Letter to the Editor: Improvements to Water-K Street

‘Relief From the Madness of Lower Georgetown’

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The D.C. Department of Transportation recently gave notice of its intention to make improvements to Water-K Street along the Georgetown waterfront.  For residents, workers, tourists and visitors, relief from the madness of lower Georgetown cannot come soon enough.  The Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commission should support this plan.  We need help from local representatives and city planners to bring order to the chaotic and dangerous traffic congestion that has become the norm in our neighborhood.

The proposed plan calling for protected bike lanes, safer cross walks, improved emergency vehicle access, a plan to manage the prolific volume of tour busses, signage to direct cars seeking access to Maryland away from Water Street and traffic-calming features is a first step toward pedestrian, bicyclist and driver safety. Neighbors and I agree that these changes will improve safety and traffic congestion across Water-K Street.  The city also needs to consider traffic signals and enforcement against traffic violations including illegal parking, double-parking, tour bus idling and aggressive driving as measures to keep people safe and keep traffic flowing.

Today 3,000 bikes per day travel along Water-K Street, nearly 1,000 residents access their homes via Water Street, thousands work on Water-K Street. Add to this routine traffic the shoppers, diners, movie-goers and tour busses, and it becomes clear that there is a significant problem to address before someone is seriously injured or loses their life when emergency vehicles cannot reach a person in need.

The cost of this proposal is loss of some metered parking spaces on Water-K — specifically, 42 spaces across seven blocks.  Replacement spaces can be available in parking garages. The displacement of these parking spaces should not hold back our elected officials from supporting changes to protect the safety of Georgetown residents, workers and visitors.  We in lower Georgetown look forward to some relief via the ANC and DDOT.

— Meg Hardon, the Papermill Condominium

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