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Author Topic: District of Columbia  (Read 349949 times)

mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1325 on: October 27, 2021, 08:45:37 AM »

Traffic-circle turmoil and roadwork revulsion: Another satirical guide to navigating DC’s traffic

https://wtop.com/local/2021/10/traffic-circle-turmoil-and-road-work-revulsion-another-satirical-guide-to-navigating-dcs-traffic/

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kernals12

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1326 on: November 10, 2021, 07:40:30 PM »

I clinched the Beltway!

And good lord was the traffic awful
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roadwaywiz95

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1327 on: December 29, 2021, 10:03:59 AM »

New content alert from the "roadwaywiz" YouTube channel:

For this weekend's *live* content, we're kicking off the year 2022 with a special "Doubleheader Day" of *live* programming across the afternoon and evening. It's our way of thanking all of our viewers and supporters while being able to celebrate the beginning of a new year together. It's our first time attempting to broadcast two of these episodes on the same day and it should be a lot of fun for all involved!

The first *live* presentation of the day will begin at 12:00 PM ET and will feature a "doubleheader" Virtual Tour episode, featuring the beltway freeways encircling Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD:


The nightcap *live* presentation will begin at 6:00 PM ET and will feature this Webinar devoted to the interstates and other freeways & bridges of the Baltimore, MD metro area:


All in all, my team and I are really excited to bring this doubleheader day of events to you folks and we look forward to celebrating the New Year with some/all of you and seeing everyone in attendance!
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1328 on: December 29, 2021, 01:59:04 PM »

Is Interstate 195 and the Interstate 395 reroute signposted yet? If not, when might it happen? Sorry if I sound impatient, but if it's going to happen, it should happen sooner rather than later.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1329 on: December 29, 2021, 02:01:14 PM »

Is Interstate 195 and the Interstate 395 reroute signposted yet? If not, when might it happen? Sorry if I sound impatient, but if it's going to happen, it should happen sooner rather than later.

Not as of December 15 when I drove home from Union Station. Don't know when they plan to do it.

I did notice, from glancing up and to the right, that the ancient signs on the ramp to the 12th Street Tunnel are still up, though I suspect their days are numbered.
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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.

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74/171FAN

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1330 on: December 29, 2021, 02:25:47 PM »

Is Interstate 195 and the Interstate 395 reroute signposted yet? If not, when might it happen? Sorry if I sound impatient, but if it's going to happen, it should happen sooner rather than later.

Not as of December 15 when I drove home from Union Station. Don't know when they plan to do it.

I did notice, from glancing up and to the right, that the ancient signs on the ramp to the 12th Street Tunnel are still up, though I suspect their days are numbered.

I clinched I-395 and I-695 Sunday and nothing had changed.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1331 on: January 09, 2022, 09:31:44 AM »

I clinched the Beltway!

And good lord was the traffic awful
Among the worst traffic in the country.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1332 on: May 21, 2022, 12:52:54 AM »

Is Interstate 195 and the Interstate 395 reroute signposted yet? If not, when might it happen? Sorry if I sound impatient, but if it's going to happen, it should happen sooner rather than later.

As of May 2022 when I drove on 695 and 395 South thru DC, 695 signage is still up southbound on DC295 south, the signage on 695 south itself is kinda sparse, most of it still being signed as To 395
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mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1333 on: May 25, 2022, 10:37:12 PM »

^^^
That's a very good explanation. I think they'd be wise to listen to your concerns.

As it exists right now, there's basically only one through lane along Colesville. The current design, to maintain two through lanes onto southbound 16th, requires traffic to change lanes shortly before the circle (kind of a 'dance' if you will). I don't know what the situation is right now, but I suspect the left lane isn't getting much use, and the right lane, given that it's parking until shortly before the circle, isn't getting much use either. And then shortly before the circle, you have the middle lane vehicles either changing to the right to allow left lane traffic to change into the middle lane, or they don't change lanes at all and basically force everyone into a single lane, and/or left lane traffic simply ignores the left turn lane in the circle and continues straight onto 16th regardless.


