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Author Topic: District of Columbia  (Read 248415 times)

jakeroot

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1000 on: October 10, 2020, 12:43:48 AM »

More new signs in DC.



The above replaces the sign where the button-copy "S" had been peeling off the sign for years.



Why was/is the control city "TUNNEL" and "3rd Street Tunnel"?

More VA signs without rounded borders :no:.
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froggie

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1001 on: October 10, 2020, 12:51:04 AM »

^ Not Virginia signs.  DC signs.  Location is here, just after NB 395 splits off the SE/SW Freeway.

I suppose they could have used New York Ave as a control city, since that's 395's terminus.  But visitors may imply from such that 395 follows New York Ave which it clearly doesn't.  The 3rd St Tunnel and what it entails is pretty well known locally, and is mentioned often enough on traffic reports for visitors to potentially understand.
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HTM Duke

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1002 on: October 10, 2020, 01:04:43 AM »

In addition, I would argue most thru traffic coming through the SW/SE areas of the District would utilize I-695 to DC-295, due to either online mapping services, GPS, or past experience.  I would not recommend using the stretch of US-50 from I-395 to Bladensburg Rd if one is passing through unless one is a glutton for punishment.
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jakeroot

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1003 on: October 10, 2020, 02:15:35 AM »

^ Not Virginia signs.  DC signs.  Location is here, just after NB 395 splits off the SE/SW Freeway.

Did they source the original signs from Virginia? I didn't realize DDOT ever used rounded corners.
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1004 on: October 10, 2020, 08:41:40 AM »

^ Not Virginia signs.  DC signs.  Location is here, just after NB 395 splits off the SE/SW Freeway.

Did they source the original signs from Virginia? I didn't realize DDOT ever used rounded corners.

The ancient signs on the ramp to the 12th Street Tunnel—which I suspect are on the short list for replacement, given recent signage projects in DC—have rounded corners:

https://goo.gl/maps/mptqV6Qcu19DW5889

(Link is from the Google Maps app—pan the image around if you get sky or ground.)
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jakeroot

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1005 on: October 10, 2020, 12:29:23 PM »

^ Not Virginia signs.  DC signs.  Location is here, just after NB 395 splits off the SE/SW Freeway.

Did they source the original signs from Virginia? I didn't realize DDOT ever used rounded corners.

The ancient signs on the ramp to the 12th Street Tunnel—which I suspect are on the short list for replacement, given recent signage projects in DC—have rounded corners:

https://goo.gl/maps/mptqV6Qcu19DW5889

(Link is from the Google Maps app—pan the image around if you get sky or ground.)

(it was actually pointed at the sign ... nicely done!)

That's very interesting. I really like those older standards, with the slightly elevated tabs and round corners. DC had some great signs. It's too bad they don't continue those older practices.
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mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1006 on: November 02, 2020, 06:54:20 PM »

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/transportation/confusing-16th-street-traffic-circle-gets-makeover/2450619/

I noticed this the other day when driving between Silver Spring and DC.  This traffic circle is on 16th street at the DC/MD line.  For many years, 16th street is the main flow of traffic.  There were signals stopping the flow of traffic on 16th street so that traffic from N Portal or Eastern can make turns.  However, traffic from Colesville (which leads to the US 29 expy to Columbia and the southwestern Baltimore suburbs), which is far busier, faced a yield sign and no signal - largely because that part of the circle was in MD's jurisdiction not DC's.  From tons of experience, I could tell you this was a difficult left turn to make (SB Colesville to SB 16th) so I usually made a right on East-West Highway and then a left on 16th so I could have the aid of signals.  I hope this would make things safer, but they did change the lane configuration (which lanes on SB 16th turn and which do not) so a lot of people have to get used to that.

The old lane configuration sign is here:

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9936957,-77.0363723,3a,15y,195.47h,86.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1syrvedpKrbrJimYiVMD51Ug!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Compare to the sign in the above linked video story from channel 4.

