16th Street Circle NW Upgrade FINALLY on Deck at ANC 4A January Meeting

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A held its January 2020 meeting at the beautiful and newly expanded Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital.  The meeting had been rescheduled due to a winter weather alert on the originally scheduled day.

I’m not going to beat around the bush today.  Community Engagement Specialist  Sayra Molina broke the big news: The 16th Street Circle Upgrade project is ready go!  That’s right, after what seems like decades of engagement from residents on both sides of the Maryland/DC border, this major traffic signalization and Safety upgrade have finally been signed off on by all jurisdictions! Here is the text of the Traffic Alert:

Mayor Muriel Bowser is committed to providing safe streets across the District and the 16th Street NW Circle Improvement Project is an important piece of that commitment. The 16th Street Circle NW Traffic Signalization and Safety Upgrade project will improve multimodal safety and reduce conflicts between various vehicular and pedestrian movements by fully signalizing all crosswalks and approaches at the intersection.

Why do we need to upgrade 16th Street Circle?

Presently, the 16th Street NW Circle intersection is partially signalized at the northbound and southbound 16th Street NW approaches. Similarly, the 16th Street NW intersections with Eastern Avenue NW and North Portal Drive NW (in the District) are fully signalized. The westbound approach of Colesville Road (in Maryland) is operating with minor street yield control. This yield condition creates safety concerns due to the lack of available sight distance as well as operational issues.

What is DDOT planning to do?

DDOT has completed a final design which will:

  • Reconfigure the 16th Street NW Circle at North Portal Drive NW, Eastern Avenue NW and Colesville Road to provide traffic and pedestrian signalization for all approaches and crosswalks, including within the Maryland right-of-way.
  • Realign all existing crosswalks and install an expanded pedestrian refuge/sidewalk between the 16th Street crosswalks on the south side to increase pedestrian visibility, shorten crossing distances, improve pedestrian mobility and protect pedestrians.
  • Upgrade all facilities for ADA compliance including Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS).
  • Install upgraded signing and pavement marking in accordance with the new traffic signal operation. • Revise signal timing and phasing to minimize delays for all users.
  • Upgrade all signal infrastructure and install LED streetlights for improved illumination of the roadway and crosswalks.

When will DDOT conduct the work?

DDOT will break ground on this project this winter and anticipates completion and activation of the new operation in late 2020. DDOT will monitor the operation following project completion to determine if the intersection is operating as intended. As needed, DDOT will adjust the signal timings and other features to meet the project objectives.

Where can I get more information on this project?

Please contact Clarence Dickerson, P.E. Deputy Associate Director, Traffic Engineering & Signals Division at clarence.dickerson@dc.gov.

Additional information from the Traffic Alert can be found at 16thStreetCircleUpgrade. Work is scheduled to being Tuesday, January 21st. Expect intermittent temporary lane closures.

This safety upgrade has been one of our community’s biggest requests for years! I want to send a hearty “Thank You!” to the Mayor and her staff at DDOT, and our Councilmember Brandon Todd for pursuing this and working with their counterparts in Montgomery County and the statehouse in Maryland to get this done!

Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street

The Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street program is moving right along. We posted earlier this week about the Executive Director job opening and the Community Survey. There will also be a community meeting on January 30. The time is 6:30 to 9:00 pm; the location will be announced soon.

Report from the Mayor’s Office

Community Liaison Gabrielle Priest delivered this month’s report. Key items included:

  • Residents have three options for Christmas Tree pickup
    • Leave it where you normally put your trash bins; trucks will pick them up as they space available
    • Put it in the treebox in front of your house
    • Compost it! Call to make an appointment.
  • Join the Mayor in the 2020 Martin Luther Kind Day parade
    • Meet on Monday 11 am at the corner of MLK Avenue and Good Hope Road SE
    • Afterwards, there will be a Health Fair at the RISE Demo center on the campus of St. Elizabeths
  • The DC Public Schools Accountability report was released on Monday
    • For the first time since 2006, the DCPS has over 50,000 students enrolled.

Report from the Councilmember’s Office

Chief of Staff Sheryl Newman presented a brief report.  Most importantly, Performance hearing season has begun. Checkout the Council web site for the calendar if you’re interesting in observing these presentations.

Report from the State Board of Education Ward 4 RepresentativeCoolidge Feeder Fest

Francis O’Leary also provided a brief update:

  • Coolidge High School Feeder Fest will be held on Jan 29th  5-8 pm at the high school. All current and prospective families at in-boundary schools are encouraged to attend.
  • Mr. O’Leary is collecting children’s books to distribute to local elementary schools. Call him directly to arrange a pickup at 202.236.2184 or email oman9@aol.com

Children’s Hospital Innovation and Research Center at Walter Reed

Irene Thompson, project director for Children’s new space at Walter Reed, came to share information and ask for a letter of support for new signage for the facility.

  • The proposed signage will direct visitors to the facility entrance on Fern Street NW for now.  Once access to Dahlia Street is available, they will move two of the signs to the new entrance.
  • Two of the signs will be “trailblazer” type signs that hang on telephone poles.  The other two will be internally illuminated “monument” style signs.
  • The facility is on track to be open by the end of this year. The clinical building and garage will open in September while the Research and Innovation labs will open in December.

Other News From ANC 4A

  • Commissioner Steve Whatley made an announcement that the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has 15 openings for a $15,000 scholarship for graduate students in Veterinary Medicine. If you or someone you know has an interest, find out more here.




Jennell Alexander | 4646 40th St NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC 20016 |(202) 717-2276



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