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Author Topic: District of Columbia  (Read 216086 times)

Roadsguy

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #850 on: August 24, 2018, 04:43:25 PM »

Those new signs look great. I would think a "To I-395" would be warranted on the through movement to Independence Avenue, but it wouldn't fit on the old gantry.
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abefroman329

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #851 on: August 24, 2018, 05:25:30 PM »

Those new signs look great. I would think a "To I-395" would be warranted on the through movement to Independence Avenue, but it wouldn't fit on the old gantry.
That’s not the best route to I-395 south from there. I-66 west to VA-110 probably is.
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froggie

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #852 on: August 24, 2018, 05:29:54 PM »

^ No easy or straightforward way to get to SB 110 if you're going across the TR Bridge from DC.  66/110 is a partial interchange with ramps only to/from Rosslyn and 66 West.  You'd either have to get off at Rosslyn and go through 4 traffic signals to get turned back around, or take 50 West and U-turn at the first interchange (which lacks traffic signals).  And the latter would only get you onto the GW Pkwy, not 110, though you can still access 395 from the Pkwy.  At that point, you might as well stay on 50 west to 27 to get to 395 if your destination is in Virginia...
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 05:33:23 PM by froggie »
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #853 on: August 24, 2018, 07:35:38 PM »

The other issue with posting “TO I-395” is that you can’t always do that due to rush-hour reversals and the like. But trying to post the hours on a BGS for such a short road might be information overload.

There really is no good way from the Watergate area to I-395 if Rock Creek Parkway isn’t available via the back of the Kennedy Center. My wife used to work at the Watergate and we found the “least bad” route in the PM rush hour to be Virginia Avenue to 23 Street to Memorial Bridge. But I-66 to the Beltway HO/T lanes was faster (though pricier).
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—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.

Roadsguy

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #854 on: August 24, 2018, 07:55:11 PM »

The other issue with posting “TO I-395” is that you can’t always do that due to rush-hour reversals and the like. But trying to post the hours on a BGS for such a short road might be information overload.

There really is no good way from the Watergate area to I-395 if Rock Creek Parkway isn’t available via the back of the Kennedy Center. My wife used to work at the Watergate and we found the “least bad” route in the PM rush hour to be Virginia Avenue to 23 Street to Memorial Bridge. But I-66 to the Beltway HO/T lanes was faster (though pricier).

Oh yeah, I forgot about the one-way during rush hour thing. I suppose if they really wanted to sign it, they could have an small LED indicator in the middle of the sign, but then you're getting needlessly expensive.
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abefroman329

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #855 on: August 24, 2018, 09:13:28 PM »

Actually, the best way to get to 395 is Rock Creek Parkway to Memorial Bridge to GW Parkway, but that isn’t at all intuitive and really easy to fuck up. In fact, I had lived in DC for over a decade before I discovered it.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #856 on: August 24, 2018, 09:19:18 PM »

Actually, the best way to get to 395 is Rock Creek Parkway to Memorial Bridge to GW Parkway, but that isn’t at all intuitive and really easy to fuck up. In fact, I had lived in DC for over a decade before I discovered it.

But depending on your point of origin, you may not be able to go left onto Rock Creek Parkway to do that (can't legally go left from Virginia Avenue, for example), and at certain times of day Rock Creek Parkway is one-way outbound on both sides of the road. That was what I was getting at before.
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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.

froggie

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #857 on: August 24, 2018, 09:27:20 PM »

Quote from: 1995hoo
you may not be able to go left onto Rock Creek Parkway to do that (can't legally go left from Virginia Avenue, for example)

Did they change this recently?  Used to be a legal move.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #858 on: August 24, 2018, 10:59:04 PM »

An AARoads member gets a shout-out and quoted in an article on WTOP Radio!

WTOP Radio: Bidding a final farewell to a DC ghost road

[Emphasis added below.]

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Work began Thursday on the Interstate 66 Potomac River Freeway, uncovering a roadside relic and evoking memories of an ambitious and contentious era in highway design.

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As strips of rotting plywood were pried off the face of a nearly 50-year-old sign, the outline of an Interstate 695 shield and two white arrows came into view, indicating a freeway that never saw the light of day.

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“This sign is going to go to our office and we are going to install it in an area where we can preserve its history,” said Ogechi Elekwachi, citywide field manager for the District Department of Transportation. Elekwachi watched as pieces of the sign were carefully dismantled and lowered into the back of a truck.

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“In terms of the font size, the current [Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices] has a different standard that we have to follow. Also the sheeting material that we use now is a diamond grade for overhead signs.”

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Mike Tantillo, a transportation engineer and road enthusiast, was not associated with the work but couldn’t resist stopping by to watch the operation from afar.