[I hope to get a better look at this soon.]
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1007 on: November 02, 2020, 07:21:53 PM »

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/transportation/confusing-16th-street-traffic-circle-gets-makeover/2450619/

I noticed this the other day when driving between Silver Spring and DC.  This traffic circle is on 16th street at the DC/MD line.  For many years, 16th street is the main flow of traffic.  There were signals stopping the flow of traffic on 16th street so that traffic from N Portal or Eastern can make turns.  However, traffic from Colesville (which leads to the US 29 expy to Columbia and the southwestern Baltimore suburbs), which is far busier, faced a yield sign and no signal - largely because that part of the circle was in MD's jurisdiction not DC's.  From tons of experience, I could tell you this was a difficult left turn to make (SB Colesville to SB 16th) so I usually made a right on East-West Highway and then a left on 16th so I could have the aid of signals.  I hope this would make things safer, but they did change the lane configuration (which lanes on SB 16th turn and which do not) so a lot of people have to get used to that.

The old lane configuration sign is here:

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9936957,-77.0363723,3a,15y,195.47h,86.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1syrvedpKrbrJimYiVMD51Ug!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Compare to the sign in the above linked video story from channel 4.

[I hope to get a better look at this soon.]

This place has had a near-infinite number of crashes over the years.  Problem is that the D.C./Maryland border runs right through the intersection, and one side or the other had to allow the other side to control signal heads in the other jurisdiction. 

Then there is the problem of getting D.C. (DDOT), Maryland (MDOT/SHA) and Montgomery County, Maryland to agree on how to design and operate the signals here. 
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mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1008 on: November 03, 2020, 12:05:19 PM »

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/transportation/confusing-16th-street-traffic-circle-gets-makeover/2450619/

I noticed this the other day when driving between Silver Spring and DC.  This traffic circle is on 16th street at the DC/MD line.  For many years, 16th street is the main flow of traffic.  There were signals stopping the flow of traffic on 16th street so that traffic from N Portal or Eastern can make turns.  However, traffic from Colesville (which leads to the US 29 expy to Columbia and the southwestern Baltimore suburbs), which is far busier, faced a yield sign and no signal - largely because that part of the circle was in MD's jurisdiction not DC's.  From tons of experience, I could tell you this was a difficult left turn to make (SB Colesville to SB 16th) so I usually made a right on East-West Highway and then a left on 16th so I could have the aid of signals.  I hope this would make things safer, but they did change the lane configuration (which lanes on SB 16th turn and which do not) so a lot of people have to get used to that.

The old lane configuration sign is here:

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9936957,-77.0363723,3a,15y,195.47h,86.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1syrvedpKrbrJimYiVMD51Ug!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Compare to the sign in the above linked video story from channel 4.

[I hope to get a better look at this soon.]

This place has had a near-infinite number of crashes over the years.  Problem is that the D.C./Maryland border runs right through the intersection, and one side or the other had to allow the other side to control signal heads in the other jurisdiction. 

Then there is the problem of getting D.C. (DDOT), Maryland (MDOT/SHA) and Montgomery County, Maryland to agree on how to design and operate the signals here.

I'm glad they figured this out.  I always assumed that any border MD/DC signals were operated by DC, as there are many signalized intersections along Western, Eastern, and Southern Aves and they all have DC signal infrastructure.

I think there is still confusion regarding the lane configuration on SB 16th that needs to be warned about better.

The Silver Spring section of 16th does not need to be 3-3 the whole way from the Circle to Georgia Ave.  The extra space can be a bike lane or parking.  If there were only 2 thru SB lanes on 16th, it would be easier to guide the two lanes through the circle into DC, since it is a surprise that the left lane under the current configuration is forced to turn left onto Eastern or Colesville.  Doing this was necessary as the left lane tends to get blocked by these left turns [including the routing of SB Metorbus route S2], so they allowed the right two lanes to continue south on 16th.  That's a fine change, but the surprise is not, so it needs to be warned of better.

I would also say that the sign is confusing since it shows the lanes curving around the circle.  A simpler sign like a modified version of the R61-22 would be better. 

https://www.tapconet.com/product/r61-22-ca-triple-lane-control-left-straight-and-right-turn-symbol-sign

Replace the left lane arrows on the R61-22, with a double left, one left pointed acute and one left pointed obtuse, similar to this sign in CA: 

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.1582952,-118.3702799,3a,37.5y,191.44h,102.91t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sa_MUUwzIfwletIwV9JDSMQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1009 on: November 03, 2020, 02:35:14 PM »

I'm glad they figured this out.  I always assumed that any border MD/DC signals were operated by DC, as there are many signalized intersections along Western, Eastern, and Southern Aves and they all have DC signal infrastructure.