This basically sums it up.  I have been going through here regularly as my son is in a small private one room class situation due to COVID and the school is using space just off 16th in the northern part of DC (less than a mile from this circle).  My concern is more with safety than with congestion.  I am happy to follow the lane lines, but there are so many others that do not.

I live to the northeast of here, so I could come in via either 16th or Colesville to approach the circle.  Neither approach is very good.  Since I make a right turn onto a side street from 16th in DC, I aim to end up in the right lane of 16th after passing through the circle.  When I approach from Colesville, I ride in the middle lane, then shift into the parking lane before the circle, so that I can follow the far right lane through the circle.  I am following the rules, but so many others in the lane to the left of me just glide into my lane and honk at me as though I am causing the problem.  It is true that prior to this configuration, the right lane forced a turn onto N Portal and the middle lane of the circle led to the right lane of 16th, but the lines no longer indicate that.  However many drivers are still doing that and evasive action on my part is preventing fender benders in this area.

Quote

As for the approach from southbound 16th, that's an interesting call ending the right lane at East West Highway. Why not simply have that lane merge left about 300 feet after the intersection, and then have the left two lanes shift to the right to allow for a left turn pocket? Both scenarios would maintain two through lanes, as may be desired, but I think the merge option is more desirable than a forced turn. DC drivers seem pretty aggressive when it comes to merging (in a good way), so I think that would be better as a forced turn might make the #3 lane along southbound 16th north of East West Highway totally unused (I don't know how much traffic currently makes a right onto East West Highway, but the current setup seems pretty good and I'd hate to mess with it).

I find your approach acceptable.  If the right lane forces a merge into the middle lane, the markings would be clear that the traffic in the right lane would have to yield to traffic in the middle lane.  Since the right lane is far less traveled this could be OK.  And if drivers know in advance that the right lane will end, it will be even less traveled still.  As it is, there are relatively few who use the right lane, probably because the right lane used to force a turn onto North Portal. 

North Portal can get a decent amount of traffic, but 16th is far heavier.  North Portal leads to Beach Drive which allows for a drive into Downtown DC with few traffic signals or stop signs.  But certain portions of Beach Drive have been closed for repairs for a number of years, so not many have gone this way for a while.  Plus, parts of it are closed for walking/biking due to COVID (and have been closed every weekend for many years as well).  This is a long way of saying that while there is a reason in the past to push 1 of 3 lanes onto North Portal, that no longer really exists now and it's basically a quiet residential street for the time being.

A nearby situation where a busy right lane forces a merge after the busy intersection is at Georgia Ave NB at Forest Glen.  The curb lane is very busy because of the cloverleaf ramps from the Beltway, but the curb lane ends just after the next intersection.  People do merge into the adjacent lane when they can (as they come off the ramps, before or after the Forest Glen intersection), but it is still less traveled than other lanes because of the forced merge.  Folks do use the lane, but a lot do turn on Forest Glen as well.

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0157256,-77.0426339,3a,75y,330.36h,71.14t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s7Ja6BLU5g9VT-eesH7pFyg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192



What is unacceptable is the current situation that basically without warning forces the left lane to turn onto Eastern.  The left and middle lane are the busier two lanes and they need to default directly onto 16th south of the circle.

It is hard to gage what true traffic counts are now because of COVID.  This change to the traffic pattern only occurred a few weeks ago.  I can definitely see implementing your suggestion so that if squeezing down to 2 lanes causes a backup, it at least won't also congest the intersection with E-W Highway (which will remain at 3 lanes southbound).  I can say that pre-COVID this stretch of SB 16th between E-W Highway and the circle was pretty congested, but I think a lot of that had to do with the left lane being blocked by those who turned on Eastern, especially the buses.  I think if two consistent unimpeded southbound lanes were continuous through the whole stretch, a third lane would simply be unnecessary. 

Further north, the third southbound lane is just simply unnecessary.  This stretch encourages speeding and there are a lot of speeding cameras present (at least two in each direction) between Georgia and East-West Highway.