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“This is a piece of history that has been unearthed almost like an archaeological dig,” Tantillo said. “This is something that has been hidden for many generations and decades.”

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Situated in the middle of the structure, the two faded signs for I-66 and E Street have been pummeled by countless snow and windstorms over the years, but Tantillo said sunlight took a greater toll.

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“Typically, modern signs have a warranty on the reflective sheeting of about 10 to 15 years, though the “retroreflectivity” of the sheeting could last 25 years under the right circumstances.”

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Tantillo, a traffic device expert, said that the signage could have exceeded its life expectancy since it faced north, away from the direct rays of the sun.

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“For signs to last 50 years – those are absolutely ancient,” Tantillo said.

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The fourth boarded up sign on the right side of the structure will not be replaced. It marked the spot where an old exit used to be.
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mtantillo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #859 on: August 24, 2018, 11:24:10 PM »

Nice to have my “5 seconds of fame” on WTOP! I had been emailing back and forth with Dave giving him some technical info on sign life. Then he emailed me yesterday morning to say it was happening! I had not yet left home for work, so I got down there as quick as I could and there was Dave with a DDOT public affairs staffer. It was pretty awesome to see them uncover the I-695 sign!

As much as I hate to see the historical signing go, I’m glad DDOT is taking signing seriously for once!

As of tonight, the Independence Ave/Maine Ave sign is up, but the old E Street and I-66 signs remain. They thought this would be a two day project....clearly it took them two days just to do one sign!
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #860 on: August 24, 2018, 11:33:52 PM »

Nice to have my “5 seconds of fame” on WTOP! I had been emailing back and forth with Dave giving him some technical info on sign life. Then he emailed me yesterday morning to say it was happening! I had not yet left home for work, so I got down there as quick as I could and there was Dave with a DDOT public affairs staffer. It was pretty awesome to see them uncover the I-695 sign!

That was very, very cool.

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As much as I hate to see the historical signing go, I’m glad DDOT is taking signing seriously for once!

Agreed. I hope it will be possible to correctly follow the signed U.S. routes across D.C. without having inside knowledge at some point in the future.

Quote
As of tonight, the Independence Ave/Maine Ave sign is up, but the old E Street and I-66 signs remain. They thought this would be a two day project....clearly it took them two days just to do one sign!

The contractor that DDOT is mostly using with traffic signals and some signs (including this one) is M. C. Dean, who is a IMO pretty reputable firm (they used to have a huge contract with VDOT's Northern Virginia District, and I still think they still have some contracts with VDOT and maybe some municipal and county governments in Virginia too).
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #861 on: August 25, 2018, 09:37:07 AM »

....

As of tonight, the Independence Ave/Maine Ave sign is up, but the old E Street and I-66 signs remain. They thought this would be a two day project....clearly it took them two days just to do one sign!

See my post above—when I saw Dave there yesterday, he said the rusted bolts on the I-695 sign gave them a lot of trouble such that removing that sign took a lot longer than they expected. Presumably they'll have a similar problem with the other two signs. Shouldn't have been a surprise!



Quote from: 1995hoo
you may not be able to go left onto Rock Creek Parkway to do that (can't legally go left from Virginia Avenue, for example)

Did they change this recently?  Used to be a legal move.

I thought you can't legally go left there, but I could be mistaken since I don't use that intersection very often. From Street View imagery it's not easy to tell which direction is subject to the no-left-turn signs.

Anyway, as long as it's not the PM rush hour, you can usually, but not always, go around the other side of the Watergate to the Kennedy Center garage exit and make a left there, though it's not the most intuitive route nor necessarily the easiest left turn (dual turn lanes combined with a very tight space combined with DC-area drivers' refusal to stay in their lanes at dual turns all mean you have to be very careful there). It's a slightly complicated little area and it's best avoided if a show at the Kennedy Center is letting out.

I think in the end, perhaps the easiest way from that area to I-395 may be to go over the Roosevelt Bridge and then take Route 50 to Washington Boulevard, then follow that to I-395. Not ideal either, and you sometimes get a backup at the loop ramp from 50 to Washington Boulevard, but at peak hours I find it's better than waiting it out at the lights in Rosslyn (though I don't know whether the line getting off westbound I-66 is any shorter now that HO/T rules apply—in the HOV era, lots of people had to exit there). Edited to add: More typically for me, if it's rush hour and I'm driving solo, would be to continue on 50 to Fillmore Street, make a left, and take surface streets home (Walter Reed/Beauregard/Braddock/Van Dorn) so as to avoid I-395 altogether.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 09:49:02 AM by 1995hoo »
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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.

mtantillo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #862 on: August 25, 2018, 10:54:24 AM »

....