Signals at the D.C./Maryland border have generally been installed and maintained by DDOT and its predecessor agencies for as long as I can remember.  This is largely because those streets on the D.C./Maryland border (Western, Eastern and Southern) were built to be entirely in D.C., though homes and businesses on the Maryland side of the street area always entirely in Maryland.

At the junction of 16th Street (MD-390 in Maryland), Eastern Avenue and Colesville Road, this did not work, in part because Colesville Road (MD-384) is entirely in Maryland. I think that was the main reason why there was never a complete set of signal heads here, and the movement from southbound Colesville Road to southbound 16th Street was especially bad and especially crash-prone.

I think there is still confusion regarding the lane configuration on SB 16th that needs to be warned about better.

That sounds like something that MDOT/SHA would need to correct.

The Silver Spring section of 16th does not need to be 3-3 the whole way from the Circle to Georgia Ave.  The extra space can be a bike lane or parking.  If there were only 2 thru SB lanes on 16th, it would be easier to guide the two lanes through the circle into DC, since it is a surprise that the left lane under the current configuration is forced to turn left onto Eastern or Colesville.  Doing this was necessary as the left lane tends to get blocked by these left turns [including the routing of SB Metorbus route S2], so they allowed the right two lanes to continue south on 16th.  That's a fine change, but the surprise is not, so it needs to be warned of better.

16th Street (MD-390) north of East-West Highway (MD-410) is more of an expressway than it is an arterial road and people want to drive fast (last time I drove by there I noticed several speed cameras that did slow at least some drivers down).  This may have been in part because had the Northern Parkway been built, it would have tied-in to 16th Street at the present-day northern terminus of 16th Street at Georgia Avenue (MD-97).

I would also say that the sign is confusing since it shows the lanes curving around the circle.  A simpler sign like a modified version of the R61-22 would be better. 

https://www.tapconet.com/product/r61-22-ca-triple-lane-control-left-straight-and-right-turn-symbol-sign

Replace the left lane arrows on the R61-22, with a double left, one left pointed acute and one left pointed obtuse, similar to this sign in CA: 

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.1582952,-118.3702799,3a,37.5y,191.44h,102.91t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sa_MUUwzIfwletIwV9JDSMQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

I have no issue with that. I generally like the way that Caltrans and California local governments sign their roads, though that panel is quite ancient. 
« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 02:38:51 PM by cpzilliacus »
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mrsman

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #1010 on: November 05, 2020, 11:57:50 PM »

A little more information on the 16th Street circle:

Every intersection surrounding the circle is set up with new DDOT signal infrastructure, even on the MD side.  Signalized pedestrian crossings around the whole circle as well.

As you drive through, it is basically like driving through four very closely spaced signalized intersections - kind of like a super-condensed town center intersection.

16th SB:  Left lane to turn left at Colesville or Eastern.   The middle and right lanes allow one to continue through to 16th street DC, and the right lane also allows for a turn on N Portal.  The two signals are coordinated so that when the first is green, the second is as well.  To make the left turn, all traffic must make a left at the second intersection and either go through the circle to Eastern or partially around the circle to Colesville or to 16th north (u-turn).  16th SB and 16th NB are coordinated together and represent the main flow of the intersection.

16th NB:  Two lanes flow through to the 16th north to Silver Spring.  Curb lane must turn right at Colesville.  There is a very abrupt lane shift here, but there are guide lines through the intersection.

Colesville SB:  Left lane for  turns on Eastern, two right lanes to continue down 16th SB.  The signal facing Colesville is also coordinated with the signal at the south side of the circle

N Portal EB: This approach intersects at the southern side of the circle.  Traffic signal controls to allow for a right turn movement onto 16th south or to continue around the circle for any of the other movements.

Eastern Ave NB:  From this approach, you may only go NB on 16th or Colesville.   There is warning that after you proceed there may be the need for an immediate stop at the second traffic signal (which is likely red).  As another precaution to the quick stop, the traffic signal facing Eastern has RED-YELLOW-RIGHT FYA  (instead of R-Y-G).

Given the complexities, with a caveat to my complaints mentioned earlier, I think DDOT did a really good job here.

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