How to Fix Wisconsin Avenue Traffic

The traffic flowing north on Wisconsin Avenue has slowed too much for its own good. We agree with Councilmember Jack Evans, who spoke about adding a second lane at a March 4 Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting. The overflow meeting had attendees standing in the back and outside the doors in the second floor hallway of the main building of Georgetown Visitation High School. Evans was there with his fellow Georgetowners along with Councilmember Mary Cheh from Ward 3, just north of town, and Terry Bellamy, director of D.C. Department of Transportation.

We also agree with commissioner Ed Solomon about expanding 35th Street as a two-way to Wisconsin Avenue with a stoplight. This arrangement would also eliminate the traffic turning east from 35th to go north on Wisconsin Avenue. One of our staffers used to walk to work that way, sometimes trying to cross the avenue at 35th Street: not fun. He simply kept walking along the Holy Rood Cemetery sidewalk, which was been widened.

We also need to look at how used those left-turn lanes work; those lanes may be better used.

Speeding cameras at 35th and Wisconsin to slow cars as they descend toward Georgetown? Sounds like a good idea, although a DDOT engineer did tell the crowd that traffic speeds equally up or down a hill. Flashing yellow lights placed at intervals? Maybe: could be annoying.

It is great to make neighborhoods more pedestrian-friendly — but to the extent that it makes Washington, D.C., come off as anti-automobile. Sorry, Capital BikeShare is cool and all, but its impact is minor. And some sectioned-off bikes lanes seem to scream: we hate cars and drivers; go back to suburbia. Not good for business.

To boot, there is much paid parking behind the buildings on the east of Wisconsin Avenue, bordering the backyard of the Vice President’s Residence, not less.

More to come: there is a May 1 roundtable on Glover Park traffic.

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