As of tonight, the Independence Ave/Maine Ave sign is up, but the old E Street and I-66 signs remain. They thought this would be a two day project....clearly it took them two days just to do one sign!

See my post above—when I saw Dave there yesterday, he said the rusted bolts on the I-695 sign gave them a lot of trouble such that removing that sign took a lot longer than they expected. Presumably they'll have a similar problem with the other two signs. Shouldn't have been a surprise!



Quote from: 1995hoo
you may not be able to go left onto Rock Creek Parkway to do that (can't legally go left from Virginia Avenue, for example)

Did they change this recently?  Used to be a legal move.

I thought you can't legally go left there, but I could be mistaken since I don't use that intersection very often. From Street View imagery it's not easy to tell which direction is subject to the no-left-turn signs.

Anyway, as long as it's not the PM rush hour, you can usually, but not always, go around the other side of the Watergate to the Kennedy Center garage exit and make a left there, though it's not the most intuitive route nor necessarily the easiest left turn (dual turn lanes combined with a very tight space combined with DC-area drivers' refusal to stay in their lanes at dual turns all mean you have to be very careful there). It's a slightly complicated little area and it's best avoided if a show at the Kennedy Center is letting out.

I think in the end, perhaps the easiest way from that area to I-395 may be to go over the Roosevelt Bridge and then take Route 50 to Washington Boulevard, then follow that to I-395. Not ideal either, and you sometimes get a backup at the loop ramp from 50 to Washington Boulevard, but at peak hours I find it's better than waiting it out at the lights in Rosslyn (though I don't know whether the line getting off westbound I-66 is any shorter now that HO/T rules apply—in the HOV era, lots of people had to exit there). Edited to add: More typically for me, if it's rush hour and I'm driving solo, would be to continue on 50 to Fillmore Street, make a left, and take surface streets home (Walter Reed/Beauregard/Braddock/Van Dorn) so as to avoid I-395 altogether.

The left turn from Virginia Ave to Rock Creek Parkway has been banned since at least 2007 (when I moved to DC and started driving that route regularly). That doesn’t stop many drivers from making it anyway. The best legal way to make that move is to go straight into the boathouse parking lot and drive around the lot, and then make a right onto the Parkway...or pull a quick U-turn in the lot entrance (I’ve gotten really good at that maneuver....when the SB left onto Virginia Ave is backed up badly, you can save several minutes by making a right, U-turn, and straight across).
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #863 on: August 25, 2018, 01:53:42 PM »

BTW, it occurs to me that the sign diagrammed below could be considered incorrect since I-66 is the thru route at that location even if it chokes down to a single lane, such that you aren't necessarily "exiting" if you follow that route. I find it hard to quibble with the sign, though, because the road's layout does make it feel like an exit, and on the inbound Roosevelt Bridge the equivalent movement to stay on I-66 is likewise marked as an "exit." (Edited to add: I suppose on the bridge maybe Route 50 is considered the thru route? Normally I would assume an Interstate would trump a US route, but I don't doubt the original signage came from the days before I-66 existed between Rosslyn and the Beltway and I would not be surprised to learn that replacement signs simply copied the old ones.)

« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 02:01:45 PM by 1995hoo »
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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.

Roadsguy

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #864 on: August 25, 2018, 03:17:03 PM »

An exit is whatever DDOT says it is. :)

I'm not a local, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people in the area thought of I-66 as for all intents and purposes ending at the interchange at the end of the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. It's only barely signed on the would-be West Leg at all. Though signed EB exiting the bridge, it isn't even signed here right down the ramp.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #865 on: August 25, 2018, 03:22:13 PM »

Also of note is that there are no reassurance shields left on DC’s portion, making it very easy to view it as a “To I-66” or “To the Whitehurst” kind of road.

Frankly, putting “Exit” on that sign makes a lot more sense than, say, VDOT signing the thru lanes on the Beltway in Springfield as an “exit,” regardless of what the MUTCD might say.
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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.

ixnay

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #866 on: August 25, 2018, 09:55:02 PM »

I always liked the masonry on DC's freeway overpasses.  To me it blends in with the marble monuments.

ixnay
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #867 on: August 25, 2018, 11:18:47 PM »

The other issue with posting “TO I-395” is that you can’t always do that due to rush-hour reversals and the like. But trying to post the hours on a BGS for such a short road might be information overload.

There's also the matter of truck traffic.  I realize that a  NO TRUCKS banner could be included, but given how many truck drivers I see on NPS-maintained parkways (nearly all of which ban all trucks with the exception of trucks with U.S. Government tags) putting that on a sign that requires transiting park areas is probably not a good idea.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #868 on: August 25, 2018, 11:31:44 PM »

The other issue with posting “TO I-395” is that you can’t always do that due to rush-hour reversals and the like. But trying to post the hours on a BGS for such a short road might be information overload.

