Click here to read about updates to the T-Intersection Concept.
As a pedestrian, I believe that all 3 of the concepts would be a marked improvement upon the current situation. However, none of them will be successful without traffic enforcement. Red lights and crosswalks mean nothing when drivers ignore them and block intersections.
As an occasional driver, the Triangle park option offers no protection to drivers northbound on 14th street attempting to access Penn Ave (the status quo). This option also continues the oddity of Potomac Ave (southbound) merging into or crossing Penn. at a strange angle. I do not see any real benefit to local drivers in this option.
Both of the other 2 options both appear to provide a complete intersection at 14th and Penn. to turn safely onto, or to cross, Penn Ave. However, neither clearly offers a stoplight for Potomac Ave traffic to enter Penn Ave safely, in either direction. Installation of a complete traffic light or controlled intersection on both ends where Potomac Ave meets Penn Ave would help.
Additionally, only the Ellipse Park offers a protected Bus drop-off/pick-up at the metro. this is a very important detail so that buses do not impede Penn Ave traffic (if that is a goal). there appears to be NO protected bus area on the SW corner of Penn/Potomac in any of the options, meaning that buses will continue to use traffic lanes.
Obviously, all three options are a big improvement for pedestrians crossing Pa Ave.
For bus riders and Potomac drivers, the best choice is Ellipse.
For pedestrians, the best choice is Rectangle – since the sharp turns will slow drivers.
For Pennsylvania Ave drivers, the Triangle is the best, but this is the least effective at safeguarding pedestrians.
Overall, Ellipse is the best compromise so far.
[…] commission voted unanimously to send comments to the District Department of Transportation on the updated alternatives for the Pennsylvania & Potomac Avenues SE Intersection Pedestrian Safety S…. While the commission’s letter does not indicate a preferred alternative, I personally like […]