A follow up to the issues that I brought up (and other commented on) in Replies 1006-1013 of this thread back in November 2020.  The above quoted selection should paint most of the picture, but basically these were regarding my complaint to some of the lane assignments that MD SHA had painted when they redid the approach on 16th street to the traffic circle at the DC/MD line.  In October/November 2020, they finally installed traffic signals on the MD side to help coordinate the traffic on the MD side of the circle (from N 16th and Colesville), but the approach was confusing because of the change in lane assignments.  Before the signals were installed, the right lane forced a turn onto North Portal and the left two lanes continued on 16th toward DC.  The change implemented by MD SHA in 2020 had the left lane force a left turn onto Eastern with the right two lanes continuing on 16th toward DC.

I had written to MD SHA to explain my concerns (detailed in the correspondence at 1011).  At the time, it seemed like my words fell on deaf ears.

I recently returned to working at my office in Downtown DC twice a week, and I had the occasion of taking the bus along 16th street instead of the Metro one day,  I was able to notice some changes at the circle that were similar to some of my recommendations.  Fortunately, they are covered in the most recent GSV, so the changes made were likely between August and November 2021.

From my letter to MD SHA:

Quote

A similar change needs to take place along the 16th street [MD-390] approach FROM MARYLAND into the circle.  This is a little more difficult as there are three southbound traffic lanes south of East-West Highway along 16th instead of two.*  The two left lanes of southbound 16th approaching East-West Highway are far busier than the right lane, so it would make sense to force the right lane to turn right on East-West Highway so that only two lanes continue south of East-West Highway to approach the circle.  The two lanes of traffic should gradually shift to the right to allow for the painting of a left turn pocket that defaults onto the left lane of the circle for the left turns onto Eastern.  In this manner, the two left lanes of 16th in Maryland will default directly onto 16th street in DC.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

* There are three southbound lanes of 16th street in Maryland beginning south of Grace Church Rd, but there really is no point to this.  South of Seminary Rd, the two right lanes of Georgia Ave [MD-97] allow for a right turn onto 16th street [MD-390].  There, the road is two lanes southbound and traffic moves well at all times of day.  Where southbound traffic widens to three lanes,  at Grace Church Rd, there is very little traffic and this encourages significant speeding.  Three lanes of traffic is simply not necessary here.  The right lane could be repurposed for parking, a shoulder, a bus lane, or a bike lane and traffic would not be affected.  If the entire stretch of southbound 16th street in Maryland were limited to two thru lanes of southbound traffic, it would be even easier to design the approach to the circle to have two thru lanes, as I discussed above.


Here are some pictures of the southbound approach on 16th beginning at Spring Street.

Warning that the right lane will force a right turn.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9961595,-77.0364834,3a,75y,182.61h,60.28t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sIh7WN_Z0bcVny1Oio7owQw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

The right lane is forced into the channel.  Only two lanes continue south of East-West Highway.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9952284,-77.0364373,3a,75y,182.61h,60.28t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sFygl6NF2f8jV-tDnqKh8Yg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

The curb lane south of East-West is blocked with hatch marks.  It's to be used as a bus stop and full-time parking.  No more driving in this lane. (Unfortunately some of the best views are blocked by the bus.)

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9942273,-77.0363294,3a,75y,211.92h,66.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPi4qzUs2NsthXiKn1KL7Rw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

And of course, the piece de resistance, the tapering of the parking lane as traffic approaches the circle, allowing for the two thru lanes to continue thru and a left turn pocket is formed for those that want to turn onto Eastern.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9930253,-77.0363372,3a,75y,203.71h,63.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s2P4lr-b7_geMmVgbbMW8Ug!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

More from my letter:

Quote

From Colesville Rd [MD-384], there are two southbound traffic lanes and one lane of parking south of East-West Highway [MD-410].  This widens to 3 lanes southbound once parking is prohibited as one gets closer to the circle.  The 2 left lanes have the majority of the traffic since these are a continuation of the main traffic pattern and the right lane has very little since it only began where the parking stopped.  For the old traffic pattern at the circle, this worked fine since the 2 left lanes of Colesville, with the heaviest traffic, defaulted onto the 2 lanes of 16th, and the low traffic right lane forced a right turn onto North Portal.  For the new traffic pattern, the 2 left lanes should gradually shift to the right IN MARYLAND, (before reaching the circle), so that the heaviest traffic from Colesville defaults directly onto 16th.  The middle lane of Colesville shifts right to become the right lane of the circle and the right lane of 16th in DC.  The left lane of Colesville shifts right to become the middle lane of the circle and the left lane of 16th in DC.  The lane shift will allow for the painting of a left turn pocket that approaches the circle to become the left lane of the circle which will force a left onto Eastern.


The current approach from Colesville is slightly different from my recommendation, but it is still very good.  The curb lane forces a right turn onto 16th north, and the two left lanes lead to 16th south, as shown in these views:

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9926271,-77.035289,3a,75y,265h,74.4t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6HbvJcm1rO3px5aHJ3oxkg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9924981,-77.0361233,3a,75y,250.59h,69.58t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxoTXwH3X5mfj5ykJnYwenw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Looking closely, you can see the old paint and the new paint below.  The new pain allows both lanes of Colesville to continue onto 16th and giving the left lane the option of continuing onto Eastern.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9924718,-77.0364166,3a,75y,233.93h,52.93t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sguXQwugViXZlS6tPoarfhA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Now given that it has been almost a year from the time that I wrote my letter until the time MD SHA acted, I am aware that my letter did not move them, but I am still gratified that my ideas for improving this approach were eventually implemented.

Satellite views of the changes are also available.

16th street circle:

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9922624,-77.0363739,174m/data=!3m1!1e3

16th / East-West Highwy.  The hatch lines make an interesting geometry in the intersection.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.994761,-77.0362564,174m/data=!3m1!1e3
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1334 on: June 14, 2022, 09:20:34 AM »

I have the urge to respond to the following to note that driving in the bike lane is apparently OK. (But I won't do so, mainly because I assume the moving violation falls within a different agency's bailiwick. The number of different law enforcement agencies that can issue tickets in DC is rather astonishing.)

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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.

AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1335 on: June 16, 2022, 01:07:57 PM »

I don't think it's terribly surprising - parking enforcement vs moving violations.

I know in Alexandria, they have dedicated parking enforcement staff, with their own vehicles. I think they may fall under the City's police or sheriff's department, but I assume they are responsible primarily, if not entirely, for all parking violations.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1336 on: June 18, 2022, 04:23:00 PM »

The intersection of South Capitol Street and Potomac Avenue outside Nats Park has changed just a bit.







For those who haven’t seen the bridge:

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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.

bluecountry

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1337 on: June 25, 2022, 09:27:34 PM »

Is Interstate 195 and the Interstate 395 reroute signposted yet? If not, when might it happen? Sorry if I sound impatient, but if it's going to happen, it should happen sooner rather than later.

Not as of December 15 when I drove home from Union Station. Don't know when they plan to do it.

I did notice, from glancing up and to the right, that the ancient signs on the ramp to the 12th Street Tunnel are still up, though I suspect their days are numbered.

I clinched I-395 and I-695 Sunday and nothing had changed.
I guess I-395 is still an ok route #, since the new terminus will be at DC 295 not I-295.
However, they should have I-395 directional remain N/S from the Beltway to 'I-195' and from the junction be E/W.  Might they do that, and do you agree?
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1338 on: August 01, 2022, 06:38:48 PM »

From tonight's news: DC Council considers banning right turns on red (note, left on red is already illegal in DC).

I understand the concerns about bad driver behavior because many, probably most, local drivers are out of control with right on red—they neither stop nor yield. On the other hand, this would increase air pollution, waste fuel, and make legal right turns extremely difficult because DC pedestrians refuse to obey "Don't Walk" signs. Enforcing those signs becomes very important if you don’t allow right on red because otherwise you’re stuck waiting for illegally-crossing pedestrians and you wind up running the red light. DC will almost certainly increase the number of red light cameras, too.