There's also the matter of truck traffic.  I realize that a  NO TRUCKS banner could be included, but given how many truck drivers I see on NPS-maintained parkways (nearly all of which ban all trucks with the exception of trucks with U.S. Government tags) putting that on a sign that requires transiting park areas is probably not a good idea.

Great point. Indeed on Friday afternoon the WTOP traffic report mentioned an "overheight truck" stuck on the GW Parkway near Memorial Bridge. The truck should not have been there at all, of course.

I was thinking the "Independence Avenue/Maine Avenue" sign ought to have a "No Trucks" banner even before you said that.
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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.

abefroman329

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #869 on: August 26, 2018, 08:19:05 AM »

The weekend my now-wife moved in with me in 2012, a truck got stuck under an overpass on Rock Creek Parkway, I believe the one that carries M Street over RCP. Great timing, since we were driving back and forth between Columbia Heights and Alexandria all weekend.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #870 on: August 26, 2018, 09:53:01 PM »

BTW, it occurs to me that the sign diagrammed below could be considered incorrect since I-66 is the thru route at that location even if it chokes down to a single lane, such that you aren't necessarily "exiting" if you follow that route. I find it hard to quibble with the sign, though, because the road's layout does make it feel like an exit, and on the inbound Roosevelt Bridge the equivalent movement to stay on I-66 is likewise marked as an "exit." (Edited to add: I suppose on the bridge maybe Route 50 is considered the thru route? Normally I would assume an Interstate would trump a US route, but I don't doubt the original signage came from the days before I-66 existed between Rosslyn and the Beltway and I would not be surprised to learn that replacement signs simply copied the old ones.)



Wish they would add a control city to this sign.  I believe the control city for I-66 west should be Fairfax, VA.  It should be signed as the control until the VA-267 interchange.  At that point, both Fairfax and Front Royal should be the controls until VA 243, where Front Royal will be the only control for westbound.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #871 on: August 26, 2018, 10:53:21 PM »

Quote from: mtantillo
The left turn from Virginia Ave to Rock Creek Parkway has been banned since at least 2007 (when I moved to DC and started driving that route regularly).

If it's been "banned since 2007", there were at least a few occasions while I was stationed in the area (2008-12) where it was NOT signed as such.
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Roadsguy

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #872 on: August 26, 2018, 10:59:26 PM »

Quote from: mtantillo
The left turn from Virginia Ave to Rock Creek Parkway has been banned since at least 2007 (when I moved to DC and started driving that route regularly).

If it's been "banned since 2007", there were at least a few occasions while I was stationed in the area (2008-12) where it was NOT signed as such.

From inspecting the Street View since mid-2007, it seems there was a No Left Turn sign for every year except 2011, when it seems to have fallen off or been stolen or something. You can see the spot on the pole where it was. It was replaced by May 2012 on the pole with the No Turn On Red sign.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #873 on: September 07, 2018, 04:04:33 PM »

Can someone find the exact location of the sign on Google Maps Satellite View and post the URL?

Thanks,

Here you go. I've dropped the pin slightly north of the actual sign bridge to make it easier if you go into Street View.

https://goo.gl/maps/RzfRDzzmoYM2


Edited to add: Dave Dildine responded to my query about how they removed the sign.

?s=21

What interests me (almost) more is that it looks like they're putting the new signs on the same sign bridge. Guess they feel like it's still in good shape after nearly 60 years to handle new signs?

That they are! Photos taken about one minute ago. I got off work early and came over here.






The “p” is slightly out of alignment. I suspect it’s an upside-down “d.” Edited to add: WTOP’s Dave Dildine just came by to say hello—I had tweeted him when I saw his vehicle parked nearby—and when I pointed this out to him, he agreed. He also laughed and said he wished I hadn’t pointed it out because now he’ll see it every time!



The other two visible BGSs are to be replaced too, but they may not get to it today. Dave said they had a LOT of trouble removing the I-695 sign because the bolts were severely rusted (no surprise at all after so many years out in the elements).

They were working on these when I passed by yesterday. They had removed the plywood covering the rightmost sign, which read "Rock Creek Parkway / Right Lane" in case anyone was curious.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #874 on: September 07, 2018, 07:49:37 PM »


They were working on these when I passed by yesterday. They had removed the plywood covering the rightmost sign, which read "Rock Creek Parkway / Right Lane" in case anyone was curious.
I am curious. My understanding was this was related to the old access to Kennedy Center, so I would have expected the message to be related. But I see now, looking at old aerials, that the ramp split to Kennedy and RCP. (Now, of course, the "I-695" through movement makes for easy enough access to RCP anyway.)

 


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