maps/qVLYcHZe59UiRNxc6

Here's a video I took of the intersection a few years ago showing its old operation, probably close to it's maximum capacity. Has DC been anywhere close to this busy since?


I know I mentioned this somewhere earlier, but DC, as a policy, are removing all permissive double turns in the interests of pedestrian safety.  This means that turns will either be restricted to a single lane, or double turns will be allowed, but on green arrow only.  I believe that this was one of the intersections they targeted, and it seems that the job is completed at this intersection.

A pet peeve of mine for driving in DC is that Independence and Constitution don't have a regular full length left turn lane.  These are wide streets that are 8 lanes wide (3 in each direction + 2 parking lanes that allow traffic during rush hours), so there is definitely room for a left turn lane.  Traffic in the left lane would run more smoothly, if it wouldn't be blocked by left turning or suddenly forced to make a left turn, as in the case here.

1995hoo has mentioned this problematic intersection at 18th/Constitution before, in that its old configuration forces both the left and the second to left lanes to turn left.  DC has made some adjustments and now only the left lane forces a left turn, since a double left was created by taking away some parking and shifting the three remaining westbound lanes.

Here's a look (and be sure to compare with old GSV's to see a before/after scenario)

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.892092,-77.0428827,3a,75y,81.91h,71.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sCviwfiKciyLKoU6iRs5AqQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

So while this is still not a consistent thru left lane, it does alleviate numerous problems that existed at this specific intersection.

(But it still forces the right lane to turn right at 17th.  The eastbound lanes should also shift so that the three thru lanes at 18th should allow for thru movement at 17th as well.)
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Strider

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1359 on: September 11, 2022, 10:28:33 PM »

I am amazed how poooooorly the US 29, US 50 and US 1 are signed through through DC. What gives? At least US 50 isn't that bad, but still pooorly signed.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1360 on: September 12, 2022, 12:51:46 PM »

What chuffs me about this tweet is his use of "BGS."

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—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
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odditude

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1361 on: September 12, 2022, 06:06:35 PM »

nitpicky, but i much prefer when there's a small gap between the shield(s) of the route you're on and the "to" section - i'd also prefer a single centered "TO" here (see here for an example).
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1362 on: September 13, 2022, 10:28:30 AM »

What chuffs me about this tweet is his use of "BGS."


Dildine uses a lot of roadgeek lingo in his tweets and reports. It's pretty cool.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1363 on: September 13, 2022, 10:37:30 AM »

Dildine uses a lot of roadgeek lingo in his tweets and reports. It's pretty cool.

I once asked him whether the future I-195 would take us to the Portal to Alanland. He "liked" the tweet but didn't reply.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

WillWeaverRVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1364 on: September 13, 2022, 10:38:24 AM »

Dildine uses a lot of roadgeek lingo in his tweets and reports. It's pretty cool.

I once asked him whether the future I-195 would take us to the Portal to Alanland. He "liked" the tweet but didn't reply.

I bet he reads the forum and is totally familiar with Alanland, but because of Alanland's nature he is forbidden to report on it, lest the Goat Apocalypse be unleashed.
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Will Weaver
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1365 on: September 13, 2022, 10:47:38 AM »

Speaking of I-195, does anyone know anything at all about the status of that change? There have been so many sign replacements in DC over the past couple of years that I would have figured that would have been part of them.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1366 on: September 13, 2022, 07:32:24 PM »

nitpicky, but i much prefer when there's a small gap between the shield(s) of the route you're on and the "to" section - i'd also prefer a single centered "TO" here (see here for an example).

I definitely agree with your point, especially considering that 95/495 are co-signed on this part of the Beltway.  So it isn't 295 to two different highways, it's 295 to one highway that has two numbers.

So it makes far more sense to have:

SOUTH            TO
295             95   495

with the 95 and 495 being very close to each other and a decent spacing between 295 and 95.
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yanksfan6129

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1367 on: September 13, 2022, 11:58:21 PM »

driving up Connecticut Avenue NW the past few days (northwest of Rock Creek Park), I've noticed what appear to be new signs indicated a speed limit of 25, lower than the previous 30. Does anyone know when these went up? I'm on this road very frequently and just noticed it yesterday I think. Of course, sometime in the past couple of years they lowered the speed limit on Wisconsin Ave between Western Ave and Bradley Lane from 35 to 30. The arc of the traffic universe is long, but it bends toward lower speed limits.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2022, 12:04:51 AM by yanksfan6129 »
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1368 on: September 14, 2022, 08:32:24 AM »

Speaking of I-195, does anyone know anything at all about the status of that change? There have been so many sign replacements in DC over the past couple of years that I would have figured that would have been part of them.

One of the great mysteries of the universe. New I-695 signage went up on I-395 after the renumbering was approved, so who knows when it'll actually happen?
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yanksfan6129

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1369 on: September 19, 2022, 04:43:21 PM »

driving up Connecticut Avenue NW the past few days (northwest of Rock Creek Park), I've noticed what appear to be new signs indicated a speed limit of 25, lower than the previous 30. Does anyone know when these went up? I'm on this road very frequently and just noticed it yesterday I think. Of course, sometime in the past couple of years they lowered the speed limit on Wisconsin Ave between Western Ave and Bradley Lane from 35 to 30. The arc of the traffic universe is long, but it bends toward lower speed limits.

Well well well... https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2022/09/18/dc-lowers-speed-limits-crashes/
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roadman65

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1370 on: September 22, 2022, 07:25:49 AM »

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1371 on: September 22, 2022, 07:37:48 AM »

On the 6:00 news last night, they said the proposed law would not take full effect until 2025.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

roadman65

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1372 on: September 22, 2022, 07:42:39 AM »

On the 6:00 news last night, they said the proposed law would not take full effect until 2025.


It’s ironic how the concept of allowing RTOR came about to save fuel and protect the environment and how this law is somewhat to do the same.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1373 on: September 22, 2022, 09:10:05 AM »

Never understood the RTOR fuel savings argument. By that logic, why shouldn't a motorist be able to perform a LTOR, or a straight-on-red, presuming the coast is clear?
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1374 on: September 22, 2022, 09:12:02 AM »

Never understood the RTOR fuel savings argument. By that logic, why shouldn't a motorist be able to perform a LTOR, or a straight-on-red, presuming the coast is clear?

For the straight on red idea, I asked this in its own thread here. It was briefly tried in a few areas and then scrapped.
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