A better idea might be to start by restricting turns on red during the day (7 AM to 7 PM) in areas with high pedestrian traffic, or during high traffic times in areas around Verizon Center and Nationals Park.
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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.

plain

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1339 on: August 01, 2022, 08:52:22 PM »

There's so many NTOR situations already in DC that they might as well go ahead and make it a city-wide thing. The way that the streets are laid out, might as well.
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mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1340 on: August 04, 2022, 08:56:44 PM »

There's so many NTOR situations already in DC that they might as well go ahead and make it a city-wide thing. The way that the streets are laid out, might as well.

Agreed.  There are enough intersection in DC that fit the bill of being in areas with decent pedestrian traffic, oddly configured intersections, and other present dangers that NTOR would not really  be that much of a problem.  I believe federal law would require that DDOT put up NTOR signs at every intersection, as only NYC was allowed a blanket exception to the federal law that generally prohibited NTOR duiring the oil crisis of the 1970s.

I do hope the law does allow for exceptions, though, as there are still a few areas of DC where NTOR isn't really warranted in areas where nobody is walking around.  Even NYC has some exceptions that are signed "right turn on red permitted after stop" in the quieter sections of the outer boroughs.  In Broad Channel, they even allow left on red at certain corners.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1341 on: August 05, 2022, 08:34:57 AM »

There's so many NTOR situations already in DC that they might as well go ahead and make it a city-wide thing. The way that the streets are laid out, might as well.

Agreed.  There are enough intersection in DC that fit the bill of being in areas with decent pedestrian traffic, oddly configured intersections, and other present dangers that NTOR would not really  be that much of a problem.  I believe federal law would require that DDOT put up NTOR signs at every intersection, as only NYC was allowed a blanket exception to the federal law that generally prohibited NTOR duiring the oil crisis of the 1970s.

I do hope the law does allow for exceptions, though, as there are still a few areas of DC where NTOR isn't really warranted in areas where nobody is walking around.  Even NYC has some exceptions that are signed "right turn on red permitted after stop" in the quieter sections of the outer boroughs.  In Broad Channel, they even allow left on red at certain corners.

Also at two lights in Manhattan near the Macombs Dam Bridge:

https://goo.gl/maps/wm1DBK2FNkdDLh2x7

https://goo.gl/maps/V4QLSEmCi4EryH7a7
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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.

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1342 on: August 05, 2022, 12:08:38 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.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1343 on: August 05, 2022, 12:31:34 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.

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.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1344 on: August 05, 2022, 01:00:33 PM »

Perhaps NTOR should be accompanied by ticketing people who enter the crosswalk after the walk signal ends.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1345 on: August 05, 2022, 01:03:46 PM »

Perhaps NTOR should be accompanied by ticketing people who enter the crosswalk after the walk signal ends.

I walk a lot, and I often enter when the street I'm crossing has a green — as long as nobody is there.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1346 on: August 05, 2022, 01:28:13 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.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1347 on: August 18, 2022, 12:19:55 PM »

Dave Dildine just posted this great old picture:

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1348 on: August 18, 2022, 03:21:50 PM »

Wow!! What a great shot.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1349 on: August 19, 2022, 10:31:30 AM »

Of note in the above photo: Key Bridge still only 2 lanes each way, with streetcar track in the middle. The track was removed in 1955, and the bridge widened to 3 lanes each way (stealing some space from the sidewalks). Whitehurst Freeway opened in 1949, and looks brand new in the photo. East end of the Whitehurst only ties in with K Street.


Mid 60's photo showing ramps which would tie into the east end of I-66. Wish I knew where I got this photo... Updating to add: image from dcroads.net, which got it from the DC DoT archives.

« Last Edit: August 19, 2022, 10:55:04 AM by davewiecking »
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